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Stockholm->Tallinn->Helsinki vs Stockholm->Helsinki->Tallinn

Going to Scandinavia this summer. I will join an escorted tour which ends in Stockholm. Planning to go to Tallinn and Helsinki after that. Have 3 full days to spend between Tallinn and Helsinki. Plan A is to spend 1.5 day in each, but I have the feeling that I will like Tallinn more than Helsinki, so planning to go there first so that I have flexibility to stay longer if I feel like it. I just have one concern...
In his book, Rick Steves is very enthusiastic about the Ferry ride from Stockholm to Helsinki. Is the Ferry ride to Tallinn as nice? Will I get to enjoy the Archipelago in the Ferry to Tallinn as much I would do in the Ferry to Helsinki?
In advance, thanks for your input!

Posted by
5685 posts

The ferry ride through the Stockholm archipelago is virtually the same on both trips.

The boats between Stockholm and Helsinki are nicer than the ones to Tallinn ... more restaurants and activities.

Posted by
20 posts

The ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn is a bit over two hours, and there really isn't much to see once you leave the respective harbors - twenty minutes out of the harbor and it's just open sea for an hour until Estonia comes into view. I haven't taken the Stockholm-Helsinki ferry, but it passes the archipelago and probably has a much more interesting view.

As for the respective cities, I spent more time in Helsinki, but Tallinn is definitely breathtaking and I plan to see more of Estonia soon.

Posted by
2630 posts

I spent a full week in Tallinn, with a couple of full-day trips to outlying areas, and also took the ferry to Helsinki for the day--as Jaime says, pretty dull scenery-wise though a clean and efficient trip. Helsinki's downtown areas reminded me a lot of San Francisco, and I spent time exploring that as well as taking a bus from the ferry terminal to the Kauppatori market--interesting handcrafted items and great food stands--and from there the boat out to Suomenlinna, the sea fortress. That was a lovely area to spend a few hours, lots to see and some museums.

I have posted several times about my great love of Tallinn, check out a couple of other posts in this forum for more detailed raving!

One thought--if you're trying to decide whether to fly home from Helsinki or Tallinn, the airport in Tallinn is incredibly close to the new and old town areas, perhaps a 5 minute taxi ride. I don't know about Helsinki.