Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:56.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/56.0 Medieval Day Trip from Helsinki – Old Town Tallinn Medieval Day Trip from Helsinki – Old Town Tallinn Medieval Day Trip from Helsinki – Old Town Tallinn Medieval Day Trip from Helsinki – Old Town Tallinn Medieval Day Trip from Helsinki – Old Town Tallinn
3 comment0
$$$

ITINERARY (Full Day)

Tallink ferryBathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)

Old Town TallinnStroller friendly

Walk Tallinn's medieval walls

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Art studio Ichthus

nugget’s Advice

Prepare in advance
Prepare in advance

Book your ferry ticket on the Tallink ferry online before you go, they have the newest ship, and it's very kid-friendly. Tickets can be changed for a small fee if you need to come back earlier or later.

Good to know
Good to know

Estonia is very far north, so it can be cold! Summers are typically cool, not hot.

Recommended day/time
Recommended day/time

Take the earliest ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn - The earliest ferry leaves at 7:30 am. If that is too early, you can also take the 10:30 am ferry and still have plenty of time in town.

Recommended time of the year
Recommended time of the year

All seasons are great, but if you visit in winter, expect snow! Summer is mild, a light jacket/sweater will likely be needed.

Save Money
Save Money

Book ferry tickets as far in advance as possible. You can change the times if needed for a small fee, but the best deals tend to be with advance reservations.

About This Day

This is the perfect itinerary for a day trip from Helsinki with kids. Your entire family will love walking through Tallinn’s historic town and making up stories about who walked there before you – what did they do for a living, where did they come from, and why were they here? The city is a perfectly preserved medieval town that is comparable to Dubrovnik, Croatia (architecture-wise), and Colmar, France (quaintness-wise). Since it is a less-traveled destination that has not been overrun by tourists yet,  you’ll get an extremely authentic feel, unless there is a cruise ship in port the day you go. Enjoy this fun-filled day but be aware that it is a long adventure (especially if you are coming from Helsinki by ferry). Try the stroganoff in any of the restaurants in town; they’re famous for it!

  • : History buffs| Cultural immersion

Leave a Reply

Tallink ferry
1

Tallink ferry

8 Tyynenmerenkatu, Helsinki
$$$
BathroomChanging tableStroller friendlyWheelchair friendlyToys/kid’s activities (e.g.  crayons, books, etc.)
The Tallink Megastar ferry is a brand new mega ferry (since February 2017) and is a wonderful way to cross the Baltic Sea. Since the boat is so large, the crossing is pretty smooth. If you have sea sickness, you may feel the waves a bit, but it shouldn't be too bad. They have an extensive duty-free store that will have sea sickness medicine, if necessary. We didn't have any issues. Once on board, it's like a mini cruise ship with a huge shopping area, cafes, restaurants, plenty of clean bathrooms with changing stations, and even a kid's zone. The kid's zone is enclosed, and your little one is guaranteed to have a good time.
DIRECTIONS You don't have to come from Helsinki to visit Old Tallinn, but if you do, the ferry is the way to get here. From Senate Square in Helsinki (at the big white cathedral atop the hill in the square), walk about 500 m (about 0.3 miles) to Kaisaniemenkatu and hop on the #9 tram. The cost is 3.20€ per person (kids under 5 are free). The ride is approximately 11 minutes; you will disembark at Stop ID 0304 at West Terminal. From here, the walk to the boat is pretty long inside the terminal (it's a big place). Have your stroller ready or prepare your children for an adventurous hike to the "pirate ship!" Have your tickets ready to be scanned at the entrance (they are digital QR codes and can be stored on your phone).
TIP Grab a seat near the window right after boarding if you want to see the views - the window seats go quickly! There is also an upper-class lounge with dedicated wifi, refreshments, and a quieter space that you can also purchase. Prices are on the website.
Old Town Tallinn
2

Old Town Tallinn

8-9 Raekoja plats, Tallinn
FREE
Stroller friendly
Old Town Tallinn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a wonderfully preserved medieval city. If you are looking for quaint European architecture and history, this is where you'll find it! The city dates back to the 1200s, and the cobblestone streets are original! (Strollers can be taken, but make sure they have cobblestone-tested/approved wheels!) The town is like a fairytale - if you've been to Dubrovnik, Croatia, or seen the city of “Duloc” in Shrek, that is what this town feels like, but with fewer tourists. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny day, pick a cafe on the square, and sit outside to enjoy an ice cream treat and people watch. If it's on the cooler side, sit inside at a window.
DIRECTIONS Once you disembark from the ferry, there is a walk of about 1000 m (about 0.6 miles) to Old Town. Follow the crowds (and the signs) to find it. You will see the old city walls and can enter at Pikk Street, which is the main entrance into the old city. Follow Pikk Street to the square, where you will find the imposing Town Hall with really amazing downspouts (don't forget to look up!) and numerous cafes. You can go inside the Town Hall if you choose, or you can simply walk around and explore the gorgeous alleyways all over the old town.
TIP At the square, take 45 minutes to enjoy an ice cream or hot chocolate at one of the many cafes. We enjoyed hot drinks and chocolate at Kehrwieder Saiakang Chocolaterie - just off the square, down an alley. It is hidden from tourists but still has a view of the square. Built in a half-underground cellar/basement, the building’s inner architecture is worth the stop alone. It is from the 1600s and is a cozy little spot with card games, board games, and more that will keep nuggets occupied for at least an hour if you want!
Walk Tallinn's medieval walls
3

Walk Tallinn's medieval walls

3 Pikk, Tallinn
FREE
Walk along the medieval walls surrounding the city for wonderful views, neat nooks and crannies, and fun sculpture gardens. This walk will take a few hours but you don't have to do the entire ring around the city at once - you can do it in pieces, as you meander through Old Town. We recommend that you take all alleys you can find, exploring those that are less traveled. If you head toward Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral (the onion-dome church) from the square, it will take you toward the diplomatic area, where there are embassies and Secret Service-like guards around some of the quaint homes. We saw the Estonian President while we were in town! For adventurous kids, the walls are climbable for in some areas of the city as well.
DIRECTIONS From the square, pick any alley and follow it. You'll eventually hit the walls! All the alleys here are just adorable - you won't be disappointed, no matter which one you choose.
TIP The city is not level, and the cobblestones can be a challenge for nuggets. Keep a close eye on them, so they don't take a tumble!
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
4

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

10 Lossi plats, Tallinn
FREE
The cathedral is a gorgeous example of Russian Orthodox architecture. If you have never been into a Russian Orthodox cathedral, it might surprise you how small it actually is inside. In addition, there are no pews/seats. Instead, they stand. It is stunningly decorated. Photos are not allowed to be taken inside the cathedral, so make sure you put your cameras away or turn them off before going inside.
DIRECTIONS Follow the signs from any place in town to get to the cathedral. You can pick up a map at most souvenir shops as well (for free). In addition, you can see the “onion domes” of the cathedral from almost anywhere in town, so you can easily follow by sight of the domes to the cathedral.
TIP Behind the cathedral is a post office. If you like postcards, you will find a great selection at reasonable prices here. Plus, you can write and send them immediately!
Art studio Ichthus
5

Art studio Ichthus

33 Müürivahe, Tallinn
FREE
This gallery belongs to Aleksandr, who has resided in this location since the 1970s. Housed inside a Dominican monastery from the 1300s, it's a wondrous experience just to walk through the basement gallery while listening to the Gregorian chants playing overhead. In winter, the art gallery owner keeps a roaring fire in the 700-year-old fireplace, with chairs that look like they are at least 200 to 300 years old seated in front of it. Aleksandr is always sitting at a table in the gallery, painting pieces. His works range from religious to city views of Old Tallinn. Prices are reasonable, and he also has notecards if you aren't interested in a piece for the wall. This gallery is truly unique and one of our favorite experiences in Tallinn by far.
DIRECTIONS Take Katariina Kaik (a street worthy of a stroll alone!) and at the end, where it hits the wall, turn left onto Muurivahe. Look to the left side of the street, as this gallery is tucked into an alcove and not readily visible. It will be about a half-block, to your left side. Go through the arched walkway into the gorgeous courtyard. The gallery is to the right, down the dungeon-looking steps!
TIP Keep nuggets close by as the artwork is low to the ground and can easily be damaged by small hands. Aleksandr accepts donations in a box to the left as you enter, but it is not mandatory to pay a fee to enter.

Leave a Reply