11 Free Things to do in Turin, Italy

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If you’re looking for free things to do in Turin, you’re in the right place!

Turin is definitely one of the most underrated cities in Italy. Not even a week in this enchanting location will be enough to explore its gems. I spent eight years in Turin while studying at the university and I still marvel at this city every time I visit it.

Home to numerous royal residences dating back centuries, it is also famous for being the birthplace of some of the best Italian companies such as Lavazza and Fiat. The place is a paradise for chocolate and food lovers as well as architecture and museums passionates.

I love the city so much that I included it in my article “Two weeks Italy Road Trip Itinerary”!

The best part of Turin? It is not a tourist place compared to other Italian destinations. Yet there’s a long list of fun, free things to do in Turin that you’ll love, so read on to find out!

Eleven fun and free things to do in Turin

Stroll through the Valentino Park

wooden bench along walking path in a park

Explore the second largest public park in Turin, covering 50.5 hectares. I’m sure you will love your visit to Parco del Valentino, a magnificent location on the western bank of the Po river.

The “Valentino”, as the Italians call it, is the favorite place for locals to take a walk with their pets, run or sunbathe during the summer months.

In addition to suggestive pedestrian paths and picnic areas, this park hosts the enchanting medieval village and the Valentino Castle.

The medieval village was built in 1884 and was intended to portray a realistic 15th-century city. Walking it will make you feel as if you have traveled back in time.

Slowly visit the Valentino Castle to savor the charismatic charm of the place better. The entrance to the castle is only accessible on the first Tuesday of each month.

The local tip: don’t forget to find the “Wishing Well” in the center of the medieval village; once there, make a wish and toss your coin!

Enjoy the Panorama from the Basilica di Superga

Enjoy the panoramic view from the top of Mount Superga on the east side of Turin and explore the beautiful “Basilica di Superga“. The building can be seen anywhere in the city.

The 75-meter-high church was built in 1731, characterized by Baroque-classical architecture. If you find it difficult to reach the highest point of the basilica, you can use your car or take a bus to reach the top.

However, if you are up for a trekking challenge, you can also hike to the top of the hill and enjoy the spectacular view of the city.

Remember, if you want to visit the interior of the basilica, there is a supplement of 5 euros but seeing it from the outside is free and worth it!

Capture best memories at the top of the Monte Dei Cappuccini Hill

Ready to take the perfect photo for your Instagram?

Monte dei Cappuccini sits on a hill behind the magnificent “Church of the Great Mother of God”. The church was built in the 17th century.

As you walk up the mountain, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the city center and the Po river from above.

I bet you will love this place and won’t be able to stop snapping your Instagram-ready clicks in the great outdoors!

Experience the city squares at Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Castello

grand buildings and a statue with a plaza in the middle

This baroque-style area is the heart of Turin, where you can wander around and enjoy a delicious pizza or some chocolate (gianduiotti are the best!).

Don’t forget to look at the legendary Caval ëd Bronze equestrian monument. Carlo Marocchetti sculpted the equestrian statue of Emanuele Filiberto on horseback in 1838.

Today Piazza San Carlo is not only a popular destination for locals, especially to celebrate football victories but also for tourists to relax and enjoy some delicious food.

If you are in the city center, don’t forget to visit the iconic Piazza Castello just 5 minutes walk from Piazza San Carlo, through the famous Via Roma.

Built by the architect Vitozzi in 1564, the square is located in the center of the city, with fountains in the middle; it is a pleasant place to rest if you feel tired after a hectic day.

However, don’t miss the chance to explore the Royal Library, the theater, and, most importantly, the Palace which was once the home of the royal family.

Not many know it, but Turin was the first capital of unified Italy and, before that, the core of the Savoy monarchy, which explains the abundance of magnificent historical places to visit.

Time travel to unveil the Roman quarters

If you are a lover of history, you cannot miss a step back in time at the Quadrilatero Romano.

Known for being the place where the history of Turin began, Il Qudrilatero Romano is a place to remember the expansion of the Roman Empire throughout Italy. Take your time to explore the cobblestone streets and see the ancient buildings, some of which date back to the 1st century BC.

Do not miss the Porta Palatina, the Roman Amphitheater, and the original and ancient entrance to the city. It is worth the visit.

The Quadrilatero Romano is also a lively place throughout the day, especially at night. For a pleasant evening, visit the area after 5 pm. Most cafes and pubs offer an aperitif which is more like a dinner in some cafes.

This is the perfect time to enjoy some local wine, a spritz with antipasto, some cheese, and even pasta. All this while meeting new people. All you need is to buy a drink, and the rest is free. How cool is that?!

Relish the architectural brilliance at Mole Antonelliana

large dome like building towering above skyline at night

The Mole Antonelliana is Turin’s most iconic landmark. It has a special place in the hearts of the locals and dominates the Turin skyline with its architectural mastery. It has an enchanting effect that mesmerizes its viewers, especially at night.

This monumental building was originally a Jewish Synagogue built in 1889 and named after his teacher Alessandro Antonelli. Today, being one of the highest monuments, it is also used as the National Cinema Museum.

You have to pay an entrance fee for the museum and the transparent elevator to get to the top, but you can still enjoy the view from the outside at no cost. Your trip to Turin will be incomplete without looking at the glamor of Turin at night when La Mole is adorned with lights.

Local tip: Choose one of the cafes on Via Po, sit back and enjoy its lights while savoring a good cappuccino and croissant!

Visit the Duomo di Torino- a Cathedral like no other. 

The Turin Cathedral or “Duomo di Torino” is a must-see if you are visiting the city. Unlike other cathedrals, this place can be visited for free. It was built in honor of San Giovanni Battista and is now the seat of the Archbishop of Turin. This unique construction was completed in 1498 and has undergone several changes over the years.

The cathedral is famous to Catholics all over the world as it houses a chapel with the Holy Shroud or “Sacra Sindone” in Italian. If you are lucky enough, you may get a chance to see it, but you will need to do your research first as it is displayed on rare occasions. The Holy Shroud is a linen cloth that bears the imprint of a man who is believed to be Jesus.

seen the Holy Shroud only once in my eight years living in Turin. The lines to get in were insanely long but it was free and even if you’re not a Catholic (I’m not)  I recommend this particular experience.

Admire La “Gran Madre di Dio” by Night.

bride and cathedral along a river at night

Get immersed in the beauty of the illuminating Gran Madre for free (visiting the inside costs one euro) by admiring the place at night from the outside.

This beautiful church is a work of art and looks heavenly at night; you can’t miss it. It stands on the western bank of the Po and directly overlooks Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Its neoclassical style will enchant you.

The Cathedral of the Great Mother of God is one of the most important Catholic places of worship in Turin. It was commissioned by the Decurion, or municipal lords, in 1814 to commemorate the return of Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy after the defeat of Napoleon.

Take a stroll through Europe’s biggest market.

Do you want to go shopping or stroll among ancient artifacts and take a look at how the locals shop? Porta Palazzo Market is the place for you!

With more than 800 stalls, it is the largest market in Europe, where you can find just about anything! From fresh fruit, fish, clothes, and more.

You can spend a day at Porta Palazzo covered market, Mercato Centrale Torino, and grab delicious freshly made street food and drink, or have a look at handcrafted products or clothes and enjoy a fabulous day.

Discover the Covered Galleria’s 

large indoor plaza with clear windows above

Enjoy a wonderful day in Turin without spending a penny just by strolling through the shops inside the beautiful covered galleries and taking a look at some refined shop windows.

The Galleria San Federico is one of the most attractive in the city and can be explored at any time. Built during the 20th century, the architecture around this place remained intact as the surrounding world continued to evolve.

If you love strolling through the historic galleries, try wandering around the Galleria Subalpina and Galleria Umberto I, with their fantastic architecture and design.

Galleria Umberto I is one of the three most important commercial historical galleries in Turin. While the Galleria Subalpina was built in 1874 and was an attempt to revive Renaissance-style architecture.

Care for some wine?

End your free trip to Turin with some authentic organic wine at Villa Della Regina, also famous as the Queen’s Villa. Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you can explore a beautiful and enchanting vineyard just behind the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio. 

The vineyards are run by the Balbiano Winery of Andezeno, where you can find the premium grape variety – Freisa Piedmontese.

Built in 1615, even the vineyards here have an intriguing history despite successfully producing grapes (for wine) for centuries.

However, during WW II, the vineyard was devastated by a bombardment, and the land remained undeveloped until 1994. After that, the vineyard was reconstructed and restored to its former grandeur.

Ready to explore?

Here are the top 11 free things to do in Turin! If you want to take a vacation in this splendid city but you are on a tight budget, you don’t have to worry because Turin offers a variety of free and fun attractions.

The city is full of architectural designs, historical monuments, panoramic views, intriguing themes in national museums, and majestic botanical parks. The best part is that many of the city’s historical monuments can be explored for free.

About the Guest Author

Clelia Mattana is passionate about travel and beauty. A former manager at Burberry London, she traveled the world solo for seven years while managing her two websites: keepcalmandtravel.com with a special section on holidays in Sardinia and cleliamattana.com for beauty tips.

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