Riga to Tampere

Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Old Town
Riga architecture
Riga showing railway station
Riga Old Town
Tallinn Old Church
Tallin roofscape
Tallinn tourism
Tampere riverside
Tartu University

Holiday Highlights

  • A chance to explore the Baltic region
  • Time for sightseeing in Riga, Tartu, Tallinn, Helsinki and Tampere
  • City passes for travel in Riga and Helsinki
  • Travel using varied forms of transport throughout the holiday
  • 9 Days from £1,035

Series 5, Episode 5, Great Continental Rail Journeys. In this episode Michael Portillo explores northern Europe and the Baltic coast region. This 9-day tour allows plenty of time to explore some important northern European cities that would not ordinarily feature highly as tourist destinations, but Riga in Lativia, Tartu and Tallin in Estonia and Helsinki and Tampere in Finland have lots to offer the holiday rail traveller.


Day 1 – To Riga

Morning flight from London to Riga. Stay 2 nights in city centre hotel.

Day 2 – Free Time in Riga

Spend the day sightseeing in Riga. The city is the capital of Latvia and commercially in northern Europe is second in importance after St Petersburg. The old town is a maze of winding streets and wonderful old buildings in the Hanseatic style, but in other parts you will sense a strong Russian feel to the city. We will provide a city pass which will cover all forms of public transport.

Day 3 – To Estonia

Leaving Riga behind we take the train via Valga and cross the border into Estonia. We travel as far as Tartu for an overnight stay.

Day 4 – Tartu

Free morning for sightseeing. Tartu is the chief university town and cultural capital of Estonia, hosting a Song Festival every year. Leave by train mid-afternoon for the 2 hour journey to Tallinn, where you have a 2-night stay.

Day 5 – Free Time in Tallinn

Free day based in Tallinn. The city is reputed to be the oldest city in northern Europe with a settlement dating as far back as 3000 years ago. Its medieval old town is a delight with cobbled streets, painted houses and part of the original fortifications still survive today.

Day 6 – Finland Beckons

Leaving Tallinn we cross the Baltic Sea on the ferry to Helsinki for a 3-night stay. Free afternoon for sightseeing. The city has a distinct Russian feel having been originally modelled on St Petersburg. It became the capital city in 1812 when Finland was part of the Russian Empire. We include a 3-day city card which offers excursion ideas and covers all public transport.

Day 7 – Free Time

Free day based in Helsinki.

Day 8 – Tampere

Day trip by train north to Tampere, Finland’s second city. The city is surrounded by numerous lakes and was once the industrial heartland with many read bricked factories. Today there are still some mills operating by water power.

Day 9 – To London

Free time in Helsinki prior to afternoon flight back to London.

Selected Hotels

Ibis Hotel Riga Centre, Riga

Hotel Lydia, Tartu

Hotel St Olav, Tallinn

Hotel Seurahuone, Helsinki

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

    • Flight to Riga and from Helsinki
    • Standard class rail
    • Ferry crossing
    • City passes for Riga and Helsinki
    • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis

Price per person

From £1,035 per person sharing

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Alternative flash content


Get Adobe Flash player

24/7 Support


Ffestiniog Travel provides 'out of hours' support for all independent travellers in the event of an emergency.