16 Matters to See and Do in Tallinn, Estonia

A view of the Old Town in Tallin, Estonia on a bright summer day
Posted: 03/12/20 | March 12th, 2020

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a medieval metropolis nestled in opposition to the Baltic Sea. With its picturesque historic Previous City that dates again to the 13th century, it has been drawing in vacationers because the fall of the Soviet Union.

Low cost flights, low-cost costs, and the great thing about Prague with out the crowds have made Tallinn an interesting weekend getaway for Europeans.

I visited the town on a visit from Finland — there’s a frequent ferry service between the 2 cities — and was enamored by it. It was a mix of Nordic and Baltic tradition with loads of matters to see and do.

Better of all, it was tremendous reasonably priced!

Although the town has turn into a bit extra crowded and costly within the final couple of years, it’s nonetheless one in all my favourite locations within the area. It’s peaceable and great: the individuals are open and relaxed and the nation is tremendous tech-forward (they provide e-residency companies particularly for digital nomads).

That can assist you take advantage of out of your journey, listed below are the most effective matters to see and do in Tallinn — from the tremendous touristy to off the crushed path!

1. Take a Free Strolling Tour

An empty street in the Old Town of Tallin, Estonia
The most effective matters you are able to do while you arrive in a brand new metropolis is to take a free strolling tour. They’re a good way to find out about a vacation spot and its historical past whereas taking in the principle sights.

Not solely will it offer you a stable introduction to the town however you’ll get entry to an area information who can reply any and all questions you may need.

EstAdventures has a couple of totally different free tour choices, together with normal strolling excursions, excursions targeted on the town’s communist previous, and road artwork excursions. Simply be sure to tip your information!

2. Estonian Maritime Museum

The Estonian Maritime Museum in Tallin, Estonia
Based in 1935 and situated inside a historic 500-year-old constructing, this museum highlights the historical past of Estonia’s maritime tradition. The primary attraction is the interactive Seaplane Harbour exhibition, which features a Brief 184 seaplane in addition to the steam-powered icebreaker Suur Toll.

And don’t miss the 1936 submarine Lembit, the one surviving Baltic warship from earlier than WWII (and one in all solely two submarines in Estonian naval historical past). There’s additionally an aquarium, ship miniatures, and a flight simulator. It’s a enjoyable and academic place for adults and youngsters alike.

Vesilennuki tee 6, +372 6200 550, meremuuseum.ee. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm; closed Monday. Admission: 15 EUR.

3. Glehn Park & Fortress

Glehn Castle and Park in Tallin, Estonia in the winter
Glehn Park, situated on the Nomme hillside, is house to medieval-style Glehn Fortress. Inbuilt 1886, each the park and chateau had been created by Nikolai von Glehn, a wealthy and eclectic man identified for his uncommon style in ornament (equivalent to tables and chairs carved like collectible figurines, massive statues, and an obelisk in entrance of his home marking the grave of his favourite horse).

Sadly, many of the fortress was looted throughout World Warfare I, so not one of the distinctive items of furnishings he created stay. Nonetheless, you’ll nonetheless get to see the statues he constructed on the grounds of the park. There’s additionally an observatory tower and palm home, which has a stunning mosaic rooftop. It’s an excellent place to calm down, go for a stroll, or go snowboarding throughout wintertime.

Vana-Mustamäe 48, +372 652 5076, ttu.ee/organisatsioonid/glehni-loss. The constructing isn’t open to the general public as it’s now used for occasions (weddings, conferences, receptions, and so on.).

4. Tallinn City Corridor & Sq.

The Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia in summer with lots of people
Tallinn’s Gothic city corridor is the oldest within the Baltics. Accomplished in 1404, it boasts a 64m spire topped with a climate vane of an outdated warrior (named Previous Thomas), a Tallinn metropolis guard and hero from the 16th century who fought within the Livonian Warfare.

You possibly can climb the spire to 34 meters (111 toes) from Could by means of September. The inside of the City Corridor is open to guests as a museum solely throughout July and August; inside, you’ll get to see colourful designs on the partitions, intricate wooden carvings, and gorgeous arched ceilings as you study concerning the metropolis and its historical past.

The encompassing plaza is a good place to people-watch and it hosts a number of actions and markets all year long.

Don’t miss the annual five-day Tallinn Previous City Days competition held in Could. It’s devoted to the cultural heritage of Tallinn and consists of themed days equivalent to Medieval Day and Youngsters’s Day, in addition to quite a few workshops, music, and theatre performances.

Raekoja plats, Kesklinna linnaosa (Metropolis Middle), +372 645 7906, raekoda.tallinn.ee/. Open weekdays from 10am-4pm. Advance reservations required. Admission is 5 EUR.

5. Tallinn Museum of Pictures

An antique camera in the Tallinn Museum of Photography in Tallinn, Estonia
Hidden amidst the cobblestone streets of Tallinn, this small museum is tucked away inside a 14th-century jail. It focuses on Estonia’s historical past of pictures with a everlasting exhibition together with vintage photographs and cameras from 1840 — when pictures first made its technique to Tallinn — to 1940.

You can even take a look at modern pictures from modern-day artists in most of the museum’s rotating displays. It’s a really small museum, however tremendous attention-grabbing even should you’re not an enormous pictures buff.

Raekoja 4/6, +372 644 8767, linnamuuseum.ee/fotomuuseum. Open Saturday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am–5pm, Thursdays from 12–8pm, and Sunday from 11am–4pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

6. Estonian Open-Air Museum

An historic wooden building at the Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn, Estonia
Positioned 15 minutes from the town middle by automotive, this open-air ethnographic museum recreates what life was like in Estonia’s rural countryside. It’s a life-sized rural village composed of farms, a wood chapel, a college, hearth station, store, and an inn that highlights how households from totally different social courses lived throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

There’s a lot to do, from consuming a standard Estonian meal to using a horse to taking a workshop. It’s open all 12 months spherical, however you would possibly need to go throughout the summertime when it’s heat! It’s additionally the most effective matters to do in Tallinn with youngsters. Obtain the cellular app Numu for a free audio information whilst you’re on the museum.

Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, +372 654 9100, evm.ee/est/avaleht.Open each day from 10am–5pm. Admission is Eight EUR. Free entrance with a Tallinn Card.

7. Ichthus Artwork Gallery

The interior of the Ichthus Art Gallery in Tallinn, Estonia
That is one in all Tallinn’s best-kept secrets and techniques. It’s tucked away within the depths of St. Catherine’s Dominican Monastery, which dates again to 1246. On arrival, flip proper towards steep steps that take you into the cellar. The confined area used to include three wings, known as the Claustrum, that housed monks within the 13th century.

Immediately, the area is utilized by artist Aleksandr Savchenkov, who sells his authentic paintings from the cellar. As you wander about you’ll additionally see the ‘Vitality Pillar’, which is situated within the historical monastic chambers and is alleged to be a supply of non secular well-being.

Müürivahe Tänav 33, +372 5559 5920. Admission is free; nevertheless, donations are accepted.

8. Epitaphs of the Cathedral of Saint Mary

Epitaphs of the Cathedral of Saint Mary Tallinn, Estonia
The grounds of this church date again to the 13th century, although the present constructing itself is from the 17th. What makes it not like most different church buildings is that coats-of-arms epitaphs cling on the partitions of the church as an alternative of extra conventional spiritual paintings or decorations.

Traditionally, these had been used as headstones for folks of significance, equivalent to nobles and knights. They mirror the folks of standing who had been buried on the grounds.

In truth, the primary man who ever led a Russian voyage world wide, Admiral Adam Johan von Krusenstern, is buried right here. Climb the 69-meter (226-foot) bell tower to get a ravishing view of the town.

Toom-Koolitänav 6, +372 644 4140. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–3:30pm, closed Mondays. Admission is 5 EUR for adults and three EUR for youngsters. Costume respectfully as it is a place of worship.

9. Estonian Structure Museum

The architecture museum in the historic Roterman Salt Storage building in Tallinn, Estonia
The Estonian Structure Museum was established in 1991 throughout the battle for Estonian independence. The museum is situated within the Rotermann Salt Storage constructing, which was in-built 1908 (after which reconstructed in 1995 with a number of further flooring for the museum).

Its galleries now function drawings from the 1920s, in addition to over 11,500 archived objects (equivalent to drawings and sketches) and a few 18,000 objects of their picture assortment. There are all the time some attention-grabbing rotating displays right here too.

Ahtri tänav 2, +372 625 7000, arhitektuurimuuseum.ee. Open Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm, closed Mondays. Admission is 6 EUR.

10. TV Tower

The view from the TV tower in Tallinn, Estonia
Adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of visiting the TV Tower. Not solely will you have got an unimaginable chook’s-eye view of Tallinn from the highest, which stands 314 meters (1,030 toes) tall, however it’s also possible to attempt the Stroll on the Edge expertise. Hop right into a harness and step outdoors of the tower onto the uncovered deck. It’s the very best open deck in Northern Europe and gives each an incredible view and an enormous rush!

The TV Tower was constructed when Tallinn was chosen as a bunch metropolis for crusing throughout the 1980 Moscow Olympics. It closed in 2007 for renovations and reopened in 2012. It has floor-to-ceiling home windows (not splendid should you’re afraid of heights) so you’ll be able to actually soak within the view in addition to touch-screen data panels so you’ll be able to study concerning the tower and the town.

The tower hosts many occasions, equivalent to music concert events and the annual Stair Run to mark the anniversary of its reopening.

Kloostrimetsa tee 58 A, +372 686 3005, teletorn.ee. Admission is 13 EUR and the Stroll on the Edge prices 30 EUR.

11. Telliskivi Inventive Metropolis

Crowds of people at Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn, Estonia
The Telliskivi Inventive Metropolis is a office for over a thousand folks, with artist’s studios, a radio station, rehearsal areas, and NGO workplaces, all located all through ten repurposed manufacturing unit buildings. Telleskivi hosts a flea market each Saturday, and there are over 600 cultural occasions all year long, together with dance performances, music concert events, and improv theatre.

There are colourful murals on most of the buildings and also you’ll additionally discover eating places and bars stuffed with locals and vacationers alike. Be sure to eat at Peatus (“Cease” in Estonian) for a extremely distinctive expertise: it’s situated inside two outdated Soviet railcars (and the meals is nice too!).

Telliskivi tänav 60a, Pohja, Tallinna linnaosa.

12. Bastion Tunnels

The old, dark Bastion Tunnels in Tallinn, Estonia
These tunnels had been initially constructed within the 17th century as an addition to the Kiek in de Kök (Peek within the Kitchen) tower, and had been supposed for storage. They later held prisoners after which had been used as shelters in opposition to air raids throughout World Warfare II.

In additional fashionable historical past, thieves and rebels used them for shelter because the police often averted the tunnels. They had been cleaned out and opened as much as the general public in 2004. In the event you’re courageous sufficient, you’ll be able to discover the winding maze of the darkish, damp tunnels on a guided tour while you go to the tower.

Komandandi tee 2, +372 644 6686, linnamuuseum.ee/kiek-de-kok. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5pm (Thursday till 8pm), closed Monday. Admission is 14 EUR.

13. Toompea Fortress & Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The famous Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia
Toompea Fortress dates all the best way again to the ninth century and is presently utilized by Riigikogu, Estonia’s Parliament. The east wing has a brightly coloured pink and white exterior in baroque fashion, as ordered by Empress Catherine the Nice in 1773. The opposing facet nonetheless has its medieval stone exterior. The Estonian flag is raised above the tower at dawn every single day.

You can even go to the close by Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It opened in 1900 throughout the Czarist Empire and is house to Tallinn’s largest bell (it weighs 15 tons). The spectacular exterior showcases Russian Revival structure with its onion-shaped dome. The inside is adorned with colourful mosaics and stained-glass home windows and has three ornate altars.

Toompea Fortress: Lossi plats 1a, +372 631 633, riigikogu.ee. On Thursdays at 11am, there’s a 45-minute English-language tour of the fortress. Admissions is free although it’s essential to reserve your spot upfront.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: Lossi plats 10, +372 644 3484, cathedral.bg/en/house. Open each day from 7am-7pm. Admission is free. Costume respectfully as it’s a place of worship.

14. Soviet Statue Graveyard

An old statue of Lenin at the Soviet Statue Graveyard in Tallinn, Estonia
The Soviet Statue Graveyard, situated close to Maarjamäe Fortress, accommodates a set of discarded statues, equivalent to these of Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin. After the Soviets left Tallinn, they had been dumped right here and ignored.

You’ll discover massive statues of heads (a basic Soviet statue pattern) and others that tower over three meters (ten toes) tall. It’s a surreal place to go to — particularly while you understand it hasn’t even been 30 years since Estonia achieved independence and these statues had been left to fade into historical past.

Pirita tee 56, 10127, ajaloomuuseum.ee/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/noukogude-aegsete-monumentide-valinaitus. Open Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm, closed Monday.

15. KGB Museum

Files on an old desk at the KGB Museum in Tallinn, Estonia
Rooms beforehand utilized by spies throughout the Soviet period sit on the highest flooring of the trendy Resort Viru, situated on Viru Sq.. They home listening and recording gear (some cleverly disguised), dial telephones, uniforms, and a typewriter.

Few folks ever knew these rooms existed, they usually had been solely uncovered within the 1990s when the KGB fled the town. They make clear simply how controlling and subversive the Soviet authorities was throughout the occupation.

Viru väljak 4, +372 680 9300, viru.ee/en. Open each day from 10am–5pm. The guided tour begins within the lodge foyer.

16. Take within the View

The view over the city from the Kohtuotsa view point in Tallinn, Estonia
For the most effective view within the metropolis, head to Kohtuotsa viewing platform. It’s on Toompea Hill and gives the most effective view of the town and harbor. You’ll additionally usually discover buskers right here, making it a pleasant place to finish your day and watch the sundown.


Tallinn stays one in all my favourite locations in Europe. It’s a enjoyable and vigorous metropolis house to quirky museums, hidden artwork displays, and exquisite structure.

Go take pleasure in all of the great matters to do right here.

E book Your Journey to Estonia: Logistical Ideas and Methods

E book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

E book Your Lodging
You possibly can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most affordable charges for guesthouses and low-cost lodges. My favourite hostel within the metropolis is:

  • Tallinn Backpackers – This can be a vigorous, social hostel that makes it simple to satisfy folks since they’ve a pub crawl each night time. The employees are nice too!

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions up to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that supply the most effective service and worth are:

Searching for the most effective corporations to save cash with?
Try my useful resource web page for the most effective corporations to make use of while you journey! I listing all those I take advantage of to save cash once I journey – and I believe will make it easier to too!

Picture credit score: 3 – Vladimir Varfolomeev, 4 – Holger Vaga, 5 – Pudelek, 6, 7 – Sander Säde, 8, 9 – Zairon, 10 – Nosser, 11 – Sheila Dee, 12 – Relkmsaiia, 13 – Narva69, 14 -Diego Delso, 15 – Ferran Cornella, 16, 17 – PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ

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