how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15: a full guide for getting from Estonia to Finland on a budget

As soon as I’d booked myself to go to Tallinn, I toyed with the idea of ferrying over to Finland. I’ve only ever had a long layover in Norway, and have had Scandinavia on my dream list of places to travel for a long while now. I mean, one quick Google of “Sweden”, “Denmark”, or “Iceland” and it’s easy to see why anyone would jump north. However, I figured that I should save my money and do it all in one big go. Why ferry over for a day instead of spending a month or exploring the entire region in depth?! I nixed it from my thoughts and continued planning my stay in Estonia.

Towards the end of my four days in Tallinn, my travel companion asked the same question in reverse: why wait when I could have a taste of that cool weather and moody landscape I’ve been dying to bite into?

And so, over a pizza AirBnB dinner, we booked our ferry and it was done.

Because I had put it out of my mind for a time, I hadn’t done much research on how to take the ferry over to Helsinki. I only knew that you could. That’s why I’ve now created this handy guide to help you pick a ferry operator, navigate to the terminal, and save yourself money along the way! In this post, I’ll be focusing primarily on my experience riding the Eckero Line ferry. However, I’ve included notes about alternatives for those seeking to spend.


Here’s everything you need to know about hitching your ride to Helsinki


how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15

WHAT FERRY OPERATOR TO BOOK WITH

There are multiple ferry operators from Tallinn to Helsinki. The most popular ferries run every day. Each ferry operator charges differently, so make sure to shop around. I’ve outlined the three most popular operators by price below. This website is great for price comparison across all ferry operators, but it actually worked out cheaper for me to book directly from the Eckero Line

website.

spendy - €54 roundtrip

The Tallink Silja is the most popular ferry line for tourists, but it’s also the most costly. Oddly enough, the amenities listed online are nearly the same as the mid-range and budget ferry options. I. obviously, can’t speak to whether the food and drinks on board make the price difference worth it, but I can’t imagine they are nearly 400% superior.

mid-range - €39 roundtrip

Viking Line is a good middle option. Again, according to the website there is no real discrepancy in amenities offered, but it’s up to you whether you’d like to gamble the money.

budget - €15 roundtrip

I took the budget option operated by Eckero Line. The cost was €15 for a roundtrip ticket {“A Day In Helsinki Cruise” 6-hour option}. Even this budget ferry was massive, clean, and had all the basic amenities. The cost will depend on the dates and times you prefer for travel.

WHERE TO BOOK TICKETS

You can book your tickets directly through the linked websites. You can also go to the ferry terminal and purchase your ticket there. If you decide to buy your ticket at the terminal, you need to do so in advance and not the morning of to insure you get a ticket.

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getting to the ferry terminal

The main ferry terminal in Tallinn is only a short walk from the Old Town {approximately 15 minutes on foot}. You can opt for an Uber if you feel like it, especially if you pick the 6AM ferry departure option.

I woke up at 4:30AM and left my AirBnB around 5AM. On foot, I arrived at 5:20AM, in perfect time to snag a prime seat at the front of the ferry, eat my breakfast, and snuggle up in a cushy seat.

The Viking Line and Eckero Line terminal is different than the Tallink ferry, so make sure you know what operator you’re traveling with before you head out. I’ve marked both on the map below for you.

NEED HELP NAVIGATING? I’ve made a map so it’s easy!

how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15

what to expect ON THE JOURNEY

No matter what ferry you take from Tallinn to Helsinki, the average time it takes is approximately 2 hours. There are plenty of windows around the ferry offering unadulterated views of the Baltic Sea. I was worried about seasickness, but the ferry’s path has a reputation for being remarkably smooth and my ride lived up to it. There are outdoor and indoor seating options so, depending on the weather, you can take advantage of view from up top.

There will also be a large majority of men on the morning ferry, specifically on Monday mornings. Many Estonian men ride the ferry to Helsinki to work for the week, since working wages are higher in Finland. They then ride the ferry back to Estonia to be with their families on Friday evening.

Upon arrival, there is no immigration or customs to go through. You simply walk off the ship {with the hordes of other people}, and can set out straight into Helsinki city. There is a tram line at the Eckero ferry dock, making it easy to get into the center of Helsinki, but it’s also only 7-ish minutes on foot.

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on board amenities

The Eckero Line ferry had some of the best amenities I’ve seen on a ship of its kind before. I was completely comfortable, even despite the early wake up. There was plenty of seating, the entire ferry had free {and fast} WiFi, and on the evening ferry ride back there was a live band playing jazz music. There were numerous restaurant and bar set-ups, power outlets, and clean toilet facilities.

If you’re really keen and able to splurge, you can pig out on the buffet breakfast offered located at the back end of the ferry. For budget travelers {or those who just like to save where they can}, I recommend doing what I did: grab some pastries the night before from a local bakery and bring them with you in the morning. You are able to bring your own food and drink on board, and I can promise you it’s cheaper.

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I fully recommend taking the ferry to Finland, even for a day. No, it’s not long enough to see the whole city or to reach deep into Finnish culture, but it is long enough to get a taste of Helsinki and all the capital has to offer.


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how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15 #ferrytravel #europetravel #helsinkitravel #tallinntravel
how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15 #ferrytravel #helsinkitravel #tallinntravel #tallinnthingstodo
how to take the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki for €15 #helsinkitravel #europetravel #thingstodotallinn