Here are ten tips for things to do in Tallinn, based on our five day visit to the Estonian capital at the end of March 2011. We stayed at the Barons Hotel in the Old Town which I’d recommend it for its central location, the value for money half board option and free wifi.
Tallinn Old Town
Podcast on Things to Do in Tallinn
Take a Leisurely Stroll Around the Old Town
And then another, possibly a third and fourth. So, it may be worth splitting it in quadrants if you have the time. The point is that the Old Town of Tallinn, which is very much a living, breathing entity for locals and not just preserved for tourists, is both very beautiful and fascinating. It features an excellent mix of churches, palatial houses, sprawling parks with gardens and green areas plus well-preserved walls and towers, covering an historic period of several hundreds of years. It is also a great cultural and night life hub, with locals and visitors making full use of its charming and eclectic mix of eating and drinking establishments.
Tallinn Old Town Gate
Visit Kardriog Park and the Kumu Art Museum
We walked past the beautiful Kardriog Palace Museum on our way to the Kumu Art Museum.
Kardriog Palace and Museum
We spent four great hours going in the Kumu Art Museum with its fascinating mix of old, modern and traditional.
Exterior of Kumu Art Museum of Tallinn
Visit the Estonian Open Air Museum
Located at Kopli Bay, traditional buildings from all around Estonia have been lovingly reconstructed within a lovely natural setting at this open air museum.
Estonian Open Air Museum at Kopli Bay
Do some Tasting at the Beer House
Go for a selection of house-brewed beers and excellent food to the German-style Beer House and microbrewery of Tallinn’s Old Town.
Tallinn Beer House, by davehighbury
Take a Day Trip to Helsinki in Finland
Particularly amazing in the winter as you effortlessly and majestically cut through the ice. Helsinki is famous for beautiful, open spaces, museums and a great music scene. The journey takes around two hours each way and cost 42 Euro return (in March 2011) departing Tallinn at 07.30 and arriving back in the evening.
Ferry in Tallinn
Visit the Viru Keskus shopping complex, the easiest modern building in town to find as it’s the tallest. There the shopping experience is unrivalled, with 5 floors of different types of quality goods sold by independent retailers. There are also several other shopping complexes, both in and out of town.
A modern shopping centre interior in Tallinn
Visit Olevieste (St Olaf’s) Church
It has the tallest/thinnest one spire the Old Town. Take in panoramic views of Tallinn from the top. Public concerts sometimes take place here, particularly before Lent and Christmas.
Tallinn skyline with St Olaf’s Church having the highest spire
There was at least one ice rink in the old town near Olevieste Church, with an entry fee of 5 euro per hour for adults plus a small fee for shoes hire. For those that cannot ice skate, helper frames are provided, so everyone can have fun. Great for families too, as many locals bring their kids here at the weekend.
Ice Skating in Tallinn by Diego Sideburns
Admire Views Down to the Port
There is a step-wise ascent about 1km to the left of the ferry port, at what seems to be some type of abandoned grand public concrete park – it’s difficult to miss. The views from here are amazing particularly in the winter, when you can see the Tallinn-Helsinki ferries slicing effortlessly through the ice.
Tallinn edifice, ascent to viewing platform with ferry port to the right
Get Connected to the Free Wifi at Tallinn Airport
Tallin Airport offers travellers free wifi, so you can pass the time waiting for your flight online, without spending a cent. If only all other airports would offer this free service.
Tallinn Airport by fergie lancealot
More Tallinn Tips from Europe a la Carte Readers
You can read more Tallinn tips from Europe a la Carte readers offered in response to Karen’s request for recommendations prior to our visit to the city.