Are you looking at travelling between Helsinki and Estonia? Then this is everything you need to know about catching the Helsinki Tallinn ferry!
If you’ve got a bit of time in Helsinki then I really recommend a day trip to the cute city of Tallinn in Estonia!
I always feel like this route is a bit of a secret. Not everyone knows you can travel between Hesinki and Tallin by ferry so easily, but you can.
It may look far on the map but the Helsinki Tallin ferry only takes 2.5 hours. This means if you’re organised you can catch an early ferry and spend the entire day exploring the Medieval cobblestone streets of Tallinn before returning home again in the night. This means you can tick off a new city and a new country all in a day – whoop whoop!
Whether you’re travelling from Helsinki to Tallinn or vice versa, this is the post for you. In this little guide I cover how much the ferry costs, how often the ferries run and what you can do on board too. So, if you’re planning a trip from Helsinki to Tallinn then read on!
Overview of Helsinki
Built by Russian imperialists to resemble a mini St-Petersburg, Helsinki has been the capital city of Finland since the early 1800s.
The architecture in Helsinki is a blend of chic modernity, dazzling neo-Renaissance, striking National Romanticism and charming Byzantine-Russian. All these different styles create such a stunning city to explore and I absolutely adore wandering around here.
Helsinki is also known for its explosive design scene, with numerous galleries, stores, and workshops brimming with cutting-edge examples of contemporary creativeness. Dining and drinking is typically a stylish affair, though there are plenty of quirky establishments to pique your curiosity too.
Nature is on your doorstep too from all around the city, and Helsinki is wonderfully interlaced with the bays and islands of the Baltic.
If that’s tickled your fancy, check out my post on some of the best things you can do in Helsinki!
Overview of Tallinn
The UNESCO-listed medieval city of Tallinn has a long and interesting history. The Estonian capital since 1991, it has been through periods of Soviet, Swedish, and German rule in times gone by.
Boasting some of the most complete city walls of any European city, Tallinn is filled with attractive architecture that brings the past to life. Think ancient churches, cobblestone streets, former grand homes of wealthy merchants, charming squares, and opulent palaces.
The historic heart contrasts with the newer Soviet-built areas and gleaming modern structures from more recent times. Despite the city’s growth, however, it still retains a magical fairytale-like feel to the place.
You’ll also find top-class restaurants, a wealth of cultural attractions, sleek bars, and sophisticated shopping in Tallinn.
While you could fly between these two European capitals, where would be the fun in that? Catching the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn is not only cost effective and relatively quick and easy, but it’s also a lot of fun!
You’ll sail through Helsinki’s small rocky islets and islands before hitting the open waters of the Baltic Sea. As you approach Tallinn, the sight of medieval spires rising in the distance is really quite magical. The ferry crossing provides fantastic views that you won’t have anywhere else.
This really was one of my favourite things that I did while I was in Helsinki!
What are the main Helsinki Tallinn ferry operators?
Several operators make the ferry crossing between Helsinki and Tallinn.
The most popular company with the most crossings per day is Tallink Silja Line. Tallink Silja Line has seven regular crossings each day plus a sleeper service too.
Viking Line and Eckero Line each usually sail three times per day. Eckero Line is generally the cheapest provider but the crossing times are longer.
You may find older information online that refers to Linda Line Express but this company is no longer in operation.
How much does the Helsinki Tallinn ferry cost?
The Tallinn Helsinki ferry price is probably a lot cheaper than you think.
Each operator offers various ticket types to suit different types of traveller. Ticket prices may vary depending on what time crossing you choose. Prices also depend on whether you’re travelling with a vehicle or as a foot passenger.
The cost of a one-way regular foot passenger ticket for most weekly Tallink Silja Line services is typically €25-27. The slower crossing costs as little as €15 while the sleeper ferry costs €38+.
Prices may increase at the weekends, at peak times, and summer sailing are usually more expensive than weekend crossings.
Travelling with a vehicle onboard Tallink Silja Line costs an extra €21 and upwards, depending on the type and size of the vehicle. Access to the Comfort Lounge is an additional €20, enjoying the Business Lounge will cost an extra €65, and upgrading to an A or B Class Cabin will cost €35 and €30 respectively per cabin.
With Viking Line, morning sailings typically cost between €34 and €39 depending on the day of the week, and the evening crossing are usually between €21 and €32. You can expect to pay around 68-81 for a night time sleeper service. Various cabin upgrades are available for between €24 and €100.
The Tallinn Helsinki ferry price with Eckero Line starts from as little as €10 for a basic one-way foot passenger ticket. Additional prices for vehicles start from €17, and cabins start from €25 for inside cabins and €35 for outside cabins. Lounge access is an additional €20.
You can also go on a private tour to Tallinn – this tour has some great reviews so find out more here.
How long does the Helsinki Tallinn ferry take?
The fastest ferry crossing time between Helsinki and Tallinn is two hours.
The quickest services are offered by Tallink Silja Line. Tallink Silja Line also has 3.5-hour crossings and sleeper services that take around 13 and a half hours – that’s definitely plenty of time to catch up on your beauty sleep!
Sailing with Eckero Line will take two hours and 15 minutes. If you’re in no rush, Viking Line’s morning and evening crossings take two and a half hours, while the sleeper service takes around nine and a half hours.
How often do the Tallinn Helsinki ferries run?
There are frequent Helsinki Tallinn ferry services, in both directions, on each day of the week. Whether you want to wake up early and arrive first thing in the morning, or whether you prefer to arrive at night, there’s a sailing time to suit you.
Great for early birds, Tallink Silja Line has the earliest Helsinki ferry departing at 7.30am. This is perfect if you’re taking a Helsinki to Tallinn day trip. Services run at regular intervals throughout the day until the last departure at 11.30pm.
Eckero Line has the earliest departure from Tallinn with the first ferry leaving at 6.00am. This is especially ideal if you’re planning a day trip to Helsinki as you’ll arrive in the Finnish capital by 8.00am.
Here’s the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry timetable, plus times for sailing the opposite way from Tallinn to Helsinki to help you plan your trip:
|Operator||Day of the Week||Depart Helsinki||Arrive Tallinn||Depart Tallinn||Arrive Helsinki|
|Tallink Silja Line||Mon-Sun||07.30||09.30||07.30||09.30|
Do note that services may be cancelled or delayed in bad weather. This is more common in the winter time than in the warmer summer months.
Facilities on board the Tallink
Each ferry has a good range of onboard facilities and services to help you pass the time as you sail across the Gulf of Finland.
Tallink Silja Line has especially great facilities on its ships. The company has three vessels that carry passengers between Tallinn and Helsinki: Star, Megastar, and Silja Europa. Silja Europe is a well-equipped and beautiful cruise ship. She’s the largest cruise ship on the Baltic and you can book fabulous overnight cruises if you fancy more time at sea.
Star and Megastar run daily crossings. Each Tallink ferry is comfortable with plenty of ways to enjoy your time onboard. There are no seat numbers in the regular seating areas of each craft; you can choose where you seat and wander around the boat enjoying various features and maybe take a stroll out on deck for some fresh air and awesome views.
On Star you’ll find the Comfort Lounge and Business Lounge. (Additional fees apply for entry to each – more on that later.) There are also a range of cabins, ideal for people on overnight trips travelling with small children, or as a safe space to contain lots of luggage while you take a nap.
There are places to eat, drink, and shop onboard, and you’ll also find a luggage storage room and an information desk.
Megastar has four lounges: the Comfort Lounge and Business Lounge, the Drivers Lounge, which was designed especially for cargo drivers, and the peaceful Sitting Lounge which looks very similar to the cabin on an aeroplane! There’s a choice of shops, restaurants, fast-food joints, and bars, and, if you want to catch forty winks, there are several private cabins.
Megastar is a great choice for families travelling with children as it has a colourful playroom for little ones and a PlayStation for older kids.
Business and corporate travellers needn’t waste a second of precious time aboard the Helsinki Tallinn ferry thanks to the well-equipped meeting room and conference room.
Shops and restaurants
If you’re feeling peckish as you cross the Baltic you’ll find plenty of delicious cuisine to satisfy your appetite.
Star has the 450-seat Delight Buffet, the A La Carte restaurant, which provides amazing views, a Starbucks cafe, Cafe Snack Time, and Burger King. Alternatively, relax and take it easy in the welcoming Pub Seaport.
Dining options in Megastar include Delight Buffet, the a la carte Chef’s Kitchen, the quick and easy Fast Lane, and Burger King. Coffee & Co. serves Starbucks coffee or, if you want something stronger, there are two cosy pubs to entice you – Victory Bar and Sea Pub.
When it comes to retail therapy, Star has a well-stocked supermarket, perfumerie, and fashion store. Megastar boasts a large superstore with a huge selection of goods, a souvenir shop, a perfume and cosmetics store, a delicatessen and confectionary outlet, and the convenient Lobby Shop, which sells snacks, newspapers, electronic accessories, and gifts.
Tallink Business Lounge
Both Star and Megastar have a Business Lounge that you can pay to use. Each is sleek and stylish and offers high standards of comfort. Lounge access costs a €65 surcharge and children under the age of five are free.
Relax in a calm and peaceful atmosphere and treat yourself to a range of inclusive drinks and meals. Catch up with all the latest news and make use of the free premium Wi-Fi. The best part of using the Business Lounge is, however, usually the peace and quiet that you can enjoy as you complete any last-minute work, network with colleagues, reply to emails, or simply gaze out the windows at the unfolding views.
Whether you’re switching destinations or whether you’re thinking of taking a Helsinki to Estonia day trip (or vice versa), the Helsinki ferry is a terrific way to travel.
The Helsinki Tallinn ferry is the ideal way to travel in comfort between two exciting European cities. With a short crossing time and heaps to keep you occupied while sailing across the Baltic Sea, you may even wish that your journey was longer!
Spend your time relaxing or exploring – the choice is yours. The views are unbeatable, and there’s something exciting about travelling by water. You definitely won’t get such terrific skyline vistas arriving in a different way! And, the Helsinki Tallinn ferry crossing may just make it onto your list of favourite travel experiences!
Are you thinking of catching the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn? What do you want to do once you get to Tallinn? Let me know in the comments below!
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