Got a day to get to know Tallinn? If so, you’ll have time to see the star attractions of Estonia’s 1,000-year-old capital and delve a little deeper into its history, culture, and off-the-radar sights. Here are our ideas for making the most of 24 hours in this lively city.
Tallinn Cruise Port (Tallinna Sadam)
Located along the Baltic Sea coast, the Estonian capital of Tallinn is a popular stop on Baltic cruises, welcoming more than 300 cruise ships each season. The Tallinn Cruise Port (Tallinna Sadam) also receives regular ferries from Helsinki, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg, making it a convenient choice for a day trip or weekend getaway.
Most cruise visitors spend their time exploring Tallinn’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, and the medieval center is easy to take in on a walking tour. Attractions like Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Museum of Occupation, and St. Olaf’s Church can be reached on foot, but another option is to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city—buses leave from right outside the cruise terminal.
Those wanting to explore farther afield can take a shore excursion to the magnificent Kadriorg Palace, built by Czar Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine, or explore Lahemaa National Park, which stretches along the coast of the Gulf of Finland.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Tallinn Cruise Port terminal offers tourist information, audio guides, maps, currency exchange, cafés, and Wi-Fi.
Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off.
Aside from walking, the easiest way to get around Tallinn is by tram.
Wear comfortable shoes—the Old Town is full of narrow streets, cobbled lanes, and steps.
How to Get to Tallinn From the Port of Tallinn
Most cruise ships dock at one of the passenger terminals in the Old City Harbor, about a 10-minute walk from Tallinn’s Great Coast Gate—the medieval entrance to the Old Town area. If you aren’t up for walking, bus 2 departs regularly from passenger terminals A and D. Taxis are also readily available, as are velo-taxis in the summer months.
The local language is Estonian, but English is widely spoken. The official currency is the euro and most shops and restaurants take credit cards. Luggage storage, ATMs, currency exchanges, and free Wi-Fi are all available at the port.
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- Tallinn Old Town (Vanalinn)
- Tallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda)
- Tallinn Legends
- Dome Church
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak)
- Toompea Castle (Toompea Loss)
- Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam)
- Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom
- Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluvӓljak)
- Kadriorg Palace
- Kadriorg Park
- Kumu Art Museum (Kumu Kunstimuuseum)
- Estonian Open Air Museum