Tallinn is the capital of Estonia located on the Baltic Sea. With historical monuments dating back to the 13th century and sometimes even more, it surely is a great place to explore the age-old charm of the place. The historic center of Tallinn also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tallinn certainly has a lot to offer: spectacular views, rich history, profuse greenery, delectable treats and much more. Estonia is one of Europe’s most underrated countries although, in recent years, it has started to become a sought-after holiday destination in Europe. Tallinn is the perfect cocktail of contemporary and ancient architecture, making it an exceptionally preserved medieval city. In fact, it has everything that you’d desire from a perfect holiday; old, rustic winding streets, museums, churches, beaches, eateries and what not. There’s so much to see and do in the city that you are spoiled for choice. Here is a list of things to do in Tallinn, Estonia.
1. Pass through the picturesque Viru Gate
Built in the 14th century, the Viru Gate is a beautiful example of Tallinn’s architecture. Even after several decades, the gate stands in perfect shape. The gate is an entrance to the Old Town. Entering the town through this gate would allow you to explore some of the most enchanting places. This particular area is famous for having flower shops lined on the front. These make the entire place look like it came out of a child’s picture book.
Address: Viru, 10140 Tallinn, Estonia
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. Tour the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
What looks like a castle is actually Estonia’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral. The church is a memorial commemorating the sacrifice of over 200,000 Russian soldiers who lost their lives in the Russo-Turkish Liberation War. This beautiful onion-domed church has beautiful interiors decorated with chandeliers and murals. The neo-byzantine architecture of the church is an eyesore. The atmosphere around the church is serene and calm and offers an enriching experience.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Address: Lossi plats 10, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
3. Wander around Tallinn Town Hall
Tallinn Town Hall is located in the heart of the city and remains bustling with the crowd at all times. It is a quaint square with eateries, cafes, and boutiques around. Being the oldest town hall in the entire Baltic region, it offers views of one of the most splendid architecture. It is an ideal spot to grab a cup of coffee and just to enjoy the countrified feel of the atmosphere. The square must be visited in winter to explore the beautiful Christmas market.
Tallinn Town Hall
Address: Raekoja plats 1, 10114 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Tallinn Town Hall
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)
4. Relive medieval history at Nun's Tower and Town Wall Walkway
Surrounded by towers, the walkway would make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The city wall has 20 defensive towers, which used to protect the town against ancient invaders during medieval times. The surrounding area has a rustic feel to it. Those who enjoy looking at ancient architectural marvels will definitely find this one amusing. Climb up the tower to see a breathtakingly beautiful, panoramic view of the entire city.
Nun's Tower and Town Wall Walkway
Address: Väike-Kloostri 1, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Nun’s Tower and Town Wall Walkway
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)
5. Get a bird's eye view from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Located on the northern side of Toompea Hill, the Kohtuotsa viewing platform provides stunning views of the entire city. One can easily see the red-tiled roofs, gates as well as the five towering spires of the Old Town. Sometimes, there are street musicians performing in the vicinity and you can hear the music from up top. Regardless of when you visit, this observation deck surely offers a memorable experience.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Address: Kohtu 12, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Check out nautical artifacts at the Estonian Maritime Museum
The Estonian Maritime Museum is one of the largest museums in the country. Founded in 1935 by a couple of former captains and sailors, the museum aims to present the rich history of ships, navigation instruments, lighthouses and marine education in Estonia and other parts of Europe. Located in the Fat Margeret tower, the museum exhibits over 7000 nautical artifacts and several other documents. Set over six floors, there is plenty to see at the museum.
Estonian Maritime Museum
Address: Pikk 70, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Estonian Maritime Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
7. Watch the sunrise from Patkuli viewing platform
Patkuli viewing platform is an observation deck where you can enjoy the picture-perfect views of the entire city. The stairway which leads to the deck was built in 1903. The location is perfect for those who want to indulge in photography or simply enjoy the stunning views of the town. The climb up to the top is definitely challenging but the entire experience is truly rewarding, The Baltic Sea can be seen from this spot as well. Make sure that you reach extremely early and watch the sun rays hit every roof of the town. It is the most beautiful sight to behold!
Patkuli viewing platform
Address: Rahukohtu, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: Patkuli viewing platform
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
8. Explore the ancient Raeapteek pharmacy
Raeapteek pharmacy, which is popularly known as the Town Hall Pharmacy, is the oldest pharmacy in Europe. Dating back to the 15th century, the pharmacy has a cozy museum inside. To add to that, the entrance to the pharmacy is free. Age-old instruments can be seen here apart from exhibits of old glass bottles of medicines. Besides medication, they also sell high-end wine made according to ancient recipes.
Address: Raekoja plats 11, 10146 Tallinn, Estonia
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)
9. Admire the towering spire of St. Olav’s Church and Tower
St. Olav’s Church is a magnificent gothic church, which, once used to be the tallest building in the entire world. The 159-meter (521.7 feet) spire was used as a guide during ancient times by approaching ships. Unfortunately, the height of the spire also turned out to be an extremely efficient lightning rod. It has been hit by lightning three times in the past, burning down the entire building. Currently rebuilt to a height of 124 meters (about 407 feet), the tower is a great place to admire the bewitching views of the city. The church, on the other hand, has ravishing interiors as well as exquisite exteriors which make it ones of the most popular churches in the city. Make sure to spend some time here to relax and unwind!
St. Olav’s Church and Tower
Address: Lai 50, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia
Website: St. Olav’s Church and Tower
The hidden gem of Europe
Nestled in Estonia, Tallinn is definitely one of the most magical places in Europe. The dreamy medieval architecture, historical bylanes, beautiful flower markets, the rustic atmosphere along with the most spectacular views epitomize Tallinn and make it a destination that you should tick off your bucket list right away.
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