Soul Sisters: Helsinki and Tallinn

08. March 2011

Helsinki and Tallinn are two great capitals in Northern Europe. Just 50 miles and a two-hour ferry ride apart, these two cities facing each other across the Baltic Sea from their respective countries of Finland and Estonia are not only neighbors but soul sisters.

Finns and Estonians have a similar history: first Swedish domination, then Russian, then independence after World War I. But while Finland held on to its freedom through the Cold War, Estonia was gobbled up by the expanding Soviet empire and spent the decades after World War II under communism, regaining its freedom in 1991. Today both enjoy good times as members of the European Union. And now they share another commonality: currency. In 2011, Estonia became the latest nation to adopt the euro (Finland was one of the first, in 1999), making it even more natural to pair Helsinki and Tallinn in your travels.

Chicago Tribune