The city of Tallinn will be a contrast to St Petersburg, providing a completely different vibe of a medieval capital. Narrow cobbled streets, castle towers and bastions will transport you to a whole new setting. Tallinn is not very big, so a weekend trip should be enough to enjoy everything the city has to offer at a leisurely pace.
There is nothing difficult about making the journey into Tallinn and back. The only details to consider are the visa requirements for both countries (Russia and Estonia). Tallinn is part of the EU, therefore, a Schengen visa is needed for some nationalities. If you are travelling from Russia, then a Russian visa would have already been acquired. Do note that Russia usually issues single entry visas, so planning ahead for a multi-entry visa is necessary if coming back to St Petersburg from Tallinn.
The most common way to travel to Tallinn is via bus. This is the way most locals journey from St Petersburg, as it is cost-effective and convenient. The journey takes seven hours, and it can be done overnight, which would also save the cost of paying for a room in a hotel. Many companies operate bus services between the two countries. Among them is LuxExpress, a reliable bus service with WiFi and on-board facilities. Prices depend on how far in advance the booking is made and usually hover around 1,400 roubles (20 euros / $23 US) for a single trip.
Even when the time it takes to get to the airport and navigate through the airport is taken into account, the fastest way to travel between the two capitals is by plane. Direct flights take just one hour. There is generally one every day of the week during the summer, and less frequent flights are scheduled during the rest of the year. The price of a single ticket is about 5,000 roubles (70 euros / $81 US) depending on airline and time of booking. Both St Petersburg and Tallinn airports are well connected by public transport.
If there is no rush to get from one destination to the other, taking a ferry will make for a relaxing overnight trip. The ferry, run by St Peter Line, frequently travels between the port of St Petersburg and Tallinn. Usually, the journey combines visits to Helsinki and Stockholm. The trip happens overnight, and your day is spent at the destination. Prices depend on the type of cabin chosen for the journey. There are also shops, restaurants and bars available on board.
Taking the train is a more authentic, old-style experience, and you’ll get to see the countryside along the way. The journey time is the same as taking a bus – seven hours. The only drawback is that the departures are usually in the daytime, so you’ll be travelling through the day. The best place to book tickets is via the official Russian Railways website. The price depends on the choice of travel class, which can range from seats to luxe sleeper cars. Comfort levels will also vary accordingly.