LUXURY VACATION IN TURKU FOR A FAMILY WITH KIDS
What is it like, at its best, to really be getting in the Christmas spirit? It’s being together with the family, with no rush and high above the everyday life. Here you’ll find the Top 3 things to do in Turku for a family with kids, as well as how to have a luxurious vacation. In the end you’ll find a few words on our future travel plans here in Finland.
TOP TIPS IN TURKU FOR A FAMILY WITH KIDS
Turku is a Christmas city with a great atmosphere. Christmas carols are playing downtown, there are beautiful Christmas decorations and candles hanging in front of restaurants, and the walls of houses have Christmas lights. On our hour-long walk we had the chance to look at some sights before retreating to the hotel to enjoy.
1. 1. TURKU CATHEDRAL AND CHRISTMAS MARKET
The face of the Turku Cathedral is familiar to every Finn, because it’s the place where the Christmas Peace is declared, and also where the big Christmas tree stands. Opposite to the cathedral is a cozy Christmas marketplace, where you can go drink a cup of mulled wine.
Kuva: Matias Tanner/Lumo Creative
2. CHRISTMAS SHOP WINDOWS AND STREETS
The other Christmas market is located at the Marketplace. Its number one draw is the free carousel, sponsored by the City of Turku. You can find funny Disney-characters in the windows of Wiklund’s Sokos department store on the other side of the Marketplace. The street which starts from the other corner of the Marketplace takes you to look at department store Stockmann’s windows, where you can find all kinds of animals of the forest.
3. RIVERSIDE AND CHRISTMAS BRIDGE
The riverside is idyllic, even in pouring rain. The bridge lined by spruce and Christmas lights is like a little alley in a forest. Say what you will about neon lights, but at least the kids had fun watching them.
DOES A FAMILY WITH KIDS DESERVE A SUITE?
Luxury and family with kids is not exactly a combination you often hear about. But luxury is not only a privilege of, for example, the childless. Kids (and their parents) deserve a sprinkle of luxury amidst the macaroni casseroles and chauffeuring the kids to and from practice. We got to try out a night in a suite at Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel, which was like a home – but a sumptuous one. A luxury vacation means to a family with kids first and foremost a hotel, which takes the kids into consideration and gives the grown-ups a chance to take a breath.
Suite 712 worked well for a family with kids. There was a roofed double bed and sauna facilities on your right as you walked in. On the left was a dining area and a living room, where the bigger girls had their beds right next to one another. The clothes hanger stand and the bathroom were in the middle. The bathroom was light and there was a gorgeous view out to the banks of the river and the Christmas bridge from the sauna. The kids thought it was miraculous to be in the sauna in your own room. With the view from the window and the walk downtown in Turku (we could see a part of the route through the sauna window), there was plenty to talk about in the sauna. It was fun to tip-toe to the bed wearing bathrobes and slippers and watch animated films.
The common area had a Christmassy look and especially Hanna enjoyed spending time with the Christmas still life and surprises.
WHAT WAS A POSITIVE SURPRISE? WHY IS RADISSON BLU MARINA APPROPRIATE FOR FAMILIES WITH KIDS?
During the sign-in, the kids got to go get a Christmas surprise of their own choosing from a big, red Christmas-chest. The surprises kept them busy while the adults were talking about the hotel’s services and the sights in Turku.
Next to the front desk was a playroom, which is mainly designed for the needs of kids under school-age. But not to worry – even the 8- and 10-year-olds were happy spending time there, once the parents had confiscated their mobile phones. You could borrow board games from the playroom and take them to your hotel room.
The dining table in the suite had a basket with all kinds of goodies: marshmallows, raisins, juice boxes with straws, chocolate, gingerbread cookies and fruits. It probably goes without saying that we were very impressed by this gesture. Getting the kids’ blood sugar up effectively stopped the tiredness and the annoyance. The adults had coffee and chocolate, which were also included in the room.
Hanna had a cot next to the adult’s bed. We also tested the double-bed with Hanna, when I was hit by longing in the night. The bed was comfortable for more than just one person to sleep in. There was a red potty for Hanna in the toilet – which is nothing special, really, except that it, as well as the cot, had been brought in the room without us specifically asking for them.
The girl had their own set of crayons and activity booklets waiting for them on their beds. This brought joy that lasted for a long time.
Opposite to the reception was a “home kitchen”, from where you could go get an evening snack. For about two euros they made Hanna her own evening porridge.
In the breakfast room Hanna her own high chair waiting for her, as well as her utensils, dishes and a bib. It felt good to be noticed through the kids.
The breakfast item selection was very varied and there were a lot of options for people with dietary restrictions. The youngest child, who is on a non-dairy, egg-free diet enjoyed soy yoghurt and a smoothie, among other things.
The kids were again brought coloring books and equipment to the breakfast table. The fun still lives in the breakfast room gave Hanna plenty to admire. Thanks to the Christmas still life, she now knows the word “Bambi”.
WHAT MAKES THE ADULTS HAPPY?
If the kids are happy, so are the adults. What made us especially happy was the opportunity to spend some alone-time in a nice environment. Champagne, blinis and lightly salted whitefish were the icing on the cake.
WHY DID WE FALL IN LOVE WITH TRAVELING IN FINLAND? WHAT NEXT AFTER TURKU?
Our domestic travels have, after the kids were born, followed a fairly traditional formula, where depending on the season we go around Ostrobothnia and Carelia visiting grandparents, the ski resorts in Lapland and also visit the archipelago. The reason behind this sudden urge for domestic travel may be in the beautiful pictures of Finnish nature and of the city sights, which keep appearing in the social media feed.
As I looked at the Finnish travel photos I realized that travelling within Finland doesn’t have to mean less travelling abroad. In fact, you can visit the sweet spots in Finland for a low price, if you just do it one small piece at a time. By hopping in the car or on the train you can escape the everyday life even more often than before. And more is better, right?
Next summer Åland, Hanko, Naantali, Porvoo, Fiskars or maybe the castle at Mustio might call our name again, tempting to revisit. And perhaps we could head up north to Lapland in the summer or come fall with its changing colors. Nuuksio is still a place we visit fairly regularly even after the days in the Scouts.
By the way, the Journey of Tales blog will be the hosting blogger of the Nordic Travel Fair, so in addition to countries far and away, we will also be sharing a lot of new and interesting stuff about domestic travel in our blog.
This article was written in co-operation with Radisson Blu Marina Palace. The opinions are the writer’s (and the family’s) own.
Read more about the hotel, services and other room options. There are also family rooms in the hotel.
Radisson Blue Marina Palace Hotel
Read in finnish about other travel bloggers luxurious experiences at the Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel:
Otto Izakaya: Luksusmatka Turussa
Travellover: Sviitissä arjen yläpuolella
Pako arjesta: Turun paras hotelli
Veera Bianca: Majoitus Turussa
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