We are in Tallin for 5 days for a meeting. We have one whole day free and are thinking of taking a ferry to Helsinki for the day. Which ferry line to take? and what to see? is it worth the 3 hr. round trip on the fast ferry? Is it better to do a longer day trip in Estonia? Open to any opinions if you have traveled there. Thanks,
I was there last Sept and took the Silja ferry to Helsinki, very nice large boats with amenities galore. It was a quick 10 minute taxi ride from my Old Town hotel--have your hotel call to avoid paying an inflated price, i.e. $15 euros there at 6 am vs $7. From the terminal in Helsinki I caught a bus to downtown (bus driver was very helpful as I literally had no idea how to get anywhere besides off the boat! As in Estonia I found the Finnish to be very kind and helpful, in general) and transferred to a tram to get to the Esplanade, checked out the marketplace and took a smaller boat (15 min ride) to Suomenlinna, a sea fortress island that's really quite lovely and historic, lots to see (museums, artist studios) and beautiful views. I spent a few hours there and since I was returning on the 4 pm ferry (in hindsight I should have taken a later boat) when I returned to Helsinki I spent time poking around downtown, which reminds me a bit of San Francisco. I was in a mood to shop and wanted to see the Marimekko and Moomin stores and have a bite to eat. There's a lot more to see, of course, depends what your preferences are. If you decide to spend your free day in Tallinn there's always day trips, I'm a big fan of EstAdventures and loved seeing a bit of the surrounding area, plus museums and other neat things.
Thanks that's very helpful!
Helsinki is well worth it. As the other poster said, try to spend a long day there as there is much to do and see. To add to her post, there is the main church (on the hill visible as you enter the harbor). The area surrounding that is all Russian (Peter the Great era) architecture. Also near the harbor is the Russian church (though not as nice as the one in Tallinn). Near the train station (worth it for the architecture) is the Kiasma Museum, the Finnish Museum and Alvar Aalto's masterpiece Finlandia Hall. A little behind the Finnish Museum is the church in the rock (I can't spell the name). The harbor market is fun to walk around and the indoor market hall has great little restaurants to sample some Finnish delicacies.