Tallinn is probably the easiest and the cheapest day-trip destination for people in Helsinki. It’s only 2-hour-boat-trip away, different companies offer ferries so basically you can choose from 13 departure times, and you can get return ticket for 15-30 €. Even though Finns enjoy the cheap booze and fake Vuitton bags, Tallinn is also culturally and architecturally interesting city. While Helsinki’s pretty parts have been built around 1800 or in the turn of the century and they represent neo-classism and art nouveau Tallinn’s medieval old town has actually been there since the 15th century.
In two hours you travel from Finland to “Europe” and also back in time. What I mean by that is that somehow Estonia has much more europian feeling in the city than Helsinki does even though it is a smaller city. The city is always full of Finnish tourists but recently the rest of the world has also found Tallinn and you can get great service in English too. What I like about the city is that it has a lot of varieties. There’s the pretty old town, but also a modern new center with great shopping opportunities and nice restaurants. There are nice outdoor sightseeing spots but also places to pop in on a rainy day, like KUMU museum or many inexpensive spas or salons.
Me and my husband desperately needed some vacation so we decided to make a little bit different kind of trip. We booked Tallink Silja’s overnight cruise on M/S Baltic Queen. We had a small but cozy cabin with a twin bed and seaside view, and a pre-booked dinner buffet.
We woke up in Tallinn the next morning and went to the Viru center for breakfast. I had booked us both a relaxing massage, the stress buster treatment (even though for many days I thought it was called “stress booster” and I couldn’t figure it out). Sinine Salon Spa was amazing! Both of the young masseur ladies spoke Finnish and English and I felt perfectly comfortable and relaxed for the whole time. That was very important since I’ve had a bad massage experience in Tallinn a few years ago (It had to do with no common language, plastic g-string bottoms and mirrored shower walls…)
When the 50 minutes was over my husband’s first words were “next time let’s book this for two hours.” And the best part – it was only 48 € for one person. I can recommend this to everyone!
After the spa we headed to the old city for another kind of treat:
Honey beer alone is a good reason to visit Tallinn. That can be found from restaurant Olde Hansa in the center on Old Town.
For the rest of the day we walked around the old city and climbed up the hill to reach the view over the city. I managed to get a bleeding wound on my stomach trying to climb a stone wall but that didn’t ruin anything. I also did some shopping and got an adorable jacket from River Island. We also stumbled into a tiny liqueur store and found Kasey’s favorite beer that they don’t sell in Finland. Awesome!
Before going back to the harbor we had to have dinner. I’ve been wanting to check out this one place for long time now after hearing a lot of good about it. F-hoone locates a little outside of the center, in the area called Kalamaja. It’s a young, hip are known for wall art (fancy graffiti), little boutiques and old factory buildings changed into stores, and restaurants. We took a taxi to the restaurant and I got to use my Estonian with the driver when negotiating over the price. The drive was only about 7 minutes long but we went through really nice-looking suburb with wooden houses. Restaurant itself was cool. It was in a big hall and decorated with bohemian cozy fashion. Menu wasn’t very special, but the food was great and worth every euro we spent. I wish I knew what was the New Zealand red wine we had because it was delicious.
This has been one of the best weekends I’ve had all summer. Great weather, great food, the best company and lots of fun ^__^