How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Photo: publicity

Last updated: 04/30/2021

Boat (ferry) is the easiest and most convenient way to discover two beautiful cities in different countries: Helsinki, capital of Finland and Tallinn, capital of Estonia. We tested and approved the experience! Check out all the tips for traveling by boat between Helsinki and Tallinn and include another European country in your itinerary!


There I was planning our short trip to Finland when I look at the map and see that the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is right in front of it! Well, all you have to do is cross the Gulf of Finland, simple! I had been thinking about including Tallinn, the city that has a graceful medieval center in the script for a long time, but I still hadn't found a chance. And that's how, by chance, Tallinn ended up on our script.

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Helsinki Cathedral and Viking Line boat (one of the companies) seen from the sea


It was looking for information about companies that made the route that I ended up discovering that the flow of residents from Helsinki to Tallinn is very common. They go to the country to buy alcohol! Apparently, there are various fees and rules for the liquor trade in Finnish territory. So, not having to go through any bureaucracy (because both countries are part of the European Union), huge flows of Finns go daily to Estonia. And on the boat, I was shocked by the amount of drink these people buy! Most of the people who were traveling with us weren't there to walk around, they were there to buy alcohol! As there is a lot of demand to travel between the capitals of the two countries, there are several options for timetables and companies that offer the route. And it's very convenient, by the way! There's no need to follow the check-in rules like at an airport, or waste time between check-in, security and flight.

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There are some companies that run the route between Helsinki and Tallinn (and vice versa). What basically changes is the terminal where the boats leave, O transfer time (from 1h30 to 3h30) and the prices. It is possible to buy reserved seat tickets. You will have your place reserved in the cabins of the boats. If you prefer to save, no need to reserve a place and sit in one of the free chairs in the corridors or in the bars and restaurants that exist inside. The boats generally have a good structure of restaurants, shops and entertainment areas, with slot machines, for example.

1. Eckerö Line

Eckerö Line offers routes between the two cities from €15 each way. There are up to 3 times available per day (the first at 8:30 am). What I thought was cool is that they offer a cruise service with a scheduled round trip that leaves for a very affordable price (from €17 round trip). The path takes 2 and a half hours: departs at 8:30 am from Helsinki and arrives at 11:00 am in Tallinn; and leaves at 6:30 pm from Tallinn and arrives at 9 pm in Helsinki. This was the company we ended up choosing after a lot of searching (we paid €25 round trip per person). We don't reserve a seat (already note that it's hard to find a seat without a reservation, get there early!), but we do reserve a seat at the breakfast buffet (there are two times you can choose) which I found to be quite decent and with good options both hot and cold. For the buffet, we paid €14 per person.

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Eckerö Line. Photo: publicity

2. Linda Line Express

Linda Line offers a fast boats (only 1 hour and 40 minutes transfer) from €19 each way. There are 3 times available per day (the first at 8 am). Initially, I had booked through Linda Line, but I ended up changing because they emailed me saying that the time I had chosen had been canceled that day. They tried to offer me another time, but it didn't match our travel plans. They refunded the money to my credit card with no problems.

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Linda Line. Photo: publicity

3. Tallink Silja

It offers up to 7 times per day (the first being at 7:30 am). The duration of the transfer is 2 hours (there is only one of the schedules that takes 3 and a half hours). The round trip ticket leaves between €34 and €45, depending on the chosen time. It also has several services of restaurants, bars, shops and even a spa with swimming pools and saunas (at an additional cost of €8 per person).

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Silja Line. Photo: publicity

4. Viking Line

Viking Line is one of the largest companies and offers up to 6 times a day, the first being at 8 am. Boats depart near Market Square in Helsinki's historic centre. The transfer time varies and is generally from 1 hour and 45 minutes (there is a time in the day that takes 2h30). Prices generally vary between €20 and €30 round trip.

How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry
Viking Line. Photo: publicity


To help you know where to board, on the map below, we put the location of the companies' terminals in both cities. Zoom in to see the exact location for each of the companies listed above.


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How to get from Helsinki (Finland) to Tallinn (Estonia) by ferry - Travelers

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  1. Would you recommend staying in Tallin and doing just a day trip to Helsinki or staying in Helsinki and doing a day trip to Tallinn??

  2. Hi!
    I'm planning a family trip to Russia next year and we're going to do this Helsinki – Tallinn journey by ferry. Question: when you arrived in Tallinn, how did you get to the city center?
    And congratulations for the blog, I think it's great! Super well explained, full of useful tips :)

  3. Hi !
    Is the ferry ticket only sold online or can I buy it on the spot or a day before at the ferry service?
    thanks for the help

    • Hello Leda!
      We buy online in advance, but we believe that it is possible to buy on the spot or the day before. The problem will be finding available space. Depending on the time of year and times, tickets are sold out. It's worth checking the companies' websites and doing simulations if you could buy tickets for nearby dates, just to get an idea.
      Hugs and a great trip to you! 🙂

    • Hello Paulo!
      We arrived half an hour early and they had already opened for boarding. As a result, it was very difficult to find a seat because we had bought the cheapest ticket (no seat reservation). For this reason, we recommend that you arrive within 1 hour, as it is more guaranteed to be there when they open for boarding.
      To board, simply show the ticket you purchased.
      Hugs and have a great trip!

  4. Hello,
    I saw that the Eckero Line terminal is a little far from the center of Helsinki. How did you manage to get there? I saw that there is a tram that stops nearby… I also saw the surroundings on google maps and found the place a bit strange to walk around.


      • Did you travel by Eckero? Did you like it? I see that both Viking Line and Eckero Line are 24 euros on the 18th of October bound for Tallinn.
        And I noticed what Camila mentioned, Eckero is removed from the central part.

        But from what you commented, public transport in Helsinki works very well and gets you anywhere, right?

        Do they allow you to get on trams with suitcases?

        • Hi Luiz Henrique,

          That's right, we travel on Eckero. The trip was great, but as we bought the cheapest ticket (which does not have a seat), it was very difficult to find a place to sit. On the way back, we sat on the floor.
          Getting to the terminal is very easy because public transport in Helsinki is excellent.
          I don't think there is any restriction on bringing suitcases on the trams.
          Hugs and a great trip to you! 🙂

          • Thank you for the explanation. Even if we buy the ticket + cheap and there is no place to sit, can we move freely with our bags in all sectors of the ship (restaurant, duty-free shops, etc.)?

  5. Hi! Thanks for sharing your trip. I learned a lot. Does the ship not have a luggage storage? I'll do this route in ten days and I don't want to spend the whole tenpow looking at the bags… I'm carrying a lot… Any suggestions?

    • Hello Attila!
      Glad to know the post has helped you!
      There are lockers on the ship, but the number is very limited. The recommendation is to arrive very early to be one of the first to board the ship.
      Hugs and good luck! 🙂

      • Oops. This information was very useful as well because I will be traveling from Helsinki to Tallinn and I do not intend to reserve a seat.

        Are these lockers paid? Remember their size? Are they for hand luggage or suitcases up to 23kg?

        • Luiz Henrique,
          We don't remember if they are paid because we didn't get to use them. There were lockers of various sizes, but we didn't think a large suitcase could fit in any of them.

    • Did you choose which shipping company? I can see that both (viking line and eckero) are 24 euros on the 18th of October which will be my trip.

  6. Good Morning.
    I've looked in several places and I still haven't found a definitive answer, so I ask for your help: on Eckero Line, for those who buy the option without a restaurant, without a lounge etc.. only the simplest ticket will have a place to sit, or can you run the risk of being on your feet the whole trip?? I don't find on the website or anywhere else what the ticket entitles you to, so that's my question.
    Thank you very much.

    • Hello Roniel!
      Those who do not reserve seats have to look for those that are free on the ferry. Therefore, it is ideal that you arrive early and manage to be one of the first to get in to get vacant seats.
      We got seats on the way out after a lot of searching, and we only found them in the area next to the restaurant. On the way back, we ended up getting in later and there were a lot of people, as it was one of the last hours of the day. We spent the whole trip sitting on the floor, close to where the lockers are, because it was quieter.
      So, if you insist on being seated, it is better to book your seat in advance and pay a higher rate.
      Hugs 🙂

    • Did you choose which shipping company? I can see that both (viking line and eckero) are 24 euros on the 18th of October which will be my trip.

  7. Can you tell me if the ferry service works normally during the winter (in January, in this case)? Thanks

    • Hi Paola!
      It works normally. Delays can happen due to strong winds, but the service operates normally, except for Linda Line, which usually stops during the winter. There are generally no ferries available on January 1st. It is worth checking the official website of each one of them.

      Hugs and a great trip to you! 🙂


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