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If you find yourself in Helsinki, make sure to set aside a day to visit Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Visiting Tallinn with kids is fun and there is so much to see and do, your time will be over before you know it. The trip from Helsinki via ferry takes 2 hours and you will have 6-8 hours to explore, deepening on which departure and return time you select. Here is how to take a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn.
There are several ferries that go from Helsinki to Tallinn, but we opted for the Tallink & Silja line. Ticket prices will vary based on date, which section you want to sit in, etc. The boat was huge, with tons of activities and food options on board. For families, there was a large playroom where we ended up spending the majority of the time, hence why we chose the cheapest ticket. There are several departures and return times to choose from, so something will fit your schedule! They say to book in advance during the summer, however we visited in August and booked one day in advance without any issues.
The kids playroom on the Tallink & Silja ship was great and kept Milana entertained for the duration of the trip. There was a ball pit with slides, a video game and an art table where she spent the majority of the time. An hour after departure, staff came in with other entertainment. We had face painting on our way to Tallinn and balloon animals on the way back.
When you step off the ferry in Tallinn, you are approximately a 10 minute walk from the charming Tallinn Old Town. There are lots of cabs and Ubers available to take you there, but we opted to walk and check out this new city. It was a warm summer day and it also happened to be Estonia’s Independence Day, so it was packed! But everything was open and it was business as usual. Of all the European Old Towns we have visited, Tallinn is one of our favorites. It’s much bigger than many others we have been to and super cute!
WHERE TO EAT IN TALLINN
We may have only be in Tallinn for a few hours, but we sure ate a lot! Our first stop was for lunch at Olde Hansa, recommended to us by several people. This restaurant is famous for the most medieval dining experience in the world. We loved the ambiance and staff dressed in medieval attire, however the food left a lot to be desired! We opted for the tasting menu so we can try a little bit of everything and quite honestly, nothing really jumped out and for the price, I felt like it’s not really worth it. So if you are here, look to eat elsewhere! The best part of the meal here was the mushroom soup, which is not part of the tasting platter so ordering off the regular menu may be a better bet.
When you’re walking around, you will see lots of vendors selling different foods. Milana wanted something sweet, so we stopped at this little booth selling tiny pancakes with raspberries. They were so good, don’t miss them! The booth is right by the main square.
Another place we stumbled upon while walking was the Chocolaterie de Pierre cafe which has lots of yummy desserts! It was hot, so we shared some ice cream.
I would say a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki with kids is well worth it! 6 hours was more than enough time to walk around and explore the cute Old Town. If you find yourself in Helsinki with kids, don’t miss out on this!