Best Things to do in Turin for Expats and Locals

Sofia

Updated on Apr 04 • 7 minute read

Turin is a fantastic and highly underrated city that offers plenty of places to visit and activities to keep you busy. In fact, Turin is located in the Piedmont region, which was voted as the world’s best region to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. So if you’re looking for inspiration on what to do in Turin, here’re some ideas:

  1. Hit up unique museums
  2. Explore the unusual things to do
  3. Enjoy the free things to do in Turin
  4. Relish Turin’s food and drink culture in unique ways
  5. Visit the city’s most famous attractions, if you haven’t yet

Whether you’re a tourist, new expat, or seasoned local, what you’ll love about Turin is that you can easily soak up the charm of the city as it’s not overrun by tourists.

Unique Museums in Turin

It’s fairly common to visit art and historical museums. But if you don’t fancy that or want something unique and exciting, try out these 4 museums in Turin.

Museo Egizio

Museo Egizio houses the world's largest Egyptian museum outside of Cairo. So if you’re a history buff and curious about Egyptian history and artefacts, you’ve got to visit this museum! It’s also a great interactive museum as they show 3D films to bring some of these artefacts to life.

The collection's size and breadth will make you want to spend a good few hours as each artefact is brilliantly preserved, from rows of mummies to salted meat.

Price: €15

Museo Nazionale Dell’Automobile

If you’re passionate about cars, you can’t skip The National Automobile Museum. The museum is an adventure through the history of vehicles which captures the evolution of cars. Marvel at the more than 200 cars on display which come from various countries, such as the UK and Germany.

Price: €15 (€12 for 18-25 or over 65-year-olds)

Lavazza Museum

© Museo Lavazza Website

Which coffee lover doesn’t know of Lavazza coffee? Turin is the home of Lavazza, the world-renowned coffee brand. What’s fun is that it’s an interactive museum with lots of surprises for everyone. You can even buy a ticket to the archaeological area of the museum.

Price: €10 (€8 for under 26 and over 65)

MAU- Museo Arte Urbana

Love street art? The Museum of Urban Art (MAU)is the first open-air contemporary art museum in the city centre.

The streets of this open-air museum showcase the talents and styles of many artists. All of their marvellous pieces add colour and lightheartedness to the Borgo as several doors, windows, and street benches have something to look at.

MAU is located in Borgo Campidoglio, one of Turin's neighbourhoods that’s well worth a visit.

Price: Free

If you’re interested in art museums, you can visit GAM which has 20,000 contemporary artworks or Fondazione Sandretto de Rebaudengo.

Unusual things to do in Turin

Besides the common tourist attractions, there’re some incredible hidden gems throughout Turin that are a must-see if you live here.

Eurovision 2022

Turin is going to host the 2022 Eurovision song contest and it’s got to be one of the most unusual things you can do in Turin this year! The event will take place from 10-14th May.

This is the third time that Italy will be hosting the Eurovision.

Tickets go on sale on 7th April.

Fiat Factory

Ever wanted to make a grand entrance? You can take a helicopter ride to the rooftop restaurant above the old Fiat factory. If that’s too much, you can also drive up here and explore the factory that now has a cinema, a rooftop race track, hotels, and a shopping mall.

Price: €8

Juventus Stadium

Football lovers will love visiting the Juventus stadium. You can see the stadium and the other areas that are usually not open to the public, such as the changing room. Of course, you’ll also learn a lot about the club.

As an expat or local, you’ve got the added advantage of catching a live match at the stadium since you’re not bound by time as tourists are.

Price: €15

Visit Sestriere to ski on Olympic grounds

One of the perks of living in Turin is that you can visit Sestriere both in winter and in summer. In winter, head to the ski resorts in Sestriere, which is only a 1h drive away.

Did you know that the skiing events of the winter Olympics of 2006 were held in Sestriere?

In summer, you can enjoy golfing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, or even kayaking! It’s an adventurer's dream come true.

Explore Turin’s secret underground tunnels

Not for the faint-hearted but for thrill-seekers. The underground tunnels in Turin have secrets to tell and a tour is the best way to unravel them.

Enter the vast tunnel system through clandestine entrances and discover the trap doors, crypts, ice cellars, air-raid shelters, and more.

The Underground Turin tour is especially interesting as they even have theatrical performances.

Price: approximately €30

Borgo Medievale - The medieval village

Ever wanted to experience a medieval village? Borgo Medievale is a replica of a typical 15th-century Piedmontese village built for the Expo in Turin in 1884. Today it’s a free, open-air museum where you can walk through history. Look out for the drawbridge, artisan shops, castle walls, fountains, and more.

This village is nestled inside Italy’s first public gardenParco Valentino. This garden is definitely worth visiting too as it’s right next to the Po river and it houses the botanical garden and Castello del Valentino.

Price: Free

Free things to do in Turin

Monte Dei Cappuccini

Everyone flocks to Mole Antonelliana for that classic view of the city. But if you want a panoramic view of Turin for free Monte Dei Cappuccini is THE spot. On this hill, you can snap a panoramic picture of Turin with Mole Antonelliana in the background.

You can also visit the church of Santa Maria al Monte Dei Cappuccini while you’re here.

Visit museums and attractions for free

Since you’re in Turin for a while, you can take your time and enjoy visiting some of the best Turin museums and archaeological sites for free (or a very small contribution).

  • Museo Egizio if you can show it’s your birthday
  • Valentino castle is free on the first 3 Saturdays of the month
  • Free entrance for 1 partner on Valentine’s day
  • All women on Women’s Day (8th March)
  • Mid August, you can enter the likes of GAM art museum and Palazzo Madama for €1

And if it isn’t free, you could still enjoy a big discount! Adults under 26 are almost always given a discounted rate. So if you’re thinking of visiting the Palazzo Reale or other historic sites, enjoy your sweet discount before you turn 27!

Millo street art

If you like street art that tells a story, go to Barriera di Milano, a historic neighbourhood located in the north of Turin. The streets here feature 13 murals that highlight the amusing and distinctive style of street artist Millo (Francesco Camillo Giorgino).

All the 13 pieces are connected in a way as they hone in on humans and their connection with urban life.

His work is so fascinating that you can even see his works in big cities like London and Paris.

Giardini Reali, the Royal Gardens

One of the best free things to do in Turin is to visit the Giardini Reali, also known as the Royal Gardens. Located in the heart of the city, the gardens will give you a space to relax and chill on a sunny day or after a stressful week at work.

The Royal Gardens span over 7 hectares and offer its visitors lots of visuals and perspectives as a treat. You can find geometric designs, water mirrors, fountains, and statues that are reminiscent of Italian art in the 18th century.

Markets

The markets are undoubtedly among the free things to do in Turin. Walking through these markets will not only keep your wallet and belly happy but it’ll also highlight how Turin has retained a true and traditional Italian culture.

The must-see Turin markets are :

  • The Porta Palazzo Market: the largest European outdoor food market with nearly 800 stalls!

  • The Mercato Centrale Torino: A contemporary indoor market in Porta Palazzo where you can taste fresh gourmet food, street food, grab a drink, or shop artisanal products or clothes. Check out the underground antique ice storage rooms while you’re here!

  • Gran Balon market: Antique lovers should visit this market for great finds at bargain prices. It’s there every Saturday and the 2nd Sunday of every month.

Explore Turin’s food and drink culture

Try the authentic Bicerin at Turin’s oldest cafe

Bicerin is a delectable drink that’s part espresso, part chocolate, and part cream or milk. It’s Turin’s most famous drink and trying it at Caffe Al Bicerin is the ultimate highlight as the cafe has been serving this drink since the 18th century! Besides the drink, the cafe is worth a visit as famous names like Nietschze and Puccini have also visited.

Other historic cafes you can visit include Caffee Fiorio, Caffè Torino, and Caffè San Carlo.

Take a chocolate-making class

While Italy is world-famous for its food and drinks, Turin is especially famous for its chocolate and was even the chocolate capital in the 18th century.

For a unique experience, why not take a chocolate making class to learn from the best? Since Turin is the home of Gianduiotto (also known as Gianduja), you could attempt making it.

Gianduiotto is a mini ingot shaped chocolate that gracefully combines hazelnut and chocolate. It was concocted in 1865 and forever changed chocolate making. Gianduiotto was also the first wrapped chocolate in the world.

If making something with your hands is not for you, you’ll find many handcrafted chocolate firms and some of the biggest Italian chocolate brands throughout the city.

Enjoy wine tasting

Piedmont is home to two of the most loved Italian red wines– Barolo and Babaresco. If you don't know what to do and want to try some local wine, you can book a full-day wine tour that’ll take you to the best local producers and give you a crash course in different types of wines.

The best time for a wine tour is during spring or fall.

Visit Turin’s famous attractions if you haven’t already

Whether you’re new to Turin or not, some attractions are a must-see and worth a visit. After all, you don’t want to be the only one who hasn’t seen the attractions that people travel to Turin for. Here’re 2 places that are a must-visit:

  1. Palazzo Reale- The Royal Palace
  2. Cappella della Sindone- The Chapel of the Holy Shroud

Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale is part of the UNESCO World Heritage because of its beauty and the role the palace plays in reminding us of the city’s royal past.

This grand palace was built for the House of Savoy in the 16th century. But it was Filippo Juvarra who added baroque style features to the palace and made it into an architectural masterpiece for years to come. Today, the palace features elegant and royal rooms adorned with ancient paintings.

In the basement of the building, you can visit the spectacular kitchens and the gigantic cellars. From the porticoed courtyard, you can enter the garden enclosed by the 17th-century fortifications.

Price: €15 (€2 for 18-25-year-olds)

Cappella della Sindone

You’ll want to visit Cappella della Sindone in Duomo di Torino as it houses The Holy Shroud, an ancient linen cloth with the image of a crucified man on it. Although science dates back the line to only a couple of centuries ago, millions believe it was used to wrap Jesus Christ's crucified body.

Cappella della Sindone was built at the end of the 17th century and today it’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Price: €15 (€2 for 18-25, or free first Sunday of each month) for entering the Musei Reali Torino (Royal Museums to Turin)

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