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Is Turin Worth Visiting? 13 Reasons to Visit Turin in 2024

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Located at the foot of the Alps in Italy’s Piedmont region, Turin is home to beautiful royal palaces, incredible cuisine, and stunning baroque architecture. If you love Italian food and history, this is the perfect destination for you.

Turin is a relatively unknown city to foreigners outside of Europe. This hidden gem is often overlooked by Italy’s famous cities, such as Rome, Florence, and Venice. Yet, it offers just as much rich history and culture as many other Italian cities.

We recently visited Turin during the fall season and fell in love with beautiful and authentic city. It’s one of our top 2024 Italy destinations that we recommend to anyone looking for a local Italian experience.

So – is Turin worth visiting? Read on to discover why we think you should add this elegant city to your Italy itinerary.

Is Turin Worth Visiting?

If you’re looking for a short answer – yes, Turin is definitely worth visiting. For those who like to get off the well-trodden tourist path and discover a more local side of Italy, then Turin should be at the top of your list.

The city is filled with fantastic museums, such as Museo Egizio, one of the world’s most important Egyptian museums. The Royal Palace of Turin combines Baroque and French architecture with Italian influence, making it a stand-out sight to visit.

For food lovers, Turin is the birthplace of the slow food movement and is renowned for its chocolate – we recommend doing your own chocolate tasting around the city.

Still need convincing? We’ve outlined 13 reasons to visit Turin below.

13 Reasons Why Turin is Worth Visiting

1. It’s local and authentic

If you’re tired of the crowds in other Italian cities, like Florence or Venice, you will be in heaven in Turin. It is one of the rare cities in Italy that still feels local without all of the touristy shops, restaurants, and gimmicks.

Not only that, but there simply aren’t as many tourists here compared to more popular destinations in Italy. You won’t experience the crowded streets like you do in Florence, or the long lines at museums like you do in Rome.

The city is alive with locals going about their daily activities, whether that means shopping at the local market, enjoying some fresh air at a local cafe, or grabbing a drink at one of the many coffee shops in the historic center.

We loved the authentic feel in Turin and felt like we were stepping into the past and experiencing Italy as it always had been.

2. Turin has the best chocolate in Italy

Thanks to Madama Reale — ruler of the region in the 17th century, Turin became the European capital of chocolate. During her reign, chocolate became more accessible to the commoner, and hot chocolate was sold at local cafes.

Nearly two centuries later, in the early 19th century, Gianduia was invented in Turin. Gianduia is a hazelnut blended chocolate which can be either its own bar or used as the filling in another chocolate bar. The company that invented the product is Caffarel.

You can still visit the original Caffarel shop in Turin, as well as other chocolate shops, such as Peyrano Torino and Guido Gobino.

If you’re in Turin in autumn, don’t miss Cioccolatò — the annual chocolate festival. For ten days from the end of October into November, the best chocolate producers from around Italy set up shop in Turin. There are shows and events and the entire city is fully dedicated to chocolate for the duration.

Book this 2.5 hour Chocolate & Sweets Tour with a local guide to learn more about the history of chocolate in Turin.

3. The coffee is next level

If you like a caffeine fix, you will love your time in Turin. Bicerin is the drink of Turin. It is a small drink layered with chocolate, espresso, and cream.

The drink evolved from bavareisa which was popular in Turin in the 18th century and had all of the same elements, but rather than being combined they were each served in their own glasses. It’s decadent and delicious and not to be missed. 

You can make your way around the city, stopping off in any one of the many charming cafes and coffee shops for a Bicerin. Try it at Caffè Al Bicerin — where the drink is the cafe’s namesake and its specialty.

We also loved the coffee, pastries, and bicerin from Caffè Mulassano and Baratti & Milano.

4. Stunning Royal Palaces

There are actually a whopping 22 different palaces and royal residencies scattered around the city of Turin as well as the nearby countryside. 

One of the main highlights is The Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale). The palace was built in the 16th century in the Baroque style with Neoclassical elements.

In the mid-1900s the palace was turned into a museum and today it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. During a visit to The Royal Palace, you can explore the opulent rooms and experience what royal life was like in Turin.

The property that is now Palazzo Madama first became a castle in the 14th century. Then the largest renovations, turning the building into a palace, were done in the 17th and 18th centuries.

These incorporated decorations by Italian painter Domenico Guidobono as well as Barque elements added by architect Filippo Juvarra.

Today this palace houses Turin’s Museo Civico. The collections here focus on historic arts and industry and contains works dating back to the Middle Ages.

5. Wonderful Museums

Turin also has a phenomenal selection of museums. Surprisingly, the oldest Egyptian museum in the world is actually located here.

The museum, Museo Egizio, hosts a vast collection of Egyptian artifacts which is a total of two kms long (extending over several floors). You can see human and animal mummies, items from the tombs of ancient kings and queens, as well as a collection of papyrus.

Another really cool museum is Mole Antonelliana. This is itself a beautiful building, it has an accessible terrace where you can get great views of the city and it is actually still today the tallest unreinforced brick building in the world. Inside the building is the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (cinema museum.)

The museum has an incredible collection of cinema artifacts. From items used behind the camera and in front of it to posters from a huge collection of classic films, this is a must for any movie buffs.  

Other museums of interest include the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, or national automobile museum, where you can see exceptional cars.

Or you can visit the Galleria Sabauda which has artwork from the 14th through 18th centuries. And football (soccer) fans will enjoy the museum dedicated to Turin’s local team — the Juventus Museum

Book this 2-hour Guided Tour of the Egyptian Museum to learn about the artifacts and main attractions from an expert.

6. Charming city center

Turin has a beautiful, and very walkable, city center. The old town is full of Baroque architecture, making it feel as if you are stepping into a Turin of the past.

Turin was actually part of France in the early 19th century, so there is a lot of French influence here. 

Piazza San Carlo is one of the main squares of the city and it is considered by some to be the most beautiful square in all of Europe. The square was developed in the 16th century and is full of Baroque architectural elements. It is also the location of many city events including concerts and food festivals.

Piazza Castello is another large, expansive square enclosed by beautiful buildings, that and Palazzo Reale di Torino — the square in front of the royal palace, are all worth visiting. 

READ ALSO: One Day in Turin Itinerary

7. The largest outdoor market in Europe

Mercato Centrale Torino is the largest outdoor market in Europe. It takes place in the historic center, in Porta Palazzo and is open daily. The market opens at 8:00 am and closes at 11:00 pm except on Friday and Saturday when it stays open until midnight.

There are over 500 stalls in the market selling food and drinks. Much of this food is served already prepared and ready to eat. Or you can get some things to take away and some groceries to prepare at home.

There is everything from bread to ice cream to cured meats and cheese or fresh pasta. This is a spot that will absolutely spoil any foodies.

8. The rich culinary scene

Like many many other places in Italy, life in Turin has a strong focus on food and socialization that revolves around a meal. Because this isn’t a new concept, there are some amazing dishes that have been developed and perfected in the region.

Here are just a few of Turin’s local dishes that you should try on your visit:

  • Agnolotti – Small stuffed pastas. Usually filled with meat (typically beef) or vegetables.
  • Vitello Tonnato – This is a dish that combines meat and fish flavors. The main ingredient is a cold slab of veal. And over the top of that is white sauce that is thick and creamy with tuna.
  • Brasato al Barolo – This is a classic beef stew. But this one is specifically made with the region’s delicious Barolo wine. 
  • Risotto al Barolo – A delicious dish made with barolo wine and rice. It’s strong and rich in flavor.
  • Grissini – These are quite simply breadsticks. But they are made with a more pizza-crust-like dough than a standard breadstick.
  • Tajarin pasta – A thin, tagliatelle style egg pasta with tajarin. This is a beautifully rich, decadent pasta and it’s not to be missed by any pasta lover. 
  • Truffles – The region surrounding Turin is known for both white and black truffles so if you are a lover of all (or any) things truffle, give them a try around Turin.
  • La panissa vercellese – Simply rice and beans, but elevated. This dish is cooked in a red wine sauce and is typically served with salami to enhance the flavors.

Something else to look out for is Terra Madre Salone del Gusto — a celebration of the slow food movement that takes place in Turin every two years in September. The event brings together regional producers for workshops, cooking classes, and more. 

9. Incredible sunset views

Turin is located in the northwest of Italy, and to the west of the city is the Alps. This backdrop creates some of the most phenomenal opportunities for killer sunset views.

The best spots to watch the sunset with a view of Turin’s skyline, and maybe even in all of the Alps are:

  • Piazzale Monte dei Cappuccini – This is a square that sits atop a small hill, from this vantage point you can see across the city of Turin and the Po River. The city is to the west of the hill so at sunset the rooftops of Turin pierce a deep orange sky. 
  • Basilica di Superga -Aalso to the hillside to the east of the city is this gorgeous basilica. Again, this vantage point is stunning at sunset. Ideally, time your visit so you can go inside the basilica as well. 
  • Mole Antonelliana – From the top platform of the building you’ll have 360 degree views of the entire city in all directions. So wherever the sky is showing off the most, you’ll be able to see it from here. 

10. The beautiful Piedmont region

The Piedmont region is known for its remarkable cuisine including the famous white truffle. Some of the best culinary experiences can be had in the small villages that dot the region.

For example, a meal at All’Enoteca in Canale is simply extraordinary and might change your life. The little village is about an hour’s drive southeast of Turin.

If you want the full truffle experience, you can actually go out truffle hunting in Piedmont. These days you will much more commonly encounter truffle hunting dogs rather than the traditional truffle hunting pig. 

As well as food, the region has some of the best wines in Italy including big bodied reds like Nebbiolo and light, sweet whites like Moscato d’Asti.

You can book a winery tour that will bring you from Turin around to several wineries in the region. 

11. Close to nature

With its location at the foot of the alps, there is so much nature easily accessible from Turin. 

Lake Orta is about a 90 minute drive north from Turin. It is a stunning location and the lake is crystal clear and perfect for a summertime dip. You can also explore the lake by boat and go out to Isola san Giulio which sits in the middle of the lake. 

If you’re looking to hike, you have plenty of options. You can explore the Bosco dei Ronchi nature reserve just on the outskirts of the city, or a longer day trip (accessible by train) can get you to Colle Del Sommelier which is in the mountains along the border with France.

This area is stunning for hiking and may also be good to spend a night away from Turin to give yourself plenty of time to explore. 

12. Torinese aperitivo

There is no better way to cap off a day of exploring the city than with a classic aperitivo. The traditional aperitivo in Turin includes a glass of vermouth and a small snack, such as tramezzini sandwiches.

You will find that come about 6:00pm the day will slow to a snail’s pace and the cafes fill with locals enjoying their sit down, their drink, and their bite to eat.

You can join them just about anywhere in the city but a few of the best spots to try are:

  • Caffè Elena – For traditional vermouth alongside updated cocktails.
  • Lobelix Cafè – For good people watching on a square.
  • Caffe Torino – An institution in Turin serving classic drinks.

13. Home of Italy’s top soccer team

The Turin football team is Juventus FC, and this team is one of the best in all of Italy. It is currently ranked second for 2024, only after Inter Milan. 

The season runs for more or less ten months of the year — save the hot days of summer (July & most of August). There are consistent games but all teams play both home and away, so make sure to check the schedule for when you’re in town. 

Whether or not you get a ticket to a game, you can be sure that if a game is happening while you’re in Turin there will be plenty of opportunity to watch at bars and restaurants as well as at the stadium. 

In addition to going to the game, you can also visit the Juventus museum as previously mentioned. 

Tips for Visiting Turin

You really only need 2 days for the city

Turin is a short and sweet spot. Two days is a great amount of time to explore and enjoy the city and see the sights.

It is a good idea though to add on another two or three additional days to explore the Piedmont region around Turin. For that you could either keep your home base in Turin or stay in the countryside surrounding it.

You need to reserve restaurants in advance

Even though Turin is not touristy, it is popular, and the good restaurants in town book up fast. Make sure to have a look and plan where you’d like to go at least a week in advance.

It’s a great city to visit any time of year

If you visit Turin in the fall you can experience a number of local festivals such as the white truffle or chocolate festivals. Come winter in Turin, the city fills with holiday spirit and Christmas markets, plus the surrounding region is full of snow and opportunities for winter sports (skiing in the alps is right at your doorstep).

Spring and summer are of course also a beautiful time to visit. While summer does get hot and humid you can usually expect days to stay around 80°F (27°C) which is still tolerable for some sightseeing.

Suggested Turin 1 & 2 day itineraries

Turin 1-Day Itinerary

  • Coffee (or bicerin) at a classic cafe like Caffè Mulassano and Baratti & Milano
  • Wander around Piazza San Carlo
  • Explore the Royal Palace of Turin
  • Visit Palazzo Madama
  • Check out Museo Egizio
  • Taste some chocolate from some of the shops around the city
  • Enjoy the sunset view from Piazzale Monte dei Cappuccini

Turin 2-Day Itinerary

  • Check out Mole Antonelliana & the National Museum of Cinema
  • See the Palatine Gate
  • Stroll around Parco Valentino & along the banks of the Po River
  • Visit the Mercato Torino in Porto Palazzo
  • Wander through the old town and visit Garibaldi Street
  • Take the bus to Basilica di Superga for incredible sunset views

Where to Stay in Turin

From luxury to budget-friendly hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from in Turin. Here are our top picks:

  • Luxury hotel: Grand Hotel Sitea | A historic 5-star hotel located in the heart of Turin with a garden and beautiful decorations.
  • Boutique hotel: Opera35 Boutique Hotel | Located just a couple blocks from the Po River, this 4-star hotel features simplistic rooms in a central area of Turin.
  • Mid-Range hotel: Hotel Victoria & Iside Spa | This charming and centrally located hotel features classic Italian decor with breakfast included.
  • Budget hotel: Casa della Contessa B&B | A wonderful bed & breakfast located in the historic center of Turin with modern amenities, such as air conditioning.

Is Turin Worth Visiting? Frequently Asked Questions

How many days in Turin is enough? 

Two days is enough time to visit Turin. This will give you a chance to see the charming center, try out some of the restaurants, have a truffle tasting, and see the top sights. 

What is Turin, Italy known for?

Turin is known as a city with amazing history and beautiful Baroque architecture. It is also known for its many modern museums, exquisite restaurants, and overall culture that simply overflows from it.  

Is Turin a walkable city?

Absolutely, yes. Turin is a very walkable city. In addition to being quite flat, the city’s downtown is laid out in a grid pattern so it’s easy to find your way around.

More Information for your Trip to Italy

ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE

Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Safety Wing to find the best plan for you.

Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.

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