Tallinn Travel Guide
What to Do
There’s a lot you can do in Tallinn – from exploring the streets, learning about the past, and observing local culture, to a relaxing swim and time out in nature. The real question actually is: What can you not do in Tallinn?
1) Stroll along Tallinn Hall Square
Pulsing with life, Tallinn’s Hall Square is full of vendors. The sight is reminiscent of medieval markets selling local goods. Surrounding the area occupied by vendors, you will find vintage-looking pubs and lovely cafes where you can have lunch or enjoy a fresh drink while observing people walk by. You’ll find people dressed up in medieval fashion, playing instruments in the middle of the square, giving life to Tallinn and embracing their interesting past and rich culture. Tallinn Hall Square is the place to immerse in Tallinn’s essence and discover its jovial character. It may be somewhat crowded during the day, but that is part of its charm.
2) Tour Old Town
Old town is a well-conserved medieval town of Tallinn. Most attractions are found in this vicinity of castles, forts and cobblestone paths where horses once galloped. It is not difficult to imagine the place as home to royals and ancient people. The Old Town is the heart and soul of the now modern Tallinn and it is the main reason why thousands visit Tallinn each year. Set out and walk through the historic streets, wind through alleyways and backstreets, and encounter cheerful people and impressive sights. As you stroll farther down the streets, modern structures emerge and, no sooner than you make a turn, the medieval sight disappears like a fragment of your imagination.
3) Relax at the Beach
Piritia is a sunny beach in Tallinn and also a local favorite. Avoid going there on weekends when it could get crowded. Laze at the sound of waves and luxuriate under the sun, or paddle to the Baltic if you are feeling adventurous.
4) Explore Kadriorg Park
Whether with family, friends, or on your own, Kadriorg Park beckons at you to spend an hour or two walking around its promenades and appreciating its surrounding lush green trees. The park is just a walk away from the Kumu Museum, so it is a great spot to relax before or after your museum tour. Sit by the majestic fountain or perhaps head to the mirrored surface of the Swan Lake. Kadriorg Park is especially beautiful in summer with its vast and baroque-style gardens.
You must have read about this place from books, so enjoy the narrow cobbled streets of Tallinn. Drenched in history, most of Tallinn is worth seeing (especially in Old Town). Below are the main attractions which will be enough to keep you busy for a few days.
1) Tallinn Prison
Explore an intact Soviet prison from the inside. This is an experience you shouldn’t miss since this is a place which you will only see from movies or read from books. You can explore the entire prison for USD3.
Address: Suur-Patarei, Tallinn
2) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in traditional Russian style with tall domes and imposing structures. This Russian Orthodox Church is one of the most breathtaking attractions in Old Town and a classic stop for tourists. You can explore the cathedral’s equally impressive interiors for free.
Address: Lossi Plats 10, Tallinn
3) Kumu Art Museum
The Kumu Art Museum is a great location to start exploring Estonian culture and its art. The museum houses mostly modern pieces, but also has various pieces that come from different eras. The imposing building reflects how the city has evolved and is a perfect spot to compare and contrast Old Town (Tallinn’s past) with its bright 21st century present. Seeing this great museum is free if you decide to purchase the Tallinn sightseeing card, or you can pay USD5 for their main exhibit and a few extra dollars for any of the two secondary areas that you wish to explore. The museum is open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm every day except Monday.
Address: A. Weizenbergi 34 Valge 1, Tallinn
4) Kiek in de Kok & Bastion Passages
This impressive tower is part of a fortress that once served to protect Tallinn. Recently, it became functional once again, but this time as a museum to share Tallinn’s tumultuous history. The most important historical events of the city are presented to the guests as they explore the timeless interiors of the building. It is important to note that the museum closes on Mondays.
Address: Komandandi Tee 2, Tallinn
5) Rocca Al Mare Open Air Museum
Away from the city’s center, you’ll find Rocca Al Mare Museum. It is essentially an old settlement that encourages you to explore the daily life in the villages. Buildings have been placed together in this museum and additions are being made constantly. Several farms portray different types of families and their way of life in the 18th and 19th century. You can rent a bike to explore the immense picturesque museum village and surrounding emerald-tinted natural settings. You’ll need to set aside about 3 hours to tour this unique open-air museum.
Address: Vabaohumuuseumi 12, Tallinn