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Things to do in Tallinn

Things to do in  Tallinn

Welcome to Tallinn

Separated from Helsinki by only a thin strip of Baltic Sea, Tallinn stands proudly on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland. As the capital of Estonia, it plays a major role as a political and economic power that has been the breeding ground for countless startups, giving it the nickname ""The Silicon Valley of Europe."" However, the historic past of the city is a major draw: Founded in 1248, Tallinn Old Town is a UNESCO-listed wonder, surrounded by a sprawling Soviet new town. Walking tours take visitors around the stunning medieval buildings, such as Toompea Castle and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral; through Kadriorg Park; and to the imperial Russian palace at its heart. Enjoy an evening by walking on the cobbled streets and joining a beer tasting in Olde Hansa for a taste of the Hanseatic times, a flavor of old Estonia. The Pirita district's botanic gardens, marina, and beach are also worthy of attention, as well as the Pirita Convent ruins. Those going further than just a shore excursion can go 31 miles (50 kilometers) east to Lahemaa National Park, a fascinating mix of forest and swamp. Only a four-hour drive away, the Latvian capital of Riga also awaits with its mass of fine Art Nouveau buildings.

Top 10 attractions in Tallinn

#1
Tallinn Old Town (Vanalinn)

Tallinn Old Town (Vanalinn)

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With its largely-intact 13th-century city plan, original cobblestone streets, gothic-spired buildings, and vibrant dining and nightlife, Old Town (also known as Vanallin) is arguably the heart of Tallinn. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors from around the world come to Tallinn to experience the best-preserved medieval city in all of Northern Europe.More
#2
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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This large and ornately-decorated Russian Orthodox cathedral is a well-known and picturesque building in Tallinn’s Old Town (Vanalinn). Perched atop Toompea hill, across from Estonian parliament buildings, the onion-domed church is popular amongst visitors and those practicing the Orthodox faith. The church is dedicated to St. Alexander Nevsky—the Prince of Novgorod and Russian hero who drove away German invaders in the 13th century.More
#3
Toompea Castle (Toompea Loss)

Toompea Castle (Toompea Loss)

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Built on a hill on the edge of Tallinn’s Old Town, Toompea Castle was originally built over the remains of a 9th-century fortress by Danish invaders in 1219. Since it’s 13th-century founding, the castle has been the seat of succession across many centuries (and for many different ruling foreign powers), but now is Riigikogu—Estonia’s parliament building.More
#4
Kadriorg Park

Kadriorg Park

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Kadriorg Park is a 173-acre area that was built in 1718 under the orders of Russian tsar Peter I, with additional sections having been designed and created over the past few centuries. Within the park you will find Kadriorg Palace, which was originally built as a summer home for the tsar and his family and now serves as the presidential palace and a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia. While the palace was being built, Peter I, also known as Peter the Great, lived in a cottage on the property, which is now a museum. The rooms are furnished with items from that era, and some of his personal belongings are on display as well.The area near the flower beds surrounding Swan Pond, as well as the promenade leading from the pond to the palace, are popular routes for a stroll through the park. There is also a newly added Japanese garden designed with plants that were chosen to fit with Estonia's colder climate.Within the park, there are also a number of museums, including KUMU (the Estonian Art Museum), Kadriorg Art Museum, the Mikkel Museum and the Eduard Vilde Museum. You will find several monuments as well, each dedicated to cultural figures such as sculptor Amandus Adamson, author F. R. Kreutzwald and artist Jaan Koort.More
#5
Lahemaa National Park (Lahemaa Rahvuspark)

Lahemaa National Park (Lahemaa Rahvuspark)

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Estonia’s biggest national park,Lahemaa National Park (Lahemaa Rahvuspark), covers 72,500 hectares of wetlands, pine forests and seashore on the Baltic Sea. The crenellated coastline wends its way around horseshoe-shaped bays and finger-like peninsulas, while inland forest, lakes, waterfalls and peat bogs are interspersed with tracts of rocky soil scattered with erratic boulders dumped at the end of the last Ice Age.Much of Lahemaa has been protected from development as it was classed as military land during Russian occupation of Estonia; there are abandoned Soviet submarine stations still to be seen across the park, slowly falling into dilapidation. Today tourism is king and accommodation in the park varies from campsites to historic manor houses found along the 40 km (25 miles) of cycling and hiking trails. Thanks to the lack of development in the area, Lahemaa is home to many species of birds, including cranes, storks and dippers, and several mammals very rarely seen in Europe, such as beavers, moose and even the occasional – but very elusive – lynx, wolf or brown bear.More
#6
Kadriorg Palace

Kadriorg Palace

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In 1718, Peter the Great, the Russian tsar at the time, ordered a palace to be built in the then-newly designed Kadriorg Park. The palace, designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, was originally built to be the summer home for Peter I, Catherine I and their family. The baroque palace is surrounded by manicured gardens, houses a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia called the Kadriorg Art Museum and today serves as the presidential palace. The museum has hundreds of 16th- to 20th-century paintings by Western and Russian artists on display.Several interesting side buildings surround the palace, including a restored kitchen building that is now the Mikkel Museum. Peter the Great's cottage is also on the property and is now a museum where visitors can see some of his belongings and what the rooms might have looked like at the time. The palace governor’s house is now home to the Kastellaanimaja Gallery and the Eduard Vilde House Museum.More
#7
Palmse Manor (Palmse Mois)

Palmse Manor (Palmse Mois)

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Palmse Manor (Palmse Mois) is one of several manors within Estonia's Lahemaa National Park. This baroque structure is now an open-air museum and was the first fully restored manor complex in the country. The first documentation of the Palmse Manor was in 1287 when it was part of Tallinn's St. Michael's nunnery, but after that ownership changed hands several times. Today it is managed by the Foundation Museums of Virumaa, and all of its buildings are under state protection as architectural monuments.At the museum, visitors can learn about Estonian manor life and architecture while surrounded by the natural beauty of the park. There are various activities at the manor designed for children, history enthusiasts, adventurers and romantics, as the open-air space includes parks, gardens and historical buildings, as well as a Palm House, a wine cellar, a cafe and a tavern serving national dishes. It is also a popular venue for exhibitions, plays, concerts, training events, conferences, weddings and receptions. For visitors who want a longer visit, there is an onsite guesthouse that can hold up to 44 people.More
#8
Tallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda)

Tallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda)

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Built between 1402 and 1404, Tallinn's GothicTallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda) building is the only Gothic town hall building in northern Europe that remains intact, sitting as the centerpiece of Tallinn's main square. The structure was originally a meeting place for rulers, though today it is mostly used for hosting visiting presidents or kings, as well as for concerts. The impressive interior features colorful meeting halls, vaulted ceilings, intricate wood carvings and some of the city's most prized artwork, including the famous Tristan and Isolde carved bench. At the top of the Town Hall's spire sits a weather vane called Old Thomas, which is a symbol of the city and has been there since 1530.Town Hall Square is filled with outdoor cafes and hosts open-air concerts and festivals, such as the summer medieval Old Town Days celebration. In July and August, Tallinn Town Hall opens up to visitors as a museum with exhibitions in the cellars. From late June through August, visitors can climb the 64-meter (210-foot) tower for gorgeous views of the city. In the winter, this is where you'll find the Christmas markets.More
#9
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluvӓljak)

Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluvӓljak)

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With an official capacity of around 100,000 people, the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluv?ljak) is an outdoor concert venue that plays host to multiple entertainment and music festivals every year. It is best known as the site for the Estonian Song Festival (which is held every five years) and as the birthplace of the Singing Revolution.More
#10
Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam)

Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam)

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The Seaplane Harbor (or Lennusadam in Estonian), Tallinn's maritime and seaplane museum, features exhibitions in seaplane hangars that illustrate Estonia's maritime and military history. The exhibits represent three different areas: below sea, on the sea and in the air.One of the main highlights is the 600-ton, British-built submarine Lembit. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, the submarine served in World War II under the Soviets and remained in service for 75 years until it was brought ashore in 2011. Lembit is still in excellent condition and offers a look at 1930s technology.Also featured at the museum is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane that was also used by Estonian armed forces and was the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. The replica in Seaplane Harbor is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the world. Other attractions include historical ships, including Europe largest steam-powered icebreaker.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Tallinn

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Recent reviews from experiences in Tallinn

star-5
Amazing tour!
YOLANDA_C, Jul 2021
2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Tallinn
Tallinn is definitely a must to see through this 2-hour walking tour.
star-4
Great overview of Estonian life
Julia_B, Oct 2019
Tallinn Bike Tour from Tallinn Cruise Port
This was a great way to see Tallinn and hear about current life and some recent history.
star-5
Best of Tallin
JEAN_K, Jul 2018
Tallinn with Kadriorg and Pirita Join-in Shore Excursion
It was a holiday and some things were closed but we still managed to see many things and enjoy our visit very much.
star-5
The bike tour was a lot of fun. We got...
Nancy J L, Sep 2017
Tallinn Bike Tour from Tallinn Cruise Port
We got to see a lot of Tallinn that we probably would not have seen had we not participated in the bike tour.
star-5
Excellent way to see Tallinn, easy...
blubberwon, May 2017
City Sightseeing Tallinn Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Excellent way to see Tallinn, easy to hop-on and off the bus to catch the sights of your interest, or just stay on the bus to get a quick overview of this ancient town.
star-4
A good afternoon seeing the sights...
IAN B, Jun 2017
Tallinn Highlights Shore Excursion With Port Return Transfer
Our guide was very informative and spoke good English.
star-5
This was a great experience and...
David C, May 2017
Tallinn Bicycle Sightseeing Tour
Our tour was led by great English speaking lady who led us from stop to stop and saw old and new Tallinn.
star-5
We had a great time! Both guides...
mgradice, Aug 2017
Tallinn Bicycle Sightseeing Tour
A wonderful way to see a lot of Tallinn in a very short period of time.
star-4
The shore excursion to Tallinn was...
E Lynn G, Sep 2017
Tallinn Shore Excursion: Tallinn Sightseeing Tour by Coach and Foot
We were able to see the Singing Grounds and the beaches.
star-5
This small group tour of Tallinn was...
Nancy C, Sep 2017
Tallinn Walking Tour with Free Time and Port Transfers
Our tour guide spoke perfect English and was very pleasant and extremely knowledgable of the history and facts of Estonia.
star-5
We were in Tallinn on a Sunday, most...
Vicki_D, Sep 2017
City Sightseeing Tallinn Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
The hop on hop off was perfect we saw the major attractions from the bus and got of at the walled city - it was great - beautiful churches, several gift shops were open and the best lunch ever at a small restaurant.
star-5
What a fabulous informative day and...
MERLYNA_I, Sep 2016
3-Hour Private Tour of Tallinn
We had plenty of time to see all that was needed to get an understanding of tallinn.
star-4
Promptly picked up. Covered exactly...
Oscar K, May 2015
Tallinn Shore Excursion: Tallinn Sightseeing Tour by Coach and Foot
Very good guide whose knowledge was good and spoke English well.
star-5
excellent and experience tour guide
ELIZABETH_E, Dec 2019
Tallinn Highlights Shore Excursion With Port Return Transfer
Mr Sergei is very knowledgeable and we are impressed with his command in English and his knowledge on the world history.
star-4
Really interesting!!
Janice G, Nov 2019
Premium Soviet military base underground tour (attend and win 1000€)
It was incredible to see the sheer scale of the soviet military presence in and around Tallinn.
star-5
A Great Food and Bike Tour of Tallinn
CHERI_D, Jun 2019
Tallinn Bike Tour, Market Visit and Food Tasting
The ride was a 4-hour ride and this made us VERY nervous, soooo, we got to the bike shop early to see if they could accommodate us with an earlier ride.
star-5
Tallinn is a beautiful place to...
Jenny, Aug 2017
3-Hour Private Tour of Tallinn
Tallinn is a beautiful place to visit.
star-5
This was the best tour of our trip...
jillntodd, May 2017
Shore Excursion: Old Town Tallinn and Kadriorg-Pirita Seaside
We booked this as a cruise excursion - the driver and guide made sure that we were kept on time - to see everything possible and have plenty of time to board.
star-5
Hanno was a great guide. He was...
Marlene_M, Jun 2018
Shore Excursion: Old Town Tallinn and Kadriorg-Pirita Seaside
Lovely village to visit and he moved us along quite well, explaining enough about everything without lingering.
star-5
A walking tour is a great way to see...
Karen_L, Aug 2016
Best of Tallinn Join-in Shore Excursion
A walking tour is a great way to see Tallinn.
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