Last week I was writing a guest blog post giving some tips for a trip to Tampere and Helsinki. I added an extra tip to travel also to Tallinn if you have spare time in Helsinki, as Tallinn is very cheap and easy to visit, only 2 hours by boat. Tallinn is the city where the most trips abroad are made from Finland, year after year. For English people and other non-Finns, Tallinn isn’t probably a much visited or typical travel destination.
This inspired me to ponder what are the reasons why we Finns love to travel to Tallinn so much. I came up with 6 specific reasons and here they are:
Yep, you read right. The number one reason for most Finnish people travelling to Tallinn is cheap alcohol. Actually, it’s so common, that alcohol could have been numbers 1–6 on this list. And it’s so cheap, compared to Finland, that people take their car on the boat, fill the car up with beer and vodka, and after all is gone they make another trip to Tallinn. Virtually every couple getting married is travelling to Tallinn before the big day to get the refreshments for the wedding. I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise, but that’s how expensive alcohol is in Finland: it’s cheaper to travel abroad to get it.
2. Old town
The medieval old town of Tallinn is something you can’t get tired of. There are lots of attractions, beautiful streets and buildings and places to shop. It’s a nice place just to wander around or maybe sit down on a terrace, especially on a sunny summer day, and watch the world go by. At this point I have to mention, that we also have an old town which is as well listed as UNESCO’s world heritage site, here in Rauma. For new readers, Rauma is a small town on the South-West coast of Finland. And I live there. So, if you don’t fancy the idea of visiting Tallinn, you are always welcome to stop by in Rauma!
3. Weekend trip to Tallinn vs. weekend trip in Finland
As funny as it sounds, a Finnish person or a family planning a weekend trip will most likely end up choosing Tallinn over Finland. The nearest villages and towns close to your home have been seen millions of times, and driving to the other side of Finland with fuel and other costs would make a nice hole in your wallet. Not to mention the prices of public transport here in Finland, even thinking about them gives me chills. Many people travel to Tallinn even with a secret motive of making money out of it. They buy cheap stuff from Tallinn and then sell it in Finland for a profit, and so the cost of the weekend trip have been covered.
4. Spas, hairdressers and beauty salons
There are plenty of fine spas in Tallinn, and a relaxing holiday with spa, wellness and beauty treatments as well as the services of a hairdresser will benefit big time when done in Tallinn instead of Finland. Again, it’s about the prices. I have been on a spa holiday in Tallinn myself a few years ago, and I have absolutely nothing to complain about the service and the treatments. So why not to give it a go.
5. “Medical” reasons
It starts to be more common for Finns to travel to Tallinn also for medical treatment. Many surgical procedures, for example, are considerably cheaper in Tallinn. At least one of my close friends has been for laser eye surgery in Tallinn, and thanks to the operation he was able to toss away his glasses. Even if there wasn’t any need for an operation, drugs are often on the shopping list when a Finn goes to Tallinn. Yes, painkillers and other medicine are also cheaper there.
6. It’s so easy!
When a Finn wants to travel abroad, what would be easier than going on a boat for two hours and being already in Tallinn? Well, nothing. Besides a short journey, the other benefit is that Estonians speak and understand Finnish. Yes, there is a nation that can understand the language no one wants to learn cause it’s too difficult! So that makes Tallinn as a super easy travel destination for people who can’t or don’t want to speak English or any other foreign language.