During my trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, I could not resist doing a day trip to beautiful Helsinki on the weekend to take advantage of the exciting ferry crossing and explore a bit of Helsinki. All is possible in a day as the 76 km ferry ride takes only 2 hours, and plenty of ferries are servicing between these two capitals every two hours.

Tallinn Ferry Terminal, Estonia
Tallinn Ferry Terminal, Estonia
Tallinn Ferry to Helsinki
I missed the earlier ferry as I was at the gate few mins late.

Taking early morning ferry to Helsinki

There is a range of ferry operators making the crossing from Tallinn to Helsinki every day; I took the Tallink Silja Ferry, scheduled to depart at 7:30 am. Even though I was staying in Tallinn Seaport Hotel right across the ferry terminus, I still missed the 7:30 ferry by a few minutes, as they closed the boarding gate 20 minutes before departure. Unfortunately, I did not pay attention to the display board. Therefore don’t make the same mistake just wandering around the terminal as I did. 

tallinn, Estonia
A shaded observation deck is a favorite place at the back of the ferry

View of Tallinn from the observation deck

Toompea hill, the fortress wall, and the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral tower all look so beautiful on a clear and Sunny morning.

Tallinn City skyline
The ferry is on the move now, and the City of Tallinn is behind us

Booking a cabin may be a good idea, especially if you are taking the 7.30 ferry and want to sleep. I did not book a cabin. Instead, I dropped my luggage at the storage facility and spent my time in the observation lounge and restaurants.

Tallinn, Estonia
Beautiful early morning view of Tallinn from the ferry observation deck

The observation deck at the back of the ship is usually pretty crowded as it got the shade, and some tourists need to stay away from the Sun, whereas the upper deck is almost completely open and empty. Sometimes in the sea at the speed of 40 km per hour, it gets pretty windy and cool.

Tallinn to Helsinki
A popular place for the passengers

Approaching ferry terminal, Helsinki

After 2 hours of the exciting cruise, our ferry slowly approached Helsinki terminal.

Helsinki, Finland
View of Helsinki from the Tallink Ferry

Return Trip from Helsinki to Tallinn

Later in the day, I took the 4:30 pm ferry on my return from Helsinki and arrived in Tallinn at 6:30 pm, leaving me plenty of time to experience Tallinn’s nightlife. Prices start from 22 euros depending on what type of ferry you are talking about, but it could add up if you purchase additional services like business or comfort class seats.

Helsinki to Tallinn ferry
Observation decks (lower and upper) at the back of the ferry

Onboard food and drink – Tallink Silja Ferry

Tallink Silja Ferry was quite large, and there was no shortage of places to eat onboard. There were á la carte restaurants and a huge buffet restaurant on deck 8. If you are traveling in the morning, it’s a good idea to check out the delicious Scandinavian hot breakfast buffet unless you have already loaded up with complimentary breakfast from your hotel in Tallinn. Then, on your end-of-the-day return trip, I highly recommend trying their incredible buffet dinner – a perfect way to enjoy the food and drinks while admiring the beautiful scenery. 

Tallink Silja Ferry
One of the many restaurants on Board Tallink Silja Ferry

In Finland, they have strict regulations on alcohol, and it’s expensive too. So, while the ferry is on international water between Finland and Estonia, passengers are allowed to buy duty-free alcohol. Usually, it’s a popular event for loading up alcohol stock, especially among the Finns.

swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and Beer, at the restaurant!

Where to stay in Tallinn, Estonia

Citybox Tallinn City Center Hotel

Citybox Tallinn City Center is located in the Porto Franco Harbor Complex and offers simple and modern rooms of Scandinavian design. It is conveniently located in the center, close to the D terminal of the Port of Tallinn. Thus, it is only a short walk from the Old Town and the shopping and entertainment centers in the city center. The Ferry terminal to Helsinki, Stockholm, and St Petersburg was just across the street. I could see the city bus terminal through the window, so riding to Old town by bus was very easy. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is the nearest airport, 3.1 mi from Citybox Tallinn City Center.

Bob W Ambassador, Tallinn

Bob W Ambassador is located in the center of Tallinn, close to Kalarand, Estonian National Opera, and Maiden Tower, featuring a fitness center and free WiFi. Each unit has a fully equipped kitchen with a dining table, fridge, dishwasher, and microwave. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Niguliste Museum-Concert Hall, Tallinn International Bus Station, and Tallinn Town Hall. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is the nearest airport, 1.9 miles from Bob W Ambassador.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Tallinn, Estonia? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Tallinn, Estonia, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Estonia.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

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