Posted: 3/12/2020 | 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 issues to see and do.
Better of all, it was tremendous reasonably priced!
Although the town has develop 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 persons 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 here are the very best issues to see and do in Tallinn — from the tremendous touristy to off the crushed path!
1. Take a Free Strolling Tour
Among the finest issues you are able to do while you arrive in a brand new metropolis is to take a free strolling tour. They’re an effective way to find out about a vacation spot and its historical past whereas taking in the primary sights.
Not solely will it offer you a strong introduction to the town however you’ll get entry to an area information who can reply any and all questions you might need.
EstAdventures has a couple of totally different free tour choices, together with basic strolling excursions, excursions centered on the town’s communist previous, and avenue artwork excursions. Simply be certain that to tip your information!
2. Estonian Maritime Museum
Based in 1935 and situated inside a historic 500-year-old constructing, this museum highlights the historical past of Estonia’s maritime tradition. The principle attraction is the interactive Seaplane Harbour exhibition, which features a Quick 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 & Fort
Glehn Park, situated on the Nomme hillside, is residence to medieval-style Glehn Fort. In-built 1886, each the park and chateau have been created by Nikolai von Glehn, a wealthy and eclectic man identified for his uncommon style in ornament (corresponding to tables and chairs carved like collectible figurines, giant statues, and an obelisk in entrance of his home marking the grave of his favourite horse).
Sadly, many of the citadel was looted throughout World Battle 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 many others.).
4. Tallinn City Corridor & Sq.
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 previous warrior (named Previous Thomas), a Tallinn metropolis guard and hero from the 16th century who fought within the Livonian Battle.
You may climb the spire to 34 meters (111 ft) from Could via 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 superb place to people-watch and it hosts a lot of actions and markets all year long.
Don’t miss the annual five-day Tallinn Previous City Days pageant held in Could. It’s devoted to the cultural heritage of Tallinn and contains themed days corresponding to Medieval Day and Youngsters’s Day, in addition to quite a few workshops, music, and theatre performances.
Raekoja plats, Kesklinna linnaosa (Metropolis Heart), +372 645 7906, raekoda.tallinn.ee/. Open weekdays from 10am-4pm. Advance reservations required. Admission is 5 EUR.
5. Tallinn Museum of Images
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 images with a everlasting exhibition together with vintage images and cameras from 1840 — when images first made its strategy to Tallinn — to 1940.
You may also try up to date images from modern-day artists in lots of the museum’s rotating reveals. It’s a really small museum, however tremendous attention-grabbing even when you’re not an enormous images 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
Positioned 15 minutes from the town heart by automobile, 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 picket chapel, a faculty, hearth station, store, and an inn that highlights how households from totally different social lessons lived throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
There’s loads to do, from consuming a standard Estonian meal to using a horse to taking a workshop. It’s open all yr spherical, however you would possibly need to go throughout the summertime when it’s heat! It’s additionally among the best issues to do in Tallinn with children. Obtain the cellular app Numu for a free audio information when 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
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.
In the present day, 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 historic monastic chambers and is alleged to be a supply of religious well-being.
Müürivahe Tänav 33, +372 5559 5920. Admission is free; nonetheless, donations are accepted.
8. Epitaphs of the Cathedral of Saint Mary
The grounds of this church date again to the 13th century, although the present constructing itself is from the 17th. What makes it in contrast to most different church buildings is that coats-of-arms epitaphs dangle on the partitions of the church as an alternative of extra conventional non secular paintings or decorations.
Traditionally, these have been used as headstones for individuals of significance, corresponding to nobles and knights. They replicate the individuals of standing who have been buried on the grounds.
Actually, 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 lovely 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 kids. Gown respectfully as this can be a place of worship.
9. Estonian Structure Museum
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 inbuilt 1908 (after which reconstructed in 1995 with a number of extra flooring for the museum).
Its galleries now function drawings from the 1920s, in addition to over 11,500 archived objects (corresponding to drawings and sketches) and a few 18,000 objects of their picture assortment. There are at all times some attention-grabbing rotating reveals 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
Adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of visiting the TV Tower. Not solely will you have got an unbelievable chicken’s-eye view of Tallinn from the highest, which stands 314 meters (1,030 ft) tall, however you can even attempt the Stroll on the Edge expertise. Hop right into a harness and step exterior of the tower onto the uncovered deck. It’s the 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 number 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 very best when you’re afraid of heights) so you may actually soak within the view in addition to touch-screen data panels so you may study concerning the tower and the town.
The tower hosts many occasions, corresponding 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
The Telliskivi Inventive Metropolis is a office for over a thousand individuals, with artist’s studios, a radio station, rehearsal areas, and NGO workplaces, all located all through ten repurposed manufacturing facility 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 lots of the buildings and also you’ll additionally discover eating places and bars stuffed with locals and vacationers alike. Be sure you eat at Peatus (“Cease” in Estonian) for a extremely distinctive expertise: it’s situated inside two previous Soviet railcars (and the meals is nice too!).
Telliskivi tänav 60a, Pohja, Tallinna linnaosa.
12. Bastion Tunnels
These tunnels have been initially constructed within the 17th century as an addition to the Kiek in de Kök (Peek within the Kitchen) tower, and have been supposed for storage. They later held prisoners after which have been used as shelters in opposition to air raids throughout World Battle II.
In additional trendy historical past, thieves and rebels used them for shelter because the police often prevented the tunnels. They have been cleaned out and opened as much as the general public in 2004. In the event you’re courageous sufficient, you may 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 Fort & Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Toompea Fort dates all the best way again to the ninth century and is at the moment 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 each day.
You may also go to the close by Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It opened in 1900 throughout the Czarist Empire and is residence 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 Fort: Lossi plats 1a, +372 631 633, riigikogu.ee. On Thursdays at 11am, there’s a 45-minute English-language tour of the citadel. Admissions is free although you’ll want to reserve your spot prematurely.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: Lossi plats 10, +372 644 3484, cathedral.bg/en/residence. Open each day from 7am-7pm. Admission is free. Gown respectfully as it’s a place of worship.
14. Soviet Statue Graveyard
The Soviet Statue Graveyard, situated close to Maarjamäe Fort, comprises a set of discarded statues, corresponding to these of Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin. After the Soviets left Tallinn, they have been dumped right here and ignored.
You’ll discover giant statues of heads (a basic Soviet statue pattern) and others that tower over three meters (ten ft) tall. It’s a surreal place to go to — particularly while you notice it hasn’t even been 30 years since Estonia achieved independence and these statues have 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
Rooms beforehand utilized by spies throughout the Soviet period sit on the highest flooring of the fashionable Lodge Viru, situated on Viru Sq.. They home listening and recording tools (some cleverly disguised), dial telephones, uniforms, and a typewriter.
Few individuals ever knew these rooms existed, they usually have 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
For the very best view within the metropolis, head to Kohtuotsa viewing platform. It’s on Toompea Hill and gives the very best view of the town and harbor. You’ll additionally typically 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 energetic metropolis residence to quirky museums, hidden artwork reveals, and exquisite structure.
Go take pleasure in all of the great issues to do right here.
Guide Your Journey to Estonia: Logistical Ideas and Methods
Guide Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.
Guide Your Lodging
You may e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost resorts. My favourite hostel within the metropolis is:
- Tallinn Backpackers – It is a energetic, social hostel that makes it simple to fulfill individuals since they’ve a pub crawl each evening. The employees are nice too!
Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, 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 prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the very best service and worth are:
Searching for the very best corporations to economize with?
Try my useful resource web page for the very best corporations to make use of while you journey! I listing all those I exploit to economize after I journey – and I feel will aid you too!
Photograph 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