Neighbouring the French and Swiss borders in Italy's Piedmont region, Turin is an ornate mix Paris and Geneva. Grand boulevards are lined with elegant cafes enticing you to stop for a rich Bicerin. The city sparkles at golden hour - as the sun highlight every remarkable, intricate detail on its buildings. Turin plays hard to get, slowly welcoming you in and showing you what it has to offer.
Turin's currency is the Euro (€). €1 = £0.83 / $1.10 (as of 2022).
Top 5 things to see
Piazza Castello & Giardini Reali di Torino
Although Turin's grand central square was originally planned in the 1300s, its buildings date between the 16th and 18th-centuries. Spritzes fly from the bars and cafes for locals in hot weather, and kids can take a chance to cool down in the fountains. To the east is the Baroque-medieval Palazzo Madama, once home of the Italian parliament; to the north is the beautiful Royal Palace, Palazzo Reale, built for Carlo Emanuele II in the 1600s.
Take a short walk through the Palazzo Reale to the magnificent Gardini Reali di Torino, awash with opulent statues, water features and benches to relax.
Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista
Built in the late 1400s, Turin's Duomo is built on a former Roman theatre. It is home to the Shroud of Turin, the supposed burial clothing of Jesus after his crucifixion - however this has been heavily disputed as its carbon-dating shows it was woven in the 1400s. Its Romanesque-style Bell Tower dates to 1723. Nearby is the archaeological wonder of Parco Torri Palantine, where the extraordinary remains of a 1st-century Roman-theatre and red-brick Roman wall lay. Well worth a visit.
Parco del Valentino
A beautiful lush park on the riverbank home, it's home to the 17th-century Castello del Valentino - a French chateau that now houses the architecture faculty for Turin's university. Be sure to visit Imbarchino, serving light aperitifs with a serene terrace overlooking the Po River.
Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini
For striking views over the city head eastwards over the Po River to this 16th-century Catholic Church. The church itself is simple an opportunity to pay your respects if you wish, but it's the views overlooking Turin that will capture you.
Some Two Passports Top Tips...
Be aware! - The walk is easy-to-medium difficulty and relatively steep in places so if you have mobility issues just be careful. However, you can drive to to the top, so you may wish to get a taxi if you prefer. Just a warning..
When to go - You really want to make sure the weather is sunny. The view is magnificent, but it loses its magic when it's cloudy. If you can go at sunrise or sunset then that's even better!
Make sure - Learn from our mistake and take a professional camera! A phone camera, unless it's really extraordinary, won't do the pictures justice. That dusty professional camera you sometimes carry with you? Take it on this trip for these views to really get the best of the golden sunset hitting the Mole Antonelliana and the mountains in the background...
The iconic building of Turin, the striking aluminium spire tops the 167m tower of the once-intended synagogue that is now the Museo Nazionale del Cinema - a treat for film lovers! Lifts transport you to the extraordinary 85-metre viewing deck with 360-degree views
Tickets cost €9/€7 for adults/children.
Turin & Piedmont Card
Admission into museums, castles and exhibitions in Turin, along with use of public transport too.
1 day = €29
2 days = €38
3 days = €44
5 days = €49
Public Transport Tickets only
2 days = €5.50
3 days = €7.50
Where to eat and drink
Turin, much like many other Italian cities, is an outdoor city. For breakfast, a simple coffee and pastry in one of the Viennese-inspired cafes is a typical start to the day. For dinner, join the flocks of locals dining al fresco in the golden sunshine; pastas, polentas and pizzas fly out of the kitchens at a rapid pace.
Around every corner is a delicious gelateria; locals can't get enough of them.
Café Al Bicerin is home to Turin's iconic drink, the Bicerin, an elevated mocha topped with rich cream. This cafe is where Turin's famous drink was invented and well worth a visit!
Orso Laboratorio del Caffè by Parco del Valentino is a bright coffee shop providing the best roasts from across the globe!
Piola da Cinci is a local's favourite! Tucked inconspicuously on a row of restaurants in Largo IV Marzo we'd recommend Piola da Cinci for a light lunch of pasta and gnocchi. Often voted as the best restaurant in Turin, dishes (€5 to €7) are served piping hot on its sprawling terraces.
Perino Vesco churns out the best focaccia in the city and the most fragrant hazelnut cakes imaginable. Join the queue for a slice or two of and enjoy at the nearby Giardino Sambuy.
Pizzium in the corner of Largo IV Marzo is fabulous for classic and eclectic pizzas. The staff are extremely welcoming and you can even watch them make the pizza. Book ahead for terrace seats.
Palatino next door to Piola da Vinci boasts heaving plates of gorgeous pasta on its terrace. Its creamy truffle pasta is rich and delightful, as is the intense rage you visited Italy for!
Ruràl Pizza is a pretty pizzeria in the Aurora district north of Dora Riparia. The Sicilian-style pizza joint is set in an old glassworks factory and uses the best local ingredients possible.
Ca' Mais also in Aurora is the perfect place if you're craving tapas. The rustic bar serves up perfect cocktail along with small plates of Spanish cuisine in case you needed a break from Italian food.
For the adults
FAB is fabulous (see what we did there?!) for fun cocktails at aperitivo hour. FAB is perfectly positioned in Largo IV Marzo to enjoy a drink whilst waiting for your table in the square.
Imbarchino is one of the best positioned aperitivos in the city, nestled perfectly on the Po River in Parco del Valentino. At golden hour, come for the drinks and stay for the views.
Bar Cavour is an opulent room combing magic with deep mystery. Named after the Count of Cavour, a famous politician and economist from the 1800s, this bar is a must visit for a special occasion. You must must must reserve well in advance. We warn you.
Smile Tree is the most stylish cocktail bar in Turin, bordering on the realm of mixology. Its cutting-edge drinks are carefully crafted by the best bartenders in the country - a must visit!
Gelateria La Romana is the best in the city; fantastic gelato and great service too. Promise us you'll try the stracciatella and pistachio flavour...
Alberto Marchetti Gelaterie is a small chain in Turin serving up classic and indulgent gelato. Sink into the white chocolate and salted caramel, or try the tangy lemon on a hot day instead!
You are not expected to tip in Italy, as gratuity is added onto the bill automatically. However, you can add an extra euro or two if you wish.
Turin city centre is a very safe city to walk about at night, but it can be seedy around the train stations and the plazas at night.
Two Passports Top Tip: Visit Largo IV Marzo
We've mentioned it throughout this section but we'll say it again - Largo IV Marzo is a wonderful hive of activity as aperitivo hour strikes. What looks like an inconspicuous triangle of green on the map is heaving with restaurants and bars.
Two Passports Top Tip
If you want to be guaranteed a table, especially outside in the summer months, at peak times (8-10pm) we recommend booking your restaurant of choice a week in advance. We can't stress enough, when Largo IV Marzo gets busy.
When to Go
Low Season: November to March
Temperates drop and rainfall increases. Good deals on hotels.
Shoulder Season: April to May and September to October
Inconsistent weather, but very comfortable when sunny. Prices rise for events, so check calendar for any global events. Heavy thunder can occur due to geographical position by the mountains.
High Season: June to August
Incredibly hot and humid. The locals flock everyday to the bars and cafes in the late afternoon, so you may need to book restaurants ahead of time.
How to Get There
Turin Airport (TRN)
A small airport north of the city with routes to Europe and North Africa only.
There is no train or tram from TRN into Turin city centre. There is the 268 bus which drops you off at both Porta Susa and Porta Nuova. This costs €7.50 per person per ticket and lasts 30 minutes.
Taxis take approximately 20 minutes and cost anywhere between €20 to €30.
Travelling by train
Travelling to Turin after Milan or Genoa? Porta Susa and Porta Nuova are the city's main train stations. Both are easy to navigate and easy to exit.
Travelling by Coach
There are two coach stations in the city (although as in any city coaches may have a final stop elsewhere). One is attached to Porta Susa and the other is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Some coaches stop in Porta Nuova but this infrequent.
Travelling in the city
Turin is a walkable city to a point, but if your hotel is away from the Centro district, where a lot of the attractions are, it can feel remote.
Turin has a metro but it is one line only and is for commuters in the south and west of the city only. If you want to travel the city, it's the tram you'll be using! There are plenty of tram lines zig-zagging Turin; tickets can be bought at the tram stops, or just show the travel cards and enjoy!