Staying in Tallinn and wondering how to plan a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn via ferry? You are in the right place because I will help you plan your trip.
It was founded in the Middle Ages to be a Swedish rival to other ports on the Gulf of Finland and nowadays Helsinki encapsulates the spirit of Northern Europe – progressive, culturally rich, and deeply connected to its roots.
Whether you are fascinated by its historical landmarks, inspired by its architecture, losing yourself in its cultural festivities, or simply enjoying the high quality of life, Helsinki welcomes everyone with open arms.
This travel guide will cover everything you need to know before visiting Helsinki from Tallinn via ferry. This includes a lot of practical information about the Helsinki-Tallinn route and travel tips to make the most of your day trip to Helsinki.
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Tallinn Helsinki ferry guide
Can you do a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn?
The answer is yes. You can easily do a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn via ferry. Considering the frequent Tallinn to Helsinki ferry schedule and short traveling time, this is one of the most popular day trips from Tallinn.
After reading this article, you will surely realize how easy it is to plan a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn. If you are an early bird, one day is enough time to tick off must-see tourist attractions in Helsinki.
How can I go from Tallinn to Helsinki?
The best option to go from Tallinn to Helsinki is via ferry. Currently, there are 3 ferry companies that will take you from Tallinn to Helsinki.
Tallink Silja ferry line covers 6 daily departures and the travel time to go from Tallinn to Helsinki is 2 hours. Viking Line is another great option that covers 16 sailings weekly the route takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. Eckerö Line takes you to Helsinki in 2 hours and 15 minutes and has 3 sailing daily.
You might see some information about Linda Line online, but it is outdated and not available as of 2023.
Overall, these companies are pretty similar, however, the Tallink Silja line is the most popular option considering its frequent departures. If you are looking for a budget option, Eckerö Line is the way to go. It also offers the earliest departure times from Tallinn.
We will dive deeper into practical tips so keep on reading this Tallinn to Helsinki ferry guide.
How long is the ferry ride from Tallinn to Helsinki?
The distance from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry is around 80 kilometers of the Gulf of Finland, and Baltic Sea, and takes around 2 hours.
But you have to keep in mind that first, you need to reach the departure terminal and then you need to arrive early for check-in and passport check, so plan accordingly.
Before arrival time, you can enjoy the great view from the ferry, get some food, shop or even play with the slot machines that are available onboard. Later in the day, you can listen to some live music and dance. You certainly won’t get bored.
How much does the ferry cost from Tallinn to Helsinki?
The Tallinn to Helsinki ferry price varies on the company.
The most popular Tallink Silja line offers return trip for 30-40 euros. Ticket prices for the Viking Line vary, however, a one-way ticket will cost you around 40 euros. Eckerö Line being the cheapest option sells return tickets for 20 euros depending on the season and availability. It is great for budget travelers.
Buying the return ticket for the same day is usually a great way to save money. You can also upgrade your ticket, however, considering the short traveling time, that is not really necessary.
Where can I find ferry terminals in Helsinki and Tallinn?
There are different terminals in both cities and it varies depending on the ferry company, so it is worth checking the exact location before you purchase your tickets.
Tallink Silja line operates at the Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2 and Tallinn Port, D-Terminal. Eckerö Line terminals are the same except they arrive at the Tallinn Port, A-Terminal. Viking Line departs from Tallinn Port, A-Terminal, and takes you to the Katajanokka Terminal.
Either way, the ferry terminal will be noted down in your confirmation email and ticket. All these places are easy to reach from Tallinn’s old town and Helsinki Cathedral which is the main attraction in Helsinki.
Helsinki day trip travel guide
How to get to Helsinki from the Port?
Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2 is conveniently located approximately 25 minutes from the city center via tram. Once you get out of the port, you will find tram number 7 and number 9.
In case you are traveling by Viking Line, you will arrive at the Katajanokka Terminal. Take the tram number 4 and you will be in the heart of Helsinki in 15 minutes.
You can use the HSL mobile app or machine to purchase a single ticket, return trip, or daily fare.
How to move around Helsinki?
When visiting Helsinki for the first time, choosing the right method to move around is essential to save time and money, so here are the best ways to move around Helsinki together with pros and cons.
Public transport: If you are planning to spend one day in Helsinki, you can safely rely on public transport. Helsinki boasts an extensive tram network and busses. Trams are a convenient way to get around, with routes connecting major attractions and neighborhoods.
Buses complement the tram system, serving areas not covered by trams. Helsinki’s buses are clean and efficient, making them a viable option for exploring the city. Like trams, you can buy tickets onboard or through the HSL app.
Helsinki has a metro line that connects the eastern suburbs to the city center. It’s a fast and efficient way to travel.
Bicycles: If you are looking for an original way to move around your one-day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn, the bike can be a fun way to discover the city. Helsinki is a bicycle-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes and rental services. You can easily rent a bike to explore the city at your own pace. Many bike paths are separated from car traffic.
Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Plenty of taxis are available in Helsinki, and additionally, you can also use ride-sharing services like Uber. Taxis can be a convenient option if you have only 1 day in Helsinki.
Walking: This is probably the easiest way to get the best out of your Helsinki day trip. Helsinki’s compact city center is perfect for exploring on foot. Most of the main attractions, shops, restaurants, and cafes are within walking distance of each other.
Some of the best places to visit during one day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn
- Helsinki Cathedral
- National Library of Finland
- Senate Square
- Uspenski Cathedral
- Rikhardinkatu Library
- Helsinki University City Centre Campus Library
- Finnish museum of natural history
- Havis Amanda
- Helsinki Market Square
- Kamppi Chapel
- St. John’s Church in Helsinki
Your Helsinki day trip should start with Helsinki Cathedral. It is the main attraction in the city center and an architectural masterpiece dominating the cityscape.
Take a quick visit inside and don’t forget to snap some iconic photos from the outside. The entire visit shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
The National Library of Finland
Once you are done with Helsinki Cathedral, head to The National Library of Finland, which is a short walk away. This was my personal highlight of Helsinki, so I highly recommend visiting this hidden gem in Helsinki.
Its imposing architecture reflects the importance of literature and scholarship in Finnish culture. The library’s vast collection includes rare manuscripts, historical documents, and a comprehensive selection of books.
As you step inside, you will be blown away by the beautiful hall and unique staircase that takes you to explore the upper side of the library.
There is no entrance fee, however, you will need to store your belongings in the lockbox at the entrance. You can bring your camera and phone, but everything else has to be put away.
If you are ready for a coffee break, head to Engel Cafe and enjoy the fantastic view of Helsinki Cathedral as you sip a cup of coffee and enjoy some of the famous Finnish pastries. It is a perfect place for a little break during a busy itinerary.
Next, enjoy a nice walk to the Uspenski Cathedral, a striking Eastern Orthodox church that stands as a testament to Helsinki’s cultural diversity. If you think that it looks impressive from the outside, wait until you get inside.
Just like the Helsinki Cathedral, Uspenski Cathedral doesn’t have an entrance fee which makes it one of the best free things to do in Helsinki.
Feeling hungry? For lunch, head to Helsinki Market. Here, you’ll find many stalls selling fresh produce, local crafts, and an assortment of Finnish delicacies.
It’s a good place to sample traditional Finnish dishes like salmon soup, grilled sausages, and Karelian pastries. The market is also famous for its berry vendors, offering wild blueberries and lingonberries, as well as unique handicrafts and souvenirs.
I can suggest SOUP+MORE Vanha Kauppahalli at the market, however, there are multiple options available, so the choice is yours.
In the afternoon, explore the Rikhardinkatu Library. This library, housed in a beautiful historic building, provides a tranquil and welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Inside, you’ll discover an extensive collection of books, magazines, and multimedia resources.
St. John’s Church or Design Museum or Amos Rex
After the library, you can head to St. John’s Church, Design Museum, or Amos Rex. Depending on the time and your interests, you will find entertainment in one of these places.
Kamppi Chapel, also known as the “Chapel of Silence,” is a remarkable architectural gem and it reflects the city’s commitment to modern design and spirituality.
Designed by architects Mikko Summanen, Niko Sirola, and Kimmo Lintula, the chapel is characterized by its minimalist and curved wooden exterior and serene interior.
The entrance fee is 5 euros.
If you want a detailed itinerary for your trip, make sure you read How to Spend 1 Day in Helsinki, Finland.
Looking for cool experiences in Helsinki? Add one of these tours to your Helsinki itinerary
Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Guided Tour
⭐️ Rating: 5 | ⌛️ Tour Length: 5 hours | 📆 Check rates and availability
Experience Helsinki’s highlights during a 5-hour guided tour, where you’ll be impressed by iconic landmarks like the Sibelius Monument and Esplanade Park. Embark on a ferry journey to Suomenlinna, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and wander through the captivating islands of this historic sea fortress on foot.
Helsinki Archipelago: Sightseeing Boat Tour
⭐️ Rating: 4.5 | ⌛️ Tour Length: 1.5 hours | 📆 Check rates and availability
Delve into Helsinki’s vibrant past with a guided sightseeing boat cruise, where you’ll discover the city’s rich history. Enjoy a unique perspective of the Finnish capital as you sail past many of its main attractions, taking in the sights from the water.
Further reading for Finland
Going to Sweden next?
- 12 Best Hotels in Stockholm With a View That You Will Love
- 40 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Stockholm, Sweden
- Complete Itinerary: How to Spend 2 days in Stockholm
- 5 Best Cruises and Boat Tours in Stockholm, Sweden
- 17 Best Free Things to Do in Stockholm + Stockholm Budget Tips
- 130+ Best Sweden Quotes and Sweden Instagram Captions
- 13 Best Photo Spots in Stockholm For Stunning Stockholm Postcards
- Best Ice Hotels in Scandinavia to Book in Winter
This is the end of the Tallinn to Helsinki ferry travel guide and I am sure that you are fully prepared for your Helsinki day trip after reading this article.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.