Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Wooden houses in Turku

Wooden houses in Turku

In the two periods of time during which I've been looking for housing in Turku (pre-arrival in 2015 and then 2017 when we moved within the city), I've noticed some distinct categories of building styles and eras. Here's an obvious one: wooden houses. They even have their own category on housing search websites! The search options tend to be apartment building, townhome, single-family home, and...wooden house.

Looking at pre-1950s ish pictures/maps of Turku, it looks like most of the residential areas of the city used to be made up of these wooden houses, built around the turn of the 20th century. Nowadays, there is more of a mix of 1960s apartment buildings, new apartment buildings, and mid-century or modern homes. However, a few neighborhoods of wooden houses have survived fire/redevelopment/demolition for a hundred years now and they are so charming.

My daughter's ballet school is located in one of these neighborhoods. Here you can see some of the variety of wooden house styles, upkeep, and paint colors. Plus bonus cobblestone street! Some, but not all, of the wooden house areas still have the old roads, too.


I mention the wooden house colors because they are often distinctive. I don't know if it's one of those unspoken Finnish things, or if there is an actual Code of Wooden House Color written down somewhere, but they tend to be either bright/light blue, pink, yellow, or green OR the light/dark tan/brown combination on the left in the above picture.

Some wooden houses are preserved as single family homes. Others are split into a kind of modified townhome.


The insides of these wooden homes vary depending on how/if they've been renovated/restored. Based on interior pictures from housing search websites, some seem to be preserved (and therefore a bit rundown), while most have been totally or partially redone. I've noticed that the houses often keep their traditional fireplaces, which are famous in this area (or so it seems to me! The Qwensel House Museum has a ton on display, and so does the Rauma old town).


You might think an old wooden house wouldn't cost that much, but the restored/renovated ones in particular can cost upwards of 400,000 euros.

I love the look of these wooden houses and I appreciate the beauty they lend to modern Turku.

July 2018 books

July 2018 books

July 27th, outsourced