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Helsinki and Tallin

Hi everyone,

I will be based in Stockholm on a 11 day trip allocating either 3 or 4 Days in Helsinki and Tallin. We will be taking overnight ferries each way. We plan on Helsinki overnight, 1 or 2 nights. Is Tallin worth a full day and overnight?

Posted by
4696 posts

Bill, the answer depends on your preferences and interests. Some would say Helsinki is worth a day trip and Tallinn is worth a night or two; some would say the opposite. I'm in the former camp. I spend three nights in Tallinn (two full days) and one day I day tripped to a coastal town called Haapsalu.

Then I took a ferry to Helsinki (side trip to St. Petersburg and back for four nights by ferry) and had half a day in Helsinki before flying out. That was enough for me. I thought Helsinki was very pleasant but not especially charming or interesting. I liked Tallinn much better, even though it is also quite touristy. You'll have to sample opinions of various people to figure out how you might feel about them.

Tallinn's old town is compact and charming, but it can be explored quickly. Two nights is probably plenty unless you are doing day trips and one night would suffice in a pinch. But if I had 3-4 days for Tallinn and Helsinki, my preference would be more time in Tallinn than in Helsinki. You may have different interests and a different answer.

Posted by
2124 posts

Tallinn is definitely worth at least 2 nights. I spent 7 nights there, with a day trip to Helsinki and feel the same as Andrew--Helsinki is pleasant, but Tallinn is much more charming. I have Estonian heritage so wanted to spend a good chunk of time there, made 2 excellent guided day trips with EstAdventures to Lahemaa national park and other sites, and then one to the west that included Haapsalu. I visited the Kumu museum and Kadriorg palace, explored all over the delightful old town and nearby areas of new town, visited the zoo and Rocca al Mare, the open air museum, Alexander Nevsky cathedral and Toompea hill. Tallinn was my first medieval walled town experience and I was utterly enchanted by it, each little twisty cobbled street was more inviting than the next. There's good food to be found and the people are as pleasant and helpful as you need them to be.

In Helsinki I first went to Kauppatori esplanade for the market and to take the short boat ride out to Suomenlinna, spent a couple of hours there and then the rest of my day exploring the downtown area. I visited in mid-September so being outdoors was still quite enjoyable.