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!
HELSINKI TO TALLINN BY BOAT
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.
CURIOSITY: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES LEAD TO TALLINN
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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COMPANIES THAT MAKE THE JOURNEY
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.
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.
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).
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.
MAP: TERMINAL LOCATION
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.
TIP: TOUR FROM HELSINKI TO TALLINN
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