Tallinn

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, only 70 km (43 mi) south of Helsinki. A city of over 400,000 inhabitants, it is home to a third of the country's population, and besides serving as the national capital, it is also the capital of Harju County in Northern Estonia.

171 things to do

All Places Estonia



Seaplane Harbour

''Lennusadam'', literally "air port", was constructed in 1916 for the purpose of serving the seaplane fleet with a spectacular, three-domed concrete hangar. Today, it serves as an outpost of the Maritime museum, serving its large collection of complete ships, airplanes and maritime and military equipment too large to fit the ''Fat Margaret''. Inside the hangar, the highlight is the complete submarine Lembit, whose interior can be visited as well, a shipwreck from the 16th century and a collection of smaller boats and seaplanes. The crown of the colleciton moored outside in the harbour is the steam-powered icebreaker Suur Tõll. Throughout the museum, a number of state-of-the-art technologies and solutions are employed for a more engaging and enjoyable visit, and the museum has a wide range of activities and tours on offer. As the Seaplane Harbour is a bit out of the way, those getting peckish can enjoy a meal at the museum's restaurant Maru inside the hangars.

SEE   —  +372 6 200 550 —  6 Vesilennuki

Tallinn Linnahall

A fine example of Soviet Brutalist architecture designed by Raine Karp and Riina Altmäe and built for the 22nd Moscow Summer Olympic Games in 1980 for sailing events held in Tallinn. Scale the exterior of this crumbling monumental eulogy to mass culture and marvel at the fact that beneath its crumbling exterior lies a 5,000 seat amphitheatre (that held a concert as recently as 2008) and a 3,000-seat ice rink. Currently closed to the public as negotiations regarding its redevelopment continue - maybe a last chance to see part of Tallinn's overlooked architectural heritage in its current form. Linda line run their catamaran service to Helsinki from offices adjacent to/underneath the helipad.

SEE   —  Mere pst. 20


National Art Museum KUMU

Opened in February 2006, this is the largest government built building since the liberation and it is an almost 50,000m² (538,196 ft²). The museum, whose architecture is by itself enough to justify the visit, houses a cyclopic house, partly cut out of limestone rock. Permanent exhibition is obviously focused on Estonian art in a wide interval of time. Quality of many pieces is very good and well worth a visit. Also very interesting is the (not too spontaneous) turn of interests of artists toward socialist themes during the USSR period. Exhibitions of modern art, mixed with net/social applications, are often surprising and amusing. Not to be missed or overlooked.

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Kadriorg Palace

An imperial Russian summer residence built by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti for Tsar Peter the Great in 1718. It is situated in a 90ha (222 acre) park in the eastern part of the city. The Tsar himself, a classic and mysterious Russian soul, preferred to stay in a modest house nearby. This event signified the beginning of Tallinn's fame as a summer resort for noble and rich Russians for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Currently, the palace is housing some paint collections and other art. A portion of the complex is now occupied by the Office of the President and not available to the public.

SEE   —  Weizenbergi 37


Olde Hansa

The ruling king among Tallinn's purely touristy restaurants with some of them trying to copy its style. The place is simply medieval, not just in terms of food but also in the sense of performance - no electricity, no music except live and authentic, no modern inventions. The house special is bear meat "marinated in rare spices and cooked over a fire in honour of Waldemar II, the brave King of Denmark" costing €40+. Try one of the extraordinary beers, such as the honey beer. It is not likely that you will meet any locals here.

EAT   —  Vana turg 1

Hotel Telegraaf

Located in Tallinn's Old Town, the hotel building was constructed as an exchange station for the Estonian Telegraph company in 1878, and with the historical façade left standing completely renovated to be reopened as a five star hotel in 2007, featuring 86 elegant rooms and suites, a small (Elemis!) Spa area with an indoor swimming pool, two booths for facials and massages, a Symphony Lounge (function room, private events) as well as the renowned Restaurant Tchaikovsky and during the summer months a charming summer terrace.

SLEEP   —  +372 6000 600 —  Vene 9


Estonian Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum dates back to 1935 and is housed inside the largest of the Tallinn city wall towers, aptly named "Fat Margaret" (''Paks Margareta''). Visiting the museum allows one not only to see the potpourri of maritime-themed artifacts, but also the 16th-century cannon tower and experience the view from the cafe on its roof. While the museum is the original location of the ''Meermuseum'', you absolutely cannot miss their second location in the Seaplane Harbour, where the ships and airplanes are stored (see below)

SEE   —  +372 6 200 550 —  Pikk 70

Estonian Knighthood House

The green Renaissance revival building was erected in mid-19th century as the fourth consecutive home of the Estonian Kinghthood, a congregation of essentially German nobles who pratically controlled Estonia up to its independence in 1920s. Since 1920s, it played host to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Nattional Library, and the art collections currently on display at ''Kumu''. As of 2014, it is home of the Estonian Academy of Arts. The building is not open to the public as it is used for instruction and faculty work.

SEE   —  Kiriku plats 1


Rotermanni Kvartal

Rotermann's Quarter is a downtown shopping area with clothing and department stores and restaurants. It's situated between Viru Keskus, Tallinn port and the Old Town. If you are walking from the harbor towards Viru Väljak the quarter is on your left hand side. One place to find bargain clothes is the Rotermann Kaubamaja situated right at Mere Puiestee. The Kaubamaja also has a combined cafe and restaurant on the third floor which seems to be surprisingly empty even as they have reasonable prices.

BUY   —  Map

Toompea Castle

It's the seat of Estonian Parliament (''Riigikogu''). The castle complex consists of several parts: the western wall and the towers of Tall Hermann, Pilsticker and Landskrone built by the Danes between 13th and 15th centuries; the classic style building of the government of Estonian Governorate built 1767–1773 by the Russians, and the building of the Riigikogu from the 1920s. It's believed that already in the 9th century there was an ancient Estonian wooden fortress on the location.

SEE   —  +372 6316357 —  Lossi plats 1A

Tallinn Botanical Gardens

The Tallinn Botanic Garden is in the eastern outskirts of Tallinn, 10 km from the city centre and 3 km from the Pirita Sailing and Recreation Centre.It is a must see destination for nature and plant lovers. The "greenhouse" located near the ticket office houses variety of plants, flowers, trees, cactus family and lot more. Spring temperature is maintained always inside the greenhouse, even during winter season. The outdoor garden is vast and has varied flower collections.

SEE   —  Map

Estonian History Museum

The History Museum's main location is the medieval Great Guild Hall. Here, the permanent exhibition takes you through 11,000 years of Estonian history by means ranging from striking exhibits of artifacts to interactive "time capsules". Topics covered include a surprisingly wide range, from coinage and wine to the history of the Great Guild building itself. On top of that, there are always some temporary exhibitions which usually serve as a link with present-day Estonia and Tallinn.

SEE   —  +372 6968 690 —  Pikk 17

Tchaikovsky

As the name suggests, it is a Russian restaurant, but don't expect wooden benches, traditional food, and folk music. On the contrary, you will find a selection of Russian delicacies ranging from pancakes with caviar to pelmeni with pork and wild mushrooms, along with fusion-style cuisine (rabbit with Jerusalem artichoke being a good example). Expect delicious food and very high prices, but if you are looking for typical Russian fare, try to find another place for dinner.

EAT   —  +372 6000 610 —  Vene 9

Stenbock House

Today, the Stenbock House is the seat of Estonia's government, but it was originally built as a courthouse in late 18th century, at the behest of the erstwhile Russian authorities. The Russian treasury eventually found itself unable to pay for the building, so the Count Stenbock, who erected the edifice, was left with it as his personal residence. The treasury was only able to buy it more than a century later, when it finally became the courthouse it was intended to be.

SEE   —  Rahukohtu 3

Hotel Palace

Operated by the local company Tallinn Hotels, the Hotel Palace is stuated in a 1937 buildinging with a stark gray period facade, somewhat contrasting with its name. The interiors have been refurbished in mid-2014 and now feature furniture and fixtures reminiscent of the interwar period. The art-deco theme is continued in the use of motifs from paintings of Konrad Mägi, a famous Estonian painter whose lifetime covered the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

SLEEP   —  +372 680 6655 —  Vabaduse Väljak 3

Jõuluturg

The Christmas Market on the Town Hall square is open from late November to early January. They sell knitwear, various wooden objects for use and decoration, Christmas tree decorations, gingerbread and such. It's not all about shopping, the Christmas tree in the middle is worth taking a photo of and there's a stage when they sing carols. Of course you can occasionally run into Santa at the market! Don't forget to try a mug of hot glögg, sold at many stalls.

BUY   —  Raekoja Plats

Estonian Open Air Museum

This museum includes 72 buildings of Estonian vernacular architecture and village milieu of the Tsarist time of rule in a dark, dense forest. This museum provides a picture of the life and its hardship in the old times. The [http://www.leigarid.ee Folklore Society Leigarid] gives free dancing performances here at 11AM each Saturday and Sunday. The museum organizes special events during Easter, which provide more insight on Estonian traditions and culture.


Viking Line

Large ''Viking XPRS'' ferry (2.5h). Departs Helsinki midday and late in the evening. Unfortunately the day departure from Helsinki is very late (11:30) and you will have less than four hours to spend in Tallinn (you need to be back on board half an hour before departure) before the ship sails back. On Sundays the ship leaves even earlier. If taking this boat you would better stay overnight in Tallinn if you want to do any serious sightseeing.

OTHER   —  Map

The Three Sisters Boutique Hotel

A member of Relais & Chateaux, the Three Sisters in the name refer to the three medieval buildings that make up the hotel. As the buildings date back to the 14th century, each of the hotel's 23 rooms is unique in shape and size, as well as appointments - some stay true to the medieval character of the rest of the hotel, while others are surprisingly modern. The steep staircases, sloping roofs and small windows are also part of the package.

SLEEP   —  +372 630 6300 —  Pikk 71

Patarei (Battery) Prison

This is the most recent and least-developed historical attraction in Tallinn. Originally decreed by tsar Nicholas I in 1820 as a fortress to protect the city from the sea-born attacks, it was turned into a notorious KGB prison in 1920. The prison ceased operations only in 2004. Entry €2, guided tours from €6, or pay €40 for a three-hour "new prisoner experience" culminating in a last meal with a glass of schnapps (but no execution).

SEE   —  +372 504 6536 —  Kalaranna 2

Sfäär

Located near the city centre. A rather small restaurant with a simple, yet stylish interior, a bit resembling an old Soviet-era cafeteria. Serves Nordic cuisine and new Estonian cuisine with an Italian influence. The menu is rather short, including only five main courses, four pastas and some starters and desserts. The dishes themselves are attractively presented and tasty. Sfäär also has a clothes shop adjacent to the restaurant.


Riff

If Russian club music, vodka shots and a vibrant crowd is your desire, this is the base. Pretty empty until 01:00 after then it fills up. They have a nice terrace during summer which is a popular meeting point as the main bus terminal is just 100m away and many stop their for the wait on the first bus in the morning. The club does have many bouncers but as long as you don't carry weapons or start a fight, they are rather passive.


Old House Hostel

A very nice, friendly and stylishly decorated hostel in the northern part of the Old Town, very near to the centre of Tallinn. The staff speak excellent English. The rooms are good enough to pass for hotel rooms, but have no private bathrooms. No restaurant, and no breakfast provided - you cook your own food or dine elsewhere in Tallinn. Free Internet connection available for hostel guests. Double rooms from 30 €.

SLEEP   —  +372 6411 281 —  Uus 26

Sokos Hotel Viru

This is a large matchbox of a building and, for a long time, it was the tallest modern building in Tallinn. It's very centrally located at the edge of the Old Town. In the Soviet days, when Tallinn was a hotbed of espionage, Viru was the city's premier hotel and every single room was famously bugged by the KGB. Today it's just a very good Finnish-run business hotel, and even the gray facade has been whitewashed.

SLEEP   —  +372 680 9300 —  Viru väljak 4

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

A classic onion-domed Russian Orthodox church, built 1894–1900, during the Russification period when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. In 1928, when Estonia was independent, it was argued that the church is a symbol of oppression and architecturally non-suitable, therefore should be demolished. But it survived also the Soviet times, and now is used by the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate.

SEE   —  +372 644 3484 —  Lossi plats 10

St. Petersburg Hotel

The St. Petersburg is a sister hotel of the Schloessle, operated by M.C Hotels, and as such a member of Summit Hotels and the Preferred Hotels Group. The boutique property is housed in a historic building at a corner of pedestrianized streets in the Old Town. The interior is filled with exquisite appointments and designer or vintage furniture and fixtures. Service and price levels match this standard.

SLEEP   —  +372 628 6500 —  Rataskaevu 7

Ex-KGB Headquarters

Now the Interior Ministry and not generally open to the public, this is where the KGB detained and tortured suspected dissidents. A Soviet-era joke says that this was the tallest building in Estonia: even from the basement, you could see Siberia. Interrogations were indeed conducted in the basement and you can see even today how the windows were crudely bricked up with concrete to mute the sound.

SEE   —  Pikk 61

Tallinn Zoo

This is an enormous area. Among its live exhibits, you'll find the world's best collections of mountain goats and sheep, which means there are a lot of them! Tallinn Zoo defies the realities of a relatively modest town -- it features all the elephants and crocodiles a visitor would expect to see in a larger zoo, as well as a breathtaking maze of lake-size ponds that host birds in summertime.

SEE   —  Paldiski mnt. 145

Restoran Peppersack

A middle ages-themed restaurant one block away from the city hall square - even the names of the dishes are medieval themed. Outdoor seating available in the summer, when they also played medieval (what else?) music on a small outdoor stage, and they seem also to have sword fight and oriental dance performances. Probably the main competitor of Olde Hansa and a bit touristy indeed but fun.

EAT   —  Map

Troika

Offers generous portions of Russian food. In the warm summer months, people dine on the terrace. In winter, they head down to the warm cellar. To fill up, get a small zakuski (which is anything but small) appetizer plate. It's big enough for three and costs €9, then dip your pelmeni dumplings (costing €6) in smetana or the other sauces provided and wash it down with a shot of vodka (€5).

EAT   —  Raekoja plats 15

Swissôtel Tallinn

Tallest building within the banking district. 238 stylish guest rooms with either city or harbour view. The hotel houses two restaurants and a deli for guests on the run; Püroval SPA & Wellness delivers private fitness and relaxation facilities, including an indoor pool, a gym, a sauna and a steam room. Views over Tallinn and Old Town are spectacular from 30th floor Horisont Bar.

SLEEP   —  +372 624 0000 —  Tornimäe 3

Tallink Spa & Conference Center

Tallink's most upscale property is just what the label says, with a pool spa with a number of water-based amenities and a conference centre. The rooms are modern and decorated with sometimes bewilderingly clashing patterns, and some overlook the main pool atrium rather than the outside. There is a considerable distance from the hotel to everything else but the ferry terminal.

SLEEP   —  +372 630 1000 —  Sadama 11a

Controvento

A very nice little Italian restaurant stashed away in a small side passage in the Old Town. Offering genuinely excellent food at reasonable prices with good service. Its only 'flaw' is that it's hard to get into and is most often completely full, even on off-season week nights. You may want to call ahead and make a reservation. Pizzas and pasta dishes are around €10.


Vanaema Juures

Translates as "''Grandma's Place''", which gives you an idea of the warm welcome you can expect here. Friendly and attentive staff are happy to explain the traditional dishes. Excellent value for money. It's a tiny place, so reservations are essential in the high season. Try the meatballs or the pork with sauerkraut and don't miss the ''kama'' porridge for dessert.


Musi

This is primarily a wine bar, but it has light meals as well. From the outside it looks like a cosy oasis, and you might think the place is one little rustic room on display but there is more tables behind the wine bar. Welcoming staff and a good selection of wine by the glass. A good place for a relaxed meal, or with your friends before or after dinner.

EAT   —  +372 5663 6211 —  Niguliste 6

Texas Honky Tonk & Cantina

Texas-style cantina is a casual place to knock back a Corona or a Bud, or even to try out the frozen margaritas churning in the electric mixer behind the bar. More serious drinkers can try the ‘tequila flights’ - 3 or 5 shots of different tequilas to give you a sampling, not that you’re likely to remember which was which next time around.

DRINK   —  +372 631 1755 —  Pikk 43

Hotel Ülemiste

With a location close to the shore of Lake Ulemiste within walking distance to the airport, this hotel counts as Tallinn's airport hotel. Do note however that, apart from the airport and the Ulemiste shopping centre, it is not quite close to anything. Everything about the hotel is reasonably modern, though let down by small niggles.

SLEEP   —  +372 603 2600 —  Lennujaama tee 2

Viikingite küla

The "Vikings' Village" is a theme park 29 km from the city, next to Pirita river and Tallinn-Tartu highway but in a deep forest is a scenic place with a tavern, accommodation and its own small lake, from where everyone can catch their own fish and get it cooked. It is suitable for a day out with kids but too tacky for adults.


Solo Sokos Hotel Estoria

The Estoria is a part of the same building complex as the Viru hotel, but it follows the upmarket "Solo" concept and features colourful and unique design elements throughout its interior. The level of comfort and facilities is higher than at the Viru, but the 93 rooms are placed in a smaller building with less spectacular vistas.

SLEEP   —  +372 6 809 300 —  Viru valjak 4

Savoy Boutique Hotel

The Savoy is the most upmarket property among those operated by the local company Tallinn Hotels. The large building stands out among its Old Town surroundings, while the interior is appointed in a simple and conservative style. Due to the limitations of the historic buildings, some rooms, especially singles, are rather smallish.

SLEEP   —  +372 680 6688 —  Suur-Karja 17/19

Sadamarket

Shopping daytrippers who arrive with Viking Line or Eckerö Line and can't be bothered to walk far from the terminal usually end up at this large indoor market. Three floors of clothing, bags, food and souvenirs plus some restaurants on the second floor. And of course also alcoholic beverages at a third of the Finnish prices.

BUY   —  Kai 5

Radisson Blu Sky Hotel

280 rooms, all equipped with television, telephone, minibar, air conditioning, trouser press, minisafe, refrigerator, internet connection, bathrobes (in superior rooms and suites), hair dryer and coffee and tea making facilities. The rooms are decorated in Scandinavian, Italian, Maritime and Oriental styles. Free broadband.

SLEEP   —  +372 682 3000 —  Rävala pst. 3

Freedom Square

The Freedom Square is one of the main squares in Tallinn, featuring the simple and elegant St. John's Church from the 1860s and the contemporary Victory Column, erected in 2009 to commemorate the Estonian War of Independence of 1918-1920. The square looks especially spectacular at nighttime, when the column is lit up.

SEE   —  Vabaduse väljak

Tallink Silja

Up to 6 departures daily on large Shuttles Star and Superstar (2h). They also operate the MS Baltic Queen (3.5h), a 2 800 passenger cruise ship for easy overnight stays in Tallinn. Discounts are available to Eurail pass holders. As this company has more departures you will have more flexibility planning your day trip.

OTHER   —  +372 640 9808 —  Map

Tallink Express Hotel

The Tallink Express is the cheapest of the hotels provided by the ferry operator Tallink, sandwiched between their spectacular headquarters and the Tallink Spa & Conference Center. The rooms, furniture and fixtures are rather basic, and the location a tad remote and not in a pleasant or picturesque part of Tallinn.

SLEEP   —  +372 667 8700 —  Sadama 9

Vana Turg

The name translates to "old market" and is located on a small square just outside the old town. Vana Turg is a place to buy clothes and decoration items often Estonian-made and sometimes sold by the makers themselves — knitted pullovers and caps, gloves, belts and slippers are examples of what you can find here.

BUY   —  Mere Pst.

Maiasmokk

The oldest still operating café in Tallinn, dating back to 1864. Coffee, tea, chocolate and various sweet and savoury pastries available, at a quite cheap price. Spacious with stylish decor. Right next door is the Maiasmokk confectionery shop, which sells quality Estonian chocolates to take home with you.

EAT   —  +372 64 64 079 —  Pikk 16

Lounge 24

Located on the top floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel, it offers spectacular views of Old Town and the Baltic sea from a trendy indoor setting and a breathtaking outdoor terrace. Lounge 24 serves a variety of light fares to full dinner menu, and a wide selection of beverages. Open to the general public.

DRINK   —  Rävala Puiestee 3

Kuldse Notsu Kõrts

Good traditional Estonian restaurant close to the main square. Try the house beer or vodka and fresh buckthorn and honey apertif with your blood sausage or the famous pork knuckle with extra spicy mustard. The traditional desserts are also worth a try. Live traditional music Sep-May F Sa nights.

EAT   —  +372 628 6567 —  Dunkri 8

Rottermann Quarter

An industrial district between the City and the Tallinn Port. The buildings are from the 19th and 20th century, with motifs of Art Nouveau and Historicism. New and stylish apartment buildings with shopping centre have now been built there widely regarded as architectural masterpiece in Tallinn.

SEE   —  Map

NYC Piano Bar

Entrance is on the side (Müürivahe street) not Club Hollywood on the front. Nice Bar with live music (usually starts at 21:30) and small food menu. Popular with middle aged couples and friends of Jazz. Musicians change regularly but in general good level and cocktails are reasonably priced

DRINK   —  +372 622 9334 —  Vana-Posti 8

My City Hotel

The hotel in the conspicious white early 20th century building may look like many others in Tallinn with the slightly outdated and pretentious decor, but behind this veneer lies a true dedication to detail, extending as far as featuring a bathtub duck in the courtesy toiletries set.

SLEEP   —  +372 6220 900 —  Vana Posti 11/13

Kohvik Narva

Cafe Narva boasts its old-style interior preserved from USSR times. Ladies at the counter are also somewhat brusque and mostly Russian-speaking, although this should not prevent you from enjoying traditional food of Soviet workers as well as delicious pastries baked on the premises.

EAT   —  Narva mnt 10

Hotel Euroopa

The Euroopa has a first-rate location overlooking the marina basin of the Old Town Port of Tallinn, and is generally a very modern hotel. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and perhaps the only downside to it all are wildly clashing textures and patterns throughout the hotel.

SLEEP   —  +372 6699 777 —  Paadi 5

Kohvik Moon

A rather small restaurant with a nice, minimalistic decor. Serves traditional Estonian food with a Russian influence. Voted best restaurant in Tallinn in 2010. Very popular among tourists, and as such it is usually quite full. Prior reservations are recommended but not mandatory.

EAT   —  +372 6 314 575 —  Võrgu 3

Baltic Hotel Vana Wiru

The hotel has outdated rooms, some of which do not have much in terms of a view, while others feature sloping roofs, and it is bested by other hotels in many other respects. But this is all made up by its brilliant location on the Viru Street in the heart of the Old Town.

SLEEP   —  +372 66 91 500 —  Viru 11

Pirosmani

Georgian food as it is done in Georgia. It's well out of the way, but that's a good thing. Almost everyone at this restaurant is local (although the menu has English), and tourists are not in sight, so the food here is good and great value. Try the Khinkali or the Harcho.


Schlössle Hotel

Old storehouse that is converted in a barock-gothic boutique hotel. By some measures the oldest hotel (first erected in 14th century) and renovated in detail to fullfil today's requirements of a 5* hotel. Only 23 rooms, spa and part of Leading Hotels of the world.

SLEEP   —  +372 699 77 00 —  Pühavaimu 13/15

Drink Baar

Fairly new bar, with the widest selection of beers of any pub in town including many quality imports from Brewdog and Mikkeller. Good English-style pub-grub, featuring award winning fish and chips. Monthly comedy nights from the "Comedy Estonia" and quiz nights.

DRINK   —  +372 644 9433 —  Väike Karja 8

Viru Gate

This section of town is known as '''All-Linn''' or "Lower Town", as it's where the merchants and artisans of old Tallinn lived. Today, Viru is still Tallinn's trendiest shopping street and the entire All-Linn is the busiest (and most touristy) bit of Tallinn.

SEE   —  Map

The von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn

The hotel is based in a historic building once belonging to the von Stackelberg family, sitting just outside of the Old Town of Tallinn. The rooms are quite spacious for a historic property though, and there is an on-site spa providing wellness treatments.

SLEEP   —  +372 66 00 700 —  Toompuiestee 23

City Wall

A section of the City Wall can be climbed from the corner of Suur-Kloostri and Väike-Kloostri, with entry into three towers possible. Quite frankly, the views from up on Toompea are better, and the spiral staircases are steep and somewhat claustrophobic.

SEE   —  Map

Metsakalmistu Cemetery

Tallinn's most famous cemetery, housing Estonia’s presidents Konstantin Päts and Lennart Meri, as well chess player Paul Keres. If you're not there to see the graves of Estonian celebrities, it's a peaceful experience to just stroll among the trees.

SEE   —  Pirita

Town Hall

Tallinn Town Hall, built at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, is the oldest town hall in the Nordic countries and Baltic states. Its heavy stone structure dominates the square. Nowadays it's used as a museum where smaller concerts are held.

SEE   —  +372 645 7900 —  Raekoja plats 1

St. Olaf's church

Originally built in the 12th century - today it is a Baptist church and probably the most visible landmark on the northern end of the Old Town. When Estonia was part of the Soviet Union the tower was used as a radio tower and a surveillance point.

SEE   —  Lai 51

Eckerö Line

Operates only one ship, the 2000-passenger ''Finlandia'' (twice a day, travel time 2.5h). Often has the cheapest fares. If you take the morning sailing to Tallinn and the evening sailing back you will have about eight hours in Tallinn.

OTHER   —  +372 664 6000 —  Map

Tallinn TV Tower

A 314 m high, free-standing structure with an observation deck on the 21st floor which, with its 170 metres, is the highest in Northern Europe. It offers spectacular views across Tallinn and, on a clear day, you can see Finland.

SEE   —  Kloostrimetsa 58a

Merchants House Hotel

31 rooms and six suites. The hotel is a small complex of 14th and 16th century buildings with rooms all looking in on the central courtyard. The historic buildings contrasts nicely with the luxurious designer interiors of the rooms.

SLEEP   —  +372 6977 500 —  Dunkri 4/6

Bocca

One of the trendiest restaurants in Tallinn. Features Italian cuisine by Nicola Tanda. It also has a nice bar to enjoy cocktails and snacks. This is one of the busiest restaurants in Tallinn. Reservations are highly recommended.

EAT   —  +372 611 7290 —  Olevimägi 9

The Estonian Song Celebration

First held in 1869, takes place every five years. In 2009, 35,000 choral singers gathered to perform for an audience of 90,000 people. It is recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

DO   —  Map

Hollywood

Big club, popular with young Estonians during the week (Ladies Night on Wednesday) and general party crowd at the weekend. Standard is euro trash and top40 songs. Gets started at 23:00 but before 01:00 the party doesn't rock.

DRINK   —  Vana-Posti 8

Linda Line

Small catamarans ''Merilin'' and ''Karolin''. The fastest option (1.5h) with frequent departures, but susceptible to bad weather. More expensive than the other ships. Apr-Nov only (or as long as the sea is clear of ice)

OTHER   —  +372 6999 333 —  Ädala 4A

Saku Suurhall

Rocca al Mare. Estonia's largest concert and exhibition space, the venue for the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. The hall and its facilities include an excellent shopping centre that can easily be reached by trolleybus 6.

DO   —  Map

Knight House

Hotel quality accommodation at hostel prices. Hostel occupies a house that is over 600 years old, with the centre of the Old Town just out the door. Fully equipped kitchen, common area, free Wi-Fi, free tea and coffee.

SLEEP   —  +372 5550 1001 —  Rüütli 18

Kalamaja Quarter

The oldest suburb of Tallinn, dating back to the 14th century. It was probably inhabited by fishermen (''Kalamaja'' means "Fish house") and mostly houses workers. The current wooden buildings are from the 19th century.

SEE   —  Map

Hell Hunt

The name means 'the gentle wolf' in Estonian. A comfortable and homey pub in the Old Town and offers a wide selection of beers (including two of their own brews) and some pretty decent food. Don't miss the spare ribs.

DRINK   —  Pikk 39

Tallink City Hotel

Tallink's City Hotel has a very central location, right opposite the Viru shopping centre, but unfortunately it is let down by poor service standards dictated by the group business that is the hotel's mainstay.

SLEEP   —  +372 630 0800 —  A. Laikmaa 5

Pikakari Beach

The water quality is fairly good and it gets deep quite soon when you go in. The huge waves coming from the ships break on shore for the joy of all swimmers. The historical Katariina Pier is nice to walk on.

DO   —  Map

Tallinn Music Week

Showcase festival, aiming to stage the best and most outstanding Estonian talent on two nights in Tallinn's most vibrant live venues, as well as a networking event for the music industry professionals.

DO   —  Map

Euphoria

The place with a character. Painted walls, daily events, workshops and unplugged concerts make this place different from other hostels. A must stay for artistic spirits. Friendly staff and Free Wi-Fi.

SLEEP   —  +372 5837 3602 —  Roosikrantsi 4

Dancing Eesti

The staff here can find you anything that you need in Tallinn from legends of the city to secrets of the underground tunnels. A must for people who want to chill or party. Free computer use and Wi-Fi.

SLEEP   —  +372 5365 4382 —  Väike-Karja 1

City Bike

Over 140 bicycles and lot of extra gear. Real cyclist centre with experienced staff, opened in 2003. Tours, good recommendations for day-routes in Tallinn and self-guided tours in all over Estonia.

OTHER   —  +372 511 1819 —  Uus 33

Aserbaijan Restaurant Shesh-Besh

This dim and blandly decorated Azerbaijan Bar-restaurant "Shesh Besh" offers genuine Azerbaijan cuisine. Although a namesake, it has nothing to do with a branch of Azerbaijan restaurants in Russia.

EAT   —  +372 661 1422 —  Gonsiori 9

Teater

Basement club on Vabaduse square. Popular with late twens and smaller groups. Music focus is on 90s and 00s. Door policy is relaxed but most people are dressed up. Usually starts going at midnight.


Oliver

A traditional restaurant in the heart of the Tallinn Old town. The menu is centered on various kinds of steaks, but there are also pastas and vegetarian dishes available. Main courses 15 € - 23 €.

EAT   —  +372 630 7898 —  Viru 3

Chedi

Modern Asian kitchen supervised by Alan Yau from Hakasan, London. Modern and warm interior to give a retro asian impression. Reservations recommended for the weekend and during summer holidays.

EAT   —  +372 646 1676 —  Olevimägi 11

Olevi Residents

Really nice and comfortable hotel in the middle of the Old Town. Free internet access. It has a very good hotel restaurant. The building is from the 14th century and has lots of character.

SLEEP   —  +372 6 277 650 —  Olevimägi 4

Viru Keskus

In and around the landmark Viru hotel, it is very busy as the bus terminal is below this mall. It is still in walking distance from the port but serves tourists and locals as well.

BUY   —  Viru väljak 6

Beer House

Plenty of beer types to choose from in this large authentically styled and decorated Bavarian Beer hall, including 5 of their own beers made on site. Try the Medovar Honey beer.

DRINK   —  Dunkri 5

St. Nicholas church

St.Olaf's lookalike is located at the other end of the Old Town. Heavily damaged in WW2 and a fire in the 1980's, it is nowadays not used as a church but as an art museum.

SEE   —  Niguliste 3

Town Hall Square

The square in the heart of the Old Town, just next to medieval Town Hall (''Raekoda''), ringed with cafes and restaurants. The square was formerly used as a marketplace.

SEE   —  Map

Song Festival Grounds

A huge Modernist structure where the All Estonian Song Festival, which is held every five years, features 34,000 singers and dancers in addition to a massive audience.

SEE   —  Map

Kompressor

This place offers an assortment of huge and delicious pancakes at great prices. Don't give in to the temptation to order two portions, one pancake is usually enough.

EAT   —  Rataskaevu 3

Madissoni Grill & Baar

This open kitchen type restaurant serves good flame-grilled food at decent prices, especially popular for its daily lunch specials, King Club Sandwich and Burgers.

EAT   —  Rävala Puiestee 3

Prive

Tallinn's flashiest nightspot, run by legendary warehouse party organizers Vibe, often has foreign DJs playing. Expensive and has strict face control, so dress up.

DRINK   —  Harju 6

St. Mary's Cathedral

The oldest church in Tallinn, originally built as a Catholic church in 1229 but renovated and expanded many times since then, becoming a Lutheran church in 1561.

SEE   —  +372 644 4140 —  Toom-Kooli 6

Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia

390 air-conditioned rooms and bars and restaurants. It also has a conference centre, health club with swimming pool and saunas. Free WiFi throughout the hotel.

SLEEP   —  +372 631 5333 —  Liivalaia 33

Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn

This is not the best Park Inn in the world, but with some luck you can get a super low room rate compared to its sister hotels under the main Radisson brand.

SLEEP   —  +372 633 9800 —  Narva mnt 7C

Kuku klubi

Founded 1935 by local art community and claiming to have had the best accessible cuisine in whole former USSR since 1958 during the Russian occupation.

DRINK   —  Vabaduse väljak 8

Lake Harku

Small lake that draws a lot of people. The lake gets dirtier by the year and swimming is not always recommended. Watch out for the vipers on the shore!

DO   —  Map

Holy Birgitta Monastery

A monastery of Scandinavian female saints, as well as a landmark of 16th century catacombs and ruins. It includes a guest house operated by the nuns.

SEE   —  Map

Rocca al Mare kaubanduskeskus

A few kilometres west of the old town along Paldiski maantee. Consists of a Prisma hypermarket and tens of smaller, mostly fashion boutiques.

BUY   —  Map

The Dubliner

Popular Irish pub on one of the nightlife axis's. Attracts younger people and is relative new, so no pub crawlers puke in front of the door.

DRINK   —  Suur Karja 18

Bar Fish and Wine

The name pretty much says it. This is a modern cocktail bar and restaurant serving vodka and caviar, fish dishes and a wide range of wines.

EAT   —  +372 662 3013 —  Harju 1

Aed

Excellent organic/biodynamic/Demeter food, also full vegan options. Beautiful interior, very charming and romantic, wonderful service.

EAT   —  +372 626 9088 —  Rataskaevu 8.

Rockroad Record

Mainly metal and rock/pop/blues also. Owner knows about Estonian and Russian rock music also. Carries many Melodia label records.

BUY   —  Endla 38

Tallinn International Horseshow

Biggest international horseriding competition in Baltic states, includes showjumping and dressage. Takes place in Saku Suurhall.

DO   —  Map

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF)

The festival combines a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films.

DO   —  Map

Barons Boutique Hotel

The hotel is in an old bank building and features and overdose of pretentiousness for what are essentially quite simple rooms.

SLEEP   —  +372 699 9700 —  Suur-Karja 7

Bonbon

Open to all who can get past the strict "face control". Over-the-top décor (chandeliers, leather seats) and prices to match.

DRINK   —  Mere Pst 6e

Kaubamaja

Opened in 1960, this is the grand old department store of Tallinn, unsurprisingly a lot has changed since the Soviet times.

BUY   —  Gonsiori 2

Restaurant Ö

Reopened and two new chefs Martin Meikas and Ranno Paukson with focus on Modern Estonian kitchen. Good view of old town.

EAT   —  +372 661 6150 —  Mere pst. 6E

Stockmann

Part of the Finnish department store chain, here since 1996. Close to the port and popular with Finnish tourists.

BUY   —  +372 633 9539 —  Liivalaia 53

Baltic Film and Media School

Runs a training program and several other activities in the film & media sphere and has a cooperation with Apple

OTHER   —  +372 619 9909 —  Narva mnt 25

X Hostel

Bunstel & X Hostel have joint forces and therefore the place is under renovation. No date given for reopening

SLEEP   —  Vaimu 1

Ivo Nikkolo

Fashion-interested people can visit the main store of Estonia's first Post-Soviet designer brand Ivo Nikkolo.

BUY   —  Suur-Karja 14

Virgins

Gentlemen's club with erotic shows and luxurious drinks. Popular with business travellers and male tourists.

DRINK   —  +372 56992255 —  Tartu mnt. 29

East-Tallinn Central Hospital

Full fledged clinic with all areas covered (ICU, midwife, surgery etc.) and recommended by most embassies.

OTHER   —  +372 622 7070 —  Ravi 18

Nordic Hotel Forum

A new and modern hotel at Viru Väljak square in the city center. Good and generous breakfast buffet.

SLEEP   —  +372 622 2900 —  Viru Väljak 3

Loca

Popular pizzeria and fast food joint with wild staff and increasing customer service. Open till 7AM.


Lab Bar

Laboratory themed bar known for its shots in testtubes. You should definitely try The "Brain Scan".

DRINK   —  Suur-Karja 10

Estonian Academy of Arts

Open Academy for everybody interested in arts. Wide range of courses and interactive creativity

OTHER   —  +372 626 7301 —  Estonia pst 7

Birgitta Festival

Music and theatre festival, held at the ruins of the historical Pirita (St. Bridget's) convent.

DO   —  Map

Fat Margeret's

Hostel with a big living room, kitchen and a lot of clean toilets and showers. Free Wi-Fi.

SLEEP   —  +372 510 0916 —  Põhja puiestee 27

Alur Hostel

Friendly staff, small kitchen and large common room. Wi-Fi available in all of the rooms.

SLEEP   —  +372 646 6210 —  Lai 20

Arena3

Plays middle of the road pop and disco. Popular with the young crowd. Reasonably priced.

DRINK   —  Tartu mnt. 17

Karja Kelder

Pleasant and affordable tourist trap in basement. Located in the middle of Old Town.

EAT   —  +372 644 1008 —  Väike-Karja 1

Keskturg

Market place situated 500 m from the bus station. They sell food and clothes.

BUY   —  Keldrimäe 9

Johanna Hostel

Changed owner a couple of times and also the name but still on the same place.

SLEEP   —  +372 631 3252 —  Väike-Karja 1

Õllesummer Festival

Approx 70,000 people attend the festival each year over the course of 4 days.

DO   —  Map

Stroomi Beach

The water is clean and warm, and it is the gay friendliest beach of Tallinn.

DO   —  Map

Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar

In addition to Tallinn jazz concerts also take place in Tartu and Pärnu.

DO   —  Map

Tallinn University of Technology Summer School

TUT offers every summer courses in English (TOEFL) and Nordic Culture

OTHER   —  +372 620 2002 —  Ehitajate tee 5

Pirita Beach

A large sandy beach which in summer is full of locals and tourists.

DO   —  Map

Raamatukoi Grammofon Records

Good selections. Classic / jazz / Estonian / pop-rock and so on.

BUY   —  Voorimehe 9

Mauruse Pubi

A great local pub, featuring cheap food with hearty portions.

EAT   —  Map

Museum of Occupations

Describes the life conditions under Soviet and Nazi regimes.

SEE   —  +372 668 0250 —  Toompea. 8

Levist Väljas

A cozy alternative bar in Old Town with a small dance floor.

DRINK   —  Olevimägi 12

Lasering Records

Mostly new items and some kinds of UK/US indie records & CD.

BUY   —  Viru väljak 4,

Kakumäe beach

The water is one of the purest in all of Tallinn beaches.

DO   —  Map

Tallinn University Summer School

Tallinn University offers a Summer School to learn Eesti

OTHER   —  +372 6409218 —  Narva mnt 25

Biit Record

Indie/electronics. Small but there is a cute bulldog.

BUY   —  Pikk 9

Simpel Session

International skateboarding and BMX event.

DO   —  Map

Jaama Turg

A market place next to the train station.

BUY   —  Kopli 1

Nimeta Baar (The Bar With No Name)

Really fun place, popular with tourists.

DRINK   —  Suur-Karja 4

Parlament

Bubblegum pop and live events.

DRINK   —  Ahtri 10

Von Krahli

An avant-garde theatre/bar.

DRINK   —  Rataskaevu 10

Tallinn Backpackers

Includes a sauna.

SLEEP   —  +372 644 0298 —  Olevimägi 11

GIDIC Backpackers

Australian-owned.

SLEEP   —  +372 646 6016 —  31 Tartu Mnt

Flying Kiwi Backpackers

20 beds

SLEEP   —  +372 5821 3292 —  Nunne 1

Monk's Bunk

SLEEP   —  +372 636 3924 —  Tatari 1

Sweden

OTHER   —  +372 640 5600 —  Pikk 28

Finland

OTHER   —  +372-6103 200 —  Kohtu 4

Ülemiste Keskus

BUY   —  Map


Source: wikivoyage