Other than the spectacular Alps rising up to the north-east, the first thing you'll notice about Turin is its magnificent architecture. The city is famed for its grand palaces and elegant piazzas, which juxtapose Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles. Dig a little deeper and you'll find a thriving contemporary art culture too, along with some of the best electronic music Italy has to offer. Combined with its reputation for great wine and fresh yet rich local dishes, Turin is a feast for all the senses.
Hostels in Turin range from two-room apartments, perfect for small groups, to vast 19th-century buildings complete with original features. Nature-lovers can stay in a 1960's condo overlooking the Po river, or in a Turin hostel dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint. Many Turin hostels have rooms with en-suites, and most have free Wi-Fi. You'll find hostels where you can have breakfast on a terrace, read in a peaceful garden or chat with other travellers in a bar.
Turin is made up of several districts with plenty of neighbourhoods within them. For a taste of the city's history and culture, Centro is the place to go. Take in the eclectic architecture and the main sights, including Palazzo Reale, the former palace of the royal House of Savoy, and Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom. The Barriera di Milano area is a hub for contemporary culture, with creative spaces and lively bars taking over old warehouses and former factories. Aurora gives a taste of local life with its buzzing markets and ice cream shops.
There's lots to see and do in Turin. The Mole Antonelliana is a former synagogue turned cinema museum, and its proud spire characterises the city's skyline. Visit the Piazza Castello to take in two of city's grand palaces and grab an espresso. For fantastic views of the area, you can take a trip up the Turin Eye – the aerostatic balloon takes you 150m into the air. The Mercato di Porta Palazzo, said to be Europe's largest food market, is the place to indulge your taste buds.
If you're flying into Turin Airport, you can take a train into the city. It'll take around an hour, or you could jump in a taxi for about 30 minutes. Torino Porta Nuova train station is a 15-minute walk from the city centre. Turin is easily walkable, so for most trips you'll manage on foot. For those longer journeys, catch the bus, tram or metro.