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Itinerary suggestions Sweden Finland Talinn

Itinerary suggestions Sweden Finland Talinn

Sep 27th, 2017, 07:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
Itinerary suggestions Sweden Finland Talinn

Hi there,
Starting to look at putting together a two itinerary for next August. I know I want to go to Stockholm and Gotland, Aland Islands, Turku and Helsinki. And would like to visit Talinn as well. I know I can cram all that in in two weeks. What I am wondering is how much time in each place would you spend? Would you add anything else in for those countries or St Petersburg for example? Much appreciated any advice you have to offer.
lyntay is offline  
Sep 27th, 2017, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Last year, I visited the Baltic states and took a ferry from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. You can click on my name to read my trip report from last year.

US Citizens need a Russian visa to go to St. Petersburg...unless you take a ferry like I did or go on a cruise ship. Then you can do a 72 hour visa-free visit. If you have only a short time, I highly recommend the ferry option - if you do it today, you'd get three nights in St. Petersburg but also need two nights for the ferry to get there and back (can't fly into/out of St. Petersburg without a visa). I had never been on a cruise of any sort and enjoyed the ferry experience more than I expected.

It's up to you whether you want to try to devote five nights to St. Petersburg. I guess because you sleep on the ferry in and out, you could spend the two travel days in Helsinki or one in Tallinn, so maybe it's not really five nights in St. Petersburg.

Tallinn is a charming little old town but doesn't really require a lot of time to see, unless you want to branch out into the country besides Tallinn. I had three nights and did a day trip to the coastal spa town of Haapsalu.

I thought Helsinki was pleasant but didn't much regret not having spent a night there - just a half day on the way back after St. Peterburg was enough for me. But some do like Helsinki more than I did. It's not nearly as old as the other places I visited in Russia and Estonia, whatever that's worth.
Andrew is online now  
Sep 27th, 2017, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,603
Take the early fast boat from Helsinki to Tallin and you can take the evening ferry back to Helsinki.
Michael is online now  
Sep 27th, 2017, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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FWIW, I think 5 or 6 nights reasonable for a first visit to Stockholm, and wish I’d given Helsinki more than 2.5 days. JMO.

For me, St. Petersburg felt rushed with 6 nights; YMMV.

If you are confident that you have extra time, consider Copenhagen – perhaps 3 nights, or 4 if you add Roskilde, or 5 if you add any other day trips.
kja is offline  
Sep 27th, 2017, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I second everything Andrew and Michael said. This is exactly what we did, except we spent one night in Tallinn. Very much enjoyed our 72 hrs in St. Petersburg. Very easy taking the ferry.

We had only spent 3 nights in Stockholm and wish we had allotted more time.
michele_d is online now  
Sep 27th, 2017, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,378
If you are tight on time, do as above (ferry to Tallinn) or skip it. It's pretty cute,but maybe more popular than it would be if it weren't so convenient to big cruise ships.

St. Petersburg (if you can find the time) will be something truly interesting and different from the other Baltic cities.
kawh is offline  
Sep 28th, 2017, 04:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
I very much appreciate your feedback. I'm wondering if you were able to book the ferry from here (Canada) or if you had to wait until you were there? I've been to Riga and understand that Tallinn is smaller, and would therefore take less time to see. Is that true?
lyntay is offline  
Sep 28th, 2017, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes, Tallinn's old town (which is what you are most likely to want to see) is much smaller than Riga itself, which is pretty big . Tallinn's old town is more authentic than Riga's, but there is more to see in Riga than its old town, so it takes a little more time to see.

I booked the ferry to St. Petersburg before leaving the US, online. I booked the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki online while in Tallinn, but that's because I was waiting until then to decide exactly when I wanted to go. I don't see why you couldn't book the ferry ahead of time, if you wish.

Note that Helsinki's ferries use two different ports. One of the terminals, the west terminal, is further from the center of town than the other one. I took the Tallink ferry which came into the west terminal - which is what I wanted, because my ferry to St. Petersburg left from the same terminal. From west terminal you probably want to take a tram into town. The Viking ferry, by contrast, uses the terminal closer to town I think and might give you better views of the islands, etc. as you leave Helsinki for Tallinn. Views coming into/out of west terminal weren't so amazing. Day trippers might prefer the Viking ferry, but you could use a different ferry each way if doing a day trip to Tallinn, if it saves money/time.
Andrew is online now  
Sep 28th, 2017, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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The ferry from Stockholm to Turku is so so so scenic - days are long so can see the wondrous archipelago coast much of the way - Turku has trains to Helsinki - foot passengers need not book those ferries ahead of time I think but advised I guess in high season. For lots on Scandianavian trains and ferries check www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.
PalenQ is offline  

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