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3 weeks Finland and Baltics - Itinerary feedback please

Hi, I have 3 weeks in Aug/Sept.
This is what I've narrowed it down to:

5 nights Helsinki
Ferry to Tallinn for 5 nights
Fly to Riga for 5 nights
Fly to Vilnius for 4 or 5 nights
- any airlines besides ariBaltic that flies direct?
- I don't want to take the bus b/w the Baltic states
- I plan on doing day trips
- I had thought of starting in Stockholm but I might not have enough time.
So far, the comments have been that I can enjoy a leisurely trip OR that I can afford to shave off a night or two in most cities
- I don't want to rush and jump from one place to the next
- I want to learn about the countries, I enjoy history, art, architecture, museums, concerts,...
What do you think? Any recommendation, suggestions?

Posted by
2164 posts

I spent a week in Tallinn last Sept, with a day trip on the ferry to Helsinki. I recommend going to Suomenlinna, and the market at the Esplanade is interesting as well as downtown Helsinki--I definitely plan to return and spend more time in Finland, with a day trip I felt rushed.

Old Town Tallinn is quite enchanting, very well-preserved and the people are friendly and helpful. It can get a wee bit crowded when the cruise ships are in port for the day, but with 5 days you'll have plenty of times when it's just you and the locals. I felt completely at ease walking by myself at night. There are parks and numerous places to sit and just relax and enjoy the scenery. I especially enjoyed Kadriorg Palace and the nearby KUMU modern art museum, the outdoor living history museum was a lovely, peaceful place and the nearby zoo was ok, just another zoo. The highlight of the trip for me were the two day trips I took with EstAdventures, they do a variety of walking tours as well, and I opted for Lahemaa National Park, which included stops and tours of estates and a great lunch, and the second one was Western Wonders, more fascinating stuff to see and the beautiful town of Haapsalu. Both times I was lucky to have the owner, Andrew, as the guide and he really made both days seem like I was just hanging out with a friend. There's lots of great food to be found, I had excellent pizza and my hotel, the Savoy Boutique, had MEKK--a bit pricey but worth it.

Posted by
4524 posts

I would consider shaving a night each and add several nights for Stockholm. It is an amazing city with lots to do along the lines of your interests. The other cities are smaller and can easily be seen at a leisurely pace with 4 nights each. And by adding Stockholm you can add the overnight ferry to Helsinki which gives you the view of the archipelago.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for sharing, christa! Some very nice suggestions :) I will be alone so I'm glad to hear that you felt safe.
Douglas, I'm considering the Stockholm option. Just haven't decided yet.
How is the overnight ferry? I've always looked into leaving one destination early to arrive to the next one as early as possible even though I'm not a morning person at all. An overnight ferry can be a different experience.

Posted by
4524 posts

The ferry is great. Think of it more like a small cruise ship than a ferry. You can get your own cabin or share, just depends on how much you want to spend. The buffet meal seemed worth it to me just to be able to try a lot of different things. And it was cheap by Baltic standards. The scenery though, was unbelievable. I ate early and spent the next four hours on deck just watching the islands go by and the sun go down. You arrive in Helsinki in the morning and the arrival is just as beautiful though short. I took the Silja line, which is supposedly not as much a party boat.