Highlights Of Helsinki & The Baltics

Highlights Of Helsinki & The Baltics

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9 Days From

$1815

$1201

Highlights Of Helsinki & The Baltics

9 Days Starting in Helsinki and ending in Vilnius

Visiting: Helsinki, Tallinn, Pärnu, Riga, Hill of Crosses, Trakai, Vilnius

Tour operator:

Expat Explore Travel

Tour code:

HV

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

10 - 51

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

10-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:

English

Activities:

Sightseeing

From: $1815 $1201 Operator discount: -$614

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NB: Prices correct on 24-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Experience the highlights of Baltic tour packages on this unforgettable, 9-day Highlights of Helsinki & The Baltics tour! Expat Explore’s Baltic tours visit all three Baltic capitals and Helsinki, capital of Finland. This adventure through some of the top destinations and hidden gems in Northern Europe offers the perfect combination of included experiences and free time to explore at your own pace. Embark on guided tours of Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Experience Trakai Island Castle and the seaside towns of Pärnu and Saulkrasti. Discover fascinating history, unique cultures, charming cities and much more!

Highlights

  • Enjoy free days in Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius

  • Take a ferry from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia

  • Visit all three Baltic capitals

  • Discover hidden gems like Pärnu, Saulkrasti and Trakai

Places You'll See

Highlights Of Helsinki & The Baltics

Itinerary

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Day 1: Start Of Tour In Helsinki

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Location: Helsinki

Meals Included: Dinner

Your 9-day adventure through the Highlights of Helsinki and The Baltics starts today! Arrive in Helsinki, the capital of Finland and meet up with your tour leader and fellow travellers at the hotel. After a brief introduction to the upcoming itinerary, set off on a locally guided walking and driving tour through Helsinki. Marvel at some of the city’s top sights including Senate Square, the Uspenski Cathedral, the Havis Amanda, Kauppatori Market and more! Be sure to note what you would like to explore more on your free day tomorrow. This evening, look forward to a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Guided tour of Helsinki: Enjoy an insightful walking tour of Helsinki with a local guide this evening and see the city’s top sights and attractions. See the Havis Amanda, the famous art nouveau fountain which is said to symbolise the birth of the city of Helsinki, visit Senate Square, see Helsinki Cathedral which is Finland's most photographed building, and marvel at Uspenski Cathedral which is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe. Finish off the guided tour with a walk through Kauppatori Market where you can shop for souvenirs, keepsakes and well-priced Finnish crafts!

Day 2: Helsinki: Free Day

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Location: Helsinki

Meals Included: Breakfast

Hei Helsinki! Today offers a full free day to discover this artistic and modern city which is consistently listed as one of the world’s happiest and most liveable cities. Why not visit one of the many saunas for a relaxing local experience? This afternoon, embark on a guided tour of Suomenlinna Fortress on an optional excursion, including a ferry ride, light lunch and museum entrance. Then, join the Evening in Helsinki optional excursion to discover more of the city’s incredible attractions such as the Amos Rex art museum, Temppeliaukio Church and Sibelius Monument. Conclude an exciting day by sitting down for dinner with an ocean view and tasting delicious Finnish dishes!

Day 3: Helsinki - Tallinn

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Location: Helsinki, Tallinn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Leaving the shores of Helsinki behind, it’s time to start our Baltic adventure! Catch a ferry and sail across the Gulf of Finland towards Tallinn, the enchanting capital city of Estonia. Arrive in the afternoon and head to a historic restaurant in the Old Town for an included lunch. Afterwards, set off on a walking tour with a local guide. Wander Tallinn’s charming cobblestone streets and admire its gorgeous medieval architecture while you learn more about this fascinating city. The evening is free to spend as you wish; choose to relax at the hotel or set off and do some more exploring!

Helsinki to Tallinn ferry crossing: Hop aboard and enjoy a cruise across the Gulf of Finland, from Finland to Estonia. Be sure to take in the scenic views as the ferry makes its way to Tallinn.


Lunch at a medieval restaurant in Tallinn: Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town Square.


Guided walking tour of Tallinn: Join a local guide for a walking tour of Tallinn, Estonia’s lively capital! Filled with mediaeval churches, cobbled walkways and a vibrant, contemporary culture, Tallinn is a photographer's dream. Highlights include St Olav's church, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tall Hermann Tower, Town Hall Square and more.

Day 4: Tallinn: Free Day

Location: Tallinn

Meals Included: Breakfast

After an introduction to the top attractions in Tallinn yesterday, take today as an opportunity to discover this enchanting city in-depth! Its compact size makes it easy to navigate and explore on foot. In the Old Town, be sure to visit the 12th Century St. Olaf‘s Church which has survived being struck by lightning about 10 times and burnt down three times! Wander around the Old Town, relax in one of the city’s many green spaces (did you know that Tallinn was Europe’s Green Capital in 2023?) or take in the views from the TV tower. The choice is yours on this free day!

Day 5: Tallinn - Pärnu - Latvian Military Cemetery - Riga

Location: Pärnu, Tallinn, Pärnu, Riga

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Say “farewell” to Tallinn and head towards our next Baltic country. Before crossing the border into Latvia, visit Pärnu. This seaside resort town is a popular summer vacation spot for Estonians! After some time to explore, hop back on the coach. First stop in Latvia is Saulkrasti, a picturesque coastal town along the Gulf of Riga. Later this afternoon, arrive in Riga and stop to pay your respects at the Latvian Military Cemetery before arriving at the hotel for the evening. After checking into the hotel, visit Riga’s Old Town and admire the city’s Art Nouveau and Gothic architectural marvels on an orientation walking tour! Enjoy a free evening in this vibrant city.

Visit Pärnu: Enjoy a stop in the resort city of Pärnu in southwestern Estonia. Pärnu is a seaside city overlooking Pärnu Bay and is renowned for its street art, colourful houses and scenic beach.


Enjoy a stop in Saulkrasti: The seaside town of Saulkrasti is a great place to drink in the beauty of the Latvian shoreline without huge crowds. This is where Latvian locals spend days by the beach.


Visit the Latvian Military Cemetery: Also called the Brothers' Cemetery or Cemetery of the Brethren, the Latvian Military Cemetery is a national monument that commemorates the sacrifice of 2,000+ Latvian soldiers who gave their lives for their country during 1915-1920, fighting in World War I and the Latvian War of Independence.


Orientation tour of Riga: Embark on an orientation walking tour of Riga, Latvia’s exciting capital city. See the impressive architecture and learn more about Latvia’s history and culture. Riga boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere combined with Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture. The city is home to popular landmarks like the Riga Dome Cathedral, Saint Peter’s Church, Big Christopher, the Three Brothers, the Old City Wall and the Freedom Monument.

Day 6: Riga: Free Day

Location: Riga

Meals Included: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day to experience Riga! As the largest of the Baltic capitals and with over 800 years of history, Riga is sure to captivate with its blend of architectural wonders, luscious greenery and world-class cuisine. Wander through the UNESCO-protected Old Town and let landmarks like the House of the Black Heads and the Riga Dom Cathedral take your breath away. Treat yourself to a meal at one of the city’s many restaurants, do a spot of shopping or visit one of Riga‘s many celebrated museums or art galleries. However you choose to spend this free day, it’s sure to be one to remember!

Day 7: Riga - Hill Of Crosses - Trakai - Vilnius

Location: Hill of Crosses, Riga, Trakai, Vilnius

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving Riga early this morning, get ready for a jam-packed day of incredible sights. Crossing the border from Latvia into Lithuania, today’s first stop is steeped in mystery and history. Visit the Hill of Crosses, an important religious site and UNESCO World Heritage Site near the city of Šiauliai. Then, travel onwards to Trakai. This quaint town is home to a true fairytale site - the Trakai Island Castle! After snapping plenty of pictures, the tour travels to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Embark on an orientation tour and spot some of the city’s most beautiful attractions including the Vilnius Cathedral, Church of St Anne and Gediminas Tower. Enjoy some free time before sitting down for dinner with the group.

Visit the Hill of Crosses: Experience a visit to the Kryziu Kalnas Hill of Crosses in Lithuania which has been one of the world’s most singular expressions of human faith and sacrifice for over 100 years. Pilgrims have been flocking to the sight for centuries and today there are 200,000+ crosses, carvings and shrines. The tradition of leaving crosses on the hill began only in 1831 by relatives of rebels who died fighting the Russian tsar of the time. 


Trakai Island Castle: First built in the 14th Century, Trakai Island Castle once served as a residence for the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Unfortunately, the castle was severely damaged by the 17th Century. It was finally rebuilt with incredible precision in the 1950s. In winter, the lake surrounding the castle freezes over and creates a fairytale-like atmosphere. In summer, bright blue waters and luscious greenery surround the castle, making it a top attraction in Lithuania all year round! 


Guided tour of Vilnius: Join your tour leader for a guided tour of Vilnius. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers centuries of history to explore, and has a long and storied past. Learn about the history and see more of this city’s Baroque-style architecture and medieval buildings and monuments. Highlights include the Vilnius Cathedral, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Vilnius Town Hall and the Adam Mickiewicz statue. You can also cross the river into the Užupio Respublika, a self-proclaimed republic within Vilnius which has its own constitution and an army of 11 men.

Day 8: Vilnius: Free Day

Location: Vilnius

Meals Included: Breakfast

Labas rytas Vilnius! Lithuania was occupied three times (twice by Russia and once by Germany) and this turbulent past is reflected in its capital’s impressive street art and museums. However, Vilnius is also full of life and locals take any opportunity to celebrate the city’s freedom and unique culture. In just one day in Vilnius, you can visit a political-prison-turned-ultra-cool-event-space, wander through one of Europe’s largest Old Towns, explore the self-proclaimed republic of Užupis and walk or take a funicular to Gediminas Tower for panoramic city views! Not to mention indulging in the wide array of quirky coffee shops and excellent restaurants offering delicious local and international cuisine. You’ll truly be spoilt for choice on this free day.

Day 9: End Of Tour In Vilnius

Location: Vilnius

Meals Included: Breakfast

After 9 days of discovering the top attractions in Helsinki and the many Baltic travel highlights, this unforgettable trip from Helsinki to Vilnius comes to an end this morning. Enjoy one final breakfast with your newfound travel buddies and be sure to swap contact details before going your separate ways. Wishing you a safe journey onwards!

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    8 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms
    Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

  • Transport

    Modern air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet onboard
    Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)

  • Meals

    8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners*Vegetarian options available for all meals on request

  • Experiences

    Join a local guide for a walking tour of Helsinki, Finland’s capital
    Catch a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn
    Enjoy lunch at a medieval restaurant in Tallinn
    Discover Tallinn with a local guide
    Sightsee in Pärnu; a resort city in Estonia
    Visit Saulkrasti; a Latvian seaside town
    Learn about Latvian history at the Latvian War Cemetery
    Discover Riga; Latvia’s vibrant capital
    Visit the famous Hill of Crosses in Lithuania
    Marvel at Trakai Island Castle
    Explore Vilnius; capital of Lithuania

What's Not Included

International flights
Travel to the start point and from the endpoint is not included. We recommend using Skyscanner to find the best deals on international flights.


Travel insurance
For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. 


All passengers travelling on an Expat Explore tour are required to have valid travel insurance cover and you are responsible for arranging your own insurance. Click here for more information.

Mode of Transport


  • Modern air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and toilet onboard

  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)

Accommodation


  • 8 nights in 2, 3 & 4* hotel accommodation in twin rooms with private bathrooms

  • Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room (subject to availability)

Traveller Comfort - *COACH* tours

We welcome all travellers on our tours but we would like to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. In light of this, please ensure that you are happy with the below information and level of fitness required.


Expat Explore tries to be as accommodating as possible, however, our tours are unfortunately not designed for people travelling with wheelchairs or severe mobility issues.


Our tours are fast paced because they are designed for you to see the most a destination has to offer. We also want to ensure that you explore as much as possible, which may require long periods without stops on the coach as we drive to a new destination.


We offer walking tours in most cities (up to 3 hours), and a wheelchair is not always a practical option as there are often cobbled streets and stairs on these tours.


For travellers in wheelchairs, you will only be able to store your wheelchair under the coach with the other luggage. Thus, on the long drives between cities you will not necessarily have access to your wheelchair if we make a quick bathroom stop along the way. Please note that travelling with a wheelchair could prove difficult as our coaches don't have wheelchair lifts, as such you will need to be able to board and alight the coach on your own.


With regards to our accommodation, not all hotels have lifts and this means potentially having to carry bags up and down stairs.


For more information regarding traveller fitness please see our Terms and Conditions.

Check out our Q&As

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our team.

  • Children on tour?

    Our tours are not suitable for young children which is why we have a minimum age limit of 10 years old. However, at the discretion of Expat Explore we may consider younger children on certain tours if they meet certain criteria and a request is received in writing via email. Minors (between 10 and 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who accepts full responsibility for them. Unaccompanied minors will not be accepted on tour. Expat Explore reserves the right to decline any booking at our discretion. Any minor (between 10 and 18 years of age) is priced the same as an adult.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    The health and safety of our travellers and employees are our top priority. Which means, when you travel with us, our enhanced hygiene protocols will ensure you do so in a safe and responsible way - ask for details of current policies.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2005

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    At Expat Explore we value responsible travel and are committed to exploring the world consciously and kindly. We are proud to make responsible travel possible with a number of our sustainable travel practices!

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Relate is a South African based not-for-profit organisation that Expat Explore supports. The group aims to help those less fortunate create better lives for themselves through a variety of fundraising initiatives. On our South Africa tours, each passenger will receive an Expat Explore branded Relate bracelet. We donate the cost of these bracelets to our chosen Relate charity: the Nelson Mandela Sc

Reviews of this operator

Roger  

Wonderful new addition

19-Oct-2022

Great new country and addition by Expat. One of the most interesting and beautiful countries I've ever been. Great food, scenery and lovely people.

Jamie the Kingslayer  

Everything I had expected and more

01-Oct-2022

It was my first time traveling to Europe so I was nervous about everything including finding my way around, speaking the languages, and finding lodging. It turned out to be an incredible experience, I couldn't ask for a better your guide. Luke truly is the best in the business and we were so lucky o have him on the last tour of the season. I am definitely going to recommend Expat to my family and friends when they want to travel to Europe. I am going to go as far as finding out when Luke will be the guide and have family/friends specifically book the tour with him.

Randy  

Outstanding!

25-Sep-2022

From orientation to farewell dinner Martina was always there to ensure that everyone was happy and enjoying the tour! It was fast paced, especially with the added excursions, but the tour covered the best of Italy and Martina was absolutely the best. She was entertaining and informative. Look forward to another tour with her!!

Emma  

Perfect combination of sites, history, culture and food

19-Oct-2022

The highlights of Japan tour with Expat Explore was the ideal way to see the country. It had the perfect mix of big cities, small quaint villages, historical sites and food! The tour was well organised and a good pace to enjoy the various places and activities. We had the opportunity to be immersed in local culture and try the cuisine in a range of dining experiences. The hotels were clean and roomy to rest for days filled with adventures. Japan with Expat should be on your wish list!

CCY  

Good experience

07-Oct-2022

Enjoyed the views of different places and learnt about the history of different places in UK/Ireland.

Kendra Olson   United States

Classic Europe - 14 Days

03-Apr-2024

Such a great trip and saw so many places, if we did this trip on our own I think we would only get half of what we did done in this time period. It definitely was busy with not much down time but we didn’t pay to go be bored. Beautiful and memorable trip!

Travelling Solo  

12 Day Italian Delights

18-Oct-2022

A great tour made even better by our tour leader Marty. She was so knowledgeable and helpful. Made us laugh, showed us amazing sites and always had great recommendations.

Tash  

Really nice experience

26-Oct-2022

Loved the small country towns. Very beautiful MARTY AND ALEX THE DRIVER , made the tour experience perfect for me. She is a brilliant guide.

Disappointed  

Totally exhausted

05-Oct-2022

I need a holiday to recover from this full-on, insufficient down time, tour. Late hotel arrivals, late city tours, late dinners and excessive walking due to public transport use and then early morning starts. And to top it off, no seat rotation (tour leader advised on day 2 for covid reasons) which made sense on day 2 but not by day 3 or 4 when we had been grouped together at meals, on walking tours, and sharing rooms with people we had just met...merrily spreading our germs between our group anyway! This seating rule however was waived for a special few...those who insisted that they get travel sickness (and must sit in the front seat) and..those who think the rule is not for them and aren't challenged by the tour leader anyway. No seat rotation also meant not getting the opportunity to get to know everyone on the tour on an equal basis.

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Aug 05, 2025 - Aug 13, 2025
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Sep 16, 2025 - Sep 24, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Expat Explore Travel allows you to make 5 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 76 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Expat Explore Travel requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 45 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of expat explore travel charges.

    Up to 45 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 44 days before tour starts: Forfeit 40% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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