Turin is not the first destination that comes to mind when you plan a trip to Italy, except maybe if you are die-hard soccer fans. This northern city is second only to Milan in being a commercial and cultural center of the Italian Republic, and its proximity to the European borders make it an ideal destination for those who want to continue to France or Switzerland. In addition, the area surrounding the city, called Piedmont, is home to multitudes of villages, towns, vineyards and stunning scenic roads, which will throw you straight into your perfect Italian dream.
However, Turin is not just a transit city. Not at all. It is a city full of tourist sites, full of history (it was, for quite some time, the capital of Italy) and art, and is also home to a first-rate culinary scene. In fact, some of the oldest coffee shops in Italy are in Turin.
When you arrive in Turin, be prepared to walk a lot. The city is full of narrow alleys and pedestrian streets where many thousands of tourists pass by each year. The city center is characterized by about twenty-four kilometers of such narrow streets, and they are beautiful and picturesque in a way that is hard to imagine.
So, as in most Italian cities, in Turin the recommended place for you if you are there for the first time, and want to make the most of it, is the city center. As said, the center is full of magical and quiet alleys, historical sites, picturesque restaurants and cafes from here until a new announcement, and more. However, unlike other Italian cities, this city center is less busy than theirs, so you can stay there in relative peace and quiet. Keep in mind that Turin is a relatively expensive city in general, and the city center is a popular area among tourists when it comes to hotels and accommodations. This is why it is recommended to book a place well in advance, and take into account that the price may be high.
Unlike the city center, if what you’re looking for is actually quiet from tourists and low-budget accommodations, the area you should stay in is the Vanchiglia neighborhood . This is a neighborhood located close to the city center, so you can reach all of Turin’s points of interest on foot or using the excellent public transportation (remember, Turin is an exemplary European city). However, this is a neighborhood where most of the people are locals, so you will hardly meet any tourists here. You can eat in local restaurants and bars, and see how the people of Turin conduct themselves on a daily basis. In addition, due to the fact that the neighborhood is a little far from the center of things and therefore also less sought after by most of the tourists visiting Turin, it contains many of the guesthouses aimed at a young and low-budget crowd.
If you came to Turin to experience a variety of cultures and simultaneously enjoy an urban experience along with open spaces, then the place for you is the San Salvario neighborhood . The neighborhood is located southeast of the city center, and is home to a large variety of local populations. This is the reason why it attracts tourists looking both to enjoy a relatively cheap place to stay, and those looking for ethnic and cultural diversity, with all that implies. However, don’t think that means you’ll be cut off from the city center. The subway and other public transport services will keep you well connected to all the hot spots of Turin.
Just a word for those coming to Turin with children . In order to stay close to the city center and its main attractions , but at the same time be within walking distance of open areas and beautiful parks, it is recommended to choose a place to stay in the Borgo Po neighborhood . It is on the other side of the Po River, so you can walk from it to the city center, but it is also full of open spaces, historical sites and green parks where you can play, go wild and run.
In Turin, as in other European cities, the busiest months for tourists are the summer months (July and August). During these months, an incessant stream of tourists comes to the city, which, although it is probably less intense than nearby Milan or Florence , is still significant. The number of visitors leads to an increase in hotel prices, although not as sharply as you would expect.
Considering that Turin is at the northern end of Italy, it is no wonder that the winters there are harsher than those in Rome, for example. The city is covered with snow in the winter months, and the temperatures drop. Of course, there is no intention to discourage you, since during these months the city is romantic and magical in a way that is hard to describe in words. During the Christmas period, the city wears a holiday, and more than a dozen Christmas markets are spread out in its streets. After Christmas the number of tourists drops, and with it the prices of accommodation (although, again, not too sharply).
The months of November and July are characterized by unfriendly weather, and in the month of November especially the number of tourists drops significantly. If you are ready to challenge yourself with this kind of weather, you can almost certainly find particularly profitable deals during this period.