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What Are The Best Things To Do in Tallinn?

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What Are The Best Things To Do in Tallinn?

Visiting the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, can feel a bit overwhelming for the first-time visitors: there is so much to do and experience. They often don’t know where to start. We will give you a tour through the best activities that you can find in Tallinn, so you can make the most of your visit.

Tallinn is traditionally divided into two parts: the west side is known as the Toompea, and the other side, at the foot of the Toompea hill, is Old Town. Both sides in Tallinn offer plenty of experiences that will help you get to know Estonian culture more intimately.

Tallinn’s main attractions are located in different parts of the city, however there are certain experiences that are a must. The city is full of cafes, shops, festivals and ancient sights. Here are the Top 10 things to do when you visit Tallinn.

1. Admire the architecture

The most iconic attraction of Tallinn and one of its main tourist draws is its picturesque Old Town. It’s one of the best-preserved Old Towns in Europe and entrance is free of charge. When you take a wander throughout the cobbled streets, you’ll find yourself in front of merchants’ houses dating back to the 16th century as well as buildings appearing in a variety of architectural styles including Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, designed with a mix of history, symbolism, and neoclassicism, is a must-visit location. Apart from being a prominent work of art and architecture, it has cultural importance as it symbolizes the fact that Estonia was part of the Russian Empire from 1721 to 1917.

The Toompea Castle, a defensive building made up of limestone and sandstone, dates back to 10th century and features many different buildings, including viewing platforms to admire the stunning views of Tallinn. It’s also worth checking out if you come during summer as it houses the Parliament of Estonia.

2. Sample some traditional Estonian food

Traditional Estonian food is hearty fare which has been developed during centuries of being marooned in isolation and making do with whatever was available in its surroundings. Dishes such as gruel (made with rye barley) are typically served before more modern meals such pork roast with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes or herring with potatoes.

The black pudding or verivorst is another interesting dish: it’s made from pig’s or cow’s blood, filled with barley or oats and spiced with pepper, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaves. It may not sound appetizing but it’s actually quite delicious when cooked correctly. For those brave enough to try it, you can get some at Vanaema Juures, made according to traditional recipes. This place serves classic home-cooked Estonian food in a warm, welcoming atmosphere – an excellent choice for some hearty local dishes!

3. Visit medieval markets

The Town Hall Square was once part of an ancient trading centre and remains a bustling area full of merchants and craftspeople selling Estonian items such as amber jewelry, handmade glass pieces, baskets, textiles and souvenirs dedicated to historical events. Every year during summertime local craftspeople come together here to present their creations in order to keep their traditional trade alive.

The Town Hall Square is also known for holding fairs featuring traditional activities such as music, dancing and delicious Estonian food. Expect to find musicians playing the accordion and saw while you wander around taking photos; festivals are often held here too so keep an eye out during your visit!

4. Check out museums

Estonia has a long and tumultuous history which can be explored through its many museums which are scattered throughout Tallinn. The Museum of Occupations focuses on life under Soviet occupation between 1941 and 1991 as well as exploring Nazi rule from 1940 until 1941. Meanwhile the KGB museum examines Estonia’s decades under Soviet rule between 1940 and 1991.

The Estonian Open Air Museum is also a great stop for anyone looking to explore Estonia’s folk traditions. You can walk through the 19th-century wooden houses and learn about everyday life – it’s like taking a step back in time! It’s well worth checking out during your visit.

5. Enjoy nature

Tallinn’s nature isn’t restricted to outdoor activities like walking in its parks; there are also plenty of places to relax and enjoy nature right within the city limits.

Exploring Kadriorg Park is essential if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – it was once reserved exclusively for tsarist families who constructed palaces here centuries ago. Nowadays it’s open to all and you can stroll through its flower gardens before admiring iconic statues such as that of Peter the Great or visiting one of its museums. The animal-lovers will appreciate feeding ducks remnants from a nearby bakery tucked away in an alley!

6. Take a sip from craft beer

Craft beer is becoming increasingly popular all over the world and Estonia is no exception: you can find craft beers from local breweries on tap at most conventional pubs or bars in Tallinn such as those at Fat Margaret, Rataskaevu 16 or Craftman Bar – for an ever wider selection visit one of their very own brewpubs like Põrgu Beer Pub where you’ll find unique craft beers brewed onsite by passionate brewers that are sure to give your taste buds a treat!

Brewpubs are becoming increasingly popular sites for socialising in Tallinn as they often feature live music on weekends while serving all sorts of beer varieties at mild prices – explore them!

7. Explore history

Tallinn is an open-air museum with plenty of sites related to Estonian history that are extremely worthy for curious visitors who want to get an understanding of past centuries such as St Olaf’s Church , The Great Coastal Gate and Patkulihoovi Hall: famous places that were all inhabited at some point in times past.

St Olaf’s Church is located on Toompea Hill and houses a carved sarcophagus of Danish-born King Olaf II Christopher (1493-1513). It stands at 122meters tall, making it one of the tallest church towers in all Europe while containing interesting mementos left by pilgrims over centuries gone by which can be explored with special guided tours available in several languages. The Great Coastal Gate served as an entrance gate built by Danes during the 13th century when Estonia was part of their kingdom and translates as “dukes’ gate”. Patkulihoovi Hall was once part of a wealthy merchant’s estate and today it forms part of a national heritage site complex including several old houses from Tallinn’s past which reflect cultural attitudes back then compared to today’s life in Estonia . You can also read up on Padise Abbey monastery (which dates back to 1256) which acts as a reminder that Estonia has belonged to various countries over centuries past – Poland, Russia , Sweden –and Danes before finally assessing sovereignty again in 1991!

8. Go shopping

Shopping is taken very seriously in Tallinn and locals spend weekends going from store to store looking for bargains and unique items. The Balti Jaam Market (which translates as ‘Railway Station Market’) located next to Balti Jaam Train Station offers one-of-a-kind items from second hand stores, including vintage clothing from different decades, interesting furniture pieces and antiques from around Estonia or precious metals dug up from the earth – all sold at reasonable prices . If you’re after northern Europe’s craze for high-end designer clothing then take a stroll around stylish Rotermanni Quarter which features several luxurious brands like Louis Vuitton . Other less chic shopping centres like Kristiine Centre , Pirita Konverentsikeskus, Rocca al Mare Centre or Tallinn Central Station Shopping Centre won’t let anyone down either when it comes to finding something quick for fashion centric visitors!

9. Grabbing a bite

Tallinn offers many options when it comes to getting something fast: there are different kind of takeaways, with everything from hot dogs to salads available all over town while kebab places are also super popular here -Kohvik Rambla Street Food Corner offers traditional Estonian style fast food options. For something more substantial , there often exist restaurants which serve locally sourced seafood options like pterotripples or herring inside old merchant ships on plates decorated creatively with seaweed and lemon ! Meanwhile Inn Ou is surely one to go if one desires international cuisine since they offer dishes from around Europe & North America such as pasta with gorgonzola sauce & mousakka delicacies . Even if time is short , there are plenty spots that provide traditional Estonian delicacies within reasonable walking distances such as “Vanaema Juures”, where you can get good old home cooked meals or “Kuula tavern” which specialises in Ottoman cuisine , so take your pick !

10 . Participate in festivals

Even if you come during colder months , Tallinn seems not at rest! Events such as Tallinn Christmas Market , Baltic Run Marathon , Winter Solstice Festival are only few examples of colourful feasts held annually in the capital throughout December , January & February – if you happen to pay Tallinn a visit in winter(s ), don’t wurry too much ! There are still plenty options to keep yourself busy , like Ice cream festivals , Christmas parades , Winter carnival along with variety of events sometimes taking over entire city ! These events happening throughout season give Tallinn personality & providing visitors not only with things to do but also insights into old Estonian customs , cultures & traditions….however this incredible makeover happens once every winter – so be sure to follow what’s happening even if you don’t plan your trip far away from winter solstice !

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What Are The Best Things To Do in Tallinn?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!