Finnoy Travel - Travel Stories and Reviews

Common Questions

How far is Tallinn from Helsinki? 
Tallinn is 80 km from Helsinki.
How can I travel from Helsinki to Tallinn? 
The most practical way is to go by ferry. Flying is also possible.
Is the Port of Tallinn far from the centre? 
No, it is not. You can walk from the port and reach the city centre in 20 minutes.
Where to book ferry tickets from Helsinki to Tallinn? 
Tickets can be booked on ferry companies' websites but we prefer using Ferryscanner to find all ticket prices at once. You can book a ticket right away after finding a good option.
Is Tallinn a safe city? 
Tallinn is a relatively safe city.
Is there public transport in Tallinn? 
Yes, there is. The public transport system works well.
What to see in Tallinn? 
For example, go to the old town, Tallinn TV Tower and Maritime Museum.
Does Estonia belong to the EU? 
Yes, it does.
What is the currency in Estonia? 
Estonia uses euros.
What travel document do I need when travelling to Estonia? 
You must always carry your passport because there are random border checkpoints.

Helsinki to Tallinn Trip: Practical Tips

Viru Gate in Tallinn
The iconic Viru Gate featuring 2 large, ivy-covered watchtowers marks the entrance to Tallinn's Old Town.

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Tallinn is one of the favourite Baltic destinations among Finnish residents. Travelling by ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is recommended even with a minimal budget. Read our practical tips on how to make a perfect trip to Tallinn and what to do and see in this beautiful Baltic city.

Tallinn - Southern Neighbour of Helsinki

It is difficult to find anyone living in Helsinki who would not have visited Tallinn multiple times. Having a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn is a common way to relax in the middle of a hectic work life. Travelling from Helsinki to Tallinn is also inexpensive. The price level in Tallinn is cheaper compared to Helsinki. With a small budget, you can have a fabulous day in Tallinn. And if a day in Tallinn is not enough, Tallinn has many hotels for budget travellers and for those who prefer to stay in a 5-star luxury hotel.

The Estonian capital was not always called Tallinn. Before 1918, when Estonia gained independence, it was named Reval, which is believed to be of German origin. It is special to note that Estonia was occupied by German forces from 1941 to 1944. Legend claims the origins of this former name originate from a deer hunt when an animal fell off a cliff and perished. Reh-fall means deer fall in the German language. Several historians debate this theory and believe that this old name is more likely to have derived from the old Estonian county called Revalia.

Tallinn Old Town
Every traveller will enjoy a fascinating walk through the beautiful streets of Tallinn Old Town surrounded by amazing architecture.

Apart from Finnish travellers who regularly visit Tallinn from Helsinki, there are a large population of Estonians working in Finland who often go back to Tallinn during weekends.

Distance from Helsinki to Tallinn

The travel distance from Helsinki to Tallinn by sea is only 80 kilometres. Depending on which Tallinn ferry you take, you will reach the Port of Tallinn only in 2-3 hours. Seven ferries sail every day between Helsinki and Tallinn. m/s MyStar and m/s Megastar are a few of them. They bring thousands of passengers from Helsinki to Tallinn and vice versa.

There is no direct road from Helsinki to Tallinn but the road goes via Russia. In addition to flying, travelling by ferry is the only other viable option to travel between these capitals.

Get familiar with Helsinki by visiting Guide to Helsinki.

How to Prepare a Day Trip to Tallinn

Making an enjoyable day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn is simple. After you have booked ferry tickets, you just need to head to one of the centrally located ports in Helsinki and board the ferry. In a few hours, you will reach the Port of Tallinn and by walking 20 minutes more, you will be at the city centre. If you leave for Tallinn in the morning and come back late in the evening, you will have an ample 10 hours to explore the city and its nearby areas. Estonia uses euros like Finland, so there is no need to exchange money. Payment cards are also widely accepted in Tallinn.

Because the ferries operate every day, making a last-minute plan is possible. You can even book a ferry ticket in the morning just a few hours before the scheduled departure. However, early bookers get better rates.


Between Helsinki and Tallinn there is a ferry departing almost every hour from both ends. We recommend reading our Helsinki - Tallinn ferry booking guide to find your most suitable connection.

Viking Line XPRS at Port of Tallinn
Viking XPRS is one of the ferries bringing passengers from Helsinki to Tallinn and vice versa.

Exploring Tallinn

Tallinn can easily and safely be explored by foot. You may need public transport to reach malls and sights outside the city centre. A good thing is that the public transport network in Tallinn works well. You can even use the same mobile application to pay tickets in Helsinki and Tallinn. If you prefer riding taxis, we recommend using Bolt application. Taxi fares in Tallinn vary a lot.

Did you know? All public transport is free of charge for people registered as living in Tallinn. Residents are still required to validate their travel cards when boarding.

The city centre and the old town are moderately small. Still, there is enough to see in the centre for a whole day. People who have visited Tallinn before are encouraged to see the sights outside the centre or even outside the city. GetYourGuide offers many interesting guided activities in Tallinn.


A return ferry ticket to Tallinn costs about 50 euros. You may need a few euros more for public transportation in Helsinki and Tallinn. A delicious lunch in Tallinn costs less than 15 euros and drinks in bars are affordable. Tickets to museums are moderately priced. Together, 100 euros is enough to make a perfect day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn including all necessary costs.

Things to See in Tallinn

We list a few interesting things to see and do in Tallinn and nearby areas.

Old Town

Atmospheric Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. The Estonian capital known for its cobbled streets offers a unique mixture of old history and the modern-day. Best of all, most places to visit are within walking distance from each other. Whether you are interested in culture, architecture, museums, spas, or shopping, there is something for everyone in Tallinn.

Tallinn Old Town can be reached from the Port of Tallinn in 15 minutes by foot. Exploring around the old town by walking is easy and fast and there are interesting restaurants and museums to stop by. In addition, you can have amazing photos, visit churches, and see the Estonian parliament building.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns Toompea Hill.

Toompea Hill is a limestone hill a few steps away from the old town. It is about 30 metres higher than the surrounding area which gives an impressive view not only of the old town but also of the sea. Toompea is a place where you can shoot the best photos of Tallinn. The hill is public so you can visit it anytime without any charges. On the way up, there are plenty of local restaurants and souvenir shops.

guided walking tours are a relaxed way to see the Tallinn Old Town.
Climbing onto Tallinn Toompea Hill is one of the most popular things to do in Tallinn. And the panoramic view at the top makes it rewarding.
Tallinn Old Town at Night
Tallinn Old Town is a romantic place to enjoy dinner late in the evening.

Tallinn Town Wall

The Walls of Tallinn are the medieval defensive walls constructed around the city of Tallinn. The construction consists of multiple towers, gates and walls between them. You will see the walls just by visiting the old town because the old Tallinn lies inside the walls.

Tallinn architecture
Tallinn is well known for its wonderfully preserved medieval architecture.

Estonian Maritime Museum

Estonian Maritime Museum is a place to get an informative overview of Estonian maritime history. The museum is divided into two parts. The main exhibition is located in Fat Margaret tower (a part of the town wall) in Tallinn Old Town. There you can learn about maritime history and navigation in Estonia. The other part is called Seaplane Harbour where you will find ships and wreckage. Especially, Seaplane Harbour is an impressively designed museum which you must add to your bucket list.

Seaplane Harbourminuteinute's walk away from Fat Margeret. The route is easy to walk but it goes away from the old town. You can always take a taxi or public transport back if the weather is bad.

Tallinn Christmas Market

Tallinn Christmas Market is maybe the best Christmas attraction in the Baltics. Read more from our Tallinn Christmas Market Guide.

Tallinn Christmas Market
Tallinn Christmas Market shouldn't be missed when travelling in this Baltic capital during the winter.

Kadriorg Park

Kadriorg Park is a 70-ha-wide park in the Kadriorg district. The park's history started in 1718 when Peter the Great ordered to re-designate areas at Fonnenthal Summer Manor. Nowadays, the park has also a Japanese garden which was opened in 2011.

The park is the best place in Tallinn to have long walks on a sunny day. It is only 30 minutes away from the city centre on foot so there is no need to take a bus. Visiting the park is free and it is a perfect place to unwind after exploring the busy Tallinn Old Town.

Glehn Park in Tallinn
In addition to Kadriorg Park, heading to Glehn Park a few kilometres away is a good choice.


Telliskivi is an artist-friendly complex that has become a popular hangout for shoppers and restaurant-goers. It is ominutesinute's walk away from the Tallinn Old Town in a reclaimed factory area. The area brings together restaurants, a gallery, a furniture shop and many other bohemian businesses and free-time activities. Telliskivi is a place for similar-minded artistic people to gather together.

Tallinn TV Tower

TV towers in different cities are quite similar but according to our opinion, , Tallinn Teletorn is an interesting spot. It is 10 kilometres outside of the city centre and the tower is a great spot to see something else than the old town. Because Tallinn is a moderately small city, visiting the tower gives a clear panorama view of the city.

The bus to the TV Tower drives along the coastline of Tallinn so the view is great. After half an hour's journey, the bus starts climbing up to a small hill inside the forest where the TV tower is located. From the tower, there is a great view over the whole of Tallinn and if you are lucky enough that there is a clear sky during your visit, you can see Finland over the Baltic Sea too. This tower is 314 meters high. The place is beautiful and historical and the exhibitions are informative and there are interactive elements to ensure learning for visitors of all ages. You will also learn about how the tower itself was built and the history of Soviet intervention in trying to stop the people from getting information from outside sources. The views from the top are exceptional. Strong wind is possible, but it's worth it!

Tallin TV tower
Tallinn TV Tower offers a unique experience being Northern Europe's tallest viewing platform.

Use Google Maps to check the latest bus routes and schedules.

Plane Spotting

Near Ülemiste Lake you can try one of our favourite hobbies - plane spotting. Tallinn Airport is located right next to the lake so this is the best location to spot aircraft departing and arriving at Tallinn Airport. It takes only 15 minutes to reach Tallinn Airport from the centre by public transport.

Eating in Tallinn

In Tallinn, expect that eating at a restaurant is cheaper than in Finland. Different meal options are available, ranging from wallet-friendly Asian restaurants to premium fine dining experiences. The old town is maybe the most popular area to eat in but also the most expensive. Because the medieval atmosphere of the old town must be experienced, we recommend eating there despite the higher prices. And according to our restaurant visits, the food quality is great. You may also join guided food tours.

Budget travellers are advised head to Karja Kelder in the old town. It serves local food and drinks in the basement of an old building.

The old town is not only full of restaurants but there are also many Estonian cafes. One recommended option is the oldest Cafe in Tallinn called Café Maiasmokk. However, this cafe is quite expensive so it could be better to prefer a smaller more authentic cafe if you have a stricter budget. Café Maiasmokk serves well-prepared hot drinks and cakes but it is also a typical tourist spot.

Tallinn Old Town
Tallinn Old Town is full of cosy small valleys. Many nice restaurants and cafes are easy to find.

Thing to See near Tallinn

To see things outside Tallinn, more time is needed. Luckily, Tallinn has many affordable hotels.

Viking Village

Viking Village is an educational park where you can enjoy untouched nature while learning Viking history. The village suits the whole family as parents love the delicious food with drinks and children may try challenges and adventures. The Viking Village offers inclusive memories inspired by a distant era. Because you will spend a lot of time outside, this spot is the best to visit on a sunny day in the summer. We visited Viking Village in August 2021 and the food was amazing. We also liked the atmosphere that wandering animals create.

Restaurant in Viking Village
Viking's Village restaurant serves delicious food, making it a great reason to visit this place.
Viking Village
Viking Village is a large area surrounded by trees, green grasses, a lake and a river offering plenty of activities for the whole family.

Entrance to the Viking Village is almost free. You need to pay for activities and food. It is also possible to stay overnight in the village.

River in Viking Village
You can pay to have a boat ride in the river that flows through the village.
Scary face at the Viking Village
The Viking Village is a great place to spend a weekend for the whole family. There were wooden arts like this.

Viking Village can be reached by car in 25 minutes or 1 hour by taking a long-distance bus from Tallinn Bus Station.

Children love feeding these cute bunnies.

Blue Springs of Saula

In Estonia, springs have always been considered holy and most were thought to have healing powers. In the Saula area, there are 3 large springs with constant water flow. The springs are blue-coloured because the clear water is reflected in the lights. The folk stories say that the water of the springs heals all ailments if you sacrifice silver jewellery, money or beads.

The Blue Spring (Saula Siniallikad in Estonia)
Blue Spring (Sauna Siniallikad) is near the Viking Village in the Saula area. You should not miss this enchanting sight as the spring has some magical show.
Sauna siniallikad from the air
From an aerial view, you can see how well the Blue Spring's crystal clear water reflects the light.

Visiting Blue Springs is free but you need a car or bus ride to the Saula area. Viking Village and Blue Springs are near each other so they both can be visited during the same trip. Reaching Blue Springs requires walking inside the forest but the path is easy to walk.

The Blue Spring is a relaxing place to visit especially on a hot summer day as you walk through the shades of old trees in the forest. Just get ready for possible encounters with mosquitoes. :)
We recommend booking ferry ticket of Ferryscanner

Shopping in Tallinn

Tallinn is a place to buy luxury brands, souvenirs or just affordable clothes. The most luxurious brand stores are in the centre and cheaper products can be found in malls.


Mall of Tallinn is the newest mall in Tallinn. It can be recognised far away because there is a big wheel on the roof. Even though the mall has a nice modern design, it has become quiet lately. Mall of Tallinn had financial issues and many stores left the mall. Customers started heading to the neighbour, Ülemiste Mall, which can be reached even more easily. The mall of Tallinn has free parking and there are good public transport connections to the mall. The travel time from the centre is 15 minutes.

Ülemiste Mall is just next to Tallinn Airport and a 5-minute walk from the Mall of Tallinn. The mall has a more traditional design but the atmosphere inside is hectic. You can find nice restaurants, cafes and many inexpensive stores not forgetting the quality brands. Also, Ülemiste Mall has free parking. If you have time to visit just one mall, the Mall of Ülemiste is it!

Ülemiste Mall
Ülemiste Mall is just next to Tallinn Airport.

Hiring a Car in Tallinn

You do not necessarily need a car to move around Tallinn. Almost all popular spots can be reached practically and fast by public transport. However, if you plan to visit areas outside Tallinn or maybe even continue to Tartu or the spa city Pärnu, hiring a car is recommended.

Roads in Estonia are in good condition and driving is simple. Only the Tallinn centre is more complicated because traffic arrangements can be unfamiliar for some travellers and busy tram traffic requires a lot of attention. Estonian driving culture is quite hectic so driving in Tallinn centre may become stressful. Outside Tallinn, driving is much more relaxed.

You can take a car with you from Finland but if you plan to hire a car, we recommend doing it in Tallinn. Then you do not need to pay cross-border and ferry fees and prices in Tallinn are cheaper. Read our car hiring tips.

A view deck on Toompea Hill
Every traveller will encounter Tallinn's most popular wall atop Toompea Hill.

Good to Know about Tallinn


Tallinn is not far from Helsinki. Therefore, there is not much difference in terms of weather comparison between these two cities. Though most of the time, you may expect a bit warmer in the Estonian capital than in Helsinki.

If you want to make the most of Tallin’s warmest weather, we recommend travelling from May to the end of August. Also this time, the number of cruise passengers increases as the summer months are considered to be a peak season when most are on summer holidays. Winter has a magical charm of its own though, with the fairytale Tallinn’s Old Town might be covered in snow. Not any traveller should skip the beautiful Christmas Market in the heart of Tallinn Old Town.


Tallinn is a safe destination if you observe basic precautions. A simple tip is to avoid walking alone through dark areas and don't leave your valuables unattended. Drunk travellers are easy victims.


If the budget is not your concern, spending more than one day in Tallinn is a great choice. We would say that Tallinn and its nearby areas have things to see for many days. Naturally, you will then need a hotel/hostel to sleep in.

Estonia and the EU flag
Tallinn Old Town is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As a small capital, Tallinn has surprisingly many hotels and they are affordable. The old town may be a romantic place to stay but the hotels there are older and in worse condition. Therefore, we do not recommend staying in the old town because you end up paying more for worse quality. Tallinn has many high-quality hotels only a few minutes' walk away from the old town. For example, Sokos, Radisson and Swissotel have nice hotels in the centre.

We recommend giving a chance to Swissotel. It is a 5-star hotel in a perfect location and Tallinn, Swissotel has affordable rates. Why not enjoy the quality that does not ruin your wallet.

Common Questions

How far is Tallinn from Helsinki? 
Tallinn is 80 km from Helsinki.
How can I travel from Helsinki to Tallinn? 
The most practical way is to go by ferry. Flying is also possible.
Is the Port of Tallinn far from the centre? 
No, it is not. You can walk from the port and reach the city centre in 20 minutes.
Where to book ferry tickets from Helsinki to Tallinn? 
Tickets can be booked on ferry companies' websites but we prefer using Ferryscanner to find all ticket prices at once. You can book a ticket right away after finding a good option.
Is Tallinn a safe city? 
Tallinn is a relatively safe city.
Is there public transport in Tallinn? 
Yes, there is. The public transport system works well.
What to see in Tallinn? 
For example, go to the old town, Tallinn TV Tower and Maritime Museum.
Does Estonia belong to the EU? 
Yes, it does.
What is the currency in Estonia? 
Estonia uses euros.
What travel document do I need when travelling to Estonia? 
You must always carry your passport because there are random border checkpoints.

Bottom Line

People who visit Helsinki must visit also Tallinn. A day trip to Tallinn is simple and affordable. Even though Helsinki and Tallinn are near each other, the cities are different. Tallinn is a fast-developing small capital that has a rich history. The city is a perfect destination for people who love history, food and shopping.

Have you been to Tallinn? What did you like the most? Comment below.

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Destination: Finland, Estonia

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