- 23Minutes of study time
Best Things to do in Tallinn
Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is a hidden gem tucked away on the shores of the Baltic Sea. With its medieval old town, enchanting architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Tallinn offers a unique blend of history and modernity. Whether you’re wandering through cobblestone streets, admiring panoramic views from ancient towers, or immersing yourself in the local arts and cuisine, Tallinn has something for everyone. So, pack your sense of adventure and let’s explore the charming delights of this Estonian treasure trove!
Stroll Through Tallinn’s Old Town:
Start your Tallinn adventure in the heart of the city – the enchanting Old Town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this well-preserved medieval neighborhood is a treasure trove of narrow streets, ancient buildings, and charming squares. Lose yourself in its labyrinthine alleys, admire the pastel-colored buildings, and feel the echoes of Tallinn’s rich history.
Climb Toompea Hill:
Ascend the Toompea Hill, the upper part of Tallinn’s Old Town, and be rewarded with splendid panoramic views of the city. Visit the iconic Toompea Castle, the seat of the Estonian Parliament, and explore the historic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its distinctive onion domes. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a must-visit spot in Tallinn.
Discover the Kiek in de Kök Tower:
Uncover Tallinn’s military past at the Kiek in de Kök Tower, a medieval tower that once defended the city’s fortifications. Step inside this fascinating historical landmark and explore its underground passages and exhibitions, which provide insight into Tallinn’s turbulent history of wars and sieges.
Explore the Kadriorg Palace:
Immerse yourself in the elegance of the Kadriorg Palace, an architectural masterpiece commissioned by Peter the Great of Russia. This stunning Baroque palace is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and houses the Kadriorg Art Museum, which showcases an impressive collection of European and Russian art.
Visit the Seaplane Harbour Museum:
Delve into Estonia’s maritime heritage at the Seaplane Harbour Museum, housed in a historic seaplane hangar. Discover a vast collection of maritime artifacts, explore interactive exhibitions, and even step aboard a real submarine. It’s an immersive experience that will transport you to the depths of Estonia’s naval history.
Wander Through Telliskivi Creative City:
Experience Tallinn’s thriving arts and creative scene in the trendy Telliskivi Creative City. This former industrial complex has been transformed into a vibrant hub of art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and live music venues. Explore the colorful street art, shop for unique souvenirs, and soak in the bohemian atmosphere.
Indulge in Traditional Estonian Cuisine:
No visit to Tallinn would be complete without savoring the flavors of traditional Estonian cuisine. Try hearty dishes like sült (jellied meat), verivorst (blood sausage), and kiluvõileib (herring sandwich). Wash it all down with a refreshing glass of locally brewed craft beer or the classic Estonian spirit, Vana Tallinn.
Visit the Estonian Open-Air Museum:
Step back in time at the Estonian Open-Air Museum, located in a picturesque forested area just outside Tallinn. This unique museum showcases a collection of historic buildings from different regions of Estonia, giving you a glimpse into traditional rural life. Explore the farmhouses, windmills, and wooden churches as you wander through the open-air exhibits.
Experience the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds:
If you have the opportunity, attend a performance or event at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. This massive outdoor venue has been the stage for many historic events, including the Estonian Song Festival, a celebration of national identity through music. Join the crowds, listen to the harmonious melodies, and be part of a truly unique cultural experience.
Relax in Kadriorg Park:
Take a moment to unwind in the serene surroundings of Kadriorg Park. This expansive green oasis offers peaceful walking paths, beautiful flower beds, and even a swan pond. Find a cozy spot, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature amidst the bustling city.
Discover the Estonian Maritime Museum:
Immerse yourself in Estonia’s seafaring history at the Estonian Maritime Museum, housed in the historic Patarei Sea Fortress. Explore the interactive exhibits, learn about Estonia’s naval traditions, and even climb aboard historical ships. It’s a fascinating journey into the nation’s maritime past.
Visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral:
Marvel at the opulence of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a striking Russian Orthodox church that dominates Tallinn’s skyline. Admire the intricate mosaics, ornate decorations, and the ethereal beauty of the interior. Step inside and experience the spiritual ambiance of this iconic Tallinn landmark.
Explore the Estonian Museum of Occupation:
Gain insight into Estonia’s tumultuous 20th-century history at the Estonian Museum of Occupation. This thought-provoking museum chronicles the period of Soviet and Nazi occupations and sheds light on the resilience and determination of the Estonian people. Walk through the exhibits, read personal stories, and reflect on the challenges faced by the nation.
Enjoy a Sauna Experience:
Embrace a beloved Estonian tradition and indulge in a sauna experience. Saunas hold a special place in Estonian culture, providing relaxation, rejuvenation, and a chance for socializing. Whether you choose a traditional smoke sauna or a modern spa, the sauna experience is a must-try in Tallinn.
Take a Ferry to the Prangli Island:
Escape the city and venture to the idyllic Prangli Island, just a short ferry ride away from Tallinn. This tranquil island is known for its untouched nature, charming wooden houses, and friendly locals. Explore the coastline, go hiking, or simply enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this hidden gem.
Experience the Nightlife in Tallinn’s Bars and Clubs:
When the sun sets, Tallinn’s vibrant nightlife comes alive. Explore the city’s bars and clubs, especially in the bustling Viru Street area, and experience the energetic atmosphere. Dance the night away to live music, sip on craft cocktails, and mingle with locals and fellow travelers alike.
Visit the Estonian National Museum:
Embark on a journey of Estonian culture and heritage at the Estonian National Museum, located in Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city. Discover the country’s rich folklore, traditional costumes, and archaeological treasures. It’s a captivating experience that deepens your understanding of Estonia’s unique identity.
Go Shopping in Tallinn’s Boutiques:
Discover unique fashion, design, and handicrafts in Tallinn’s boutique shops. From trendy boutiques in the Rotermann Quarter to local designers in the Telliskivi Creative City, there’s something for every taste. Support local artisans, find one-of-a-kind pieces, and take home a memento of your time in Tallinn.
Attend a Performance at the Estonian National Opera:
Immerse yourself in the world of performing arts at the Estonian National Opera. Catch a ballet performance, opera, or classical music concert at this prestigious venue. Be captivated by the talent of the performers and experience the magic of live theater.
Relax on Pirita Beach:
Take a break from sightseeing and unwind on Pirita Beach, Tallinn’s sandy coastal retreat. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the shoreline, sunbathe, or take a refreshing dip in the Baltic Sea during the summer months. It’s the perfect place to rejuvenate and soak up some vitamin sea.
Tallinn, with its charming medieval old town, cultural treasures, and vibrant atmosphere, is a destination that offers a delightful blend of history and modernity. From exploring the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to experiencing the thriving arts and culinary scene, there are endless things to do in Tallinn. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, indulge in traditional Estonian cuisine, and embrace the warmth and friendliness of the locals. Tallinn truly captures the essence of Estonia’s unique identity. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to uncover the hidden gems of this Baltic gem. Tallinn awaits, ready to enchant and captivate you with its timeless charm.