A relaxing though not exactly cheap two hours from Helsinki is Tallinn with the very pretty historic city center. Staying a little bit outside of this perimeter proved to be a good idea as apparently the city gets flooded every once in a while with tourists coming from one of the huge cruise ships. Luckily, none of these ships were around during our stay.
Still, the city was swarming with people and very animated. Having come across the ‘Like a local’ maps in the youth hostel in Helsinki, we put them to a practical use in Tallinn: First by joining the excellent free guided tour. Free, as always in these cases, means financed by tips which were given generously afterwards. Second by picking out some of the advised restaurants, one of them great, others more interesting though not in the English sense of the term.
Besides the city center, we also used one very well spent day to rent bicycles and drive all the way to the television tower and the botanic garden. Due to our poor planning (and incredibly long queues), we didn’t manage to get up the tower but the garden was still a worth-while visit.