Weekend in Turin: The Hidden Gems of Italy Unveiled.

Planning a weekend getaway to Turin, my hometown? Look no further! In this post, I will provide you with a detailed outline of what to expect during a weekend in Turin. From exploring its rich history to indulging in delicious cuisine, Turin has something for everyone. So, let’s dive right in and discover the gems this Italian city has to offer in a perfect weekend escape from Lyon. Food, Museum and more. 

aerial view of city buildings during daytime


1. How to get to Turin:

After the collapse of the Frejus Tunnel and the suspension of rail connections, there are only two main ways to reach Turin: hitting the road yourself or hopping on a FlixBus. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each choice:

1. By Car:

If you enjoy driving, Turin is just under a 4-hour drive away. It’s a fantastic starting point for an Italian-style road trip.

– Highways that take you directly into the city, with quick connections through the tunnels between Italy and France (currently open only to wheeled transportation).
– You can use your car to take detours along the way and visit beautiful places in the vicinity (you’ll find a list at the end of the article).

– Finding parking isn’t always easy.
– You need to be vigilant to prevent petty crimes by not leaving valuable items in plain sight (a rule that applies in any city worldwide).
– Parking is often paid (few free options available).
– The Italian road system can be a bit confusing, with larger roads divided into avenues and counter-avenues, for instance.

In conclusion: Use your car if you plan on taking detours and exploring places beyond Turin, if you’re planning to shop, or if you’re comfortable with driving. It’s not recommended if you intend to visit only Turin and prefer not to worry about anything during your trip, like searching for parking, for example.

closeup photo of red car


2. Bus (FlixBus):

If you’d rather relax and leave the driving to someone else, the FlixBus option is perfect for you.


– You can enjoy the journey without the stress of traffic (and no parking to find!).
– Extremely cost-effective (tickets, when booked a few weeks in advance, average between 20 and 40 euros per one-way trip).
– Both the departure point in Lyon and the arrival point in Turin are centrally located (both within a 15-minute walk from the city center and a 5-minute walk from a metro station, even safe in the evening).
– Environmentally friendly, the most eco-friendly way to travel compared to a car or plane.
– Multiple daily departures available (early morning and late evening, perfect even for a day trip!).
– 2 pieces of luggage included (a 7 kg carry-on like a backpack and a larger piece up to 20 kg like a suitcase are always included, and you can add an additional 20 kg piece starting at just 4.99 euros… an incredibly low cost).


– You can’t choose your own schedule.
– You can’t choose your travel companions (but you can be patient for 4 hours!).
– During the high season (like Christmas, for instance), prices can significantly increase compared to regular prices, so remember to book well in advance or travel during the off-season.

Ah, a little secret: If you’re thinking of departing from Lyon, France, taking a plane might not be the smartest choice for reaching Turin. Some Italian destinations, like Venice, are certainly more convenient by air, but due to the proximity to the French border, I strongly discourage this choice for environmental reasons (planes pollute much more than road transportation, and in this case, it’s truly unnecessary).

a green sign that says flixbus on it


2. Where to stay in Turin:

– What are some recommended neighborhoods or areas to stay in Turin?

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Turin, there are a few neighborhoods and areas that come highly recommended. One such area is the historic center, also known as Quadrilatero Romano, which is packed with charming cobblestone streets, cozy cafes, and stunning architecture. Another great option is San Salvario, a vibrant and multicultural district with a lively nightlife scene and plenty of trendy bars and restaurants to explore. For those seeking a more upscale experience, the neighborhood of Crocetta is a top choice, boasting elegant residential streets, stylish boutiques, and fine dining establishments. If you’re a fan of art and culture, consider staying in the district of Vanchiglia, where you’ll find numerous art galleries and cultural events to immerse yourself in. With these diverse options, you’re sure to find the perfect neighborhood to suit your tastes and preferences.


– Are there any budget-friendly accommodation options available?

Are you on the hunt for budget-friendly accommodation options? Look no further! There are plenty of affordable places to stay that won’t break the bank. From cozy guesthouses to stylish hostels, you’ll find a range of options to suit your budget. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, there’s something for everyone. Plus, many budget-friendly accommodations offer amenities such as free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, and 24-hour reception. Here some affordable options for you:

  • Tomato Backpackers

    Via Pellico 11, San Salvario Valentino, 10125 Turin

  • Ostello Alfieri 2

    143 Corso Racconigi, 10141 Turin

  • Combo Torino

    Corso Regina Margherita 128, Aurora Vanchiglia, 10123 Turin

people walking on street between buildings

3. Exploring Turin’s historical sites:

– What are the must-visit historical sites in Turin?

If you’re planning a trip to Turin, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the amazing historical sites this city has to offer. Turin is filled with rich history and stunning architecture that will leave you in awe. One of the must-visit historical sites is Palazzo Reale (the Royal Palace of Turin) which was once the residence of the House of Savoy. This grand palace is a true testament to the opulence and power of the Italian royal family, originally from Turin. Another site you should definitely visit is the Mole Antonelliana, a magnificent building that now houses the National Museum of Cinema. The Mole Antonelliana offers breathtaking views of the city and is a great spot for history enthusiasts. Lastly, make sure to stop by the Egyptian Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt. With so many incredible historical sites to explore, Turin is a dream destination for history buffs.

Here are some additional places I would like to suggest: the historic 19th-century cafes along Via Po with original period furnishings where you can enjoy the best hot chocolate of your life, the longest arcades in Europe starting from Via Roma for high-end shopping on marble, the first Italian Parliament at Palazzo Carignano, the city’s living room Piazza San Carlo, an “aperitivo” (happy hour) in San Salvario or in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, one of the many art exhibitions offered by one of Turin’s museums like the MAO (Museum of Oriental Art with over 2300 artworks), one of the temporary fairs like the “Salone del libro” Book Fair or the Chocolate Fair “Cioccolatò,” a meal in a typical popular restaurant known as a “piola,” buying antique and vintage books at the stalls on Via Po or Piazza Statuto, a stroll in the quiet and central Galleria Subalpina from the late 1800s. All of this is within walking distance, at a low cost, in an authentically Italian atmosphere (fortunately, the city is still off the beaten path of Italian tourism).

people walking on hallway of building


– Are there any guided tours available?

If you’re someone who loves exploring new places but doesn’t want to go it alone, guided tours can be a fantastic option. These tours are led by knowledgeable and experienced guides who can provide you with valuable insights and information about the destination.

There are 2 tours that I feel like suggesting, for its high-quality historical content and at the same time its ability to entertain visitors:

“Turin: Magic Turin® Tour – Black Magic and Dark Arts”:

In about two hours, you will explore the historical sites of Turin, discovering its darker and more magical side at the same time. It is also available in English, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and even in the evening (a very enchanting experience!).

Turin: Underground Turin® Tour – Discover Ancient Tunnels

In 3 hours you will discover the city’s 18th-century underground tunnels, ancient royal ice depots, and the mysterious WWII air raid shelters.

– How can one maximize their time while visiting these sites?

When it comes to maximizing your time while visiting these sites, there are a few key strategies you can employ. First and foremost, it’s important to plan ahead and prioritize the attractions or activities you want to experience. This will help you make the most of your limited time and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see sights. Additionally, consider utilizing any available skip-the-line or fast-track options to minimize wait times and maximize your time spent exploring. Another tip is to take advantage of guided tours or audio guides, as they can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the sites more efficiently. Lastly, don’t forget to factor in some downtime to relax and soak in the atmosphere of these incredible places. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your time and create unforgettable memories during your visit. So get ready to explore and immerse yourself in the wonders that await!

people walking on street near white concrete building during daytime


4. Experiencing Turin’s culinary delights:

– What are some traditional dishes and specialties of Turin?

Turin, the vibrant city nestled in the heart of Italy’s Piedmont region, is renowned for its rich culinary heritage and delectable traditional dishes. From mouthwatering pastas to succulent meats, Turin offers a plethora of gastronomic delights that will tantalize your taste buds.


One of the most famous dishes in the region is bagna cauda, a warm dip made from garlic, anchovies, and olive oil, perfect for dipping fresh vegetables or bread (but be aware that is not the best for your breathe, But a small amount has never killed anyone, and it’s honestly delicious).

Another must-try specialty is agnolotti del plin, small pockets of pasta filled with a savory mixture of meat and vegetables, typically served with a rich butter and sage sauce.


And let’s not forget about the iconic gianduiotto, a delicious chocolate and hazelnut treat that originated in Turin. Whether you’re a fan of savory or sweet, Turin has something to satisfy every palate. So, if you find yourself in this charming city, be sure to indulge in its traditional dishes and specialties for a truly authentic culinary experience.


Some extra local food: Polenta (Cornmeal porridge), Salame (salami), Formaggi (cheese), red wines (Barolo, Fragolino, Nebbiolo, Barbera). Sweets: Pasticcini (little pastry, like miniature cakes), Marron glacé (glazed chestnut), Bicerin (local drink, order it at “Baratti e Milano” café) and… Nutella! Yes the town where the holy chocolate cream was created is at 1h by car from Turin because the local hazelnuts productions (the main Nutella ingredients) is the best in Italy and one of the best in the world, speaking about quality.


– Some local Turin cheap restaurant high in quality?

Very affordable and beloved by the locals, I can suggest three places. These are street food and eateries frequented by the people of Turin, a way to experience being a local for a day.

  1. Mc Bun: My favourite. Located in Turin, Mc Bun is a beloved spot offering affordable gourmet street food made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. They support local suppliers and provide typical dishes at budget-friendly prices. You can also taste Mole Cola, the ethical and sustainable Turin version of Coca Cola. It’s a must-visit for locals and visitors of all ages.
  2. Focacceria Sant’Agostino: Known for its delicious farinata baked in a wood-fired oven.
  3. Poormanger: Serving dishes made with the local mountain potato, a staple of regional cuisine.

You can enjoy a full meal for under 15 euros at all of these spots, and they are beloved by locals of all ages. No tourist around.

man in black jacket standing near store


5. Enjoying Turin’s Museums:

– Are there any museums or art galleries worth visiting in Turin?

Turin, known for its rich cultural heritage, has a plethora of museums and art galleries that are definitely worth visiting.

  • The Egyptian Museum (Museo Egizio): Home to one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo, with displays designed by Dante Gabriel Ferretti, an Oscar-winning set designer.
  • The National Cinema Museum (Museo Nazionale del Cinema): Located in the iconic Mole Antonelliana, it offers a captivating experience and often hosts interesting temporary exhibitions, such as the one on Tim Burton running until April 7, 2024.
  • Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art: A must-see for contemporary art lovers with an impressive collection of modern masterpieces.
  • Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile: A treat for car enthusiasts, showcasing the evolution of automobiles throughout history.
  • MAO, the Museum of Oriental Art: A captivating collection of Eastern art and culture, offering a unique perspective on the world.

Turin’s museums and art galleries offer a diverse range of permanents and temporary exhibits, ensuring that visitors can delve into various aspects of art, history, and culture. So, if you find yourself in Turin, don’t miss the opportunity to explore these fascinating institutions!

– Any recommendations for experiencing Turin’s vibrant nightlife?

If you’re looking for a taste of Turin’s vibrant nightlife, you’re in luck! This city has a plethora of options to keep you entertained after dark.

  1. San Salvario: This trendy neighborhood is known for its lively bars, clubs, and a diverse crowd. It’s a great place to start your evening. Try aperitivo at “Lanificio San Salvatore” Via S. Anselmo, 30 angolo Via Baretti zona San Salvario, Torino.

  2. Piazza Vittorio Veneto: This large square is surrounded by bars and restaurants, offering a variety of options for a night out. Try “La Drogheria” Piazza Vittorio Veneto 18/D, 10123 Torino for a “apericena” (happy hour + dinner) (https://www.la-drogheria.it/).

  3. Live Music Venues: Turin hosts various live music venues, from jazz clubs to rock bars. Visit “Jazz Club Torino”, one of the oldest jazz club in Italy (https://www.jazzclubtorino.it/il-club)

  4. Late Night: Try Imbarchino (Viale Umberto Cagni, 37, 10126 Torino) a historical landmark for Turin’s evenings, located along the banks of the Po River and featuring an always intriguing lineup of concerts and DJ sets (https://www.imbarchino.space/).

Remember that the nightlife in Turin often starts later, with many places becoming lively after 10 PM and closing at 5 a.m. Enjoy your time exploring Turin’s vibrant evenings!

a group of people walking around a city street


6. Day trips from Turin:

Here some nearby attractions or cities that can be visited on a day trip from Turin:


  1. Venaria Reale: Visit the stunning Royal Palace of Venaria, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located just a short drive from Turin.

  2. Superga: Explore the Basilica of Superga, perched on a hill offering panoramic views of Turin and the Alps.

  3. Alba: Known for its delicious truffles and wine, Alba is a picturesque town in the Langhe region.

  4. Milan: Turin is well-connected to Milan by high-speed trains, making it easy to explore Italy’s fashion and design capital in a day.

  5. Lake Maggiore: Enjoy the beautiful lake and visit the Borromean Islands with their stunning gardens.

  6. Langhe Wine Region: Discover the picturesque wine region known for its Barolo and Barbaresco wines, as well as its rolling vineyards.

  7. Forte di Fenestrelle: Discover the historic Forte di Fenestrelle, a remarkable fortification complex known as the “Great Wall of the Alps.”

  8. Sacra di San Michele: Visit the Sacra di San Michele, a medieval abbey perched on a hill, often referred to as the “Saint Michael’s Abbey of the Val di Susa.

a large field with a building in the distance


A weekend in Turin promises to be a delightful experience filled with history, culture, and gastronomic delights. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Turin has something to offer. So, pack your bags, get ready for an adventure, and immerse yourself in the charm of this enchanting Italian city.

nature photography of gray concrete building with tower during daytime