Helsinki / Tallinn recommendations

Couldn’t find a seperate thread for these two, just discussions about flying into Helsinki then getting the ferry across to Tallinn. We’re doing this next month, so looking for recommendations for good places to eat, walks etc. etc.

Really nice little boho courtyard café by the east wall of the the old town near Viru Gate

The hot chocolate & cointreau is a fucking treat

Also, all the bakeries in Talinn are crammed with good stuff. Nicest thing to do is just stroll about the old town & perimeter grazing on pastries. All the good views and massive parts of the fortifications are up on Toompea Hill to the northwest of the old town & on down towards the train station, the south east side of the old town runs out of Viru Gate to the modern shopping areas

Next month might be a bit early but there’s a really good beach in Talinn called Pirita Rand which you get to by going through a forest though there’s a cool weird hotel complex there that was built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics as they did the sailing in Tallinn

There’s other stuff that’ll come to me later…I post some more


For Helsinki, I’d recommend doing a trip to soumenlinna, an island off the coast (~20 minute boat ride) with an old sea fort. It’s really fun to explore, and has some museum bits and an old ww2 submarine you can go inside

Kallio district has a lot of cool nightlife stuff that’s quite studenty so not too expensive. There’s loads of places, but shout out to this Nepalese bar that made us amazing momo at 1 in the morning.

Whenever you pass a kiosk shop go in and buy a delicious taquito or 2.

Tallinn’s old town is really fun to explore and has the usual selection of touristy but pleasant pubs and restaurants. Plus a Depeche Mode bar if you’re into that kind of thing. Bar Koht is a very cool, cozy little place that does interesting beers, including local ones.

One the coast there’s a massive crumbling Soviet events venue (Linnahall) that’s quite interesting to walk on. From there you can walk round past an old prison fort to the maritime museum. Even if you don’t pay for a ticket, I’d recommend a drink in the cafe which lets you see into the cool main hall. You can separately buy tickets to tour round some old ships, the ice breaker was really fun to explore. From there, the Pohjala brewery tap room has some very tasty and interesting beers and excellent bbq.

The Telliskivi Creative City to the west of the old town is a kind of warehousey arts district with a bunch of creative shops, cafes, pubs clubs etc with a more modern atmosphere than old town.


Visit the moomin cafe and ask the moomin plush if he still has the pair of glasses I left there.

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Definitely go to the sauna at Löyly, it’s an absolutely stunning building, and I absolutely loved being there (as someone who thought he wasn’t into saunas).

Getting really hot in the dark “smoke-sauna” then jumping into the Baltic Sea is pretty incredible

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Another vote for Suomenlinna. Magic on a sunny day

Seems like a really nice double header. Do you think these two are better done as individual trips or combined in some way as Hobbes is doing it?

Was thinking of a week, Sunday-Wed in Helsinki and then Wed-Sat in Estonia.

Did these two as a combo many years ago. We started at Riga, coach to Tallinn and then ferry to Helsinki. Was very easy getting about between them all.

Echo the recommendation on Suomenlinna, we walked to see the The Sibelius Monument and remember a lot of the musuems being good plus the church of silence.Too long ago for food recommendations to be valid plus we didn’t have much money so everything was on the cheap. Went to the cinema out there and was great watching a film in silence.

In Tallinn again as mentioned just wandering about the streets was good, also walked to the giant block of concrete and took some moody night photos there by the graffiti. We paid to go on a trip with this company that took is to the national park, an old demagnetising submarine base, an old estate house and some weird remote nautical museum where we had amazing smoked salmon.

Also.if you get a chance getting on one of these swings is great


I think the double works well. Both on the euro and minimal faff when moving between countries so it’s an efficient way to see two places. The ferry ride is very pleasant if the weather’s good, and the port’s easy to get to from both cities.

I reckon a few days is a good amount to get a feel for each city. You could spend more time, but you’d have to start drilling down beyond the obvious stuff.

Tallinn’s also cheaper, so if you go there second it gives you a little mid holiday boost.


Tallinn - Old Town mooch, we had a great time eating borscht in cafes and drinking in great pubs / olde inn vibe places with table service, and taking in the architecture and the views. Also had the best Indian food i’ve possibly ever had in Tallinn

Helsinki - would really recommend the Temppeliaukio Church

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Tallinn is my favourite city I’ve been to. Small but with loads to do, and has a very chilled vibe everywhere. They manage to do all the historic stuff without feeling like a theme park filled with tourist tat too.

The museums were of a routinely high standard, so I guess I’d just recommend picking stuff you have a general interest in. I really enjoyed the look around the top floors of Hotel Viru (which didn’t officially exist during the Soviet era, as it was the only hotel open to foreigners and so filled with surveillance equipment). I’ll also give a shout out to Kumu, the national art gallery. Even as someone who very quickly gets gallery fatigue, I absolutely loved their permanent exhibition of 19th-20th century art (Apparently they’ve rejigged this since I was there, so it wasn’t entirely ‘permanent’, I guess).

Someone has already mentioned Telliskivi, which is packed full of nice boutique shops and bars.

The upstairs fleamarket near the station is worth a look, if you fancy kitting yourself out with Soviet era stuff - particularly anything and everything related to Cheburashka and the Moscow Olympics mascot.

Saying all that, being Scottish, my personal highlight was visiting the ‘one team in Tallinn’ stadium.


Bonus Tallinn recommendation. If you a child at heart, find this between Linnahall and the old seafront prison and have a climb in. A really enjoyably weird space to navigate.

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Absolutely yes! Absolute gold.

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It’s just round the side of here, the little yellow patch that shows up on Satellite View

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If you are a depeche mode fan you can visit this bar in Tallinn!

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Sorted a little trip to Tallinn in mid-June. Was going to try and do the double header with Helsinki but couldn’t get the flights to line up how I wanted, so will leave Finland for another day.