Exploring Medieval Tallinn

Last we I mentioned Tallinn as a great day trip from Helsinki.  But what to do when you get there?  As Estonia’s largest city, there are plenty of options — my favourite is the old town centre, but there are a few hidden secrets to be found as well.  Let’s explore.

tallinn, estonia

photo by Jurvetson

Roam the Streets of the Old City

The medieval streets and architecture of the old city of Tallinn were built in the 15th-17th century and are well preseved.  Wandering these cobblestone lanes on foot, you’ll get a fantastic sense for the Estonian vibe.  Some complain that globalisation is destorying Tallinn, but I think compared to many other places it’s doing just fine.   Two structures which are a can’t-miss photo opportunity are the Russian-inspired domes of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Toomkirik, which I believe is the oldest church in Tallinn.  And if you’re hungry after all that sightseeing, the area near the town hall (‘Raekoja plats’) has plenty of restaurants that are quite tasty – if you’re on a budget, just have a drink here and go elsewhere, but to be honest the meals are fairly good value for money regardless.

Explore the Expansive Grounds of Kadriorg Palace

Kadriorg is a huge park just east of the city centre.  You’ll find the lavish and well-manicured grounds of Kadriorg palace wonderful to explore, or just admire all the great architecture, from old wooden buildings to fabulous art deco styled work.  It is said that Tallinn’s rise as a popular destination for rich Russians started from the building of Kadriorg Palace for Tsar Peter the Great.

See the remains of Modern History

Tallin has seen plenty of world history recently.  Two places you can see for yourself include the Museum of Occupations and the Patarei Sea-fortress. Extreme KGB tactics, secret prisons, and espionage worth of a new James Bond film all await you.

More Tips on Things to Do in Tallinn

You’ll find more tips in our Tallinn guide.

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