Tallinn boasts cobbled streets and rejuvenated 14th-century dwellings. Dozens of cafés and restaurants make for an atmospheric retreat after exploring historic churches and scenic ruins, galleries and boutiques. By night, stylish lounges and youthful nightclubs offer a glimpse of the city's sexier side.Some visitors have a hard time escaping Tallinn's undeniable allure, but outside the capital, the bucolic landscape hides numerous attractions.
Lahemaa National Park in Northeastern Estonia has lush forests and beautiful coastal trails.
South of Estonia's cosmopolitan spiritual centre, Tartu, is the hilltop town of Otepää with its laidback atmosphere and lovely ski trails. Handsome beach towns, spa resorts and medieval ruins lie scattered about the western shores of the country.
Further west lies Estonia's biggest island, Saaremaa and on it the towns of Angla, Karja, Triigi & Tuhkana, where iconic windmills, 19th-century lighthouses, unspoilt beaches and yet more medieval ruins transport visitors to another time.
Travelling to Estonia by sea is very popular with tourists – no wonder, as Tallinn is the closest capital to Helsinki and Stockholm and travelling by boat enables you to combine the fun of cruising with efficient transportation.
The main ferry operators are Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line:
Helsinki port in Finland is 80km from Tallinn and it takes less than 2 hours on a ferry. During the summer season (from May to September) boats sail every few hours.Stockholm ports in Sweden are 380km from Tallinn and boat travels once a day in both directions (you spend the night at sea).Travel time varies on different ferries – in general, the larger the boat, the longer the time. You have several dining options on each, cruise ships also include children playgrounds, beauty services, night-clubs and tax-free shops to ensure you have a fun trip, whether travelling with kids or enjoying a weekend getaway.
Most of the Baltic Sea is within mobile coverage areas – though you may be required to go on deck, if trying to call from the Stockholm ferry while it is anchored for the night. Estonian networks are EMT, Elisa and Tele2 and they may overlap with Finnish networks – Telia Sonera and Elisa.Sweets, special treats, handicraft and alcohol are cheaper in Tallinn than in tax-free shops on boats. Perfumes and cosmetics are, in general, within same price range or cheaper on boats.
To catch a ferry you will need a passport or ID-cards (for European citizens).
Transportation to/from the Port of Tallinn
Port of Tallinn uses four different terminals – the longest distance is between terminal A and terminal D, around 1km.
The port is only 10 minutes walk from the Old Town and city centre.
Tram: closest stop to Tallinn port is “Linnahall” and trams 1 and 2 will get you there. It is about 600m walk from the tram stop to terminals A, B and C (and around 1km to terminal D). Tram no 1 travels from Kadriorg, tram no 2 starts from Lasnamäe and drives past the international bus station. Find the suitable times from the tram schedules.
Bus #2 (Mõigu–Reisisadam) takes you from the port to the city centre. It stops at Terminal A, Terminal D, the A. Laikmaa stop (next to Viru Keskus shopping centre) and then continues on to the airport.
View the timetable of bus #2 here.
Bus #3 (label: Veerenni-Randla) takes you closest to the port, stop “Linnahall” - it travels through the centre and stops by the Viru center, at Hobujaama stop. It is about 600m walk from the bus stop to terminals A, B and C and slightly more to terminal D. Schedule for bus no 3.
Most Eurolines international bus lines have an “on-demand” stop in the Tallinn Port – in front of terminals A and D, also some bus lines from the city Pärnu (please ask for the “Tallinn Port” when booking a ticket).
Taking a Taxi
Taxi ranks are located right in front of the terminals B and D.
Choose a clearly marked taxi.According to Estonian law taxis are required to publish their full price list on the passenger’s side of the window and all customers are allowed to choose whichever taxi they prefer, regardless of their position in the line.
Outdoor Pursuits in Estonia
Covering vast swaths of Estonia, forests, wooded meadows and under-appreciated bog form the backdrop to numerous activities. Hiking over wooded trails, horse riding along coastline and canoeing over flooded forests can link you to the ancient wilderness. There's also great bird-watching, cross-country skiing in winter and swimming in crystal-clear lakes and rivers in summer. This all makes a nice prelude to a sauna, one of the national pastimes.