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Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

by Brizoid Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Will be in Helsinki in June and have been researching a day trip to Tallin - there is plenty of information on the ferries and on the attractions of Tallin itself, but I am having trouble finding any day round trip guided tour originating in Helsinki. Now two things: is it best to organise such a service from Helsinki, or are there guided tours available in Tallin on arrival? Maybe there are guides in Tallin who would do an escorted tour for the day? (We are happy to leave early from Helsinki to make a day of it.)

Or is a visit to Tallin something that can be done effectively from a guide book?

We are a couple of 60-somethings willing to walk or ride!

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6 Answers
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by leics Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 5:14 AM

    You can very easily explore central historical Tallinn on foot by yourselves.

    It is less than 10 minutes walk from the ferry port to the city walls, and historical Tallinn is not a huge place....very easy to explore on foot.

    You can use your guidebook (I like the Rough Guides) or get an audioguide tour:

    http://www.audioguide.ee/

    or join the walking tours led by young students:

    traveller.ee/freetour/?page_...

    or use the hop-on bus (although I personally wouldn't bother with that, as for obvious reasons it does not actually go into the historical heart of the city):

    citytour.ee/index.php?id=426...

    More info on all of these (and more) in English, with links, here:

    tourism.tallinn.ee/fpage/exp...

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by leics Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    But if I were you I would do as I did...get a decent guidebook and just enjoy wandering the old city. If you are independent you can choose to avoid the most crowded areas (you will find plenty of groups around, especially if there is a cruise ship in port) and return to them when the groups have moved on.

    Tallinn is a lovely place to explore with lots of history; my pages have tips on what you might like to see.

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  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by Durfun Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    Hi, Leics is right, no need for a guide for Tallinn! It's beautiful & compact - all well within walking distance.

    Definitely go up St Olav's Church for views over the Old Town, seeing the bastions, city walls, port, etc.

    Then go in the intriguing 'through the Kitchen window' fat tower! Very good exhibits in there, and it's fascinating to see how it functioned as a defensive tower!

    Check out the various architectural gems like the Three Sisters Houses, and head to the rear twin gate towers where you'll see the renowned restaurants like Old Hansa, Peppersack, etc.

    And, if you have time (which you will), catch the tram from the main drag to Kadriog Palace. It's a fair walk from the tram stop (10 minutes), so consider catching a taxi unless you're upto the walk to see the compact Palace complex. Another 10 minutes walk from there (towards the sea) is the Rusalska statue, decorated with cannons!!

    Enjoy this pretty gem of a city.

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  • Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by Brizoid Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    Those are really helpful responses - thank you so much. After I posted my message, I did track down some tour information by searching on Tallinn tours - and from one Helsinki site too. But the advice to just go it alone is reassuring. Must admit the barely half-day provided by one Helsinki operation seemed to undersell what looks like a beautiful town - it will be interesting for us to compare it with memories of Rothenburg and Dinkelsbuhl (spelling?) from our visit to those towns in Germany a long time ago.

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  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by Durfun Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    I think the pastel-coloured Peterhof Palace is very pretty & different. The colourful garden is front is so photogenic.

    Just beyond it is the President's Palace.

    Definitely dine at Old Hansa, it's very nice, with a medieval theme. The streets around it definitely capture a bygone era - but luckily it's still a living & breathing part of town!

    Yes, go it alone & enjoy it at your pace.

    BTW, in Helsinki do visit the Rock Church, and climb up the Olympic Tower for great views over the city. Both are on the circular tram route, requiring about a 5 minute walk from the stops.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Re: Conducted tours Helsinki to Tallin

    by grandmaR Online Now Apr 24, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    You've gotten very good advice. We were there for one day on a cruise ship, and I didn't take any of the tours from the ship because I can't walk that well and I knew that a bus tour without walking wouldn't be in the old part of town. I did see the hop on hop off bus, but the problem would be the same as with regular tour buses and I did not really want a taxi. We walked in from to bus stop and happened on a pedicab and he took us on a tour of the old town for about a hour. He took us to the specific places that we wanted to see, and explained stuff and answered questions.

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