Tallinn to Helsinki by Ferry

A visit to Tallinn and the points of interest including Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn TV tower (and view of the city), Toompea Castle, Raekoja plats, Tallinn old town, St Nicholas’ church, Kiek in de Kök (and view of the city), Viru gates and city walls before taking the ferry to Helsinki

What to see and photograph in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia which is a Baltic state.  It was once part of the Soviet Union but is now part of the European Union.  The main points of interest in Tallinn are;

  • Alexander Nevsky cathedral
  • Kadriorg Palace
  • Tallinn TV tower (and view of the city)
  • Toompea Castle
  • Raekoja plats, Tallinn old town
  • St Nicholas’ church
  • Kiek in de Kök (and view of the city)
  • Viru gates and city walls

There are lots of good value hotels in Tallinn as tourism is the main source of income.\

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Tallinn

When searching for things to do in Tallinn, Estonia the number one search and recommendation is usually to visit the Alexander Nevsky cathedral.  Here it is!  There’s no denying it’s a beautiful building, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate it.  It is a Russian orthodox church completed in the year 1900 but well maintained.  It is free to go inside and the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.  Also the easy walk up the Toompea hill and surrounding buildings are beautiful.  This is a great place for photography.  Not far from here is the Kiek in de Kök museum where you’ll be able to take great photos of the cathedral and also witness a panoramic of Tallinn city.

Kiek in de Kok

Kiek in de Kök, Tallinn

Kiek in de Kök is a stones throw from the cathedral on Toompea hill.  It’s actually a more impressive place to visit than Toompea Castle which is also close by.  Kiek in de Kök was built in 1475, this name was given because of the ability to look into nearby kitchens from the towers.  The towers are 38 m tall which gives you great city photo opportunities.  In addition, Kiek in de Kök is a museum which gives you access to the bastion tunnels below, as well as the towers.  In the gardens outside you will find some life size grim reaper statues which make for a great selfie.

Viru Gate, Tallinn Old Town

Viru Gate, Tallinn, Estonia

When you go to Tallinn you must get your photo taken at the Viru Gate and city walls!  This is the entrance to Tallinn old town.  In the old town there are lots of restaurants, pubs and bars and if you visit on a weekend there are lots of pub crawls you could join.  The hotels here are pretty good value too, I stayed at the Three Crowns Residents which was right in the center of the old town but very fairly priced.

You can’t walk to the Tallinn TV tower, well you could, and you could gain lots of steps on FitBit, but it would take about 2 hours.  There’s a local bus you can catch which will take 30 minutes to get there.  I would only recommend visiting the TV tower if you’re staying more than 1 day in Tallinn otherwise you’ll be short of time to see the other sites which are mostly walkable in the city.

How to get from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland by ferry

Tallinn to Helsinki ferry

You can take a direct ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki which takes 2 hours.  It’s possible to take a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn or vice versa.  There are a few different ferry services but I chose the Tallink Silja Line as they had the most crossings.  You can buy your ticket online or easily at the ferry terminal right before departure, everything is very organised inside the terminal.  I have to mention that there was a Burger King on the ferry so you don’t need to worry about going hungry!  There is also free WiFi all over the ship, a few restaurants and even a supermarket.  A one way ticket is €15 with Tallink Silja Line.

If you plan your time well, it’s possible to visit St Petersburg, Russia without a visa for up to 72 hours.  This is only possible if you use the St Peter Line ferry.  You could go from Tallinn to St Petersburg for a couple of nights, then onto Helsinki.  Now that’s one way to visit Russia without the visa hassle!

Helsinki to Tallinn

2018-03-30T10:01:50+00:00December 19th, 2016|Estonia, Northern Europe|9 Comments


  1. Natalie February 19, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    I love a Russian orthodox church – such pretty domes. I visited one in Nice, France, of all places…a wealthy Russian built one there so he could worship while on vacation. Russia is on our list of places to visit. You’ve given a great overview of what to see in Tallinn!

  2. Mel I TravelingMel February 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    What a great place to visit. I’ve never been to Tallinn, Estonia, but now I want to go! The church is gorgeous and I love the lights on the city walls. The ferry sounds like a fun way to get to or from Tallinn.

  3. Lia February 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Tallinn looks amazing! I had no idea it was so close to St. Petersburg, too. Gotta put those on my list (along with Helsinki, of course)!

  4. Ticker Eats The World February 20, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    I love your posts because they cover so many unique and yet unexplored – by tourists – regions. Again, i’m one of them and would never have though about Estonia as a tourist destination but it comes across as a charming winterland. The fact that it can be done in a day from Helsinki and comes under Eu/Schengen states is always good to know.

  5. marie February 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I have never been to any of the countries before but I’ve seen other posts on the and now looking at yours – they’re simply fabulous. I think many travellers, from other continents but Europe too tend to overlook these lovely destinations.

  6. Allison February 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I’m a Fitbit addict (love my alta lol) so I would have no problem racking up some steps around the old town. Although I image the pubs and restaurants may distract me a bit. Viru Gate looks stunning (if a bit cold!) and good to know it’s reasonably priced inside the city walls!

  7. Jean February 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Your photos show how truly stunning some of the buildings can be in estonia! Thanks for the great advice on how to get from Helsinki across so easily. It makes planning my next trip so much easirr

  8. Raymond Carroll February 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    Good history lesson on Tallinn, James. I like the picture of you in the Viru Gate – cool pic. You must have some photo album boy! Well impressed! Keep up the good work. Posts are great!

  9. Swati February 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    After reading few of your posts.. we have included Tallin to our list. We will also be doing a day trip from Helsinki 🙂 Amazing pics as usual and the architecture looks splendid. Bookmarked and flipped your page too 🙂

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