Estonia Finland

Between Tallinn and Helsinki – a journey across the Baltic Sea

Last Updated on 13/05/2020 by kami

Most people who visit Helsinki decide to hop on the ferry and travel to the other side of the Gulf of Finland to spend a day in Tallinn. And it’s perfectly undesrandable as both cities, even if located just 80kms from each other, are totally different in terms of history, architecture and overall atmosphere. In the good old times when I lived in Finland I also did a daytrip to Tallinn and it was such a great experience. So when I planed my autumn trip to Estonia I thought of going the other way around, for a daytrip to Helsinki! I was even hoping to visit one of the saunas in Helsinki.

between Tallinn and Helsinki

Journey between Tallinn and Helsinki

There are few ferry lines crossing the Gulf of Finland each day but Tallink Silja Line, with 6 departures from each city per day, had the itinerary that worked the best for me. And so on Monday morning I arrived at the D Terminal in Tallinn where after a quick and easy self check in I was able to board a M/S Star ferry. The journey was to take about 2 hours (while I remember 6,5 years ago it was one more…) but there were so many cafes, pubs and restaurants with enough places to sit that I was sure the trip will pass by very quickly.

between Tallinn and Helsinki

Amazing view and beautiful sunrise

Even if it was pretty cold (after all it was an early morning in the middle of October) I spent quite some time outside as the view over Tallinn in the sunrise was quite lovely. The good thing about the harbor in Tallinn is that it’s located right in the center and only few steps away from the Old Town so while I was moving slowly towards Finland I could look at the medieval spires in the dusk light. Shortly after the sky turned into the intense orange an I could witness one of the most beautiful sunrises ever, right there in the middle of the Baltic Sea. By that time my hands were freezing but it was so worth to stand outside, the view was just breathtaking!

between Tallinn and Helsinki
between Tallinn and Helsinki

Arriving to Finland

After I returned inside I easily found a place to sit, next to the window so I could stare aimlessly into the endless water. There were quite many people around as it was Monday and most of them were going to work to Finland. But they didn’t bother me too much, I was too busy with just looking at the Baltic Sea. Very quickly we arrived to the Finnish shore doted with lots and lots of small rocky islands. The day was already beautiful: the sky was clear, the sun was sparkling in the water, the wind was winnowing my hair and I felt truly happy. Seeing Finland again, after over 3 years was like coming back home. We arrived to the West Harbour in Helsinki 10 minutes ahead of schedule and very shortly after I was in the tram, going to the center.

between Tallinn and Helsinki

Taking a ferry is a North European thing!

I don’t use ferries very often, I did it mostly when I was living in Finland as it was the most convenient way to get to the neighbour countries, Estonia and Sweden. Besides going for a cruise, even a very short one, seems like a very North European thing to do. But when I do get to the ferry I always feel super excited as there are so many things to see and do there, so many shops to visit, so many decks to explore! I really should do it more often, it’s so much fun! I only regret that during my time in Finland I didn’t go even for a short trip to St. Petersburg, Russia as the city is so close!

between Tallinn and Helsinki
When I was going back home from Estonia I saw a flight departing to Helsinki. There weren’t many people boarding it and still I was wondering why they chose the plane anyway. Taking the ferry across the Gulf of Finland is definitely the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to travel between Tallinn and Helsinki and I can easily recommend it to everyone! Not only you can see another yet so different city but also the views from ferry are really amazing! So when any of you is in Tallinn or Helsinki do yourself a favour and hop to the other capital!

between Tallinn and Helsinki
Practical informations:

There are 6 daily departures of Tallink Silja Line ferries, from both Tallinn and Helsinki ships leave at 7:30, 10:30, 13:30, 16:30, 19:30 and 22:30, taking 2 hours to arrive to their destination. The prices start at 19€ one way or 35€ for the return. You can find more details and book the tickets at Tallink Silja Line website.

In Tallinn ferries arrive/depart from the D Terminal which is a walking distance from the Old Town (~15 minutes).
In Helsinki ferries arrive/depart from the West Harbour that is served by the tram no 9 (8 stops/ ~10 away from the main train station).

And if you want to take the ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki – Tallink Silja Line ferries depart from South Harbour and offer the best view over Helsinki’s downtown. Like this one:

between Tallinn and Helsinki
Do you like travelling by ferry?

Are you planning a trip to Eastern Europe? Do you like that region as much as I do? I’ve created a Facebook group where you can look for advise or inspiration and share your travel stories and pictures from Eastern Europe and beyond. Join now!

You can read more of my posts about Estonia and Finland! If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the “destinations” page.

Note: I was a guest of Tallink Silja Line however all opinions are mine, as always.

love, kami 2

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  • Reply
    04/02/2015 at 06:08

    I love travelling by ferry- especially on Sydney Harbour to Taronga Zoo or somewhere completely new.

    • Reply
      08/02/2015 at 22:38

      I still need to get there. but it sounds really amazing!

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