The main attraction of Naantali is its Old Town, one of the best preserved in all of Finland. The town grew up around its Convent of the Order of St. Birgitta in the 1400s. Today, many artists occupy the restored homes, and the narrow, cobble-stone streets with one- or two-floor wood-built houses are among the most photographed in Finland. Many of the houses now function as small art galleries.
The most interest in the Old Town centers on the Naantali Museum, Katinhäntä 1 (tel. 02/434-53-21), where you can visit three old wood houses with outbuildings in the heart of the Old Town. Admission is 2€ ($3.20). The museum is open only from May 15 to August, daily noon to 7pm.
All that remains of the Naantalin Luostarikirkko, Nunnak, Keskusta (tel. 02/437-54-32), is the Convent Church, completed in 1462 and renovated a number of times since, including the addition of a tower in 1797. Exhibits in the church's collection of relics include the brown worn by nuns when they took their vows and a Gothic tabernacle for the Reserved Sacrament. Charging no admission, the church is open in May daily 10am to 6pm; June to August daily 10am to 8pm; and September to April Wednesday noon to 2pm and Sunday at noon.
Our favorite spot here is Kulturanta, the summer residence of the president, which we find one of the most beautiful places in all of Finland, with its stone castle and more than 3,500 flowering rose bushes. The location of this massive granite villa, ornamental gardens, and extensive park is on the island of Luonnonmaa. The castle, designed by Lars Sonck, was built in 1916 and is clearly visible from Naantali Harbor across the bay. The residence can't be visited, but the landscaped grounds are open. Guided tours of the gardens are conducted Tuesday to Sunday from June 27 to August 13, leaving at 2pm from the main gate, costing 6€ ($9.60) or 3€ ($4.80) for ages 4 to 14.
Muumimaailma (Moominworld) is a Disney-like park reached by a footbridge from Naantali to Kailo Island (tel. 02/511-111; www.muumimaailma.fi). On a sunny day, it's a great place for a picnic. If you didn't bring food, there is a snack bar. The theme park includes a beach, sporting activities, a theater, a miniature golf course, and a Pirate's Fort and Snork's Pancake Factory, where you can fry your own pancake and select your favorite topping. The characters and stories for the park are based on the writings of Tova Jansson, one of the leading children's writers. The park is open daily from mid-June to mid-August, costing 19€ ($30) for a 1-day pass.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.