World of Wanderlust

A day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki

Travellers who find themselves in Helsinki, Finland, should set aside a day to take advantage of the seamless crossing via ferry to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. All in one day you can set sail and reach Tallinn from Helsinki in just 2.5 hours, spend 3-4 hours exploring the quaint capital and return to Helsinki by 20:30pm – an opportunity too good to refuse! Here’s how to take a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki…

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

Tallinn looks to the naked eye to be ripped right out of a fairytale picture book. The Old Town is indeed so charming and medieval that you will feel as if you have stepped back in time – to an age of cobblestone alleyways, colourful architecture and a labyrinth of small boutique stores selling everything from antiques to kitsch souvenirs. 

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

Getting There

There are a range of operators making the crossing from Helsinki to Tallinn, all for a similar price but varied service. I chose to book the Viking Line Cruise on a daily crossing, departing Helsinki at 11.30 am and arriving in Tallinn at 2.00pm. Later in the day the ferry returns to Helsinki at 6.00pm departing Tallinn and arrives back in Helsinki precisely 2.5 hours later. Prices start from 22 euros – though I can highly recommend upgrading to an outside cabin with the incredible buffet – a great way to pass the time enjoying the food, wine and soft drinks!

Top 10 Things to Do In Tallinn | World of Wanderlust

A day in Tallinn

When I stepped on dry land in Tallinn, the distinction between the two capitals was immediate. From the newness of Helsinki to the quaint old world charm of Tallinn, I couldn’t wait to spend a few hours exploring the city.

Armed with a map and no idea of my geographical location, I took the easy route and simply walked in the direction of the church towers in the distance.

Winding my way up the cobblestone alleyways, I soon enough found myself in the centre of town. My first stop was the Old Town Square – which was bustling and alive by the time I arrived around 2.00pm.

From there, I made my way uphill to the impressive Alexander Nevsky Cathedral . A short walk in the hillside, you will then find yourself at one of the few lookout points with impressive views of Tallinn.

Before I knew it, it was almost time to head back to the ferry. But not without an hour of saved time for some shopping! If you’re looking for antiques or souvenirs, anywhere in the Old Town is a good place to start. For international brands, head straight to Viru Keskus – it’s not only home to everything you’ll want and need, but also en route back to the ferry.

Talinn Estonia

What not to Miss

If it’s only a day you have, then it’s time to hit the ground running! Don’t miss:

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Tallinn Town Wall

St Olav’s Church

Raekoja Platz

St Catherine’s Passage

Talinn Estonia

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

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From where did you take the first photograph?

Brooke Saward

Hi michael, these are great tips! Thank you for contributing!


Good write up, but I would set aside a few more hours for Tallinn. You can get a 7:30 AM ferry on Silja Tallink from Helsinki that gets you into Tallinn by 9:30 AM. It’s a short walk into the old town from there, but on the way you can stop at a little shopping center that has an amazing chocolate place, an amazing bakery, and a good coffee shop. Once you’re in old town, you can take some time to walk around, grab lunch, and then after lunch, take an hour or two to wander around the “hipster” section …  Read more »

A few snapshots from Island life in Koh Samui 🥹🌴 just shared my blog posts from this trip in Thailand and now craving mango sticky rice pudding, the kindness and hospitality of Thai people and those buffet breakfast spreads (the kinda ones that keep you full til dinner). My stay at @fskohsamui was like something out of a story book. Especially that last photo - that night was one to remember 🫶🏼 #kohsamui #thailand #travel #travelblog #thailandtravel

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The Ultimate Helsinki Tallinn Ferry Guide

This post contains product affiliate links. These are mainly on items/hotels/tours that I personally endorse & love. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but at no extra cost to you.

Are you looking at travelling from Helsinki to Tallinn? Then this is everything you need to know about catching the Helsinki Tallinn ferry!

helsinki tallinn ferry

If you’ve got a bit of time in Helsinki then I’d really recommend a day trip to Tallinn in Estonia . Even though they’re neighbouring countries, Tallinn Old Town feels a million miles away from the modern city of Helsinki.

Personally, I always feel like this route is a bit of a secret to tourists. Not everyone knows you can travel between Hesinki and Tallin so easily, but you can. Also, because Tallinn is such a compact city, it’s perfect for exploring by foot.

It may look far on the map but the Helsinki Tallin ferry only takes 2.5 hours. This means if you’re organised you can catch an early ferry and spend the entire day exploring the Medieval cobblestone streets of Tallinn before returning home again at night. This means you can tick off a new city and a new country all in a day – whoop whoop!

helsinki tallin ferry in winter

Whether you’re travelling from Helsinki to Tallinn or vice versa, this is the post for you. In this little guide I cover how much the ferry costs, the ferry times, how to book a ticket and what you can do on board.

Planning a trip to Helsinki? Then make sure you read my guides on the best things to do in Helsinki , the best day trips from Helsinki , and all about my experience flying over the city .

Are you planning an amazing holiday to Helsinki? If so, you may want to book your hotels and tours asap to ensure availability. Here are some links to quickly help plan your trip!

Best hotels and apartments in Helsinki:

  • Lapland Hotels Bulevardi (best rated 5* hotel)
  • Scandic Helsinki Hub (best rated 4* hotel)
  • Citybox Helsinki (super cheap with great reviews)

Best activities and tours in Helsinki :

  • Helsinki Sightseeing Boat Tour (top rated tour)
  • Helsinki SkyWheel Entry Ticket
  • Helsinki: National Park Hiking Tour

What is the best ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn?

  • Tallink Silja Line (you can get return tickets here )
  • Viking Line
  • Eckero Line

There are several companies to choose from that make the crossing between Helsinki and Tallinn.

However, the most popular company with the most crossings per day is Tallink Silja Line . Tallink Silja Line has seven regular crossings each day plus a sleeper service too. That’s why I would say this is the best ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn.

Viking Line and Eckero Line usually sail three times per day each. Eckero Line is generally the cheapest provider but the crossing times are longer, so that’s something to take into consideration.

You may find older information online that refers to Linda Line Express but this company is no longer in operation.

I always recommend the Tallink Silja Line and this is the one I’ve caught myself.

ferry from helsinki to tallinn

What is the Helsinki Tallinn ferry price?

The Helsinki Tallinn ferry price is probably a lot cheaper than you think which is good news.

Each operator offers various ticket types to suit different types of traveller. Ticket prices may vary depending on what time crossing you choose. Prices also depend on whether you’re travelling with a vehicle or as a foot passenger.

The cost of a return regular foot passenger ticket for most weekly Tallink Silja Line services is typically €30-35. As I said, for me this is the best ferry from Helsinki to Tallin and the one I’d recommend.

Prices may increase at the weekends, at peak times, and summer sailing are usually more expensive than weekend crossings.

I think €30-35 is a bargain though for visiting a new city and a new country. That’s for a return ticket too!

For further information, you can book tickets for the ferry here.

what to do on the helisnki ferry

What are the different types of tickets?

Travelling with a vehicle onboard Tallink Silja Line costs an extra €21 and upwards, depending on the type and size of the vehicle. Access to the Comfort Lounge is an additional €20. Enjoying the Business Lounge will cost an extra €65, and upgrading to an A or B Class Cabin will cost €35 and €30 respectively per cabin. I go more into what these tickets give you further down this post.

With Viking Line, morning sailings typically cost between €34 and €39 depending on the day of the week, and the evening crossing are usually between €21 and €32. You can expect to pay around 68-81 for a night time sleeper service. Various cabin upgrades are available for between €24 and €100.

The Tallinn Helsinki ferry price with Eckero Line starts from as little as €10 for a basic one-way foot passenger ticket. Additional prices for vehicles start from €17, and cabins start from €25 for inside cabins and €35 for outside cabins. Lounge access is an additional €20.

You can also go on a private tour to Tallinn – this tour has some great reviews so find out more here .

views on the helsinki tallinn ferry

How long is the Helsinki Tallinn ferry?

The fastest ferry crossing time between Helsinki and Tallinn is 2 hours.

The quickest services are offered by Tallink Silja Line. Tallink Silja Line also has a 3.5-hour crossing and sleeper services that take around 13.5 hours – that’s definitely plenty of time to catch up on your beauty sleep! This is a really good option for those looking to save money on accommodation for the night.

Sailing with Eckero Line will take two hours and 15 minutes. If you’re in no rush, Viking Line’s morning and evening crossings take two and a half hours, while the sleeper service takes around nine and a half hours.

day trip to tallinn

What is the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry timetable?

There are very frequent services in both directions, seven days of the week. Whether you want to wake up early and arrive first thing in the morning, or whether you prefer to arrive at night, there’s a sailing time to suit you.

Great for early birds, Tallink Silja Line has the earliest Helsinki ferry departing at 7.30am. This is perfect if you’re taking a Helsinki to Tallinn day trip. Services run at regular intervals throughout the day until the last departure at 11.30pm.

Eckero Line has the earliest departure from Tallinn with the first ferry leaving at 6.00am. This is especially ideal if you’re planning a day trip to Helsinki as you’ll arrive in the Finnish capital by 8.00am.

Here’s the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry timetable, plus times for sailing the opposite way from Tallinn to Helsinki to help you plan your trip.

Helsinki to Tallinn ferry time:

Do note that services may be cancelled or delayed in bad weather. This is more common in the winter time than in the warmer summer months.

Personally, I’d really recommend catching one of the first ferries out of H elsinki West Harbour. Then you’ll be able to maximise your time in Tallinn and pack in a whole day.

Where is the Helsinki Ferry terminal?

You find the main terminal to Tallinn at the Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 1. If you click on the map than you should be able to add it to your own Google map.

There is also a regular passenger ship link to St. Petersburg in Russia from this terminal.

Facilities on board the Tallink boat

In my opinion, this is why the Helsinki to Tallinn day trip is so much fun – there’s just so much to do on board the ferry!

Each ferry has a good range of onboard facilities and services to help you pass the time as you sail across the Gulf of Finland .

Tallink Silja Line has especially great facilities on its ships. The company has three vessels that carry passengers between Tallinn and Helsinki: Star, Megastar, and Silja Europa. Silja Europe is a well-equipped and beautiful cruise ship. She’s the largest cruise ship on the Baltic and you can book fabulous overnight cruises if you fancy more time at sea.

Star and Megastar run daily crossings. Each Tallink ferry is comfortable with plenty of ways to enjoy your time onboard. There are no seat numbers in the regular seating areas of each craft; you can choose where you seat and wander around the boat enjoying various features and maybe take a stroll out on deck for some fresh air and awesome views.

On Star you’ll find the Comfort Lounge and Business Lounge. (Additional fees apply for entry to each – more on that later.) There are also a range of cabins, ideal for people on overnight trips travelling with small children, or as a safe space to contain lots of luggage while you take a nap.

There are places to eat, drink, and shop onboard, and you’ll also find a luggage storage room and an information desk.

helsinki ferry

Other activities on board the Helsinki ferry

Megastar has four lounges: the Comfort Lounge and Business Lounge, the Drivers Lounge, which was designed especially for cargo drivers, and the peaceful Sitting Lounge which looks very similar to the cabin on an aeroplane! There’s a choice of shops, restaurants, fast-food joints, and bars, and, if you want to catch forty winks, there are several private cabins.

Megastar is a great choice for families travelling with children as it has a colourful playroom for little ones and a PlayStation for older kids.

Business and corporate travellers needn’t waste a second of precious time aboard the Helsinki Tallinn ferry thanks to the well-equipped meeting room and conference room. This mean you can continue to do your business on the go.

helsinki tallinn food

Shops and restaurants

If you’re feeling peckish as you cross the Baltic Sea you’ll find plenty of delicious cuisines to satisfy your appetite.

Star has the 450-seat Delight Buffet, the A La Carte restaurant, which provides amazing views, a Starbucks cafe, Cafe Snack Time, and Burger King. Alternatively, relax and take it easy in the welcoming Pub Seaport.

Dining options in Megastar include Delight Buffet, the a la carte Chef’s Kitchen, the quick and easy Fast Lane, and Burger King. Coffee & Co. serves Starbucks coffee or, if you want something stronger, there are two cosy pubs to entice you – Victory Bar and Sea Pub.

When it comes to retail therapy, Star has a well-stocked supermarket, perfumerie, and fashion store. Megastar boasts a large superstore with a huge selection of goods, a souvenir shop, a perfume and cosmetics store, a delicatessen and confectionery outlet, and the convenient Lobby Shop, which sells snacks, newspapers, electronic accessories, and gifts.

Personally, I’d recommend the main buffet. There is so much choice on offer and it’s all pretty delicious.

restaurants on the helsinki tallinn ferry

Tallink Business Lounge

Both Star and Megastar have a Business Lounge that you can pay to use. Each is sleek and stylish and offers high standards of comfort. Lounge access costs a €65 surcharge and children under the age of five are free.

Relax in a calm and peaceful atmosphere and treat yourself to a range of inclusive drinks and meals. Catch up with all the latest news and make use of the free premium Wi-Fi. The best part of using the Business Lounge is, however, usually the peace and quiet that you can enjoy as you complete any last-minute work, network with colleagues, reply to emails, or simply gaze out the windows at the unfolding views.

This is the Tallink is the best ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn in my opinion.

Overview of Helsinki

helsinki, finland

Built by Russian imperialists to resemble a mini St-Petersburg, Helsinki has been the capital city of Finland since the early 1800s.

The architecture in Helsinki is a blend of chic modernity, dazzling neo-Renaissance, striking National Romanticism and charming Byzantine-Russian. All these different styles create such a stunning city to explore and I absolutely adore wandering around here.

Helsinki is also known for its explosive design scene, with numerous galleries, stores, and workshops brimming with cutting-edge examples of contemporary creativeness. Dining and drinking is typically a stylish affair, though there are plenty of quirky establishments to pique your curiosity too.

Nature is on your doorstep too from all around the city, and Helsinki is wonderfully interlaced with the bays and islands of the Baltic.

If that’s tickled your fancy, check out my post on some of the best things you can do in Helsinki !

Overview of Tallinn

tallinn town square

The UNESCO-listed medieval city of Tallinn has a long and interesting history. The Estonian capital since 1991, it has been through periods of Soviet, Swedish, and German rule in times gone by.

Boasting some of the most complete city walls of any European city, Tallinn is filled with attractive architecture that brings the past to life. Think ancient churches, cobblestone streets, former grand homes of wealthy merchants, charming squares, and opulent palaces.

The historic heart contrasts with the newer Soviet-built areas and gleaming modern structures from more recent times. Despite the city’s growth, however, it still retains a magical fairytale-like feel to the place.

You’ll also find top-class restaurants, a wealth of cultural attractions, sleek bars, and sophisticated shopping in Tallinn.

If you’re heading to Tallinn, then check out my winter guide to Tallinn . You can also check out some of the best day trips from Tallinn for more activities outside the city!

tallinn, estonia

While you could fly between these two European capitals, where would be the fun in that? Catching the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is not only cost effective and relatively quick and easy, but it’s also a lot of fun!

You’ll sail through Helsinki’s small rocky islets and islands before hitting the open waters of the Baltic Sea. As you approach Tallinn, the sight of medieval spires rising in the distance is really quite magical. The ferry crossing provides fantastic views that you won’t have anywhere else.

This really was one of my favourite things that I did while I was in Helsinki!

Are you thinking of catching the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn? What will you do once you get to Tallinn? Let me know in the comments below!

Like this blog post? Then make sure you Pin it!

helsinki to tallinn ferry

About the Author

Macca Sherifi

Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

12 thoughts on “The Ultimate Helsinki Tallinn Ferry Guide”

So very much appreciate this post!! Couldn’t be a better resource. Thanks!

You’re very welcome! I’m glad to liked it and found it useful!

Could you provide information on how long to expect to wait in port/ terminal once arriving on the ferry before you can head out into the city. Does it take a while to get off the boat, go through customs or anything? If the ferry says we arrive at 9:30am, should we expect to hit the ground running by 10:00am or will it take an hour or more to get out of there?

Also we might be taking our luggage with us, do you know if there are lockers at the terminal we could leave our suitcases in while we spend the day touring around?

Thanks so much, Paige

You hit the ground running immediately. As soon as the ferry docks, which takes about 5 minutes, they open the doors up and people start disembarking. Often you’ll see people waiting at the exits because they want to be first off the boat. In total, it probably takes around 15 minutes in all before you’re off the boat. And yes, there is a luggage storage facility in the main terminal building where you can leave your suitcases. I hope that helps!

My friends and I are planning to go to Tallinn in February 2023. Can you advise/recommend how to go to Tallinn’s Old Town upon arriving at the terminal? Is there a public transpo? Any info that you can provide is highly appreciated.

Hi Maria! I just followed the crowds and walked. It’s about a 20 to 30 minute walk to the Old Town (depending on where you want to go), so I found it easy to walk. I’m not too sure about public transport options, but I do know there are taxis outside the ferry terminal if you want to catch one of those. I hope that helps and have an amazing time in Tallinn!

We are doing something crazy and will be in Helsinki on Christmas. I was wondering if the boats sail on the 25th or the 26th? I know these are Holidays in Helsinki. We need to be back to Helsinki by around 7 PM on the 26th. So I was wondering if a day trip on the 26th from Helsinki to Tallinn and back is possible, given that we absolutely have to be back on the 26th in the evening. Also, what is the ferry ride like in terms of sea-sickness? I assume winter would be a rougher sail.

BTW we are 4 and fully vaxed and boosted! 🙂

Thanks in advance for your help! Robin

Hi Robin! Sorry, I have only just seen your comment now. I hope you managed to get it all sorted out for your trip. As for sea sickness, it obviously depends on the weather but I didn’t find it too bad at all!

Hi Macca, How often do sailings get cancelled during the last week of November? Would there be any possibility that we would not be able to sail the day we arrive in Helsinki? Reason I ask is because we plan on arriving by air in Helsinki around 1500 and go directly to Estonia to stay for 2 days there then go back to Helsinki to stay 4 days and end our trip there since we are flying out of Helsinki. I just don’t want to run into the possibility of having our accommodations in Estonia upon arrival and then come to find out there could be a possibility of not being able to catch the ferry to Estonia. Can you give me some input on that?

Also, since it would be winter, how do I know what ticket to buy to ensure that we are able to stay warm while crossing into Estonia. Meaning, what type of ticket should I buy to make sure we are able to be inside the ferry where it is warm and not stuck outside or does that not happen?

Thank you for all your help.

Hi Vanessa! I am pretty sure the boat runs throughout winter, even when there’s heavy snow and ice. It’s probably best to email the company directly about that, but I wouldn’t think it would be a problem at all. As for the ticket, even the cheapest ticket will allow you inside out from the cold. The boat is warm and comfortable, so there will be plenty of places to relax on your journey to Tallinn! I hope that helps.

Helsinki is one of the good looking cities in the world. Beautiful and with rich history.

Yep, I couldn’t agree with you more – it’s such a beautiful city!

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Visiting Tallinn, Estonia: An Enchanting Day Trip from Helsinki, Finland

While we were in Finland, Sam and I couldn’t resist the urge to take a trip to yet another new European country. Just a two hour ferry ride across the Baltic Sea, we could hear a medieval city calling our name, and so we took a little day trip over to…Tallinn, Estonia!

It was love at first sight.

Here are just a few of the things I enjoyed about this place:

A quirky mix of architecture

Tallinn’s architecture will keep your head turning. The Old Town’s fortifications are decidedly medieval, the churches are Gothic in style, there are trails of Baroque and Rococo, and splashes of Art Nouveau that leap out at you from the building’s facades.

Visiting Tallinn, Estonia: An Enchanting Day Trip from Helsinki, Finland: Visiting Tallinn on a day trip from Helsinki

On one side of the street you get a taste of history by looking at the crumbling stone walls and buildings that have been boarded up since they are no longer structurally sound, and on the other side you have graffiti and stencils which catapult the city to modern times. It’s a really interesting mix and it’s the kind of place where you can spend hours just walking around and admiring it all.

Crumbling stone walls and boarded up doors in Tallinn, Estonia.

A medieval dining experience

Our first order of business after docking in the city was to find some lunch. While flipping through a brochure, a medieval inspired restaurant caught my attention, and so fuelled by our appetite we set off to find Olde Hansa  in the maze that is Tallinn.

The menu at Olde Hansa, a medieval restaurant in the heart of Tallinn, Estonia.

I knew I was going to like this place from the minute I spotted it in the distance – servers dressed in medieval clothes, ceramic mugs bigger than your face, musical performances using instruments from times long gone, and then the food!

The meals were hearty and came in generous portions. I ordered Neptune’s Feast (pictured below) and it was ah-mazing! My giant platter had fresh bread from the oven, quail eggs, hummus with caviar, and a variety of fish to sample. I liked it so much that I came back for dinner. (I’m quick to form habits.)

Eating Neptune's Feast at Olde Hansa, a medieval restaurant in the heart of Tallinn, Estonia.

Cakes and chocolate shops galore

It would be fair to say that aside from doing a little bit of sightseeing, Sam and I spent the whole afternoon in Tallinn cafe hopping…but I mean, can you blame me when they serve hot chocolates that look like this? Plus it’s really difficult to resist several rounds of dessert when the window displays have cheesecakes and hand-crafted chocolate bonbons trying to lure you in.

Latte foam designs in my hot chocolate at a cafe in Tallinn, Estonia.

Warm blankets to wrap yourself in

Tallinn was warm and sunny during the day, but since it’s located in Northern Europe , the evenings can be a bit cooler. What I liked about many of the cafes and restaurants in Tallinn is that they offer wool blankets that you can wrap around your shoulders. It was nice being able to enjoy the patios a bit longer even after the sun had started to set. Add a frothy latte or a nice liquor to warm your insides, and you are set.

Cafes give you warm blankets if you're sitting outdoors in Tallinn, Estonia

The buzz of the place

Oh, Tallinn is lively!

Young people dancing to medieval music in the streets of Tallinn, Estonia.

There were outdoor performances, young people starting their own impromptu dance parties in the middle of the cobbled streets, brides-to-be in nautical getups enjoying their girls getaway by getting men to hand over their phone number. There was loud laughter and random singing, merry men walking down the street and friends drinking beers on rooftops.

Young people drinking beer on a roof overlooking one of Tallinn's busier streets in Estonia.

And of course, there was a trail of empty champagne bottles from the previous night’s festivities . What can I say, Tallinn is young, fresh, and looking to have some fun.

Empty bottles of champagne against a crumbling wall in Tallinn, Estonia.

How to get there:

If you are in Helsinki, planning a day trip to Tallinn (or perhaps a longer visit!) is very easy, plus the 2 hour journey from port to port goes by very quickly.

We travelled with Tallink Silja Line  which has a very flexible and convenient schedule. The ferry line offers 7 daily departures from each port (or 14 total), which means you can get into the city really early in the day and then take the ferry back late in the evening.

Taking the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn.

There is no assigned seating in the Star Class which means you can sit on the deck if it’s a sunny day, hang out at one of the many bars and restaurants, do a little shopping , or even play the slot machines (which appeared to be a very popular pass time). There is even the option of booking a private cabin if you really need some rest.

Comfort Class aboard the Tallink Silja Line travelling from Tallinn to Helsinki.

We travelled in the Star Class on the way over, and then returned late in the evening in the Comfort Class (pictured above). The nice thing about the  Comfort Class is that you can go into a separate lounge, watch some television, and munch on some snacks which are included in the ticket price.

Snacks aboard the ferry from Finland to Estonia

There was a lot of seating space so it was nice to stretch out on the long couches and take a little nap after a long day of walking around the city. If you are going to be returning late in the day, it’s worth the small splurge to travel in Comfort Class.

The journey is quite affordable with one way prices starting at 19 Euros (if you book in advance) – not bad for a visit to a different country!

Day trip to Tallinn Estonia From Helsinki, Finland


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I liked Tallin a lot too. Easily walkable and very charming as you describe it in the post. I took a ferry to Helsinki from there…was surprised to see so many drunk people on board by the time we reached Finland!

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Haha, yeah, some of the passengers were very merry by the time we reached our destination. 😉

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haha yes we also noticed that last year, when we took the same ferry! :p

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It doesn’t take much convincing for me to visit a medieval village. Tallinn sounds absolutely wonderful! Now I’m craving some hot chocolate even though it’s 80 degrees outside!

Happy travels 🙂

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Incredible! Tallinn looks so fun. And that photo of the champagne bottles makes me think it might be my kinda place 🙂

Haha, yup, it has a fun party feel. I really wish I’d had more time there!

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This sounds like such a great place… while lately I am feeling drawn to experience more of Asia, I will have to explore more of the eastern parts of Europe in the future. Love the photo of you in the blanky!

I’m craving the opposite. I feel like I’ve been in Asia long enough – now I’m starting to daydream about Eastern Europe… 🙂

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I cannot wait to explore this city! Luckily, it will be just a short train ride from Latvia, where we’ll be living next year!!

Yay! You’re going to have so much fun in Latvia. Think of all the side trips you can take! 😉

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Have got a friend as well who lived in Tallinn for half a year and she’s been raving on about how beautiful the place is. Definitely would love to visit!

The city looks like it would be a fun place to live. I wish I could have spent more than just a day there.

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I’ve been to Tallinn only once, also as a day trip from Finland (it was back in the time when I studied there) and it was love at first sight too! This city is just the prettiest and the most charming, such a cool mix of Scandinavian, Russian and Baltic influence! I was thinking of returning to Estonia ever since and I’m finally going back, for 5 days in October. This post just confirmed it was a good decision to book the flights there! 😀

Yaaay! I’m glad to hear you’ll get to revisit the city. I’m sure you’ll notice lots of changes. 🙂 Ooo, you should try to eat at Olde Hansa if you get a chance. I loved that restaurant! A bit touristy, but it was fun getting to feast on a ‘medieval meal’ with servers dressed in clothes from the period.

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I’ve been dreaming of Tallinn for so long! These pictures are just making me more and more excited!

I highly recommend visiting. It’s one of my favourite European cities thus far!

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What a lovely place! I like the idea of wrapping myself into a blanket when it’s cold out there. After spending a lot of time in SEA where as you know the heat can be unbearable, I almost miss being cold, call me crazy!

Haha, I have to admit, it was nice enjoying a cooler summer after spending so much time in SE Asia. I was able to wear long pants and sweaters again! 😉

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Your description sounds so lovely! I love the cafes and blankets- sounds absolutely perfect 🙂 I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon right now!

It was nice and cosy. I think more cafes need to adopt the blanket idea. 🙂

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I have heard a lot of good things about Estonia. A girl I met traveling had said it was one of her favourite countries as it was small, not over priced, authentic and medevil. She had said the amount of history you could see from walking around the streets could keep you there for days… personally I never got a chance to go there but its good to read about it – I shall keep this place on my bucket list.

It’s such a great place. If you get a chance to visit, go! And I agree with your friend, the city was very affordable (especially coming from Finland where the prices can be astronomical).

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I also travelled from Helsinki to Tallinn on the ferry. I loved the city, it reminded me of Prague, the narrow cobbled streets and the architecture. Definitely a place I would like to go back to, thanks for sharing!

I haven’t been to Prague yet but I have a feeling I would love it! Medieval cities have so much charm and character. 🙂

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I was in Tallinn in January, loved it, great pics!

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You look so pretty! Fresh face, funny, cute… Love these shots, especially the one here you drink that delicious hot chocolate!

Thanks. Nothing like hot chocolate to make this girl happy. 🙂

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A very describing and true revwiev of Tallinn. Tallinn is a very nice town as you say,Audrey. My first visit was in 2001 and since then I’ve travelled to Tallinn once a year in average, and I’ve already booked tickets for New Years Eve this year. 🙂

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Love it! Blankets and lattes at a cafe? Soo perfect. I hope you don’t mind (certainly tell me if you do!) but I recently wrote an article on my blog about paying off my debt and linked back to one of your posts; I would love it if you took a look!

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Sound wonderful but how can you go wrong in a place where the hot chocolate has a teddy bear on it (sometimes it’s the little things!).

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Medieval village? Yes please! Tallinn sounds amazing.

Also, that ferry ride looks incredible. Oh, what I would give for the ferry from Hong Kong> Macau to be like that one!

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this is my first time to read about Estonia. Wow. Reading the word Baltic makes me remember ENYA…more photos please? Hehe.

Nice bangs. 🙂 You look younger!

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Audrey, Definitely the place to be for so many reasons but the fact that in Tallinn they offer blankets so you can stay comfy outdoors is so very, well… “cool”

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Looks amazing! The medieval meal… YUMM!!

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Looks lovely! I love the concept of outdoor cafes in the winter. In Germany you also gt blankets in a lot of cafes. There is nothing better than sitting outside in the winter with a hot chocolate and wrapped up in a blanket.

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Very nice post and pics!!! I was in Tallin 2 weeks ago…I spent two days there, the atmosphere is incredible, the city very enjoyable!!! Have you been in the Rotermanni area? It’s an old industrial area recently converted into a modern district, full of trendy and elegant restaurants and lounge bars, chosen by local people while tourists are more attracted by the medieval downtown. I’d surely recommend to visit it!! The only weak point is the daily invasion of hundreds of tourists groups from the baltic sea cruises stoping in Tallin. So, if you can, visit the downtown after 4 p.m. once all the groups are gone back to the boat!

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Um, that latte is adorable. Looks like you had fun! Are you guys back in Asia now, or traipsing around Europe a bit more??

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Tallinn is definitely on my Europe to-do list…and a Neptune’s Feast sounds perfect!

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Great post! You look so pretty! Fresh face, funny, cute… Love these shots, especially the one here you drink that delicious hot chocolate!

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Thanks for posting this Audrey; it’s really helpful AND entertaining. And the photos are really good. Glad you guys had a good time! We’re going to Helsinki at Christmas and if the ferry is smooth enough we will head over to Tallinn for a couple of days. Cheers! JLister in Salt Lake City.

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Wow! I was looking for information about traveling in SEA and just wondered around the other places you had visited and bang – Estonia! It’s very heartwarming and nice to read what foreigners think of this place. And you chose the best time for visiting Estonia! 🙂 If you or someone else is planning a longer trip in Estonia then do definitely visit Tartu (a bohemian university city), Pärnu (the summer capital, also somewhat medieval) and the islands Saaremaa (summer vacation favourite for Estonians) or Vormsi.

Greetings from Estonia!

Thanks for all the tips Riinu! I seriously loved my quick visit to Tallinn. Hopefully I’ll get to see a bit more of Estonia some day. The places you mentioned sound really fun to visit. 🙂

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Medieval atmosphere is so amazing in Tallinn. I stayed there for a week and every day I visited a few cafes and restaurants. All of them are in style, with a taste of ages and that’s amazing. I wish I were there again.

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I don´t know if you´ve had a chance to visit, probably not, but the coastal area of Pirita is quite charming. Great place if you want to get away from the downtown bustle for a while. There´s this convent, or better to say what remains of it..standing inside the skeleton of that church felt like being lost in time, history just comes flooding back here!

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Last October we were on Baltic and Scandinavian Trip, I wish I had read this post earlier we missed some places around Estonia as mentioned in the comments, But it’s always next time Still not far from the city of amazing people

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Hi Sounds like a great place we are going in August, did you get that stamp in your passport. Byron

No stamp to boast, sadly. No one was checking passports when we arrived, so we just got off the boat and walked into a new country.

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We are visiting Helsinki in July and are also keen to visit Tallinn. Do you need to book a ferrry in advance or can you just arrive on the day? We would be doing a day trip.

I would recommend booking in advance so that you can get a better price on your ticket! They have deals if you do it a couple of months in advance, however, the ferry runs several times a day and there are multiple companies servicing that route, so it shouldn’t be a problem to book it last minute.

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So glad to have found your blog – incidentally, through Google-searching some bits about Tallinn, as I visited it myself in September and just got around to recapping in. I came to Tallinn after 2 days in Riga (where I actually hung out with another travel/expat blogger), and having scheduled 3 days in Tallinn I figured I would be done with it within 48 hours, and then was going to take a ferry to Helsinki for a day trip – a reverse of what you did. Instead I met a cute German – at Olde Hansa! – and we spent my last day in the Baltics driving, hiking and picnicking around Estonia’s GORGEOUS countryside.

PS – I’ve already started rummaging through your blog’s archives, and I love it!

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You should definitely visit Kalamaja while you are in Tallinn. Restaurant scene in Tallinn is awesome, so we warmly recommend trying out places like Leib Resto & Aed, Salt Restoran, F-Hoone and Kohvik Moon.

Ps. you have really interesting travel blog – keep up the good work! 🙂

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I dream of writing like you. I visited Tallinn after reading your blog, and tried to do everything you did. 🙂

Love the pictures that you shared.

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I want that coffee!! So cute like Tallinn itself. We did a few nice tours in Tallinn and outside through City Bike. It was nice to experience the lush landscapes in Lahemma as well as the beautiful Tallinn.

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Tallinn was love at first site! I can recommend to do three additional things: 1. Do a day tour with ! We made the Padilski-Tour and it was so amazing! When you wanna see some soviet-stuff it’s your tour! 2. Eat at pancake restaurant “Kompressor”! We ate there at every daytime and enjoyed all the strawberrypancakes (for breakfast), the cheese-pancake (for lunch) and bacon-cheese-pancake (for dinner)! It’s so delicious! 3. Walk the “culture kilometer”, and during that visit the fleamarket! It’s worth it!

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How to Easily Day Trip from Helsinki to Tallinn by Ferry (2024)

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Have a few leisurely days in Helsinki and looking to venture beyond the Finnish borders? A fun and easy excursion well worth the money is a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry! The Estonian capital is a picturesque fairytale gem and promises to mesmerize you with its colorful, cobblestone streets and captivating medieval allure! To help you experience this enchanting city, here’s what to know, from how to get there to the must-see sights!

A picture of Tallinn's Town Hall Square and it's colorful buildings.

🇪🇪 Short on Time? Here’s the Best Helsinki to Tallinn Tour

Helsinki to Tallinn Guided Tour w/ Return Cruise Tickets — This full-day tour includes direct hotel pick up, a guided walking tour around Tallinn’s Old Town, free time to explore & round-trip tickets for the ferry!

Getting From Helsinki to Tallinn by Ferry

As you can likely tell by the title, the easiest way to get from Helsinki to Tallinn is by ferry. And via this route, you can either go with a guided tour group or do the day trip independently.

Best Helsinki to Tallinn Tour

For those who don’t want to worry about navigating the ferry system or perhaps want to delve a little deeper into the history of Tallinn, going with a tour group is the best option. Below, you’ll find details for the specific tour I recommend doing if you decide to go this route.

A picture of Kristin with the picturesque skyline in Tallinn and all the bright red rooftops.

⭐️  RATING : 4.5 out of 5 – 135+ 5-star reviews! | ⏳  LENGTH OF TOUR:  13-14 hours

The  Helsinki to Tallinn Guided Tour with Return Cruise Tickets includes:

  • Convenient hotel pick-up & transfer to the ferry terminal
  • 3-hour walking tour of Tallinn’s gorgeous Old Town
  • Free time to explore Tallinn on your own/eat
  • Round-trip tickets for the ferry

🏰 Looking for a stress-free day trip to Tallinn? This is the most popular guided tour that goes from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry and is perfect for those who don’t want to stress about navigating local transportation and who want to discover Tallinn with the help of a local guide! During this full-day tour, you’ll be picked up directly from your housing accommodations in Helsinki and taken to the ferry terminal. There, you’ll avoid waiting in ticket lines and receive your tickets to board the ferry. Upon arrival in Tallinn, your local guide will greet you and lead you on a 3-hour walking tour along the charming streets of Tallinn’s medieval Old Town. You’ll visit everything from beautiful churches and cathedrals to historic castles and stunning viewpoints! Afterward, you’ll have plenty of free time to visit a museum, grab a bite to eat, and explore independently before boarding the ferry back to Helsinki. Thus, if you want to make the most of your limited time in Tallinn without too much fuss, I highly recommend checking out this fantastic guided tour !

“We enjoyed this tour. We were picked up at our hotel and taken to the ferry in Helsinki. We were met by our guide in Tallinn and off we went for an informative day. The history is fascinating and the city is beautiful preserved and restored. We highly recommend if you want a day trip from Helsinki.” – Edward D. ( See More Reviews )

Independent Day Trip from Helsinki to Tallinn by Ferry

Your second option is to independently do a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry. This is great for those on a tight budget but don’t want to miss out on exploring this quaint capital city. I’d also recommend it for those who aren’t up for lots of walking . The one negative side of the tour option is that there’s a fair bit of walking involved and going on your own allows you to rest whenever you need to. Whatever your reason may be, below are all the details you need for doing a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki on your own.

Two pictures. The left picture is of a stone gate that's at the entrance to Pikk Street. The right picture is of Town Hall Square.

Where to Purchase Your Ticket

When you decide the date you want to do your day trip to Tallinn, you have two ticketing options. You can purchase a ferry ticket with Get Your Guide or on the Tallink website. Both sites allow you to book a ticket on the Silja line, which is the line that I opted to go with since it’s what my local tour guide said was best and recommended to me.

The only thing to note is that you’ll want to be sure to book both a ticket to Tallinn as well as a ticket back to Helsinki if you book with Get Your Guide! ❌ No to being stranded in foreign countries!

🛳️ Check prices and times for ferry tickets on Get Your Guide here

A picture of the outside of the Tallink cruise ship.

Booking on the Tallink Website

If you’d rather book on the Tallink website , click “ book a cruise ” and then “ Day Cruise: Helsinki – Tallinn .” You want to purchase from this category because you’ll receive a price break instead of paying more buying round-trip tickets under the “flexible dates” category. Afterward, you’ll see the different departure and arrival times. And, a neat feature I appreciated is that it also displays the amount of “time onshore” you’ll have in Tallinn based on your departure times. Just note that you should subtract about an hour from this number. This will help account for the buffer time you’ll want to give yourself when transiting between Tallinn’s Old Town area and the port! To give you a reference point of what I did, I booked the 10:30 AM departure from Helsinki and booked a return ticket for 7:30 PM. This gave me about 6 hours in the Estonian Capital, which was perfect.

On a super tight budget? You can view other cruise lines that transit between Helsinki and Tallinn at a cheaper price on Omio. Plus, if it’s your first time using Omio, you can save $11 by booking through this link . Here’s my testimony for Omio if you’ve never heard of the company.

What Class to Purchase

In the section beneath, you’ll select your travel class: Star Class, Comfort Lounge, Business Class, B-Class, A-Class, or A-Plus . I did Star Class, which is the basic level ticket. As you would expect, the area of the cruise designated for the Star Class was pretty chaotic and crowded with children running around. That said, the ship itself was immaculate and modern. You’ll find plenty of comfortable seating, arcade games for kids to play at, and an area that has beverages, snacks, and full-on meals available to purchase, which was way more than I was expecting.

Two pictures of the interior of the Tallink cruise that goes from Helsinki to Tallinn

If you’re a remote worker who needs good Wi-Fi or just after some peace and quiet, I’d recommend paying extra for a higher class. You’ll also be able to enjoy complimentary snacks and refreshments, which are always welcome! After purchasing your ticket, you’ll want to go ahead and check in via the confirmation email when the departure time is within 24 hours.

🛳 PRO TIP : Save your ticket to your Apple Wallet if you have an iPhone or take a screenshot of the PDF ticket if you don’t. This way you can easily pull up the ticket when going through the ticket turnstiles.

Arrival At Helsinki Port

On the day of departure, be sure to give yourself ample time to arrive at the Helsinki Port. I left my hotel, Hotel Mestari , about an hour before departure and took a 20-minute tram to the port. This meant I arrived about 35 minutes before the scheduled ferry departure. Upon arriving at the port, you’ll check in if you haven’t already and then head over to the ticket turnstiles to scan your ticket. Afterward, follow the signs to the correct terminal and wait for boarding to begin!

A picture of the Helsinki Port. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time for your day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn.

Once boarding begins, it can get pretty turbulent, but as long as you follow the general mass of people, you’ll be fine. Upon boarding the ferry, you can pick any available seat in your designated class. Then, sit back and relax as you take in the endless sea views on your 2-hour and 15-minute journey across the Gulf of Finland!

Arrival at the Tallinn Port

When the cruise docks, it’s a little overwhelming as there’s no order or lines for disembarking. But, everyone has to exit, so you’ll make it off in due time. 😉 Once you’re off the boat, I recommend making note of the terminal you arrived at. This is especially true if you go with a different cruise line (not Tallink/Sulja line). From the dock, it’s about a 20-30 minute walk uphill to Tallinn’s Old Town. Nothing too steep, but I still suggest wearing good walking shoes as the cobblestone can hurt after a while.

10 Things: What to See in Tallinn in One Day

Alrighty, now it’s time for the good stuff! Depending on how much time you have to explore, here are 10 things to see and do in Tallinn in one day! They are listed in the order I did them since I’m all about minimizing walking distance. 😅 And in case you’re curious, several sites I’ve listed below are also covered on the guided tour . Thus, no matter which route you choose, you’ll get to see a little bit of it all! 🤠

⛴ NOTE: Be sure to keep track of time! I arrived at Tallinn’s Port 45 minutes early, and they began boarding shortly after. They even left about 10 minutes early before the official departure time… so DO NOT BE LATE! And remember, seating is first come first serve…

Two pictures. The left picture is of the Holy Spirit Church in Tallinn and the right picture is of Pikk Street.

1. St. Olaf’s Church

On your way from the port, the first stop is at St. Olaf’s Church, a medieval marvel with a towering spire that dates back to the 12th century. It’s believed that long ago during the 16th century, this was once the tallest building in the world. Today, visitors can climb the 258 steps to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 360-degree view of Tallinn’s charming Old Town and its surroundings. No reservation is necessary, but there is a small €5 fee to climb to the top. And unlike paying to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe or Biarritz’s Lighthouse , they only accept cash !

2. Pikk Street

A picture of Pikk Street and all its colorful buildings and historic architecture.

Afterward, you’ll want to wander along Pikk Street or Long Street as you trek to Town Square! This cobblestone street is lined with well-preserved medieval buildings, some of which house fascinating museums, galleries, restaurants, artisan shops, and cafes. You can pretty much find it all on this street.

And with the idyllic pastel buildings, you’ll feel like you’re being transported in time or plopped into the middle of some Disney movie! I personally was living out my Beauty and the Beast dreams. 🌹 Either way, be sure to spend some time exploring the rich history of Tallinn as you meander along this picturesque thoroughfare! P.S. If you look closely enough, you’ll notice the unique features that set each building apart…

3. Holy Spirit Church

At the end of the long Pikk Street, you’ll find the Holy Spirit Church, a 13th-century church with a striking clock that has been keeping time for centuries. To enter the church, you’ll have to pay a small €2 fee. This might be annoying, but I think it’s worth it as it holds a lot of understated beauty. You’ll get to see lots of intricate woodwork and paintings that were originally commissioned by German merchants. But, if you’re keen on seeing an interior that resembles the Duomo in Milan or Sainte Chapelle in Paris … you’re gonna wanna skip paying the entrance fee.

4. Dominican Convent

Two pictures of St. Catherine's Passage. This is fun street to walk along during your day trip to Tallinn because it has a very medieval atmosphere.

Just a short walk away is the historic Dominican Convent. This is a place that provides insight into Tallinn’s medieval religious life. The building dates back to 1246 and is where monks used to live and study. Visitors can walk through the inside of this medieval building on the weekends for €5 ( cash only )! But, if you happen to be visiting on a weekday or don’t want to pay the entrance fee, a good alternative is to walk along St. Catherine’s Passage . This narrow passageway is believed to date back 700 years, and you can truly feel the medieval history entrenched in the walls. For example, you’ll notice the ancient arched beams above. There are also workshops, studios, and some well-preserved tombstones hanging on the wall that date back to the mid-19th century. It’s all very atmospheric and fun to browse through the different shops, especially if you’re like me — someone who isn’t used to seeing this kind of architecture and history!

5. Raekoja Plats

A picture of Raekoja Plats or Town Hall Square. If you get hungry during your day trip to Tallinn, you'll find several restaurants with patios around the square.

From the passageway, walk a couple minutes to Raejoja Plats , or Town Hall Square. This is the vibrant heart of Tallinn’s Old Town. Surrounded by colorful, centuries-old buildings, it’s the perfect place to soak in the atmosphere. You’ll find open-air cafes, street performers, and markets during special events, making it a hub of activity. My favorite part is that in the summertime, they often have public seating available in the center of the square, making it a fine spot to people-watch. Oh and if you’re feeling hungry, there are also plenty of good restaurants to eat at around here. It just costs a little more since this is the main tourist spot.

🍽️ PRO TIP: If you want to explore the local culinary delights , keep an eye out for Kapsasupp . It’s cabbage soup, which is made with sauerkraut, pork, and barley. There’s also Verivorst , which is more commonly known as “blood sausage.

6. Danish King’s Garden

Two picture's of the Danish King's Garden. The left picture shows the bright purple flower beds while the right picture shoes two of the bronze monks.

When you’re ready to move on, I recommend walking towards the Danish King’s Garden , which is hidden behind thick medieval walls. According to the legends, King Valdemar II of Denmark camped in the area during the early 13th-century Northern Crusades. Hence, the gardens were named after him.

This serene garden features some well-manicured flowerbeds, picturesque views of Old Town, and remnants of Tallinn’s fortifications. You can also walk along the walls and find a cafe up on the second level, but it does cost a small fee. Either way, it’s a great spot to sit on a bench and relax. Oh and don’t forget to look out for the three bronze monks! There’s “waiting monk” Ambrose, “praying monk” Bartholomew, and “observing monk” Claudius.

7. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Right on the other side of the Danish King’s Garden is the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral , which is a masterpiece of Russian Orthodox architecture. You’ll notice its 5 distinctive onion domes and bright pink color. The cathedral is the largest is the largest orthodox cupola church in the city and represents a time when Tallinn was part of the Russian Empire.

A picture of the vivid exterior of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn. Whether you do your day trip to Tallinn with a tour group or independently, be sure to stop by here.

I recommend stepping inside to witness its opulent interior, which is adorned with intricate and richly decorated iconostases and stained glass windows. Just beware of a couple of things. First, no pictures are allowed inside . Second, if you’re a female, they may ask you to cover your head or legs with a wrap or scarf. This is very typical of Russian Orthodox churches and something I learned while visiting the Cathédrale Saint-Nicolas in Nice , which looks very similar to this cathedral.

8. Toompea Castle

Another popular attraction to visit is Toompea Castle , which is perched atop Toompea Hill. This historic site houses the Estonian Parliament.

And while you can’t explore the interior, the castle’s architecture and surrounding viewing platforms offer captivating perspectives of the city and the Baltic Sea.

9. Patkuli Viewing Platform

A picture of Tallinn's signature red rooftops and clock towers as seen from Patkuli Viewing Platform. This is a must-visit during your day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn!

From the castle, head to the Patkuli Viewing Platform for one of the most enchanting views of Tallinn’s Old Town. This is where you can best capture the essence of the city and see the medieval towers and red rooftops that create a postcard-worthy scene.

10. Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform

And for the final stop on this Tallinn in one-day itinerary, stroll over to the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform . I found that this viewing point is a bit more crowded than the other one. But, it’s still worth coming over here to savor Tallinn’s magical skyline.

Map of Tallinn in One Day Itinerary

To make things just a tad easier for you, I’ve included a Google map with all the recommended locations I just mentioned! The red pin represents the ferry port. Meanwhile, the purple pins with stars in them symbolize places I would prioritize visiting if you have limited time!

Oh and since I’m a glutton for ice cream, I’ve also included this awesome ice cream shop that I discovered and can happily recommend! You find it under the food pin 🙂

Where to Stay in Helsinki

If you haven’t booked your housing in Helsinki, here are some places I recommend checking out. They’re based on where I stayed while visiting and the research I completed while planning my trip!

PRO TIP: I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, unlike literally every other Nordic country, Finland has relatively affordable housing accommodations . Thus, you might want to use this opportunity to splurge and treat yourself to a fancy stay! 😅 I certainly did and it was ah-mazing!

Low-Cost Stay

  • Has a stocked kitchen, private rooms, & dorms available
  • Prime location near most attractions & close to tram lines

Mid-Range Stay

  • Lots of breakfast options & located in downtown Helsinki
  • Located in a quiet area near the harbor & offers a big breakfast

Fancy Stays

  • Located right along Esplanadi Park & Market Square
  • Has a restaurant, bar, Wintergarden room, spa, & workspaces

Click the buttons below to head to your favorite booking platform and see additional housing options there.

Alternatively, if you want extra time in Tallinn or prefer viewing housing options based on location, try the interactive map below. You can easily compare housing prices. I also recommend entering your travel dates for even more accurate pricing!

Tips for Visiting Tallinn

To prepare you for your escapade over to Tallinn, here are some tips to keep in mind and things you’ll want to bring!

  • 👟 Good walking shoes : Tallinn has mostly uneven, cobblestone streets. As such, you’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes — not flimsy sandals or heels!
  • Portable Charger: I strongly recommend bringing a ✨ reliable ✨ portable charger with you! Your phone is your ticket onto the ferry and how you’ll likely be navigating the city… And we all know Google Maps kills phone batteries. Avoid being stranded and stressing about your battery by bringing a reliable portable charger. This is the portable charger I love to use because it comes with both a USB-A and USB-C port charging port!

✅🔋 Check prices for my favorite portable charger to travel with.

Two pictures: The right picture is of the portable battery that Kristin brings with her when she travels. The right picture is of a steep, cobblestone street in Tallinn. Remember to bring a portable battery for your phone and to wear comfortable walking shoes on your day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn.

  • ⏰ Plan Your Day: If you aren’t doing your day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn with a tour group , plan out your day in advance. Time passes by quickly, and you’ll lose an hour walking between the ferry terminal and Tallinn’s Old Town. 😬
  • 🥶 Jacket: Even if you’re visiting during the summer, bring a jacket as it can get pretty cold around sunset. Plus, the jacket makes a great pillow for the ferry ride.
  • 💧 Reusable Water Bottle: There aren’t a lot of public fountains everywhere like you see in France or Switzerland , so be sure to bring a reusable water bottle.
  • 💶 Euros: Although you can likely get by with just your credit card, I found that some places only accept cash, especially if you’re at a souvenir shop and only purchasing a simple postcard or magnet. Thus, bring some small bills and coins!

Best Time to Visit Tallinn

Looking strictly at a weather perspective, the best time to visit Tallinn is between May and September. During this period, the average high temperature is in the 60s°F (16°C), and the average low temperature hovers in the 40s and 50s°F (5 – 10°C). Again… bring layers because even during the summer, it gets cold!

A picture of Tallinn's Pikk Street on a sunny day. Summer is a fabulous time to do a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry.

That said, there are some fun annual events that you may be interested in planning your trip around. Here are a few fun ones, but you can see the full event calendar for all things Tallinn here .

  • Restaurant Week (Mar 11, 2024 – Mar 17, 2024) — Tallinn Restaurant Week provides a unique chance to explore local cuisine and culinary trends. This year, 15 restaurants are emphasizing environmentally friendly options, aligning with Tallinn’s 2023 title of European Green Capital.
  • Tallinn Coffee Festival (April 25-26, 2024): Tallinn Coffee Festival offers the chance to explore a diverse range of coffee, brewing techniques, and entertainment. With aromatic brews, tea, and cocoa, it features over fifty companies and a variety of street food vendors.
  • Tallinn Christmas Market (Nov 30, 2024 – Jan 1, 2025): Tallinn Christmas Market, once voted Europe’s finest, creates an enchanting scene in Town Hall Square. The 580-year-old tradition features a stunning Christmas tree and festive stalls with delightful goods and food.

Tallinn Day Trip from Helsinki: FAQ

Yes! If you have time in your Helsinki itinerary, then a day trip to Tallinn is definitely worth it! The Estonian capital city has a completely different ambiance, culture, and feel than Helsinki. Not to mention, with it being a fairly small town, you can easily see the majority of the main highlights in 5 – 6 hours. For me, Tallinn was a fairytale medieval city that was an absolute delight to wander around.

The Ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is approximately 2 hours. This may vary by about 20 minutes, so for planning purposes, I’d assume 2.5 hours if you want to include the disembarking process.

This is a bit weather-dependent, but you likely won’t feel anything even if the Gulf of Finland waters are a little rough. The ship is freaking huge, so it’s not that susceptible to lots of sideways movement. Personally speaking, the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn was the smoothest ferry ride I have ever been on.

You do not need to bring your passport for the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki or vice versa. They do not perform any passport checks. All they do is scan your ferry ticket, which is in the form of a QR code.

Some other things to do in Helsinki that I can happily recommend include delving into the local culinary scene (I did this with a local guide – 10/10 recommend), visiting Suomenlinna , relaxing in a sauna, admiring the unique architecture around the city , and strolling around Market Square, Esplandi Park, and Senate Square!

Wrap-Up: Day Trip From Helsinki to Tallinn by Ferry (2024)

Overall, if you have some extra time during your stay in the Finnish capital or a simply looking for a fun excursion, I highly recommend doing a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn. From wandering charming cobblestone streets to admiring the colorful buildings, you can’t help but smile and feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Everything in this enchanting city is so picturesque and well-preserved. Plus, with the fairytale town being a stone’s throw away from Helsinki, it’s an easy and affordable day trip to do on your own. Or, if you want to maximize your limited time in Tallinn and have a stress-free experience, you can go with a local guide . Regardless of whether you decide to explore Tallinn for a day, stay a couple of days, or not visit at all, I hope this guide has been insightful and wish you the best in your travels!

Two pictures: the left picture is Kristin at the Patkuli Viewing Platform in Tallinn. The right picture is one of the bronze statues that you can find in the Danish King's Garden.

Read More About the Nordic Region

  • 🇸🇪 Stockholm, Sweden: Passing through the Swedish capital? Here’s the perfect itinerary if you’re staying for a few days . It includes popular attractions like the Vasa Museum and Skansen , as well as more hidden gem sights 🙂
  • 🇳🇴 Oslo, Norway: Looking for things to do in the Norwegian capital? Two of my favorite activities were exploring the different neighborhoods and wandering through the Munch Museum!

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Kristin is the founder of Global Travel Escapades, a blog dedicated to helping travelers explore beautiful destinations and planning their wildest travel dreams. She has explored 30 countries and is on a mission to visit 50 by age 30. Along the way, she has lived in places like sunny San Diego and the vibrant French capital! Ultimately, Kristin hopes her passion for adventure, delicious food, and all things F1 & tennis inspires others to plan their next travel escapade!

One Day in Tallinn: Helsinki to Tallinn Day Trip Guide

If you’re visiting Helsinki, why not hop countries and spend one day in Tallinn, Estonia.

Nestled along the Baltic Sea, Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia. Often overlooked, this Baltic gem perfectly blends the past and present. Beyond its medieval charm, the city pulses with cultural vitality, boasting contemporary art scenes, vibrant festivals, and an emerging culinary landscape. 

In this day trip guide, you’ll find city highlights as well as food recommendations and general, helpful information. From iconic landmarks like St.Olaf’s Church to the colorful central square, Tallinn is a short journey away waiting to be explored. 

One Day in Tallinn, Estonia

helsinki to tallinn day trip guide

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The Best Time to Visit Tallinn

If you’re looking for mild weather and plenty of sunshine, the best time to visit Tallinn is during the summer months of June to August. There’s also a variety of festivals, events, and open-air concerts that take place during this season. 

However, if you want to experience the city in full blown fairytale mode with snow dusting the buildings and Christmas lights lining the streets, late November to December would be the time to go. 

tallinn, estonia

How to Get to Tallinn from Helsinki

To get from Helsinki to Tallinn, you’ll need to take a ferry.  

The scenic cruise across the Gulf of Finland takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, offering breathtaking sea views. There are several ferry operators with frequent departures heading to Tallinn. Depending on the ferry you choose, there may be a couple of eateries as well as a bar for you to enjoy on your journey. 

You can book tickets ahead of time online or at the terminal. 

ferry from helsinki to tallinn

Can you take a bus? Kinda.

You can board a bus in Helsinki that will then board a ferry to Tallinn. If you rather skip the middle part, just book a passenger ticket directly. 

How to Get Around Tallinn

Tallinn has plenty of public transportation options ranging from buses, to trolleys to trams. The network operates from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily. Tickets cost €2 for a one-hour ticket and €5.50 for a 24-hour pass.

If you opt to get the Tallinn card , public transportation is covered by the pass as well as some of the city’s sites and attractions. 

one day in tallinn, estonia

Where to E at in Tallinn

Balti jaama turg.

Balti Jaama Turg is a 3-level food hall with eateries, fresh foods and other retailers. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find something at this food hall. There are so many options from delectable sweets to international finds like tikka masala and baos. 

Restoran Olde Hansa

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, check out Restoran Olde Hansa . Restoran Olde Hansa is a medieval-themed eatery serving traditional Estonian foods, complete with costumed staff and authentic period decor. 

I didn’t get a chance to check this out but I thought it was a unique thing to do in Tallinn worth mentioning. 

Another place I didn’t get to check out while in the city is Pub Kompressor . Known as the pancake pub, Kompressor serves up a variety of different crepes ranging from sweet to savory. The crepes range from 7€ – 9€ and from the pictures look pretty generous in size. If you’re looking for an affordable place to eat in Tallinn, this would be the place to check out. 

Things to do With One Day in Tallinn

Alexander nevsky cathedral.

Showcasing stunning Russian Revival architecture, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an iconic masterpiece in Tallinn. The cathedral sits atop Toompea Hill and features intricate ornamentation and domes. Make sure not to miss this historical and stunning fixture of the city. 

Price: Free

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

St Olaf’s Church

Standing since the 12th century, St. Olaf’s Church is the definition of medieval charm. The church’s majestic spire is easily spotted among the city’s skyline. If you’re visiting between April and October, you’ll be able to ascend the tower’s narrow staircase to the observation platform which offers panoramic views of the city. 

Price:  €5.00 ( Free With Tallinn Card )

St Olaf's Church in Tallinn

Patkuli Viewing Platform

If you want to get an amazing view of the city, make your way to Patkuli Viewing Platform. Perched on Toompea Hill, the platform offers breathtaking views of the city’s red rooftops and medieval charm.

Patkuli Viewing Platform

Toompea Castle

Built between 1767 and 1773, Toompea Castle is one of the top things to see in Tallinn, Estonia. The castle once served as the residence for Estonian rulers and conquerors, but now serves as the home to the Riigikogu (the Estonian parliament). If you’d like to tour the castle, you can do so Monday – Friday for free. However, you’ll need to book ahead.

Toompea Castle

The part of Tallinn that you’ll want to see most is the Old Town. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Town is like walking into a fairytale. Nestled within well-preserved city walls, this enchanting area is filled with cobblestone streets and a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styled buildings.

Within Old Town, you’ll find Town Hall Square, or Raekoja Plats. The square is surrounded by colorful merchant houses and exudes a lively atmosphere with its cafe patios, market stalls, and street performers. During the holiday season, this is also where you’ll find the town’s Christmas market. 

Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia

Attend a Festival 

Even though this is a day trip guide, I thought I’d share a couple of events that take place in the city in case your trip coincides with them and you want to check them out. 

Tallinn Music Week – Tallinn Music Week (TMW) takes place in April and features almost 200 artists and is considered to be the largest indoor music festival in the Baltics. 

Black Nights Film Festival – Taking place in November, Black Nights Film Festival is the largest film festival in northern Europe showcasing hundreds of feature and short films. 

For me, Tallinn is one of those places I probably would have never visited, and almost didn’t. We debated spending the money to take the ferry across, but figured it would probably be our only opportunity to visit Estonia. 

As I mentioned before, Old Town is surrounded by city walls and for a small entrance fee (€4.00) you can actually walk part of the wall. The small section you’ll have access to connects the Nunne, Sauna and Kuldjala towers and offers pretty view of the city along the way.

day trip from finland to helsinki

That being said, I’m glad we decided to go for it and spend one day in Tallinn. If you’ve found this post as you’re planning a trip to Finland , I hope it inspires you to set a day aside to visit the beautiful city of Tallinn. 

How far is Tallinn from Helsinki?

Tallinn is roughly 51 miles (82km) from Helsinki.

Is there a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn?

Yes, there is a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn! Get your ferry tickets here . 

How long is the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn?

The ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is about 2 hours long, depending on the weather conditions and vessel.  

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Tallinn Day Trip from Helsinki: How-To & Travel Guide

by Aileen Adalid Estonia , Cruises & Sailing 35 comments

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The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania)  in northern Europe are, for me, a fascinating trio. (Tallinn Day Trip)

Not a lot of travelers would normally put these countries in their first ‘Eurotrip’ itinerary — because they’re not as ‘established’ like Paris or Amsterdam — and yet, a lot of the well-known frequent travelers that I know of would sing nothing but glorious praises for these off-the-beaten-path destinations, while they continue to recommend them in a heartbeat.

This leads me to conclude that though the Baltic states are some of the  least-visited countries in Europe , they are true-blue hidden gems in their own right. My traveler friends’ testimonials not only prove this fact but the images and articles that I have seen online have as well; and boy, I kid you not, these places all looked absolutely gorgeous and “untouched”!

So when I had the chance to explore Estonia during one of the days that I was in  Helsinki , I did NOT hesitate to book a ticket for a Tallinn day trip… And guess what? I may have only spent a day there but it was enough to show me that the people and the pictures didn’t lie. Besides, Tallinn  (the capital of Estonia), was a city that looked like it came straight out of a fairytale!

You bet that I am aiming to see more of Estonia in the future, as well as the other two Baltic countries. If I may say so as well, I am ecstatic  that I was able to see this enchanting place before it becomes too touristic (given how “our” praises would soon reach everybody’s ears! *wink*)

With that in mind, I absolutely recommend spending your European vacation in Tallinn. After all, if you’re already visiting Helsinki in Finland, you can easily reach it in a matter of 2 hours!

Table of Contents

Tallinn Day Trip

» how to get to tallinn from helsinki.

Tallinn Day Trip

There are several cruise lines that travel from Helsinki to Tallinn every day, and the prices across all these providers don’t differ as much.

For my case, I opted to go with Tallink Silja Line because not only were they reasonably priced (starts at €18 for 1-way) , but they were also filled with versatile onboard services! (They’re the leading operator across the Baltic Seas for a reason.)

Rest assured, if you plan to make Tallinn day trip, the ferry line does 7 trips daily from each port; so for my case, it was easy for me to book a seat at around 8AM to Tallinn and then go back to Helsinki come 7PM.

At the moment, they have 3 modern ships that do the Helsinki-Tallinn route, namely: the M/S Star, M/S Superstar, and M/S Baltic Queen .


There are 3 seat categories that you can choose from as well (apart from the cabins) and they are:

  • Star Class: unnumbered seats which means that you can choose how to spend your time during the journey — inside, outside the deck, at one of the many restaurants inside the ship, in the duty-free shops, etc.
  • Star Comfort Class: an upgrade that offers you bigger and more comfortable seating spaces that comes along with extra services like a snack buffet! There is also WiFi as well as TVs to keep you entertained.
  • Business Class: the highest luxury to your cruise trip! It also comes with free WiFi, tax-free menu, newspapers, and business lounge buffet.

Tallinn Day Trip: Tallink Silja

I booked myself into Star Comfort Class for my Tallinn day trip because I thought that it would be worth the added cost — and it was! In fact, this area kind of functioned like my personal cabin because during the trip back to Helsinki, I managed to have a whole big couch to myself as I dozed off.

Otherwise, the main airport will be Tallinn Airport located 5km from the city center.

» Things to Do in Tallinn

Right from the moment that I stepped foot in Tallinn, I could instantly see its striking difference from Helsinki. You see… if Helsinki gave me the general impression of “chic and modern”, Tallinn on the other hand exuded “medieval mystic”. That being said, it was quite a refreshing change of ‘pace’.

Armed with a map, my friend and I decided to ditch it after a few minutes especially after seeing how Tallinn’s center can be easily reached and explored on foot.

For the things that you shouldn’t miss on your Tallinn day trip…?

This is an astonishingly well-preserved medieval town that was listed in 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As a compact area enclosed by a 2.5km stone wall and 45 towers, it is tiered into two: Lower Town and Toompea Hill , and truth be told, you can explore these all in less than an hour.

Though of course, if you plan to explore the mesmerizing little side streets and alleys, it could take you more time.

Lower Town . The scenic spots that you shouldn’t miss would be:

Lower Town

  • Viru Gate: This leads to the streets where merchants and artisans in old Tallinn used to flourish; today however, it now leads to the trendiest shopping street of the city.
  • St. Catherine’s Passage: A charming little walkway that connects the streets of Vene and Müürivahe.
  • Town Hall Square : (Raekoja Plats) This square is filled with cute pastel-colored houses and guild houses (gildi maja). Apart from that, you can also see here the Town Hall (Raekoda). Built in 1371, this is said to be the oldest of its kind in northern Europe which now houses the Tallinn City Museum.
  • St. Olaf’s Church: (Oleviste Kirik) This is the city’s biggest medieval structure in which for an entrance fee of 2 EUR, you can go up its spiral staircase to see a panoramic view of the city. Personally however, I prefer the view from Toompea Hill. .

Toompea Hill . As legend has it, it is said that the hill was built on top of the Estonian king: Kalev. More factually, however, this is a hill made of solid limestone and it has been the site of the Danish castle back in 1219. Nowadays, it is the center of the Government of Estonia and the Riigikogu (parliament). Here you can find:

Toompea Hill

  • St Mary’s Cathedral: This is the oldest church in Estonia and it is where the name ‘Toompea’ was originally derived from.
  • Toompea Castle: A magnificent-looking ancient stronghold that now houses the Parliament of Estonia.
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: This is a 19th-century Russian Orthodox church that had, at one point, became a tourist symbol for the city which a lot of nationalist Estonians weren’t happy about (since they said it was a symbol of oppression). It was called for demolition but it never happened and was left to decay. In 1991, when Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union, the church was restored.
  • Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform: Located on the northern side of Toompea hill, it gives you grand views of the city of Tallinn. You will surely see here the distinct difference of the old town and the newer part of the city as it is backdropped by the port and the Gulf of Finland.

* You can also join a FREE walking tour of Tallinn and a quick Google search will lead you to an array of providers!

— Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour

Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour

Photo by: Kallu / CC

This is an impressive maritime museum that has attractions in 3 levels: the air, the sea, and below the sea as it depicts the old maritime past of Estonia. Some of the highlights of this museum are its submarine and flight simulators, as well as the exhibit of the 1936 Lembit submarine — the oldest of its kind which was still afloat until 2011 when it was hauled out.

— Kadriorg Park

Kadriorg Park

Photo by: Diego Sideburns / CC

A stunning urban park in Estonia, it spans about 70 hectares where you can find KUMU (Estonian Art Museum) and Kadriorg Art Museum — housed under the impressive Kadriorg Palace — and the Mikkeli Museum.

Tallinn Travel Guide

» where to stay in tallinn.

Getting an AirBnB flat is a great option since most of the listings can be very affordable. If you’re more into hotels, here are some other best choices:

  • Budget : Red Emperor Hostel
  • Mid-Range : Hotel St. Barbara
  • Luxury : Swissotel Tallinn .

» How to get around Tallinn

By foot. Like I’ve already mentioned, Tallinn can be easily explored on foot — you just need to get to Viru street which is just a 10 to 15-minute walk away from the port.

By public transportation. All buses, trolleybuses, and trams operate between 6AM to 12AM and use the same tickets that cost €1 via mobile or €1.60 via the driver. TIP : You could also book yourself into a Hop-Off-On Sightseeing Bus that goes through 3 routes: red, blue, and green lines. It’s preferable to take all lines (it costs only €16) for one day.

By taxi. Prices vary across all taxi companies and some might even scam you. It’s actually preferable to book a taxi via phone and you can use the app ‘ Taxify ‘ for this (which the locals use themselves).

» What and where to eat in Tallinn

Some Estonian dishes that you should try when in Tallinn should be the following: leivasupp (sweet soup of black bread and apples), verivorst (blood sausage and barley), and silgusoust (Baltic fish in acid sauce). For desserts: kringel (sweet breaad with cardamom), mannavaht (semoline and juice cream), and kissel (sticky sweetened berries). When it comes to drinks, you should make it a point to try the herbal liquer Vana Tallinn.


To try these all, head on to the following places and take your pick:

  • Maiasmokk. This is said to be the oldest cafe in the city as well as the whole of Estonia! Its interiors are an eye-candy, and the food is a must-try.
  • Rataskaevu16. Offers delicious Estonian Food in the Old Town and it is arguably the top-rated restaurant in the city.
  • Olde Hansa. If you want to experience a medieval-themed restaurant, this is the place to be!
  • Von Krahli Aed. If you’re more into healthy-eating, this place offers a varied range that vegetarians will also love.
TIP: To best experience Estonia’s wonderful cuisine, book a 3-hour food tour!

» Helpful Estonian phrases

The Estonian language is closely related to Finnish but it generally doesn’t bear any resemblance to any other European language. Rest assured, English is commonly used in the city of Tallinn especially by the younger generation; but still, it’s nice to impress them a bit, don’t you think?

  • Hello (formal): Tere (TEHR-reh)
  • Hello (informal): Tervist (TEHR-veest)
  • Thank you: Tänan (TA-nahn)
  • Yes: Jah (YAH)
  • No: Ei (ay)
  • Goodbye (formal): Head aega (HEH-ahd AH-eh-gah)
  • Goodbye (informal): Nägemist (NAH-geh-mist) .
  • Excuse me: Vabanda (VAH-bahn-dah)
  • I’m sorry: Vabandust (VAH-bahn-doost)
  • Is there someone here who speaks English?: Kas on keegi siin kes räägib inglise keelt? (Kahs ohn KEH-key seen kehs RAA-keyeb EEN-klee-seh kehlt?)
  • Help!: Appi! Aidake! (IGH-dak-keh!)
  • Cheers!: Terviseks! (Ter-vee-seks!)

» Top Tallinn Tours «

Tallinn TV Tower Walk

Tallinn TV Tower Walk Experience the thrill from high up!

Tallinn Hop-On Hop-Off

Tallinn Hop-On Hop-Off Discover Tallinn’s best sights on a bus!

Tallinn Day Trip from Helsinki

Wandering through Tallinn has truly transported me to the wondrous Middle Ages, and it was an experience that I would love for you to experience as well!

Besides, though Tallinn was involved in the former Soviet era, it’s not ‘dreary’ as some might happen to perceive because it has evolved into a charming and vibrant space! Plus, with a fascinating mix of old and new, Tallinn will certainly leave you speechless as it proves to you how much of a dynamic city it can be.

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The Jetset Boyz

Did you know that more than half of Estonia is made up of rural villages, farmland and forests? We went to Tallinn back in March, but only for two days – we would have loved to do the KGB Museum & Tallinn Legends but we just didn’t have enough time. We definitely want to go back & also explore Estonia’s fabulously green countryside!


Hi! Im a doctor from the Philippines, just presented my research in the 2017 european allergy and clinical immunology convention in Helsinki. Today is our last day, and we have decided to visit talinn before our flight back home this evening! Hope we will also have a great time there..thanks for the tips!


Awesome! Let me know how you trip goes and I hope my post helped :D


I’ve been thinking more about Estonia lately and now thinking about my Scandinavia trip at the end of the year and if I can go to Tallinn for a day from Helsinki. I’d like to stay longer but do you think a day trip is still perfectly do-able?

Hey Juliette! Well, I did this trip to Estonia as a day trip and it was perfectly doable since the city was fairly small and can be walked on foot. :) Enjoy your trip!

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The Road Is Life

Day Trip to Tallinn from Helsinki – How to Spend One Day in Tallinn

Tallinn is a city with fairy-tale medieval surrounds, rich history and plenty of unique and amazing sights . Whether you want to relax in style or explore and learn, Tallinn is an ideal European city break.

Taking a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki is the perfect way to visit this beautiful city if you are short on time. Tallinn is also a great option for a longer stay. You’ll find as you read along that there are more than enough activities to keep you occupied for a weekend break or more.

Whether you plan to catch the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn on your own or you’re looking to book an organised Tallinn day trip, read on to find all of my top recommendations below.

This guide will show you how to get to Tallinn, where to catch the best views, find the top attractions and eat the tastiest food. Make the most of your day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki by knowing exactly what to do in Tallinn before you even arrive. 

View of Toompea Hill

Toompea Hill from the top of St. Olaf’s Tower

Table of Contents

Best Tallinn Activities

Before we dive into the best way to spend one day in Tallinn, I would recommend checking out these popular Tallinn activities.

Tallinn Walking Tour

One of the best things to do when visiting a new city is taking a walking tour to learn some history first hand from a local guide. 

This popular walking tour is the perfect intro to Tallinn and lasts anywhere between 2-6 hours. It will aim to show you the very best of Tallinn through the eyes of a local.

Your guide will take you to the best landmarks and attractions around the Old Town while providing you with fascinating stories and insider’s tips along the way.

➤Find tour prices and availability here

The View from Patkuli viewing platform

The view from Patkuli platform

Old Town Tallinn

In 1997 the Old Town of Tallinn became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe! 

Tallinn’s Old Town is actually divided into two separate areas, the lower town and the upper town (also known as Toompea) . They were once considered to be two completely different cities.

Both sections of the Old Town can easily be explored by foot in one day. When visiting Tallinn on a day trip from Helsinki, you will have no trouble covering all of the top sites .

Sometimes getting lost is the best way to see a new place! When we first arrived in Tallinn, we did just that. Explore the many twisting cobblestone side streets and cute squares. From almost any angle you will find great views of the town’s church towers and beautiful facades.

Town Hall Building in Tallinn

Early morning at the Town Hall Square

Town Hall Square

The heart of the Old Town and a place you that will usually find bustling with tourists (unless you wake up early). It’s right here that you will find Tallinn’s 13th century town hall and its massive tower. It happens to be the oldest town hall building in the entire Scandinavian region!

Beautiful medieval buildings and outdoor restaurants surround the square. It’s the perfect place to relax with a drink in the afternoon and take in the atmosphere from one of the many patios. There are plenty of events and medieval festivals held here throughout the year. 

If you’re lucky enough to visit Tallinn around Christmas time, this is where you will find the famous markets. Hundreds of stalls brighten up the square surrounding a large Christmas tree. This is one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe and it takes place every year from Nov 24th – Jan 7th.

what to do in tallinn - town square

Tallinn Town Hall Square

Defensive Walls

Talk a walk along part of the city’s well-preserved 13th century fortifications and explore the insides of its towers . You can access one part of the wall through the Kiek in de Kok Museum .

Other sections of the wall are accessible from the north entrance to the Old Town , find the exact location here . The other is from the Hellmann Tower near the west gate.

From the town walls you’ll get a great view over the city and learn a little bit about the history as you go. To enter the fortifications, it costs €3 per person.

Toompea Hill

This large limestone hill sits high above the rest of Tallinn and features buildings that date to the 13th century. For centuries, there have been fortifications and towers here, defending the city from attacks. 

Toompea is also known as the “upper old town” and it is home to some of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in Tallinn. This area is an absolute must-see on your day trip to Tallinn. You will likely spend a large portion of your day exploring this area.

Due to a devastating fire in the 17th century, most of the buildings of Toompea had to be replaced. You’ll notice that the buildings are newer and have a different appearance from the rest of Tallinn.

This is where you will find Toompea Castle and the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral . There are various viewing platforms offering spectacular views over the Old Town.

Toompea Castle

Toompea Castle

Although it is no longer a proper castle, this building has been the seat of power in Estonia for centuries. Built on a hilltop overlooking the city below, this beautiful castle is currently used to house the Estonian parliament.

The building dates back to the 13th century but has seen many changes and renovations to its appearance over the years. From the front, you’ll see a lovely pink palace however the back of the building resembles an early medieval castle.

If you want to visit the inside of Toompea Castle you must book a guided tour in advance. On our day trip to Tallinn, we simply passed by the front to admire the castle and snap a few photos.

Find more information on booking a free guided tour of the castle at the official website .

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

This stunning example of Russian Orthodox architecture dates from 1900, when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire .

The massive and richly decorated cathedral with its onion domes is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world. It’s easily the most impressive church I’ve ever seen!

When we first saw the cathedral mid-day, it was completely crowded with tourists. We knew the only way we could really  appreciate its grandeur was to return first thing the next morning .

If you want to see this amazing church with minimal crowds, I would recommend heading there by 8am. Entrance to the cathedral is free for those who are interested to have a look inside.

Opening Hours – 7am-7pm daily

Tickets – Free entry

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

St Olav’s Church and Tower

Tallinn’s largest and tallest medieval building can be found within the lower Old Town. This beautiful Gothic church and its 124 metre tower date back to the 13th century. During the medieval times, this tower was actually considered the tallest in the world!

From April to October you can climb the steep and narrow winding staircase to the top of St Olaf’s Church tower. From here you can admire a spectacular panoramic view of Tallinn’s Old Town and Toompea Hill.

Climbing the 232 steps to the viewing platform may be a challenge but the view makes it worth the effort! Find more info about opening hours and updated ticket prices by visiting this website .

Opening Hours – 10am – 6pm daily

Tickets – €5/adult, free/child

Town Hall Square, Tallinn Estonia

Town Hall Square, Tallinn Estonia

Find the Best Viewpoints in Tallinn

Toompea’s many viewing platforms offer a variety of breath-taking views over Tallinn’s lower Old Town. To capture the best views of Toompea Hill, head to St. Olav’s Church and climb the tower.

  • Patkuli Viewing Platform – Climb up the 157 steps from the Old Town to arrive at this viewing platform. From the top you will see beautiful views over the red-tiled rooftops as well as Tallinn’s new city and its high rises. You’ll get a good view of the city walls from this angle. From this point, you can also begin exploring the rest of Toompea.
  • Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform   – Head here after Patkuli platform as it’s also situated on Toompea Hill. This viewing platform is a large terrace where you’ll take in perfect views over the entire city, with the Gulf of Finland in the background.
  • Kiek in de Kök Tower – It’s definitely worthwhile to explore this tower, which offers some great views of the city, harbour and Toompea . Learn about Tallinn’s history while browsing through the many historic weapons on display inside the tower . The ticket also allows access to several other towers.
  • St. Olav’s Church Tower – One of the best views in town, this cannot be missed on your day trip to Tallinn! This was my favourite view of Tallinn as you can really take in the entire essence of this special place.

View of the Old Town from inside the Kiek in de Kök Tower

Peeking out at the Old Town from inside the Kiek in de Kök Tower

Eat Lunch at a Medieval Tavern

For all the foodies out there, you are in luck! Tallinn’s restaurant scene has plenty of amazing dining choices. You’ll find everything from traditional medieval pubs to fine dining and modern European cuisine .

There’s also a decent selection of places offering delicious vegetarian and plant-based options. You’ll have more choices than you know what to do with when it comes to finding a place to eat.

You can’t day trip to Tallinn and not try one of its many traditional, medieval taverns. They should be high on your list when it comes to picking out a place to eat!

Olde Hansa Restaurant

Olde Hansa!

Great Cuisine:

  • Vegan Restoran V – Coming in at #3 on TripAdvisor , this gem offers many vegan and vegetarian options. Make sure to book it ahead of time as it’s very popular and not very big.
  • Rataskaevu 16   – We got in too late to eat here as it had already booked out for the evening. According to TripAdvisor, this is Tallinn’s #1 restaurant and it’s a short walk from the Town Hall Square. Rataskaevu 16 serves Scandinavian, International, and Eastern European cuisine. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly and offers gluten-free options.

Traditional Experiences:

  • III Draakon   – This place is a must! The food here wasn’t incredible but it’s totally worth it just for the atmosphere and medieval vibes. Located under the Town Hall building, this is a small medieval-themed tavern. Everything about this place is true to the times, from the menu to the quirky bar-maids.
  • Olde Hansa – Another traditional restaurant full of character and charm. It’s a little more expensive, but you’re paying for more than just a meal. The venue is candle lit and has medieval music playing in the background. The staff are all dressed the part as they serve traditional Hanseatic dishes. This place is a bit touristy, but it’s worth it to go for one meal.

Quick Bites:

Town Hall Square

Town Hall Square early in the morning

Spending Longer Than One Day in Tallinn?

Perhaps you have more time to spend in Tallinn and are seeking some additional activities. From museums to day trips, below are some great things to check out in and around the city.

Tallinn Food Tour

Taste the traditional flavours of Estonia on a guided food and drinks tour of Tallinn. This 3 hour tour will educate you about the history of Estonian cuisine while tasting a variety of drinks, dishes and desserts.

Get off the tourist track and discover some local favourite restaurants where you’ll find a more authentic dining experience. The food tour includes drinks, food and a local tour guide. See more detailed info at the link below.

Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum

Learn all about maritime history in the Baltics by visiting this informative and highly rated museum in Tallinn. Walk through a large submarine from the 1930’s and explore a large collection of exhibits that will take you back through time.

One of the many highlights of this maritime museum is seeing a sunken ship from the 16th century. You can find Lennusadam on the harbour of Tallinn, outside of the Old Town. To get there, take the bus 73 and get off at the “Lennusadam” stop.

Opening Hours – 10am – 6pm daily (closed on Mondays)

Tickets – €15/adult, €8/child

Admiring a beautiful old door

Kadriorg Art Museum

The Kadriorg Art Museum is housed within a gorgeous 18th century palace surrounded by manicured gardens. This is the only museum in the country that features early European and Russian paintings and sculptures.

This is a great addition to your Tallinn itinerary if you’re interested in historic art collections. You can reach the museum by walking for 35 minutes from the Old Town or taking the tram line 1 or 3 for four stops.

Tickets – €9/adult, €7/child

KGB Prison Cells

Visit the KBG Prison Cells in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town to learn about the unfortunate events during the communist regime of the early 1900’s.

The museum is quite small but it is well organised and shows you exactly what life was like as a prisoner during this awful time in history.

Take a walk into the basement where the actual prison cells are located to see recreated scenes, informative displays, stories and more.

Opening Hours – 11am – 6pm (closed Monday/Tuesday)

Tickets – €5/adult, €4/student

Take a Day Trip from Tallinn

Jägala Waterfall & Lahemaa National Park – Explore the natural beauty of Estonia on a full day trip from Tallinn to Lahemaa National Park. Marvel at the stunning Jägala Waterfall, go for a scenic forest hike and explore a quaint seaside fishing village.

The afternoon of the tour will take you to a historic tavern for a traditional lunch followed by a walk through the Viru bog. This day trip includes a tour guide, transportation to and from Tallinn, guided tour at each stop. Lunch is not included in the ticket.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Best Day Tour from Helsinki to Tallinn

Duration – 12 hrs

Included  – Round trip journey by ferry, 3 hour guided tour in Tallinn, transportation to and from Tallinn’s Old Town and the ferry terminal, experienced tour guide.

Discover the wonders of Estonia’s capital city on this fully organised day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki. This is the perfect option for those who prefer to leave the planning up to the experts and enjoy a relaxing day of sightseeing.

The day will begin by meeting your tour guide at the ferry terminal in Helsinki before beginning the 2 hour ferry journey to Tallinn.

Upon arrival in Tallinn, join a 3 hour guided tour of the UNESCO listed medieval centre. Your guide will take you to all of the best highlights around town such as Tallinn Town Hall, the fortified city walls, Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, Toompea Castle and a few of the best viewpoints.

The rest of the day can be spent exploring the town at your own pace. Stop at one of the medieval restaurants and check out one of the viewpoints that you may have missed on the guided tour.

At the end of the day you will be transported back to the port to board the ferry to Helsinki. Keep in mind that this day trip does not include hotel pick up/drop off or any meals.

Taking a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki

Explore the magic of Tallinn’s Old Town

Getting the Ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn

If you’re planning to take the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn on your own, it is best to book your ticket online before you go.

The ferries can get very crowded and tend to sell out during peak times as it is a very popular route. Try to book as far ahead as possible.

Booking this round trip ferry ticket from Helsinki to Tallinn will allow you to comfortably see the sights of Tallinn at your own pace.

Keep in mind that the ferry to Tallinn takes 2 hours of travel time one way. This round trip ticket will allow you to spend up to 10 hours on your day trip to Tallinn which is plenty of time to see all of the highlights. 

➤Find more info and book your round trip ferry ticket online

Churches of Tallinn

The Best Time Of Year For a Day Trip to Tallinn

While we generally love off-season travel , we took our day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki in July and it couldn’t have been better . When the rest of Europe is over-run by crowds, Tallinn is still one of the lesser known destinations (compared to places like Rome, Paris, London etc) .

You will still see many crowds there in the summer but it’s by no means overwhelming. You’ll also be glad to know you won’t have to stand in extremely long queues like you’d see in the more popular destinations .

While summer is ideal for sightseeing, the winter months are just as nice in Tallinn (especially around Christmas) . With a blanket of snow covering the rooftops of this fairy tale town, everything becomes even more magical. The town glistens with Christmas lights and market stalls fill the square around a big tree.

The Perfect Day Trip to Tallinn from Helsinki

The stunning Viru Gate at the entrance to Tallinn’s Old Town

What to Pack for Your Tallinn Day Trip

  • Passport – The most important item on your day trip to Tallinn that cannot be forgotten!
  • Day pack – A good day pack is essential to carry everything you need on your full day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki.
  • Good walking shoes – This day trip will involve a lot of walking so comfort is key.
  • Portable charger  – It will be a long day and there will be many beautiful sites to capture so make sure your phone stays fully charged.
  • Reusable water bottle  – Bring a water bottle to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Sunglasses  – You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors so make sure to protect your eyes from the harsh sun.
  • Sunscreen – As mentioned above, keep yourself protected from the sun if you’re visiting Tallinn during summer.
  • Umbrella – If you’re visiting during bumper season, don’t forget to bring one of these!
  • Rain jacket – The weather in Estonia can change pretty quickly, be sure to come prepared.

View from kiek in de kok tower

Where To Stay In Tallinn

If you would prefer to stay longer than one day in Tallinn, read on to find the most conveniently located accommodation options below.

When booking your accommodation in Tallinn, I would highly recommend basing yourself in the town centre. Being able to wake up and easily explore the Old Town with all the attractions at your door step is definitely the best option.

Viru Backpackers Hostel – A small and cosy hostel located steps from the Town Hall. The staff are very helpful and the hostel has a great vibe to it. For those who are solo travelling or simply seeking a budget option, this is the perfect choice for you.

Daily Apartments – We really enjoyed our stay at this comfortable apartment. Situated in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town, the location of this accommodation could not be any better.

Beautifully decorated, fully equipped and surrounded by pubs, shops and all the best restaurants, we can highly recommend this accommodation for your stay in Tallinn. Not to mention the price was very reasonable for its prime location.

Hotel Telegraaf – If you’re seeking some extra comfort and amenities during your stay in Tallinn, look no further. Set in a historic building, this lovely 5 star hotel features an indoor swimming pool, hot tub and spa.

Hotel Telegraaf is very well located within the centre of the Old Town, a short walk from the Town Hall Square. There is a restaurant and bar onsite and an amazing breakfast is included in your stay.

→Browse more accommodation options in Tallinn←

Fun Things to Do in Tallinn

Final Thoughts on Taking a Day Trip to Tallinn from Helsinki

We hope this article has inspired you to visit this stunning city and helped you to plan your ideal day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki.

During our day trip to Tallinn, the city quickly became one of our favourites in all of Europe. The medieval charm, amazing restaurants and vibrant nightlife scene leaves a great impression.

Tallinn is one of those places I could happily return to over and over again and know I’d always have an awesome time. We hope you enjoy Tallinn as much as we did and find this guide useful when planning your trip!

Fat Margaret Tower

Fat Margaret Tower – Located at the northern entrance to the Old Town

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Day Trip to Tallinn from Helsinki

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The Road Is Life - Ann Kelly

Hello and welcome to my blog!

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One Day in Helsinki: A Day Trip From Tallinn

helsinki day trip from tallinn view

Do you have one day in Helsinki and want to make it count? Here’s a simple and efficient guide to getting around the Finnish capital in one day.

Helsinki wasn’t on my plans at first. But after finding out it was so easy to go there on a day trip from Tallinn (where I was staying for two weeks), I didn’t hesitate.

In this article, I’m sharing my exact day plan in Helsinki which allowed me to cover most of the main highlights of the city. I also recommend alternatives in case you want to see or do different stuff. It’s all on this map .

One Day in Helsinki: Summary

How to get to helsinki from tallinn.

helsinki day trip from tallinn tallink ferry

First things first. If you come from Tallinn, the best way to get to Helsinki is definitely by ferry.

The trip on the Tallink Silja ferries takes about 2 hours each way, so you can get on a ferry early in the morning and return in the evening, giving you anywhere between 8 and 14 hours to explore Helsinki. I honestly found it was enough and it saves you money on the hotel. Trust me: Finnish prices are ruthless.

Check my detailed trip review with Tallink Silja below .

What to do in Helsinki in one day

Kamppi chapel.

helsinki day trip from tallinn kamppi chapel

Kamppi Chapel was my first stop.

No, I’m not religious at all. Apart from its peculiar architecture, what drew me here was that contrarily to other churches these days who turned from temples helping those in need to money-making machines for tourists, this tiny chapel was built with a legitimate and beautiful purpose.

It is intended to be a “refuge” in the city and it provides support and help to anyone who needs it. You can go in for a meditative session, a break to organize your thoughts or even have an anonymous conversation with a staff member if you need to talk. All for free.

  • Get there from the ferry terminal: Take Tram 7 or 9 at West Harbour (Tallink’s ferry terminal) and leave at the Simonsgatan station.
  • Entrance fee: Free.
  • Schedule :Open 9am to 6pm, everyday.

Kauppatori (Market Square)

Take the leafy Esplanadi boulevard to reach Kauppatori (the Market Square).

helsinki day trip from tallinn allas sea pool

This area has some things to do, the first one being the market itself. It’s not huge, but the stalls have a wide variety of souvenirs, handicrafts typical to Finland, and my favorite: berries. There are also inexpensive places to eat all-things-fish like baked salmon, salmon soup, anchovies, and herring. Once you’re done with the outdoor market, head to indoor Old Market Hall (just a few steps away, in Eteläranta). Worth to go inside just for the cool building.

As far as I could grasp, locals come to neither of these sites as it’s targeting mostly tourists. If you want a more local market experience, head to the Hakaniemi Market Hall in the hip Kallio district (I did go, but only to find out it was closed for renovations in September 2019).

The epicenter of Helsinki has other reasons for interest. The views over the yachts, ferries, and nearby island are beautiful and better experienced from the top of Allas Sea Pool . This set of open-air pools at different temperatures sees locals bathe even during winter.

Just 2 minutes away located on a small hilltop, take a peek at the Uspenskin Katedraali , which will also double as a vantage point with a nice overview of Helsinki.

Finally, Kauppatori is also where ferries to Suomenlinna depart. Built as a sea fortress spread across seven different islands, it’s one of the most popular day trips from Helsinki. As it’s mostly outdoor and it was raining the entire day I was there, I had to skip it. Hope you get better luck!

Helsinki Cathedral

helsinki day trip from tallinn helsinki cathedral

Dominating Helsinki’s landscape, the whitewashed neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral (locally called Helsingin tuomiokirkko) is perhaps the most recognizable landmark of the city. You can spot it from pretty much anywhere in the central area.

On the outside, it’s impressive and majestic. Taking the massive steps from the plaza to get up there is already quite a sign of the grandiosity of this place. On the inside, however, I found it to be a bit bland and underwhelming.

  • Get there from Kauppatori: Just a few steps inwards from the sea, you’ll get to Helsinki Cathedral .

Sibelius Monument

helsinki day trip from tallinn sibelius monument

I found this a bit over-the-top but unique and beautiful at the same time. This piece of art consists of 600+ steel pipes that form a wave-like shape, representing music.

At first, I was a bit disappointed, but the more I looked at it, from different perspectives, the more I liked it. The structure makes a sound whenever the wind blows or you talk or clap into it.

The surroundings are beautiful too, with a quiet park and a lake where you can rent kayaks at the nearby Regatta Café .

one day in helsinki regatta helsinki

Everyone coming to Helsinki seemed to include this apparently normal café in their plans, so I had to check what the hype was all about. Guess what – this place is brilliant.

First of all, is not “just” a café. It’s a quaint cabin on the shore of a gorgeous lake, that also rents kayaks and boats. Unless it’s freezing outside, you can sit outside and take in the views.

Then, the food. A large variety of snacks is available, from tasty sandwiches to all sorts of cakes and desserts. I do have a motto: when in the Nordics, eat a cinnamon bun per day. And – just so that you know – it ended up being an outstanding cinnamon bun.

Finally, it has a bonfire outside where you can make yourself cozy as well as cook your own sausages. DIY hotdogs – how no one thought of this idea before is beyond me.

This place is cozy, charming, and unique enough for me to consider it – as weird as it may sound – a must thing to do in Helsinki.


View this post on Instagram A post shared by BRUN🌎 (@bruno_mb) on Sep 9, 2019 at 10:12am PDT

Also known as the Rock Church, Temppeliaukion is a unique church entirely built into a huge solid rock surrounded by residential buildings in the district of Töölö.

This magnificent building was designed by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969. Not only the light that comes from the circular dome skylight is beautiful, but the sound of the rain mining from the walls with the piano music playing on the background are delightfully wrapped by the amazing acoustics. What a place.

  • Get there from Regatta: Walk to Tölö Torg for about 12 minutes and from there take either the tram 1 or 2 to Sampogatan .
  • Entrance fee: 3 euros (2019)
  • Schedule : Weird schedules. Officially from 10am to 5pm most days, but it can be randomly closed for private ceremonies any time of the day.

Löyly Helsinki

one day in helsinki loyli helsinki

The last stop of the day is also a well-deserved rest. It’s sauna time! In case you didn’t know the sauna was created in Finland. Sauna is actually a Finnish word! Heck, going to the sauna is the most Finnish thing you can do.

There are over three million of private and public saunas in Finland, and there is no shortage of them in Helsinki too. Whether it’s winter or summer, is a cool thing to experience to have while in Helsinki. Try the new modern seaside Löyly Helsinki complex in southern Helsinki. This is actually a multi-purpose space where people also go to meditate, work on their laptops, read a book, or simply relax.

Remember that men and women are usually separate (although there are mixed-gender saunas too), silence is king, and that nudity is common. No one will care if you bring a towel though.

  • Get there from Temppeliaukion: The best way is to take bus #14 from Kauppakorkeakoulut .
  • Entrance fee: The admission fee for a two-hour sauna visit is 19 euros, which includes towel, shampoo, and shower gel (2019 prices).
  • Schedule : Open from 11am to 11pm, an hour later during weekends.

Do I have time to do all this in Helsinki?

Provided that you use the public transportation to get around – buy the day pass ! – all the places mentioned above are doable in a day. I stayed for a total of 10 hours in Helsinki (9h30-19h30), but you can work the ferry schedules to stay a bit less or a bit more.

However, with only a day in the city, you’ll probably have to choose between Suomenlinna island and the sauna complex at Löyly Helsinki . If the weather is bad, I’d definitely recommend picking the sauna experience. If it’s not and you prefer to be outdoors, take the ferry out to Suomenlinna .

If none of these appeal to you and prefer to hang out at a museum, check Amos Rex right next to Kamppi Chapel or just go for a shopping spree at Stockmann .

How to get around Helsinki for a day

one day in helsinki trams

A day pass (8 euros) is more cost-effective than individual journeys (roughly 3 euros). I think I’ve done about 5-6 journeys in total, so it can quickly add up.

To buy your ticket, just head to any tram station or purchase the tickets online. I downloaded the HSL app on my phone and bought a full day pass there with a few taps. When I arrived at West Harbour, I simply walked to the Tram 7 station to catch the tram to the center.

Fun fact: you can also purchase monthly passes on a subscription basis via the app. Finland is already in 2030.

Where to eat in Helsinki?

helsinki day trip from tallinn food helsinki

Quite frankly, I can’t comment much on the food department because I didn’t have a sit-down meal in Helsinki. My super breakfast in Tallink’s Megastar ferry kept me full for (too) many hours and then I had a tasty meatball dinner back on the Star ferry. Here are my two cents anyway.

A sit-down meal in Helsinki is potentially time-consuming, affecting your day plan, and above all it won’t be exactly cheap. Single dishes hit frequently the 20 euro mark.

That said, I imagine ordering a salmon soup (saw it everywhere, must be a trend?) is both filling and recomforting under the chilly weather, for just about 8-9 euros. I also did get some recommendations of affordable and good value restaurants from people who knew I was going there, so feel free to check them out.

  • Fafa’s (falafel)
  • Friends & Brgrs (burger place)
  • Hills Dumplings (Asian fusion dumplings)

helsinki day trip from tallinn megastar seating area

My trip to Helsinki with Tallink Silja

I took the 7h30 Megastar ferry to Helsinki and came back to Tallinn at 19h30 on the Star ferry. Here’s a review of my trip with them.

Why choose Tallink Silja?

helsinki day trip from tallinn megastar lobby

Tallink is the leader of sea transportation services in the Baltic Sea, carrying almost 10 million passengers/year across its fleet of 14 vessels.

The Tallinn-Helsinki route is operated by Megastar , Star , and Silja Europa . The ferries operated by Tallink Silja have the most frequent departures – up to 7 trips/day – connecting the two city centers throughout the entire year.

And when I say “ferries” I really meant HUGE vessels who are prepared to deal with any variant of the rough Nordic weather. This took away all of my insecurities of navigating in the open sea and assured me I was in for a great trip.

Also, I’m very aware of the impact of cruise ships in the environment so I confirmed their environmental practices were up to standard and they were. Low-sulphur fuel, check. No-spill policy, check. Sewage pollution prevention certificates, check. That’s already a huge improvement compared to most cruise ship companies .

The terminals

helsinki day trip from tallinn ferry terminal

To go Helsinki, you need to go to Tallinn’s ferry D-Terminal , a short 15-min walk from the Old Town. On the way back, ferries depart from Helsinki’s West Harbour Terminal 2 , a modern and ample terminal a short 15-minute tram ride from the city center (trams 7 or 9).

Pretty much everything works just like a normal airport. I recommend checking in online the day before so all you need is to show the QR code on your ticket that goes directly to your email. No paper needed.

Make sure you arrive at the terminal at least 30 to 45 minutes in advance before departure.

helsinki day trip from tallinn megastar food area

The Megastar was built in 2017 so everything looks and feels brand new. Holding up to 2,800 passengers, the vessel has 10 (!) floors, and 3 of them are open for passengers on foot. It is equipped with a casino, supermarket, restaurants, a fully stocked Traveller Superstore (with spirits, souvenirs, clothes, and much more!), and even a Burget King and a Starbucks.

The Star is very similar to Megastar in terms of layout and infrastructure. Because it’s a 2007 boat, it’s slightly less modern design-wise but I found the main difference to be in the fewer amount of lounge areas and places to relax. I did find a quiet spot to lay down and close my eyes for a while though. It has a total capacity for 2,080 passengers.

The journey

helsinki day trip from tallinn megastar bar

The journey takes 2 hours each way. Apart from a slight oscillation on the way there for about 10 minutes, both journeys were super smooth.

To save some money (again, Finnish prices are ruthless!), I opted to eat in both boats. On the way to Helsinki, I purchased the breakfast menu ticket for 12 euros, which gives access to a full all-you-can-eat buffet with eggs, bacon, granola, yogurt, coffee, juices, etc.

On the way back to Tallinn, I had dinner at Star main restaurant, that serves daily specials. For 13,50 euros, I had the meatballs with potato purée with a gorgeous view over the Baltic Sea.

Apart from exploring the boat, my favorite memory of traveling in Tallink’s boats was when we were departing Helsinki’s port. I sat at the upper deck on the back and took in the sweeping views while the sun was setting and the boat navigated through the dozens of tiny islands nearby. Magical.

one day in helsinki ferry from tallinn

Tallink Silja Review

✅ The boats were MUCH bigger and better than I expected and have all kinds of amenities to keep you busy. ✅ The whole process of getting to the port, checking in, and traveling was much smoother than I had imagined on my mnd. ✅ Also, I was a bit uncertain about traveling in the open Baltic Sea, but both journeys was comfortable and relaxing. ✅ Overall, considering it’s a 2-hour ride, both boats deliver tremendous value-for-money and will give you an experience by itself other than Helsinki. Highly recommend it.

Quite frankly, there was nothing bad enough in any of the journeys to report.

Disclosure: I partnered up with Tallink Silja on this trip. Nevertheless, all opinions are, as usual, my own. What other recommendations you have to see Helsinki in one day? Did you go on a day trip from Tallinn as well? Share your experience below.

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helsinki to tallinn day trip

One day in Helsinki: a day trip from Tallinn

During my visit to Tallinn, I couldn’t resist to do a short day trip to Helsinki. It’s less than two hours by ferry and I was eager to ‘taste’ a bit of Finland. After a lot of research, I finally came up with the following itinerary for one day in Helsinki. It proved to be an excellent one and is easy to do on your own. I would highly recommend following it for your own Helsinki day trip from Tallinn!

Updated in 2019

The ‘One Day in Helsinki’ Itinerary

Itinerary for the morning in helsinki.

Get up early and take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki!

There are several ferry companies, but we took the Linda Line since if offers ‘Happy Day Trip’ tickets. With this offer we only paid about 30 euro for a return ticket. Find tips for a smooth Helsinki-Tallinn ferry ride below!

One day in Helsinki

Arrival in the half liquid-half land city of Helsinki! Welcome to Finland, the Nordic country of crisp air, wild nature and unpronounceable names ;)! From the harbour you can walk straight to the kauppatori  (the main market square)

One day in Helsinki

It’s still a bit early, so at the kauppatori  it may be a good idea to wander around a bit and get used to being in Helsinki. There are loads of souvenir stalls. You may want to get some ‘fruit to go’, which you can later eat at the picknick heaven of Suomenlinna.

One day in Helsinki

Take a ferry to the must see attraction ‘Suomenlinna Sea Fortress’. You can take a commercial ferry (stopping at a different place in Suomenlinna) or the public ferry. The public ferry should cost around 5 euro for a return and leaves at the end of the market. The ferry leaves around 3 times per hour, and will take about 15 minutes.

Suomenlinna was built between 1748-1808 when Finland was part of the Swedish Kingdom. During the years, it served as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet. Since 1991, Suomenlinna is UNESCO world heritage site.

  • Suomenlinna Ferry Tip 1: The right side of the boat provides the best view on the Helsinki islands
  • Suomenlinna Ferry Tip 2: Bring some coins or your debit card to pay at the ticket machine.
  • Suomenlinna General Tip 3: During the summer, it is possible to stay on Suomenlinna until late at night.

One day in Helsinki

Explore the beautiful and peaceful Suomenlinna Fortress with great views over the sea, grassy picknick spots and lots of interesting history. Of all things to do in Helsinki, Suomenlinna was my favorite!

One day in Helsinki

Itinerary for the afternoon in Helsinki

Head back to the city for more Helsinki sightseeing by ferry!

One day in Helsinki

Arrival at the kauppatori again. And guess what…? It’s lunch time! Take a seat at one of the numerous market stands and enjoy a fresh fish meal or go for something more ‘exotic’ and have a reindeer kebab.

Hyvää ruokahalua (enjoy your meal)!

One day in Helsinki

Time to head into the city because there are so many more things to do in Helsinki. Visit the picture perfect Helsinki Cathedral and the Uspenski cathedral. Both cathedrals are located within walking distance.

The Helsinki cathedral is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It was originally built between 1830 and 1852 as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Today it’s mostly used a tourist attraction. It’s open daily between 9-18, in June-August daily between 9-24.

The Uspenski cathedral was built upon a hillside overlooking the city. It’s an Orthdox cathedral, built in 1862. Admission is free of charge. Please note that the Cathedral is closed in winter on Mondays.

One day in Helsinki

One of the main Helsinki sightseeing spots is the famous Church in Rock (name says it all) or in Swedish the ‘ Temppeliaukio church’. The church was designed by Finnish architects Timo Suomalainen and Tuomo Suomalainen, and opened in 1969. The church was built in solid rock.

From the cathedral you can walk via the beautiful Central Train Station to the church. It’s takes about 15-20 minutes by foot.

One day in Helsinki

Sine we only have one day in Helsinki, we might as well do a bit of shopping. You can head to the main street with big brands or visit the cool Helsinki Design District. The Helsinki Design District houses more than 200 shops and boutiques, restaurants and cafes. You can also find the two leading museums in the field of design, the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. A recommended stop!

One day in Helsinki

Itinerary for the evening in Helsinki

Dinner time! Being on a budget we had dinner at a student pizza place. However, there are many cool dining spots in Helsinki , so I’d definitely check out the website of the Helsinki Tourism Organization.

One day in Helsinki

Take the last ferry back to Tallinn and chill-out & relax! I’m sure you must be tired by now of this busy ‘One day in Helsinki itinerary ;)!

Tip: If you stay overnight in Helsinki, you could also go to a public sauna. It’s a fun way to meet the Finns.

Tip: If you can spare one extra day in Helsinki: consider to visit the gorgeous Nuuksio National Park , which is in easy reach of the capital and makes a great day trip!

One day in Helsinki

Arrival back in Tallinn and still much left of the evening :)!

One day in Helsinki

Is Helsinki walkable? 

Yes, definitely! Helsinki is compact and walkable. With exception of the ferry to Suomenlinna, we did not have to use public transportation or taxi’s during our Helsinki day trip! We explored everything on foot!

The Helsinki-Tallinn ferry ride 

There are several options to get from Helsinki to Tallinn (and vice versa) by fast ferry such as Silja Line, Tallink, Eckero and Linda Line.

  • Helsinki Tallinn Ferry #tip 1: Be there in time. The boarding ends 15 minutes before departure. After that the boat WILL leave. In our case the boat even left before the official departure time
  • Helsinki Tallinn Ferry #tip 2: Check which terminal you have to be. They are all quite far apart.
  • Helsinki Tallinn Ferry #tip 3: I’m not sure if there’s a ‘best ferry’ company, however on other website Linda Line is supposedly the fastest and also one of the cheapest companies. Also, there is wifi on board and a small cafe to get yourself a wake-up coffee. Still, it’s always good to shop around.

Save Money in Helsinki

Helsinki can be quite expensive (especially a backpacker). If you stay for multiple days, a city pass like The Helsinki Card can be a good value. However, for the above itinerary it is not necessary.

Save on Pinterest :)

One day in Helsinki

  What should not be missed if you only have one day in Helsinki? Post your tips below!

Go on a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki:  Highlights of Tallin’s Old Town Exploring the hipster neighborhood ‘Kalamaja’ in Tallinn


helsinki to tallinn day trip

Sleep Less, Dream More – On a Boat without Engine

helsinki to tallinn day trip

Exploring hipster Kalamaja by bike

helsinki to tallinn day trip

Get wonderfully lost in Tallinn’s Old Town

helsinki to tallinn day trip

Christiania interview with Anders while he smokes a joint.


Loved reading about my hometown from a tourist point of view, such an interesting post and you mentioned some of my favorite places :)

Thanks for stopping by :) Glad you liked the article. Do you happen to have any dinner recommendations for the BoB readers?

That sounds like an intense day but completely worth it if you ask me. I’d love to see the “Church in Rock” from an architecture point of view it must be so interesting.

Hi Franca! Yes, think you will love it! And you will probably enjoy the Helsinki Design district as well. The day looks full, but in reality it’s quite easy-going ;)!

Ik ben naar deze specifieke blog al een paar keer teruggekeerd door de suomenlinna foto’s. Vond dat een heel relaxed eiland en heerlijk om doelloos rond te wandelen en even te zwemmen in de finse golf

Will try this itinerary tomorrow with my family, looks great! We’re sailing from Tallinn at 8:00 and returning from Helsinki at 21:30 with Viking Line. Maybe I can squeeze another stop somewhere! :) Thanks for the tips!

You’re welcome Pedro! Hope you have a fun day with your family :)

Helsinki is extremely nice, and also extremely expensive, summer is definitely much better as you could go back to Tallinn and still enjoy a lot of daylight

True :) Although I’m sure Helsinki in winter must also be a beautiful sight!

Grand, copy-pasted 08:00 till 15:30. Cheers for posting!

Glad I could help :)

Manouk, Thanks for sharing! I only had one day in Helsinki and your blog was invaluable. Glad I saw this part of Finland. Keep up the good work ya!

Hi Minhan, very happy to hear you had a good day :)

Thank you for your blog. Brilliant and very useful as my family and I are looking to do a day trip to Helsinki in late August. We will follow your suggested itinerary! I have a question please : is it best to pre book tickets on line now or buy them in Tallin on our desired day of travel? Prices quoted now for a basic seat are between €35 to €50 a head. Advise please? Many thanks. Tracey

I’m not sure Tracey… What did you decide in the end?

I am glad to have come across your blog. Thank you! Very informative it is. Planning a one day trip to helsinki from Tallinn first of July.

I hope you had a fun day! Manouk

The Linda Line does not sail at all times of the year, as it was not running when I did this trip I used which was the same price as the Linda Line and equally good departure and arrival times.

The Linda Line does not run at all times of the year. So I booked online: which has equally good prices and departure times.

Thanks for letting us know Alison! Useful information :)

Great pictures, Bob! This seems like a worthwhile experience!

Really helpful information as I have a day in Helsinki tomorrow (26/5/17) Thank you :-)

You’re welcome Hope!

Thanks so much for pulling all this together and sharing. Am looking forward to almost a week in Helsinki this fall in a combo of both business and pleasure. Please let me know if there’s anything you wished you could have done, but for which one day wasn’t enough … maybe we can try on your behalf.

Planning to do exactly this in May. is this trip wheelchair friendly?

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helsinki to tallinn day trip

Check Out Sam | Travel guide, blog and info.

Helsinki to Tallinn as a day trip: How to take the ferry and what to do?

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

For a city that remains packed with historic sites and landmarks, Tallinn also offers an alternate facade to reveal to those who seek it- a hip, vibrant scene of art and nightlife. One could easily find themselves "lost in time" while roaming the city's ancient cobblestone walkways and passing the many local shops and historic fortresses. But where to go after having soaked in the magical ambiance of this lovely Estonian city? How about venturing over to its counterpart in Scandinavian territory and checking out the trendy, exhilarating maritime beauty that is Helsinki ! In fact, hopping from one city to the other makes for a breezy day trip whether you begin in the fascinating Finnish city or in tantalizing Tallinn. Each with its own unique gastronomy and culture points, you can be sure that a quick leap over the sea will offer you the chance to experience both of these celebrated destinations. Sit tight and I'll dive into everything you'll need to know to experience a perfect day trip starting from either side of the Baltic Sea.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam , the blogger behind CheckOutSam !

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Tallinn to Helsinki day trip

Where to start

First thing’s first, you’ll want to decide how you plan on traveling for your day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn or vice versa. There are three main options for travel across the beauteous Baltic, the two popular choices being by ferry or inclusive tour , while your third option would be to catch a quick flight . The good news is, Tallinn and Helsinki lie only 50 miles apart across the Baltic Sea, making travel methods for a day trip to Helsinki or Tallinn by air and sea a breeze. Take a look below to see how you can make the most of each of these travel choices.

Traveling by Ferry

When it comes to ferry travel from either starting point, you should keep in mind that there are 3 main ferry companies to go with, all upholding a strong reputation regarding comfort and safety across the Baltic.

Companies and Rates

  • Tallink Silja Line : An Estonian company boasting the most modern ships, the fastest travel times, which runs trips to and from Helsinki up to 8 times daily . Rates for basic one-way tickets can cost between $33 – $39 USD per person, and become more expensive with add-ons and lounge access.
  • Eckëro Line : A Finnish line (but didn’t we just start?!) All joking aside, this ferry line travels around 3-4 times daily between Helsinki and Tallinn offering lower rates , but with longer crossing time typically. One-way rates are very reasonable with Eckëro however, beginning at around $12 USD and upwards to $39 USD per ticket.
  • Viking Line : A Finnish operated line running between the two cities 2-3 times per day . One-way rates are typically between $24 – $44 USD per ticket.

It is wise to compare rates and times between each of these ferry lines, and the easiest way to do that is by searching on Direct Ferries or GetYourGuide websites. Also note that there is a “sleeper” option for those looking to cross the sea over a 9-13 hour period and spend the night on the water between their Helsinki to Estonia, or Tallinn to Finland journeys. Take a look at below at crossing times and costs for each way and starting point:

ferry tallinn Helsinki

Once your ferry from Tallinn arrives in Helsinki, don’t forget to snap some pictures. The harbor of the Finnish capital is beautiful!

Tallinn to Helsinki ferry schedule

Helsinki to tallinn ferry schedule.

Remember that prices may vary slightly depending on peak hours and weekends , when they usually tend to rise! Be sure to double check your departure and arrival time when purchasing your tickets. Traveling on the ferry for a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn may offer more daily crossing times than if you take your day trip from Tallinn to Helsinki, so keep that in mind!

What to expect on the ferry

Comfort all the way! In fact, you can expect quite a lot from your ferry adventure between the two cities. The ferry offers many amenities on board that help make your crossing even more enjoyable, such as a business lounges , luggage storage , bars , restaurants , different shops and supermarkets , and even play rooms for children. Don’t worry about becoming too claustrophobic, as many of the ships offer a peaceful viewing longue with large, wide windows overlooking the sea. Access to the lounges may come with additional costs. The interior of most of the lines are very modern and won’t fall short of keeping you comfortable and entertained during you journey!

Take notice!

To travel from Tallinn to Helsinki or Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry over waters is still considered crossing country boarders from Estonia to Finland. Sufficient identification such as a passport or residential ID card is a necessity! On the bright side, Estonia and Finland are Schengen border countries , meaning there is a possibility you may not be asked for any ID at all, as there are not always border formalities between Schengen countries. Even so, better safe than sorry , at least you don’t need to worry about a visa between the two!

Helsinki Tallinn Ferry

Taking the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is definitely the easiest and cheapest way.

Flying to Tallinn or Helsinki

If you prefer to skip the ferry travel and wish arrive quickly to your destination, it’s as simple as hopping on a quick flight . Some would argue that the Helsinki/Tallinn ferry is a more practical choice, but if you’re partial to flying, let nothing stop you!

Rates, airports and airlines, oh my!

There are three frequented airlines between Tallinn and Helsinki that leave from both the international airport in Tallinn ( TLL ) and Helsinki’s international airport ( HEL ). Costs will vary depending on the carrier, season, weekday and time of travel, so be sure to check your airline or compare some prices on SkyScanner before booking. Frequented airlines for routes from Tallinn to Helsinki or Helsinki to Tallinn include:

  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)

Coming from Tallinn

The Tallinn international airport ( TLL ) is only 20 minutes from the city center and is easily accessible by taxi which should cost around $12 USD . A more wallet friendly option would be to take tram no. 4 for just $3 USD which delivers you directly to the airport. Buses do also go to the airport, and you can take Tallinn city transport bus no. 2 also for about $3 USD and it’s even possible to get your ticket on the bus itself.

Coming from Helsinki

Helsinki’s city center is just 30-40 minutes from the international airport ( HEL ). The easiest way to reach the airport would be by train which will cost only around $6.50 USD per person directly to the airport. A taxi is another fast route, but that can cost you upward of $43+ USD . A great option is the No.615 or No.620 bus that run directly there for around $4.50 USD a person. Finnair buses also run, and are able to take you directly to the airport when pre-arranged. Helsinki to Estonia is a well visited route, so finding suitable flight times should be a breeze.

day trips from Helsinki Tallinn

Flights are not the fastest way and certainly not the most environmentally friendly!

Traveling round-trip on an inclusive tour

Here we have our third travel option ; to take an inclusive tour. This option will be available for those who don’t have much time to organize or research sights and highlights, but still wish to experience both Tallinn and Helsinki . Take a peek below at a few choices you’ll have for an easy-breezy travel experience to either city with round-trip tours .

Taking a tour from Tallinn to Helsinki

Looking for a nice and easy way to enjoy your perfect day trip to Finland’s fine capital? In that case, a tour might be just what the doctor ordered! By booking a round-trip tour , you will be able to chose from a simple “hop-over” option , or a trip with activities and guides to navigate you and your group through Helsinki.

My recommendations from Tallinn to Helsinki:

  • Day trip Ferry to Helsinki , which includes a round-trip Ferry ride which departs from Tallinn on a 2 hour ride in a luxury ferry across the Gulf. This package allows you the most freedom for your journey, granting you 10 hours to explore Helsinki to your heart’s desire. For just $36 USD per person , you can secure a comfortable round-trip ferry ride to and from Helsinki, with a cancellation option and the opportunity to beat the crowds and stress of going to the terminals and organizing everything by hand.
  • The Helsinki Day trip from Tallinn is a great inclusive tour of about 11 hours in total that takes you from Tallinn to the vibrant city of Helsinki on the morning ferry. This trip includes an experienced guide to take you through the city, an audio-guided coach tour , and leisurely time to wander about the local restaurants and attractions before heading back to Tallinn. Your big day tour will only run you around $155 USD per person !

My recommendations from Helsinki to Tallinn:

  • Return Day trip- Helsinki to Tallinn will provide you with a day trip and more, setting off from Helsinki to Tallinn for a quick 2 hour crossing on the cool and comfortable Tallink Shuttle ferry ! Your trip will also include the luxury of “ skip the line ” passes for monuments and attractions and the freedom to roam Tallinn at your leisure until departure time. Your entire journey will take roughly 11-15 hours all together from Helsinki to Estonia and back, and runs at only $35 per person !
  • Medieval Tallinn Tour- from Helsinki with Lunch is a lovely inclusive tour which allows you and your friends or family to enjoy an easy guided trip from Helsinki to Tallinn to explore its most historic and medieval sites . Begin your journey with a quick ferry ride to Tallinn, where upon your arrival, your private local guide will navigate you through the old town UNESO Heritage site of Vannalin and its maze of cobblestone walkways. You will continue to discover Tallinn’s top attractions by foot and vehicle, such as Kadriorg Park and the Song Festival Grounds . Finally, enjoy a delicious Estonian-style lunch and free time to roam before heading back on the ferry to Helsinki. This package offers a really great way to see and enjoy Tallinn’s highlights on a 10-11 hour trip that you won’t regret! Tickets will cost around $205 USD per person .

Helsinki to Estonia

Don’t want to travel from Helsinki to Estonia on your own (or the other way around)? Organize a day trip with a tour company!

Top organized experiences at your destination

Once you know how much time you want to set aside for your trips in and between Tallinn and Helsinki, you might consider throwing some exciting tours into the mix! Not only will these coordinated experiences help manage your time in the best way possible , but it will also make for fun group activities that you otherwise may not have experienced on your own!

I am personally all for a good tour, and believe it’s the perfect opportunity to create experiences that can make your entire trip truly awe-inspiring . This is why I’ve chosen some of my favorite tour experiences below for you from Helsinki to Tallinn and vice versa to comb through or even combine together for an amazing trip !

My favorite organized experiences in Tallinn

  • Best of Tallinn 2 Hour Bike Tour is a personal favorite, and phenomenal way to make use of your time in Tallinn and scope out the city’s highlights in a fun way . The tour goes through the major attractions in Tallinn and the “ old city ” area, including the seaside promenade and the Kadriorg Palace ! You will be shown around by a local guide and discover the delights of Tallinn while learning about its vibrant history , and even hop-off at some of the nearby beaches! Your ticket includes soft drinks , safety equipment , and your guide all for just $23 USD per person !
  • A Day trip to Lahemma National Park will be one of those experience that you’ll never forget . This becomes exceedingly obvious very quickly as you head toward the natural landscape and pass the unique fishing villages of the national park just 43 miles northeast of Tallinn . This 7 hour total tour includes transportation to and from Lahemma where you will experience and learn about Estonia’s native flora , fauna , and rural lifestyle . You will have the chance to explore the seaside , and hike the forest’s “ beaver trail ” with your local guide in either English or Spanish. There is no shortage of beauty to behold at Lahemma, where you can find bays , beaches , forests and waterfalls in abundance. On your way back to Tallinn you will even make a stop to admire the famous Jägala waterfall ! This experience will run you $74 USD per person , and is worth every single penny!
  • Prangli Island Tour is yet another stunning option to explore a cultural area near Tallinn, and gain a more in-depth understanding of the Estonian culture , landscape and wildlife . On this 9 hour tour , you will venture to the mysterious island of Prangli to discover an authentic fishing village of more than 600 years old . Your English speaking guide will take you by boat around the nearby islands of Tallinn on the Baltic Sea . You will then hop on an open-top truck tour of Prangli, where you will have the chance to explore the local shops and sample Estonian cuisine . This beautiful organized tour offers you the freedom to roam , as well as a guide to tell you everything you could ever want to know about this historic island and its inhabitants. Your ticket for this experience only runs at $99 USD per person , and is all inclusive meaning you will be picked up and returned to your hotel, a full day of exploring the island’s wonders , landscape and village , and include your ferry, museum tickets and

My favorite organized experiences in Helsinki

  • A Helsinki Canal Sight-seeing Tour is a great way to drift around Helsinki’s many canals and experience shoreline sights , the historic Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress , Helsinki zoo , as well as the fleet of icebreakers in just 90 minutes ! Sip on some coffee as you pass the beautiful archipelagos near Helsinki listening to your audio guide, available to you in English , Russian , Finnish or German . This not only allows you to view some of the lesser-seen highlights of Helsinki , but also in a mannerly time span so you can explore more of the city afterwards. This exciting canal tour will only run you $27 USD per person .
  • The Porvoo Guided Tour is also a great option for a more in-depth exploration of Finnish culture . This 5 hour guided tour will take you from Helsinki to the quaint, idyllic town of Porvoo and down its historic cobblestone paths past its charming village shops. Known for its reflection of medieval past , colorful wooden houses and museum , the village of Porvoo still houses around 50,000 inhabitants to date. Enjoy time to indulge in the boutiques and view the famous cathedral while hearing about the town’s unique history . This exciting tour is fun for family groups or those looking for a relaxing day with a bit of history and contrast from Helsinki’s modernisms . Well worth your while, this tour will run you $69 US per person .
  • The Half-day Nuuksio National Park Tour is a personal favorite , an adventure of 5 hours in total that takes you from Helsinki by train to the lush national park of Nuuksio where you will be led on a trek by your guide who is also a professional biologist ! Learn in-depth of the area’s unique flora and fauna , while viewing its many ancient moss-covered cliffs , small lakes and coniferous forests . Needless to say, your tour will be non-invasive and as environmentally friendly as possible to protect the special features of the area, including the rare Siberian flying squirrel . Trekking along trails whilst soaking in the gorgeous , scenic views of nature in Nuuksio is a relaxing and unforgettable experience . This amazing tour runs for only $40 USD per person .

I always find the best rates for tours and experiences on Get your Guide , which offers great support as well as cancellation support up to 24 hours before your booked activity!

Helsinki Tallinn

Since there are so many tours and excursions, you should perhaps stay overnight or for a couple of days!

Tallinn vs. Helsinki: Overview’s & top beautiful sights

An alluring city that combines old world history with cutting edge technology. Despite what some may think, Estonia’s exceedingly historic and photogenic capital didn’t land on the map overnight. It has undergone tremendous development from the time it was a merchants’ settlement in the 10th century , to its current position as a strong member of both NATO and the EU . This fascinating city in particular has acted as a stronghold for many nations in the past , including the Danish , Swedish , German , Polish and Soviet Union.

An arduous past gave way to a tenacious and progressive future for Tallinn, making it one of Europe’s most intriguing cities to explore. You will also have the chance to try some of Estonia’s famous beer , or maybe even some Kiluvõileib , a dish unique to the country containing dark bread, egg and a local sauce mix. With such a vast cultural spread one might be led to believe this fairytale land is isolated and left in the stone age. Actually, Tallinn is also known to have one of the world’s fastest airport Wi-Fi systems , so don’t be afraid to fall out of touch when you decide to hop over from Helsinki to timeless Tallinn. In general, there is no shortage of technology in this historically intertwined city , making it user friendly to visit with tons of popular and beautiful sights .

Tallinn’s top sights

Below, you’ll find some of the most beautiful sights in Tallinn. Would you like to get more inspiration? Then make sure to also check out this list with 11 things to do in Tallinn .

  • Old Town & Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats) If you’re short on time and visiting Tallinn, be sure to make the Old Town one of your top priorities ! This town caught in time resembles its former livelihood as it was in the Middle Ages when it acted as the main market place. Lined with restaurants , shops and famous buildings like the gothic Town Hall and Saint Olav’s Church , you will stand enamored by its old-timey feel. The mysterious Bastion Passages from the 17th century are also worth checking out in the area! Events are also still staged in the old town, so you may even be lucky enough to catch a show!
  • Kadriorg Palace & Park With an extravagant name and bodacious baroque architecture , the palace is sure to do all but disappoint! This former imperial summer home was originally built for Catherine I and was opened by in the year 1725 . Embellished with lush gardens , a magnificent park and wonderfully accented by the Kumu Art Museum , you can spend the entire day and then some admiring Kadriorg’s luxurious splendor . If you thought you’d be at a loss for luxury when coming from Helsinki to Tallinn, Kadriorg will put you in check!
  • Seaplane Harbour Museum (Estonian Maritime Museum) Yes, a museum has in fact made it on the top three best attractions in Tallinn, and with good reason. You will be transported back through Tallinn’s exhilarating history and learn about its deep connection with the sea that shaped the city to what it is today. The museum itself is modern but sports many historic seaplane hangers as well as 200+ genuine items , including a submarine and simulators! The museum is great for families and history buffs, and is sure to be a unique and memorable Anyone coming from Helsinki to Tallinn will certainly enjoy seeing the contrasts and similarities of each city’s maritime past and present .

Seaplane Harbour Museum Estonia Tallinn

The Seaplane Harbour Museum is huge! Make sure you have some time to explore this gem.

Funny enough, Helsinki was originally founded in a different location on the Vantaanjoki River around the year 1550 in order to compete with Tallinn for trade on the Baltic Sea! The town grew slowly however, and was then moved to its current location only in the 1600’s . Some say the city resembles a “miniature Saint Petersburg” with its dazzling architecture. Helsinki itself displays many differences to the old Estonian city of Tallinn however. Both cities share abundant views of the sea , but in Helsinki, you will truly feel as if you notice the sea around ever corner , always in view of its many long shorelines . The Finnish city boasts an archipelago of over 300 islands near the city alone! Maritime makes for a huge part of this city’s charm and history. As for food you will also be in luck visiting one of Helsinki’s many island eateries and Michelin star restaurants .

While holding it’s historical aspects dear, Helsinki also struts some of the best fashion and design around, and is known for its modern design heritage and many boutique strewn throughout the city. Another potential bonus of traveling in Helsinki would be the friendly locals who are mostly fluent in English, and whom have been known to help tourists find the best local spots for their short visit. They are actually very likely to direct you to one of the many public saunas , as Finland has a strong sauna culture incorporating both traditional and sleek modern styled saunas!

Helsinki’s top sights

Below are three of my favorite sights in Helsinki, but of course there are many more. Check out this list of 11 things to do and see in Helsinki .

  • Suomenlinna Fortress Islands Located on a small archipela go just 20 minutes by ferry from Helsinki, lies a UNESCO Heritage site recognized for its historical resonance. Originally built by the Swede’s , one of the most notable aspects of the former defense line is that it has hardly changed since the 19th century . Aside from it’s locational beauty , the fortress’s strategically placed former defense line and historical importa nce also become obvious as one approaches. There are various walking trails on the small islands that make for an excellent break from the city, as well as many museums and green areas to keep you intrigued.
  • Helsinki Cathedral A lovely visit by day or night, this beautiful white cathedral shines bright as one of Helsinki’s most recognizable monuments . Originally constructed in the 19th century , the first name for the monument was actually “Saint Nicholas Cathedral” in honor of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It wasn’t until 1917 , after the Finnish gained independence , that the name was then changed to Helsinki Cathedral. Architect lovers will have a ball discovering the small details of nations left behind.
  • Kaivopuisto Park One of the most well known and longest standing parks in Helsinki, Kaivopuisto lies right at the tip of the Helsinki Peninsula . Known for having beautiful walking paths lined with old trees, stunning shoreline views as well as villas and famous old residences , the park is a must see for visitors. You can even check out the beloved Ursa Observatory from the year 1926 , still used today and located right in the park!

Helsinki Suomenlinna Fortress Island

Suomenlinna is very interesting if you are into history and magnificent views.

Fun facts about Estonia & Finland

  • You’ll lake it here a lot Believe it or not, Finland harbors a total of 187,888 lakes in the country due to previous heavy glaciation in the area which can now be thanked for bestowing Finland with more officially listed lakes than any country in the world (Canada a close runner-up), and almost just as many small islands !
  • “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” won’t impress them Anybody else notice that the Finnish language sounds a little different than most other languages you’ve heard? It’s not just your imagination, “ Finnish ” actually derives from the “ Uralic language branch “, the same as that of “ Hungarian ” and “ Estonian “, while all other languages in this category are not considered major world languages and are rarely heard outside of the Ural region. That being said, the Finnish language holds the title for the world’s longest palindromic word , “ saippuakivikauppias “, a 19-lettered word for a “ lye dealer “!
  • The perfect spa weekend Did you know Finland has a crazy in-depth sauna culture ? So much so that you can find over 3 million saunas in Finland, both old and new!
  • Swinging wasn’t just for the 70’s Something you probably didn’t know about this quaint country is its ardent love for swinging … that’s right, like on a playground, what else would I mean? In fact, swinging became so popular in Estonia, a competitive sporting spectacle was established called “ Kiiking ” where one is attached to a 360 degree rotational, giant steel swing !
  • They read between the lines Be sure to leave plenty of room in your suitcases, as Estonia has one of the highest literacy rates in the world and at 8% literate , and you are sure to find plenty of bountiful book shops!
  • Not so religious! For a country with so many renowned and beautiful churches and cathedrals , Estonia takes the title for being the world’s least religious country.

Tallinn to Helsinki ferry

Both countries have much more fun facts to discover!

Outstanding hotels for overnights in Tallinn & Helsinki

Whether it be in Tallinn or Helsinki, you may want to take a break and enjoy a night or two in one of these fantastic capitals. Take a look below at some of these amazing stays that are sure to enhance your time in the city.

Accommodation in Tallinn

  • PK ilmarine Hotel Located in one of the hippest areas in Tallinn, Kalamaja , you will find a modern, yet charming four-star stay to meet all of your needs. Situated just a short walk from Tallinn’s old town , you can enjoy the splendor of the central highlights of the city with an easy get-away back to your comfortable bed at nights end. Rooms typically let for around $94 USD per night .
  • Oru Hotel If you’re searching for a relaxed area that’s perfect for the family, look no further! The Kadriorg area is one of the most laid-back and family friendly areas to catch a good nights rest. The Oru hotel is located near public transport and in the luxurious eastern area of the city which is lined with trees and old estates, giving it a homey feel . There’s even a rooftop terrace , and easy access to the shoreline ! Rooms run about $80 USD per night.
  • Original Sokos Hotel Viru Located right in the middle of it all, you will find easy access to everything at the Sokos Hotel Viru which is simply footsteps away from the historical old town . The hotel is attached to the Viru Centre shopping mall , giving you endless options for shopping and cuisine . Their comfortable and classic northern design style will surely win you over, and can be yours to lavish in starting from $165 USD per night .

Tip for Tallinn’s nightlife

Tallinn does indeed boast a wide array of bars, pubs and clubs to chose from, but keep in mind that the city is known to “ close down ” a bit early , and finding 24-hour food choices is not an always easy task . It is said that finding even a simple burger or kebab can turn into quite a conquest during the early hours between 12:00-3:00 AM , as well as finding a reasonable cab fare . This is true especially if you’ve come from Helsinki to Tallinn; then you may feel the lack of options to be even more daunting. That being said, don’t let this turn you off from exploring the city’s exhilarating nightlife , however one would be wise to go properly prepared .

Accommodation in Helsinki

  • Töölö Towers A popular “type” of accommodation in Helsinki known as “ aparthotels “, are comfortable apartment spaces rented out as a hotel spaces . The lovely Töölö Towers is its own wonderful and centrally located aparthotel studio equip with a balcony , giving you plenty of room and even an included breakfast . You can get cozy and feel right at home for around $211 USD per night .
  • Myö Hostel Don’t be turned off by the word “ hostel ” in Helsinki, it’s actually one of the top preferred choices for overnighters in the city, and holds high expectations in both cleanliness and comfort ! Myö Hostel is a stylish , centrally located hostel that offers luggage storage , an open kitchen and many cozy relaxation spaces . A hardy breakfast will be included in your stay, and while dorms are an option, you are able to book a pleasant private room with your own bathroom for just $104 USD per night !
  • Hotel Helka Raved about for its phenomenal location and Scandinavian boutique style decor, Hotel Helka is quite the steal. Situated near the main train station , historic city center and shopping and dinning areas, your relaxing stay will be more than convenient. Enjoy an overnight and fabulous included breakfast for around $335 USD per night .

Tip for Helsinki’s nightlife

A somewhat expensive yet worthy adventure , Helsinki’s many bars and clubs do not disappoint . At first glance, Helsinki may seem primp and withdrawn, but first impressions couldn’t be more deceiving in this case. Thanks to Helsinki’s unique design culture , you will have a vast selection of laid-back bars , or high end clubs to attend to your every desires . With frequent live music and easy local transport to boot, Helsinki is a great spot to venture into the realm of the night .  

Helsinki day trip Tallinn

The Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki.

How much time is needed for Tallinn vs. Helsinki?  

There is more to Tallinn than meets the eye. Some say one day is sufficient to see the interesting “old town” of Tallinn, while most people would agree that there’s simply no way to spend less than 3 days exploring its intoxicating township. For an in-depth visit to truly experience the big parks , nearby waterfalls , nightlife , sights and cuisine of Tallinn, I would personally recommend taking around 3 days . If however, you are interested in a “ taste ” of Estonia’s vibrant culture and sights, a day trip is certainly sufficient!

The of course, you have our maritime jewel, Helsinki , which is said to need anywhere between 1 and 3 full days . Similar to Tallinn, much of Helsinki can be experienced in a single da y thanks to its quick and easy city transport with quick access to the main shopping areas and churches in the city. For an in-depth trip however, which would allow you to see Helsinki’s most famous cathedrals , museums , squares and restaurants , as well as the nearby island fortress of Suomenlinna , be sure to take at least 2 full days! A day trip will sufficiently allow you to see the bulk of Helsinki however.

Tallinn to Helsinki

Both Tallinn and Helsinki are gorgeous cities, but they can be easily visited in just one day.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, Tallinn and Helsinki are really two very different experiences that will compliment each other magnificently, and make for a stellar combo trip. Whether you’re beginning your trip in Helsinki or Tallinn, hopping across the Baltic has never been so easy, and there’s simply no excuse to pass up a visit to both of these unique and exhilarating destinations!

Related Post

A visit to santa in lapland: meet and greet with father christmas in finland, 11 things to see in tallinn, estonia, 11 things to do in helsinki.

helsinki to tallinn day trip

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helsinki to tallinn day trip

Helsinki Panorama

  • Helsinki Cathedral
  • Rock Church

Market Square Helsinki

Helsinki railwaystation

Esplanade Boulevard & Park

Helsinki tram

Chanterelles on Market Square

Helsinki marketplace

Helsinki Allas sea pool in summer

  • Market Square

HEL-002 - Tallinn to Helsinki Private Day Trip and Walking Tour

Only a short ferry ride from Tallinn across the sea, Helsinki is an elegant Nordic city with stunningly beautiful architecture and a laid back atmosphere.

Tour price per adult:

Tour includes

  • 3h private guide services in Helsinki
  • Transfer from hotel to port & port to hotel in Tallinn
  • Round-trip ferry tickets
  • 3h Walking tour & tram ride in Helsinki
  • Entrance to Rock Church
  • 1 day transportation pass of Helsinki

Tour excludes

  • Gratuities to the guide and driver are not included in the tour price.
  • 00:00 – 00:15 Transfer from hotel to port in Tallinn
  • 00:15 – 01:00 Check-in & boarding the ship
  • 01:00 – 03:00 Ferry ride Tallinn-Helsinki
  • 03:10 – 06:10 Walking tour & tram ride in Helsinki
  • 06:10 – 07:45 Free time in Helsinki
  • 07:45 – 09:45 Ferry ride Helsinki-Tallinn
  • 09:45 – 10:00 Transfer port to hotel in Tallinn

Additional information

Children’s Discounts: 3-year-old and under are free, 15% discount for ages 4-12.

The tour schedule and length may vary depending on the seasonal ferry schedule at the time of departure.

Entrance to Rock Church is subject to scheduled religious and private services and available from Monday to Friday.

This tour is suitable for customers taking a day trip to from Tallinn to Helsinki. The package includes a transfer from hotel to harbor and harbor to hotel in Tallinn. Your local guide will meet you at the harbor in Helsinki city center. There is additional free time allocated after the tour to explore the city on your own for shopping and or a lunch break. Please note, that for cruise travelers we suggest a more suited alternative, Helsinki Walking Tour.

PROVIDING PROOF OF IDENTITY Passengers must prepare for security checks in the terminals, where they should be able to provide valid proof of identity, such as: Passport ID card with photo

Please note, a surcharge applies on Sundays and all public holidays. Public holidays in 2024: 29.03.24, 31.03.24, 01.04.24, 01.05.24, 09.05.24, 19.05.24, 21.06.24, 22.06.24, 02.11.24, 6.12.24, 24-26.12.24.

  • Kamppi Chapel of Silence
  • Helsinki Music Center
  • Helsinki Central Library Oodi
  • Finnish Parliament
  • Ateneum Art Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
  • Central Railway Station
  • Senate Square
  • Helsinki University
  • Esplanade Boulevard & Park
  • Helsinki City Hall
  • Uspenski Cathedral

Enjoy an easy and exciting Tallinn to Helsinki day trip on a day cruise!

The capital of Finland is a modern city with over a half a million residents and ranked by the British lifestyle magazine Monocle as the  most livable city in the world  and chosen the 2nd most interesting destination of the year by American New York Times.

All the present day glory aside, Helsinki has also a  fascinating history . From the times of Swedish rule to Russian Czarist Empire, the nation has recovered many hardships of wars. One of the most remarkable is hosting the Summer Olympics in 1952, which gave a post-war city a new breathing and purpose.

Today Helsinki is rapidly developing international metropolis with a very human touch, which makes it a perfect day trip destination. There are many ways to discover Helsinki, one of the best is up close and personal on foot with  your personal local guide .

From the elegant Lutheran Cathedral in Senate Square to the very unusual Church built into the rock, Helsinki offers many delightful surprises to it’s visitors.

This tour is suitable for customers taking a day trip to from Tallinn to Helsinki.  The package includes a transfer from hotel to harbor in Tallinn. Your local guide will meet you at the harbor in Helsinki city center. There is additional free time allocated after the tour to explore the city on your own for shopping and or a lunch break. Please note,  that for  cruise travelers  we suggest a more suited alternative, Helsinki Walking Tour .

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The Crowded Planet

14 Unmissable Day Trips from Tallinn, Estonia

Updated February 13, 2024

// By Margherita

Hey! Did you know there’s more to Estonia than Tallinn? The capital is lovely indeed, but you also have to check out the rest of the country. Learn where to go with these 14 wonderful day trips from Tallinn, recommended by ourselves and other bloggers!

TL; DR? Here are 5 of the best day trips from Tallinn! Book early to avoid disappointment 🙂

  • From Tallinn: Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki – the Finnish capital is only 2 hours away by ferry!
  • From Tallinn: Day Trip to Lahemaa National Park – explore Estonian nature on this day trip
  • Tallinn: Coastal Cliffs and Rummu Submerged Quarry Day Tour – for true adventurers and lovers of Soviet history
  • From Tallinn: Jägala Waterfall and Harju County Tour – get your nature fix and explore Estonia off the beaten path
  • Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

In 2011, we visited Tallinn for the first time – or maybe, I should say we visited Tallinn Old Town , since we barely left the medieval historic centre for one entire week. Don’t get me wrong- the UNESCO-listed Old Town is a great place to visit, but Tallinn and the rest of Estonia offer so much more.

Last October, after our autumn road trip around Latvia , we returned to Tallinn. This time, we decided to spend as little time as possible in the Old Town , and to explored the surrounds of the city instead. In five days, we saw some cool cities, abandoned Soviet sites, national parks, and even went rafting on top of a flooded quarry at night!

tallinn sunset view

Here is our selection of the best day trips from Tallinn – focusing on locations in Estonia, but not only. Since there’s only so much you can do in five days, we gathered up some of our blogger friends and asked them to help us out with their favourite Tallinn day trips – needless to say, we’re already planning another trip back to Estonia now!

Where to Stay in Tallinn

Here are some options for cool design and boutique hotels to choose as your Tallinn base!

  • Hotel Schlössle – luxury hotel housed in 13th and 14th-century buildings in the centre of Tallinn’s Old Town.
  • Hotel Telegraaf – great amenities including spa and indoor pool in a secluded Old Town location.
  • St. Petersbourg Hotel – the oldest hotel in the city, now a fantastic 5 star property in a period building.
  • The Three Sisters Boutique Hotel – individually-designed rooms and a charming property with an excellent restaurant.
  • Original Sokos Hotel Viru – this hotel used to be the only one where foreigners were allowed to stay during Soviet times. Now it has been fully refurbished and houses the KGB museum!
  • Savoy Boutique – a stunning five star property located in the heart of the Old Town!

viru bog boardwalk

Day Trips from Tallinn in Estonia and Outside

Lahemaa national park.

lahemaa national park

Estonia is a great destination for nature lovers. The country offers forests, dramatic stretches of coastline whipped by the Baltic wind, ancient bogs wrapped in mystery, opportunities to see wildlife like bears and lynxes, and so much more.

You can see pretty much all of the above at  Lahemaa National Park , a great option for a day trip from Tallinn , since it’s located only about 50 km out of the city.

Lahemaa is also the largest national park in Estonia, and it offers a great variety of things to see and do – two must-visit locations that can be combined into the perfect Tallinn day trip are Viru Bog and Hara submarine base , covered in detail in the next two paragraphs.

Other sights located in Lahemaa National Park include the Beaver Trail , a 1 km loop near Oandu where it’s possible to see beavers (if you’re lucky) or their dams, and the boulder field of glacial origin near Käsmu.

Getting There: We recommend hiring a car to make your way from Tallinn to Lahemaa and around, since the park is large and public transport is scarce. Alternatively, a Lahemaa day tour is a wonderful way to check out the park’s main sights with no hassle!

Hara Submarine Base

hara submarine base street art

Lovers of urban exploration and Soviet history cannot miss including Hara submarine base in one of their Tallinn day trips. This crumbling relic of Soviet times in Estonia is located in Hara Bay, part of Lahemaa National Park, in a once super-secret location surrounded by forests, about an hour drive from Tallinn.

The base was built in the Fifties and used for submarine demagnetisation up until 1991, when Estonia gained independence and Soviet troops left in a hurry. The structure lay abandoned for a couple of decades , visited only by graffiti artists who decorated the long pier jutting into the Baltic, and by a few intrepid urbex lovers.

Nowadays, the submarine base has been acquired by a company planning to open it to the public. As of October 2018, access is only allowed with a guide – tours take place during the weekend, and cost €5 per person.

We visited on a Thursday and found the place closed, with a sign that trespassing is forbidden. However, we were lucky to meet a guide leaving the site, and managed to convince her to allow us in. All valuable machines and materials were taken away by Soviet troops, and now only the shell of the submarine base survives.

It’s possible to wander inside and marvel at the juxtaposition between Soviet propaganda graffiti and modern street art , or just walk to the end of the pier and imagine the base when it was a hive of activity.

Just be very, very careful if you explore Hara submarine base by yourself, there is a lot of scrap metal and deep holes everywhere.

Getting There: There are two buses travelling from Tallinn to Hara every the afternoon, taking about 1 hour and a half each way. However, Hara tours run in the morning, so we recommend hiring a car. 

by Allison  – check out her blog post about Tallinn in Winter !

viru day trip from tallinn

Viru Bog is a fantastic day trip from Tallinn since it is an easy 45 minutes away by car in Lahemaa National Park! Viru Bog is fantastic for people of all ages and accessibility needs, as it is one of the only bogs in Estonia to have a boardwalk (3.5 km long) so that it can be accessed by stroller or wheelchair.

If you’re up for a little more of an up close and personal experience in the bog, it is possible to go “bog-shoeing” with a guide, using snowshoes to traverse the mushy, wet ground while also protecting the bog’s delicate ecosystem. It’s extremely fun to do, especially when you get to the most bouncy parts of the bog which feel like a natural waterbed!

There’s also a viewing tower which you can ascend for bird’s eye views of the bog, looking out over the pools and trees that make this landscape so unique. You can visit the bog any time of year – it tends to be greener in the summer months, reddish-brown in the autumn and winter months, and covered in snow in the dead of winter.

No matter what season, it’s one of the most fun day trips from Tallinn, so don’t miss it!

Getting There: Make your way to Tallinn’s Balti Jaam bus station then take bus number 151, or any bus towards Loksa or Rakvere. Travel time is just over one hour.

Rummu Quarry & Underwater Prison

rummu raft tallinn day trip

Besides Hara submarine base, there’s another abandoned place ideal to be visited on a Tallinn day trip – the Rummu quarry and flooded prison.

In Soviet times, in Rummu there was a forced labour penitentiary providing workers for the nearby limestone quarry, established in the 1930s. Groundwater was pumped continuously to prevent flooding the quarry, but when the latter was considered no longer viable after the end of Soviet times, pumping was stopped – and the entire area was covered with water.

Nowadays, Rummu is probably one of the most bizarre attractions in the whole of Estonia, and certainly makes for an unusual day trip from Tallinn. The main prison building is half-submerged, and it appears out of the turquoise lake waters like a dreamy mirage, while the spoil tip right on the shore provides the perfect viewpoint for pictures of the whole area from above.

There’s a fence around the site, but for years that didn’t seem to stop people. It was a popular destination for summer day trips from Tallinn – swimming, hiking, diving and mountain biking were all popular activities. At the time of our visit, it was no longer possible to access Rummu independently, so our only option was to join a tour.

We opted for a night tour of Rummu on lighted rafts – basically, inflatable rafts with electric lights on their bottoms, illuminating the lake bottom and allowing us to see fish and submerged buildings. Paddling around the lake at night definitely added to the eerie feel of the place!

Getting There: Take bus 145, 146, 148 or 149 from Tallinn’s Balti Jaam bus station towards Laimi or Harju-Risti, with departures every hour or so. The journey takes about an hour.

helsinki view

Located just across the Baltic Sea from the Estonian capital, Helsinki is a great day trip from Tallinn. The city offers a lot to see and do, but public transport is good and ferries stop not far from the city centre, giving you many options to explore even in just one day.

If you’re visiting Helsinki in winter , you can simply wander around enjoying the magical atmosphere of the city covered in snow, opt for a sauna at Löyly, visit the fortified island of Suomenlinna or even treat yourself to a heli ride above the city. In summer, you can’t miss exploring Helsinki’s islands and urban nature , as well as its vibrant nightlife offering its best during the warm summer months.

Getting There:  There are several ferry companies travelling between Helsinki and Tallinn, with travel times ranging between 2 and 3 and a half hours. We travelled with Viking Line, offering 2/4 daily departures depending on the season. In Helsinki, ferries stop in Katajanokka, a quick tram ride to the centre. 

We have a full guide highlighting how to plan a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki , highlighting all the practicalities of how to travel by ferry between the two cities. Check it out if you’re planning to visit the Finnish capital!

by Lavina @ Continent Hop

Paldiski estonia day trip

Located about 50 kilometres from the Estonian capital, former Soviet base Paldiski offers travellers something different to a city break – making it a wonderful idea for a day trip from Tallinn.

On the road to Paldiski, you will pass through coastal cliffs with a sheer drop and on a clear day, you can see the bottom of the bright blue sea. In spring, the area near the coastal cliffs has many wildflowers growing around it which makes it quite colourful.

Paldiski is not just popular for its cliffs but also has waterfalls and abandoned monasteries . The Padise monastery which has the oldest Church bell in all of Estonia was built over a period of 200 years and has a steep tower which offers panoramic views. However, the monastery is in ruins in a few places and one has to be careful when getting to the top.

The main highlight of Paldiski , however,  are still its abandoned missile bases. There are no restrictions to take a walk in the area however it can be difficult to spot locations that have value due to shrubs growing everywhere.

Another attraction in Paldiski is the Murru prison quarry that has semi-submerged buildings that provide excellent opportunities for diving. The prison is located next to the quarry and it is possible to climb to the watchtower and enjoy panoramic views from here too.

Getting There: Bus 136 or 145 from Tallinn’s Balti Jaam bus station, running every two hours.

otepaa estonia day trip

by Karolina  – check out her blog post about what to see and do in Tallinn

Located on the south of Estonia, Otepää   is a small town hidden away in rolling hills and valleys and is widely known as the winter capital of the country. Otepää’s perfect conditions set the stage up for great skiing, snowboarding, and skating experiences. It is located about 230 km from the capital but it can be reached in about 3 hours, and thus makes a great idea for a day trip from Tallinn.

The winter capital of Estonia boasts different slopes and tracks ideal for alpine skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. The area became more popular worldwide when it hosted the FIS Cross-country World Cup. Ice skating is also possible when Puhajarv lake freezes during winter. It is not unusual to see professional athletes practicing on its slopes every now and then.

During the summer season, the top things to do in the area are hiking, biking through the forest, along rivers, and to the top of hills in Otepää Nature Park, as well as swimming in Puhajarv Lake (also known as the Holy Lake). The lake features sandy beach and water sports that are loads of fun for a Tallinn day trip.  

The town itself is cozy and picturesque being surrounded by forests, hills, and valleys. There are also luxury ski resorts and spa in Otepää to chill and relax. Numerous restaurants in this small town offer delicious food too. If you’re traveling through Estonia, Otepää is a great idea for a day trip from Tallinn.

Getting There: y ou can get to  by car in just 2.5 hours. Taxis are an option too but they can be expensive. Buses run from Tallinn and go to Otepää through the town of Tartu every 30 minutes. They stop at the Otepää Bus Station where the tourist information center is also located.

by Liza – check out her blog post about cruising the Baltic Sea

narva estonia day trip

One of the great day trip options from the capital of Estonia, Tallinn , is going to Narva. Narva is the third biggest city in Estonia (although it only has slightly over 50,000 people living there) and it’s located just on the border with Russia.

The two countries are separated by the river Narva and while crossing the border, you can see many people casually crossing the border by food with shopping bags. The residents of Narva and Ivan-Gorod (the other part of Narva on the Russian side) have a special visa regime, so they don’t have problems crossing the border. However, if you’re not from there, you won’t be able to visit Russia without a visa.

There are plenty of things to do in Narva during a day trip: you can explore Hermann Fortress, visit Alexander’s Church, walk around the city or even soak in a spa in a nearby town, Narva-Joesuu.

You won’t need much time in Narva, as it’s a very small city, however, it’s definitely worth exploring it for a day!

Getting There:  All buses travelling between Tallinn and Saint Petersburg stop in Narva, so departures are fairly regular. Travel time is about 3 hours.

by Dave – check out his blog post about Pärnu

Parnu, Estonia, day trip

Pärnu is considered to be the summer city of Estonia , due to its sunny coastal beach location and its endless selection of spas. The town is very large, about the same size as Berlin, but population density is really low, making this town a wonderful Tallinn day trip if you’re looking for a relaxing atmosphere.

Similarly to Hanko in Finland ,  Pärnu is a true summer paradise – there are long, sandy beaches, the weather is often sunny, and temperatures are as warm as the Baltics get. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy – the promenade is perfect for walking, running or cycling, or you can go kayaking nearby or just laze on the beach and sunbathe,

Why not add a spa trip to your Estonian beach break? The Hedon Spa hotel is one of the most popular resorts with a rich and long Estonian history for being a mud bath location. Sit back, relax and enjoy this unique Estonia spa break destination.

Getting There:  Journey time from Tallinn bus station is just under two hours, with frequent bus departures.

Bear Watching in Alutaguse

by Jules – check out his Estonia itinerary and travel guide

Estonia-bear-watching alutaguse

One of our favourite experiences in Estonia was to go bear watching! We drove about 2 hours from the capital to a town called Alutaguse in northeast Estonia, near the Russian border.

Once you leave Tallinn you quickly see that Estonia is largely undeveloped with miles of forest surrounding you in every direction. That means that there is plenty of space for wild animals like moose, boars and bears!

In Alutaguse, we met our guide who walked with us about a mile into the forest to a bear watching hut. This small wooden cabin was our home for the night, with little windows to peep through for bear spotting. Spending the night in the cabin is recommended since bears are at their most active around sunrise and sunset, but it is also possible to visit this location as a day trip from Tallinn. 

The bears tend to come out around dusk, so we were pretty surprised when we almost immediately saw a big brown bear lumbering through a clearing in the trees. It was incredible to watch in silence as this magnificent animal sniffed the ground and turned over logs to look for food. We were so in awe of the sight that we didn’t even think to pull out our cameras.

Unfortunately, we weren’t the only spectators around, as there were other tourists in nearby huts. Someone used a flash to take a picture and the bear immediately took off running. We were so annoyed, especially as the night got darker and we were only able to make out moving spots that we assumed were bears.

We did catch a glimpse of what looked like a small, reddish bear walking around that we later learned was most likely a wolverine! Even though we didn’t see a ton of bears, we really enjoyed the peacefulness of being in a simple cabin with nothing to do but look out into the quiet forest.

Getting There:  It’s probably easier to drive to Alutaguse then take a bus. It’s a 2 hour drive from Tallinn.

tartu estonia square

Tartu is the second city in Estonia , and it’s famous for its university and student population. A day trip to Tartu from Tallinn is a good idea year round to escape the crowded Old Town, but the best time to visit the city is autumn, when the new academic year starts and the city truly comes alive.

Things to see in Tartu include Raekoja plats, the heart of the city, and the surrounding historic centre. Don’t miss  Supilinn neighborhood, also known as Soup Town, one of the best places to admire traditional wooden architecture. The town is home to a vibrant cultural scene – there great examples of street art all over town, and lots of things to do at night, if you decide to stay, from jazz clubs to comedy theatres and alternative cinemas.

Alternatively, you can explore the best of the city for only €20 on this 2 hour private walking tour!

Getting There: There are frequent Tartu-bound buses departing from Tallinn bus station. Travel time is 2 and a half hours.

Haapsalu is a great alternative to Pärnu if you want to experience an Estonian seaside resort. The town is known for its pretty historic centre, white sand beaches and lovely seafront promenade with stunning wooden villas like Kuursaal , dating back from the 19th century and now housing a restaurant.

This seaside resort is also a great place to visit to experience spa culture in Estonia , since it is known for its curative mud. You can check into a spa for a day to pamper yourself with a range of treatments – the ideal day trip from Tallinn if you just want to relax.

Another reason to visit Haapsalu is the early 20th century train station – not only it is a super-photogenic building, is also houses the Estonian Railway Museum. Right in front of the station you can hop on a sightseeing train, but it runs on wheels, not rails!

Getting There: The bus ride to Haapsalu takes approximately 1 and a half hours, with departures every hour.

Prangli Island

Not many visitors are aware that Estonia has over 2000 islands. Most of those are off the country’s western coast, making them too far for a day trip from Tallinn – but if you still want to experience island life on a day trip, you can head to Prangli , the only island off the northern coast.

Prangli island is only 6.5 square kilometres and it is home to just slightly over 100 people, with only one shop, a restaurant and a bar. It’s a real unique destination for a day trip from Tallinn because it is home to unspoiled nature, it has its own Estonian dialect and a strong fishing tradition.

Prangli is best visited on organised trips , including ferry to and from the island, and tour on an open-bed truck, visiting the island’s only wooden church, a nature reserve, boulders and a natural gas source.

Getting There: Join a day trip to Prangli Island.

Soomaa National Park

Located in the south of Estonia, not far from Pärnu, Soomaa is a lesser-visited alternative to Lahemaa. It’s possible to explore different ecosystems, including coastal dunes, raised peat bogs that can be visited on boardwalks, forests and rivers.

Soomaa is unique because it floods every year during the ‘fifth season’, the time following early spring snowmelts (April/May). However, rather than closing down, it is possible to visit the park on canoes, and even spend the night in historic farmhouses that become ‘islands’ for a week or two.

Getting There: Hire a car and make your way to Soomaa for a day trip from Tallinn. Driving time is about two hours each way.

We would like to thank Visit Estonia for having hosted us as part of the Storyteller’s Nest project. All opinions are our own. 

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A Day in Tallinn: Exploring Estonia's Hidden Gem from Helsinki


Fairy tale cities are a delight, and that's what you will experience when you visit Tallinn. The medieval old town is close to Helsinki and makes an excellent place for a day trip. On your next vacation, head to Tallinn to explore and experience these top things to do and see.

Tallinn from Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform

Immerse yourself in picturesque views of the city of Tallinn from the Kohtuotsa viewing platform, which is on the northern side of Toompea Hill. The red roofs in the backdrop of towering spires of the Old Town is a sight not to miss out on.

Visit the Kadriorg Palace

One of the must-do things in Tallinn - is to visit the Kadriorg Palace and explore the premises. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Michetti, visitors can revel in the magnificent main hall, which is one of the most fascinating examples of Baroque architecture in Estonia. Take time to explore the surroundings of the palace where there is a garden of fountains, hedges, flowerbeds, and more.

Admire the Vibrant Street Art

Isn't it amazing to enjoy artwork and large murals? If street art excites you, the works at Tallinn will amaze you. Head to Telliskivi, one of the best places to see street art in the city. Visitors can also walk around the Cultural Kilometer or check out Kalamaja. Get your cameras ready to click some cool pics for your Instagram accounts.

Taste the Flavors of Tallinn

Foodies will love the scrumptious spread at Tallinn. There are many cool restaurants around the city, and guests must try Leib (black bread), some homemade schnapps, and marzipan. For dessert lovers, try some chocolala. Don't forget to sample the local craft beer!

Viru Bog

Credit: Flickr/Jüri T/ CC BY 2.0

Stroll through the lahemaa national park.

Those who want to spend time in nature must visit Lahemaa National Park. Guests can enjoy the fascinating and serenity of the primaeval forests and pristine coastal beaches nearby. Get ready to create timeless memories in this coastal forest.

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These are the best solo travel destinations for 2024

helsinki to tallinn day trip

Solo travel remains a popular trend throughout 2024, but some places are better to visit when you're alone than others.

If you want to plan a trip for yourself and aren't sure where to go, a new study has revealed some of the best solo travel destinations around the world right now.

The research by Ubuy considered key metrics such as the Safety Index, budget-friendly dining choices, the average cost of a one-night hotel stay plus activities listed on TripAdvisor, and Walk Score.

Nearly half of the best solo travel cities are located in Asia, but one Aussie city did make the list.

Here are the top 10...

  • Solo Travel

10. Muskat, Oman

10. Muskat, Oman

Muscat, Oman, kicks off the list in 10th place with a score of 79.8. Muscat offers a great mix of activities while still being great value for money.

It has the most affordable food and hotel options, making it a great place to enjoy oneself.

9. Canberra, Australia

9. Canberra, Australia

Canberra, Australia, is the ninth city for solo travel on the list, with a composite score of 82.7.

Here, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, on average, costs $AU39, the highest on the list, yet it offers a more affordable options for one one-night stay compared to some of the higher ranked places.

8. Helsinki, Finland

8. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland, is eighth on the list of the best cities for solo travel, with a composite score of 85.2.

Like Munich, Helsinki also has an almost perfect walkability score of 99. The city offers over 1,000 attractions listed on TripAdvisor.

7. Tallinn, Estonia

7. Tallinn, Estonia

The seventh location on the solo travel bucket list is Tallinn, Estonia, scoring 87. The city is safe for solo travellers and offers low-cost food and hotel options.

A one-day hotel stay averages around $140, making it more affordable than Luxembourg.

6. Luxembourg

6. Luxembourg

Following behind is Luxembourg, one of the best cities in Europe for solo travel, with a composite score of 87.6.

Aside from Hong Kong, Luxemburg is the second city with a perfect 100 walkability score, with 1000 things to do listed on TripAdvisor.

5. Munich, Germany

5. Munich, Germany

Munich, Germany, rounds out the top five cities for solo travel with a composite score of 88.1.

The city is safe and highly pedestrian-friendly, having an almost perfect walkability score of 99. In Munich, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost around $24.

4. Doha, Qatar

4. Doha, Qatar

The fourth best location on the solo travel list is Doha, Qatar, with a composite score of 89.5.

This city is the more budget-friendly among the top five, offering low-cost options for food and drinks, making it one of the most affordable destinations also on the list.

On average, a one-night hotel stay with a beach view costs $165.

3. Abu Dhabi, UAE

3. Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is the third best location for those looking for a solo getaway, scoring 90.8.

The city is safe for solo travellers, as it has the highest safety score on the list, 88. In Abu Dhabi, a one-night hotel stay with a beach view costs $330.

2. Hong Kong

2. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the second-best city to take a solo trip, with a composite score of 92.0.

Hong Kong's local food scene is slightly higher, with dining in inexpensive restaurants costing around $13.

The average cost of a one-night hotel stay is $210, making Hong Kong an attractive Asian destination for solo travellers.

1. Taipei, Taiwan

1. Taipei, Taiwan

The best city for solo travel is Taipei, Taiwan, with a composite score of 95.7. Navigating the city alone is easy due to its high safety and walkability scores, making it an ideal choice for solo travellers.

The city offers budget-friendly dining choices, with meals at inexpensive restaurants costing around $9, which is one of the lowest meal costs among the top destinations.

helsinki to tallinn day trip

Guide on How to Travel from Helsinki to Lapland

A re you heading to Finland and wondering what the best way to travel from Helsinki to Lapland? Did you know that for most visitors to Finland, these are the two most visited areas? It makes sense as most visitors fly into Helsinki, spend a day or two and then head off into the vast wilderness of Finnish Lapland.

In this guide I will help you in your travel research by providing up to date information on how to travel to/from these regions of Finland, whether its by plane, train or even car. 

One of the biggest factors in your decision about how to get from Helsinki to Lapland will be the amount of time you have and your budget. Below I go through the practical details on the three main transport options, providing the positives and negatives for each so you can make the most informed decision. Let get into it!

What are the airports in Lapland?

As I mentioned there are currently 5 airports in Lapland. Below are the airports with the main locations serviced from them.

Rovaniemi Airport (RVN)

Rovaniemi is the third busiest airport in Finland and is the most popular of the ones in Lapland. Located in the south of Lapland, just near the Arctic Circle, this airport is seen as the gateway to Santa Claus Village. Given the towns popularity, there are several flights a day between Helsinki and Rovaniemi. This is one of the few that also is international airport accepting flights from several major European cities. 

In general, Rovaniemi can feel a quite commercial and crowded, especially during the peak winter season. This airport also serves as the hub for Pyhä  and  Salla which are popular for their natural beauty and skiing, both downhill and cross country. 

Ivalo Airport (IVL)

Two popular destinations with skiers and snowboarders include Inari and Saariselka , which are both serviced by the Ivalo airport. The airport is within 30 minutes of both destinations and is the northernmost airport in Finland.

Kittilä Airport (KTT)

Kittila is one of the main airports in the northernmost region of Finland, and the only other accepting international flights. This airport services the popular ski area of Levi. Levi is a popular spot for families during the festive season, but is smaller and quieter than Rovaniemi. Additionally, the popular Snow Village can be found here.

Our favorite destination serviced by this airport is Muonio which is a laid back destination offering all the popular touristy activities found in Rovaniemi but without the crowds and is excellent for spotting the Northern Lights. 

Kemi Airport (KEM)

Kemi-Tornio Airport is located on the coast of the Bay of Bothnia, serving travelers heading to Southern Lapland. Kemi has slowly become more popular in the tourist circuits for their magnificent Snow Castle that is built there every winter and for the famous Sampo icebreaker cruise. 

Kuusamo Airport (KAO)

Lastly, the Kuusamo Airport serves one of Finland’s major holiday destinations Kuusamo, attracting almost a million tourists annually. Many of these arrive for skiing at nearby ski resorts, especially Ruka Ski Resort , one of the largest in Finland.


Top Things to Do in Lapland Finland

A Finnish Lapland Winter Escape

Flying from Helsinki to Lapland

Domestic flights from the capital Helsinki to Lapland airports are operated by Finnair. While the flights can be reasonably priced if booked well in advance, domestic flights on Finnair do impose an extra fee for checked luggage. Additionally, the new Finnair carry on limits are quite strict with a maximum of 8 kg for all carry on items combined. This means, that for most travelers,  it makes most sense to upgrade to the main fare price which includes both carry on and checked baggage. Once you upgrade your flight, a round-trip flight will cost a minimum of €200.  Note, if you are looking for cheap flights, sign up for Finnair’s email blast and keep an eye out for flash sales.

That said, this is still the quickest way to travel between Helsinki and Lapland. It can be cost effective if you are a solo traveler and/or traveling with extremely light luggage. However, it can be get expensive if you need to check a bag or are traveling in high season with several people

Traveling by Train from Helsinki to Lapland

Next we will move on to traveling by train from Helsinki to Lapland , which is the second most popular option.

I personally find travelling by train in Finland to be a wonderful experience and the most convenient way to get around the country. The trains are clean and reasonably reliable depending on weather conditions of course. Additionally, it is better for the environment and saves you money on accommodation if you can take an overnight train to travel while you sleep. All long-distance trains in Finland are operated by VR Train. 

Day vs. Night Trains

The most popular train that visitors take to Lapland from Helsinki is the Santa Claus Express train which ends in Rovaniemi. It leaves close to midnight and arrives around 11 a.m. the next morning. If you are traveling with children, this train is great as the sleeper cabins are essentially sold as a two person cabin. Prices for an upstairs private compartment sleeper cabin which includes a private toilet run around 300 Euro one way. The train also has a restaurant car for snacks and meals while on the train. Note, Rovaniemi train tickets for the sleeper cars can sell out quickly, so book well in advance to ensure you have a cabin.

Another popular route is to Kolari, which is the northernmost railway station in Finland. Travel here from Helsinki takes approximately 14 hours. Boarding is around 7:45 p.m. in Helsinki with a 10 a.m. arrival.  Even though it sounds like a long trip, it goes by quite quickly once you get settled in your sleeper cabin, grab some food from the restaurant car and then hit the sack. 

If you are unable to secure a sleeper cabin, you can consider a day train. With free Wifi, power sockets and the ability to walk around, an 8 hour train would actually go quite quickly if you can keep yourself occupied! These tickets run around €75 per ticket during high season. 

Take Your Car on the Train

For readers who live in Europe or have a rental car already booked, they can consider putting the vehicle on the train as well! These trains depart from Pasila Station and can be extremely handy if you have brought your car over from mainland Europe, but don’t want to drive all the way to Lapland. This is not cheap, but is a dobale option to ensure you have more access to explore around Lapland.

Train Stations in Lapland

There are many train stations in Lapland that I can’t list them all, but the main ending/starting point for the major lines include Kolari as the furthest north, Rovaniemi and Kemijarvi in the east. 

Kolari is in the far north of Finland, northeast of Rovaniemi, and very close to the Swedish border. This station is perfect for those traveling to Levi or Muonio. You can reserve a shared taxi or bus from the station to both locations. 

Kemijärvi is located east of Rovaniemi and from here you can easily access Salla and Pyhä.

Overall, I personally feel that if you are traveling with others or even on your own that taking an overnight train to or from Lapland is a great option. Train travel is scenic, cost effective if you have a family or a lot of luggage and you also have the option of taking a vehicle. The negatives are that it does take a long time and there are times that the trains leave late at night making it awkward for families with smaller children. 

Driving from Helsinki to Lapland by Car

For many travelers further afield, this would mean renting a car and needing to return it either in Lapland or back to Helsinki which can be quite an expense.

I am not sure I would recommend this option for many, but if you have your car and you are confident on driving on the right hand side of the road, in snow or inclimate weather, you will most likely be fine.

But you must be aware that this journey is at least 800 kilometers and can take around 10 hours. That said, the journey up to Rovaniemi is along one main road and the views will be stunning for much of the way.

In general, I’d only advise driving to Lapland from Helsinki if you’re touring elsewhere in Finland, have your own vehicle and have at least a couple of weeks here to make it worthwhile and cost-effective.

Important Information for Your Finland Trip

When is the best time to visit finland.

In reality, you can visit Finland at any time of the year as there are a multitude of activities to suit any weather condition. That said, in my opinion, the best time to visit Finland is definitely during the winter months between December and February. This is when you will see the most beautiful winter wonderland landscapes and you have a great chance to see the aurora borealis. Note, it is also the coldest time of the year, so you will need to prepare for that!

What is the best way to get to Finland?

Finnair offers direct flights to Helsinki Airport from all over the world, including from here in Los Angeles. The international flights are on newer Airbus A350 planes which have ample legroom, flight cameras and more. Subscribe to their newsletter for deals and special offers if this is a trip you are looking to plan far in advance. 

If you are in mainland Europe, you can also make your way overland to Tallinn and take the Viking Express over to Helsinki for a very affordable rate. Note, this is also a great day trip idea from Helsinki.

Where do you recommend to stay in Helsinki?

There are so many amazing options to stay in Helsinki. I think where you stay is dependent on what you want out of your visit. During my stay in the city I was leaving on an early morning ferry and arriving late at night from the airport so I chose the Noli Studio Apartments which were cheap, clean and convenient to everywhere I wanted to go. There are several of them located throughout the city, so pay attention to the neighborhood that you wish to be in! 

If you want a little more luxury and don’t mind being a little further out, consider the Clarion Hotel which is a favorite for repeat visitors to the city. 

What are the best things to do in Finland?

There are so many amazing things to do in Finland that I can’t list them all here. But a start would be to check out our top experiences in Lapland that you can find all over the region. Winter activities are some of the best on offer here in Finland.

What do I need to pack for Finland?

Layers is the short answer. The longer answer will depend on what time of year you are visiting. Assuming you visit during the high season of winter, you will need to pack a lot of warm breathable layers such as merino wool . Overall, I would say to focus on layers, good boots that have room for several pairs of socks, good gloves or mittens and a warm hat.

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Guide on How to Travel from Helsinki to Lapland


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