Chasing the Northern Lights - Day 4 (Tallinn)

  • Wednesday, December 24, 2014
  • By Iva Wen

Click here to read day 1day 2, day 3, day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 report

Day 4 activity

Day trip to Tallinn, Estonia. 

There are quite a few ferry terminals in Helsinki. West Terminal is used for ferry service to Tallinn. We took the earliest ferry at 7:30am so we could reach Tallinn at 9:30am (Tallinn sunrise at 9:06am and sunset at 3:21pm. Daylight is pretty short so must try to reach there before sky gets dark. Check sunrise Tallinn sunset time here) Tips for best ferry ticket price, try to book your ferry ticket in advance, you can save at least 50%. We got our return ticket (Tallink) for 2 at 76 euro.   

We took tram number 9 from tram stop somewhere near Hotel Finn to West Terminal. 

Click here for the ferry schedule and more information of how to go Tallinn by ferry.

Tallink is an Estonian shipping company currently operating Baltic Sea cruiseferries and ropax ships from Estonia to Finland, Estonia to Sweden, Latvia to Sweden and Finland to Germany. 

We bought star class seat ticket which means no reserved seat and we can sit anywhere (except business lounge and other reserved seats), roam around the ferry, visit restaurants, shopping and etc. We had breakfast at Shuttle Buffet restaurant at deck 8 which serves buffet breakfast, 12 euro per pax. 

Buffet selection is pretty standard, I noticed that most hotels in Finland offer the same menu such as cheese, bread, sausage and etc. 


Tallinn is the capital and the largest city of Estonia. It is located at the northern coast of Estonia and on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80km from the south of Helsinki. 

Tallinn's old town was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is famous for its well preserved Hanseatic architecture. This little town was built up from the 13th to 16th centuries and its beautiful historic buildings making it a popular tourist destination, attracting more than 1.5 million tourists every year.

Download Tallinn map here.

Viru Gate (entrance to old town) - Hellemann Tower - Old town - Town Hall Square - Christmas market - St Nicholas Church - Patkuli view point - Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - St. Catherine's Passage

Most main attractions in Tallinn are located in the old town and they are easily explored on foot. Give yourself a whole day to explore this wonderful city and you will not regret. 

Viru gate

We spent 20 mins to walk from terminal D to old town. They are located at the beginning of Viru street, one of the main entrance into old town

Hellemann Tower

It's a 3-storey tower allows visitors to walk through 200m city wall. It is located near the Müürivahe street which next to the knit market. You need to climb up some steep and narrow stairs in some parts of the city wall. It was a prison and weapon storage place in the past. This is the best place to overlook fantastic views of this medieval city. 

Old town Christmas market & Town Hall Tower

Christmas market is held annually from mid of November to beginning of January at Tallinn Town Hall. This year it's held from 21 November 2014 to 8 January 2015. As always, Christmas market is filled with handicrafts, mulled wine, chocolate, local delicacies and Christmas decorations. You can also find Estonian specialty festive food such as black pudding and sauerkraut.  

Tallinn is a fantastic city. In Christmas time, the snow scene make it looks so fairy tale like. 

Delicious pork chop, sausage and mulled wine from Xmas market.

We had lunch at Kohvik Restorant Baar, it is just in front of Town Hall. Location is great but the food is so so only. Christmas market pork chop taste better than theirs. 

Patkuli vaateplatvorm (Patkuli view point)

Another picturesque view point is from the Patkuli view pointIt is located in one of the oldest parts of Tallinn. It has fairy tale views of the old town especially during winter when all buildings' roofs are covered with white snow. The stairway leading up to the platform has 157 steps, it connects Toompea to the town below and lead visitors to Toompark by the Snelli pond. 

Kohtuotsa vaateplatvorm (Kohtuotsa view point)

Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform, located on the east area of Toompea hill, where you can see the old city meets with the modern city of Tallinn. 

Toompea vaateplatvorm (Toompea view point)

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

It is one of the monumental example of Russian orthodox cathedral on Tallinn. It is just opposite Estonian Parliament building. 

Estonian Parliament

Protesters in front of parliament, something to do with pharmacists

Click here to read day 1day 2, day 3, day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 report

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