The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Tallinn
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a dream come true for travelers looking for a magical blend of modern amenities, old-world charm and exciting city life. Located on the shore of the Baltic Sea, Tallinn is a vibrant and picturesque city, filled with ancient alleyways, charming cafes, parks and regular cultural events. From its prominent medieval architecture to its sophisticated nightlife, Tallinn has something to offer to everyone’s taste.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the top spots, attractions, activities and suggestions around town to ensure that you have an unforgettable experience in Tallinn. Whether you’re staying for a few days or planning a longer visit, this guide will help you explore the best of the city.
What to See and Do in Tallinn
Tallinn is teeming with unique destinations and things to do, so it’s hard to decide what to do first. Here are some of the must-visit sights and attractions.
Explore Old Town and its Attractions
Start your visit with a walking tour of Old Town and explore its winding cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and fortress walls. Old Town is the best place in Tallinn to discover beautiful medieval architecture, experience the medieval way of life and admire its remarkable monuments. Visit top attractions like Town Hall Square, St. Catherine’s Passage, and Town Hall Pharmacy (Raeapteek) – the oldest continuously operating pharmacy in Europe, dating back to 1422. And don’t forget to wander through its romantic alleyways, such as Lantern Street – one of the most Instagrammed places in Tallinn – to uncover some hidden gems.
Take in Panoramic Views from Toompea Hill
Toompea Hill is the perfect vantage point for breathtaking bird’s eye-views of Tallinn. Here you can admire the old-town rooftops from an elevated level, or walk along its cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings. Climb Toompea Castle and visit the 18th-century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to capture some photos of your panoramic views of the city!
Shop at Balti Jaama Market
If you’re looking for souvenirs and like checking out local markets, then a visit to Balti Jaama Market is worthwhile. It’s home to many souvenir shops selling traditional handicrafts, clothing stores offering up fashionable Estonian designs, and food vendors featuring popular dishes like pirukas (stuffed pastry) and kama (a coarsely-ground mixture of wheat, rye and pea). Whether you’re looking for something special or want to learn more about Estonian cuisine, Balti Jaama Market has something for everyone.
Experience Nightlife at Turku
Tallinn’s nightlife does not disappoint. Turku is a historic courtyard that hosted lively parties since the Middle Ages and is now a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to mingle and experience traditional Estonian entertainment. Upbeat performances from Estonian artists and comedians, live music from popular bands, wine tastings and beer festivals – Turku truly has something for everyone.
Visit Kadriorg Park
If you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to picturesque Kadriorg Park. Popular among locals riding bicycles and playing chess, the park is full of green meadows and blooming gardens that offer tranquil respite from city life. Visit its art museum to take in its works by renowned European masters or take a walk past the majestic Kadriorg Palace, built by Peter the Great of Russia in 1718.
Unwind at the Palmse Manor
For a step back in time, make sure to visit Palmse Manor in Lahemaa National Park – one of Estonia’s most impressive manor houses. Located in the Lahemaa National Park, about an hour east of Tallinn, this vast estate has been home since 1485. You can explore its architecture and period furniture from different eras or stroll around its manicured gardens filled with colorful explosions of flowers, ponds and softly trickling streams.
Where To Eat in Tallinn?
When it comes to gourmet experiences in Tallinn, you’ll not be short on exquisite cafes and restaurants. Here are some of our favourites great places to grab a meal.
This flagship restaurant at The Three Sisters Hotel is a must-visit while in Tallinn. The menu features classic European dishes that combine seasonal produce with innovative cooking technology resulting in modern Estonian cuisine. As one of the city’s best restaurants, Hopner House offers flavorsome courses combined with fresh ingredients sourced locally.
For those seeking out delicious vegetarian options and an enviable view of Town Hall Square Lemon’s rooftop terrace is an ideal spot. Dishing up tasty salads, pizzas and homemade burgers made with local products this destination offers charmingly simple yet flavorful dishes that highlight the best local produce.
Another hot spot found inside The Three Sisters Hotel is Summer Kitchen. Located at the heart of Old Town next to Town Hall Square this eatery blends contemporary cooking with fresh seasonal ingredientswhile also serving up delights from nearby farmers markets like organic pork cooked a variety of ways, organic salmon mousse and farm fresh salads.
Post Tour Ideas for Tallinn
When in Tallinn there’s plenty to do outside of sightseeing and exploring the city’s downtown attractions. Here are some top activities that can enhance your visit or offer insight into Estonian culture:
Historical Walking Tours Around Old Town
To gain an understanding of Tallinn’s rich history join one of the numerous walking tours available around Old Town for insights into its cultural landmarks, historical attractions as well as stories of its past. Stewards run two-hour guided tours daily during summertime giving travelers a more detailed overview into this fascinating area and taking them off on a unique journey through its winding streets and courtyards.
Food Walking Tours around Old Town
For an immersive cultural experience join a food tour around Old Town! These tours visit lots of interesting places while offering exclusive access to unique venues like local restaurants serving traditional dishes like Mulgipuder – an oatmeal dish served with fruits or meat products that’s been part of Estonian cuisine for centuries – as well as sampling craft beer from Estonia’s microbreweries. The food tour ends with an authentic Estonian cake tasting!
Travellers looking for something more adventurous should join a bar crawl around Old Town! Important spots like Bar St Augustine pours craft beer from historic facades while Bar Whiskey Street provides guests with live music everyday leading up until midnight! Join one of these nightly bar crawls with Viator – perfect if you’re traveling solo and looking to meet interesting people while discovering some amazing bars off the beaten path!
Shopping Tips for Tallin
Whenever visiting a new destination stocking up on souvenirs such as postcards, fridge magnets or handcrafted jewelry is always a great way to remember your trip! Here are some places where you can shop for unique souvenirs and gifts to take home:
Stunning jewelry made with Baltic amber is what Poodle’s Market specializes in so if you’re after some beautiful jewelry or want to get your hands on interesting garments from local designers this is the perfect spot to find them! Located near Rotermanni Quarter this antique-style boutique not only offers Estonian crafted pieces but also items from Finland, Lithuania and Latvia such as vintage silver pieces crafted by master metalworkers with Baltic amber accents!
The Baltic Guide Shop
The Baltic Guide Shop specializes in unique maps featuring Scandinavian style typefaces printed on quality paper depicting beautiful topographical features and interesting anecdotes alongside it so make sure visiting this place if you feel like grabbing something tactile as well as informative! Thinking caps can also treat yourself to exclusive enamel masks printed onto lapel pins or badges making them an ideal gift idea as well as collectible item!
This stylish modern boutique space located near Vabaduse Square showcases exquisite design pieces from both local emerging talent alongside widely known international fashion labels from all across the world! Travelers can find all sorts of interesting clothing items such as statement-making blazers patterned denim jeans or dresses plus woolen jumpers crafted using exclusively organic materials all certified by The Baltic Union too!
Tallinn is simply bursting with plenty of things to see and do for visitors whether it be strolling down cobblestone streets or experiencing its nightlife inspired by centuries old traditions that still linger through history today or tasting tantalizing dishes from newly-opened cafes featuring modern Estonian cuisine there are plenty of interesting things just waiting to be explored! With its vast array of attractions activities shopping spots alongside great food options travelers can certainly expect an unforgettable visit while touring around this idyllic capital city!
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