ESTONIA

The Top 10 Things to do in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust
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Inviting and mysterious, the medieval old town of Tallinn is a welcoming balance of intrigue and a picture perfect postcard. The old town is so well preserved that you’d be forgiven for pinching yourself and questioning reality – it really is too cute! Whether you’re spending a few days in the city or visiting on a day trip from Helsinki, here are the absolute best 10 things to do in Tallinn!

1. Start in the Market Square (Raekoja Plats)

As the central point of the old town, the Market Square is a great place to commence your meanderings through the cobblestone streets. From here you can already get a great idea of the vibrancy this city offers and within a 360 degree turn you will see the set of Game of Thrones come to life (minus the tourists, of course).

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

2. Check out the view from Toompea

Many will tell you that the best view of Tallinn is found on top of Toompea. While this is a beautiful view, sure, it isn’t quite the best view of the city from above (read on to find out where you’ll find the very best view!) Toompea is a neighbourhood overlooking the old town and it is here where you will also find the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

3. Step inside St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Located high on the hill of Toompea, St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a beautiful church of the traditional Orthodox faith. The cathedral was built in 1900, when Estonia was still a part of the Russian Empire. Although photographs aren’t allowed inside, you should take the time to step inside the cathedral and look around to marvel at the ornate architecture, mosaics and gold candelabras (besides, entrance is free!)

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

4. Take in the view from St Olav’s Church

It surprises me how many visitors to Tallinn don’t make their way up the 258 stairs to the top of St Olav’s Church, which arguably has the best view of the old town. The tower dates back to 1267 and has previously been used to beacon approaching ships and as a KGB watch tower, though nowadays it is one of the must do tourist attractions in the city. It will cost you 3 euros to enter – a small price to pay for those picture perfect photographs!

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

5. Stroll the cobblestone Streets 

One of Tallinn’s greatest pleasures is just to wander for hours through the winding cobblestone streets. The old streets are incredibly photogenic with their pastel coloured buildings, unique shapes and my personal favourite: the colourful doors of Tallinn! The prettiest streets I stumbled upon were Pikk (the longest street in the old town) and Katariina käik.

Top 10 Things to Do In Tallinn | World of Wanderlust

6. Purchase yourself some powdered unicorn horn

The beauty of Tallinn is often found in its ability to remain in another era. Located in the market square, the town hall pharmacy is where you will find powdered unicorn horn, mummy juice, and all kinds of quirkiness. The pharmacy is believed to be Europe’s longest running pharmacy and was once a favourite of the Russian tsars. Keep in mind the pharmacy is unfortunately closed on Sundays.

Top 10 Things to Do In Tallinn | World of Wanderlust

7. Walk the Town Walls

Another great view over the city is found when wandering along the medieval walls surrounding the old town. Once you have finished walking the walls, make your way over to kiek in de kök to learn about Tallinn’s defence history. To this day you can view the cannonballs left behind by Ivan the Terrible during the Livonian War.

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

8. Indulge at the cutest pastry shop in town

After a long day of wandering the streets of the old town, make your way to the cutest (and tastiest) pastry shop in town, Rukis. Located on Viru Street, this pastry shop is full of temptations and at 2 and 3 euros a piece, its difficult to say no!

Top 10 Things to Do In Tallinn | World of Wanderlust

9. Toompea Castle

Located opposite St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Toompea Castle, which now houses the Parliament of Estonia but was once an ancient stronghold, used since the 9th century.

Helsinki Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

10. Take the Day Ferry to Helsinki

If you’re visiting more of Estonia and haven’t arrived by ferry from Helsinki, then be sure to make a day trip two hours north to Finland! Helsinki is the complete opposite to Tallinn and offers a more urban experience, particularly appealing to design lovers and cafe hunters.

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I flew to Europe with Finnair, arriving in Helsinki (capital of Finland) at 6:00am, before taking the two hour morning ferry to Tallinn. Purchasing a ticket at the ferry port cost me 35 euros return on the Viking Line, which is the easiest/most accessible port if you are staying in the centre of Helsinki. The ferry offers free wi-fi and affordable food options (though they do leave a little to be desired!)

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  • shopgaubongcaocap@gmail.com'
    gau bong dep
    May 23, 2017 at 4:21 am

    I’d love to visit here !!!

  • charactersandcarryons@gmail.com'
    Joyce
    May 17, 2017 at 12:15 am

    I haven’t been to Estonia yet but I can’t wait! What a beautiful, quaint town

  • pollumae.mirell@gmail.com'
    Mirell Põllumäe
    May 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I am from Estonia, currently living in Tallinn. Happy to read this article! 🙂

  • spanishtoenglish02@gmail.com'
    javascript obfuscator
    May 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I never would have thought to visit Tallinn but it looks beautiful! Your article really make me consider to visit this place

  • rev679@gmail.com'
    Roxanne Vitnell
    May 15, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I cannot wait to visit Estonia! You have made me even more excited to go. Everything looks so quaint an beautiful.

    • Brooke Saward
      May 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      It is GORGEOUS and the people are so lovely natured. I would go back in a heartbeat!

  • rachel@smalltownsandcitylights.com'
    Rachel
    May 15, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Talliin looks like such a fun place to explore! We were hoping to visit during our trip to Helsinki but ended up not having time for it. Hopefully soon!

    • Brooke Saward
      May 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      I nearly didn’t go on this trip (I had been to both before) but so glad I did – it’s such a lovely little town!
      If you go on your next visit make sure to climb St Olav Church Tower – I didn’t do that the first time and the view is the best in town!

      xx

  • christiegoyette@gmail.com'
    Christie
    May 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I never would have thought to visit Tallinn but it looks beautiful! It seems so different from other places in Europe. The views are so nice and it seems to have a really quaint feel. Definitely going on the bucket list 🙂

  • info@travelen.eu'
    Travelen
    May 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    The Tallin is little misunderstood and has very little traffic.. but it is very beautiful. He deserves someone to visit. Very useful tips for the town Broke!

  • lexidoy@yahoo.com'
    Alexandra
    May 12, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I’m going to Tallinn in July for a day so I’ve bookmarked this to look back at it – so useful, thank you Brooke!! xx

  • moonlighttravelblog@gmail.com'
    Jannike
    May 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    It really looks like a lovely city to visit!

  • totoro@gaubongdep.com'
    Gau bong Totoro
    May 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I went to Italy once, and i agree with you, Toompea view is a beautiful view 🙂

  • juliette.elise.kopp@gmail.com'
    Juliette | Namastay Traveling
    May 11, 2017 at 10:40 am

    The Toompea castle looks lovely! The picture of the colored buildings remind me so much of Gamla Stan in Stockholm. I’d love to visit here too!