Estonia is one of Lonely Planet’s best value destinations in recent years. The cobbled streets of Old Tallinn brings every traveler back to the medieval times. A mysterious charm surrounds the Old Town and every street you turn into looks somewhat like the previous one. It is a Unesco World Heritage site and has a rich history dating back to the 14th century. Most people choose to take a day trip from Helsinki (by cruise). But personally, I recommend to stay at least a night to experience the medieval town in order to be able to check out the nice spots around Old Town. If you prefer to be in the city, most of the sights are in Old Town Tallinn.
If you are more of a visual person (or just TL;DR), the top spots mentioned are featured in our vlog below. If not, we hope the details are helpful for your next trip to Tallinn!
This is one of the top places in Tallinn to see the colourful parliament houses. Every corner you turn into, might just be your next instagram worthy shot! The Russian Orthodox church Alexandra Nevsky Cathedral is also just around the corner.
Have you ever thought of posing next to these dreamy buildings?
Patkuli Viewing Platform
As you take your walk around Toompea Hill, check out this platform for a gorgeous view of Old Town Tallinn. The alleys were particularly windy when we visited in September due to its location on top of a hill, so don’t forget to bring along a windbreaker or scarf. The Patkuli platform is simply one of the best sunset spots in Tallinn.
Save the camera honey, enjoy the view. Indeed.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Located right beside the Patkuli Platform is the famous “The Times We Had” wall. The wall was painted over recently due to the owner’s decision (unfortunately). We were disappointed but still went ahead to check the wall out. Surprisingly, we saw a freshly painted wall but in a different font; most probably back due to popular demand.
Town Hall of Old Tallinn
This is where the majority of people aim to visit when one comes to Tallinn. You see restaurants, bars with live music and tons of other happenings in the town hall and its surroundings. If you are lucky, you may catch some Estonians dressed in old school medieval costumes!
Cobbled streets with colourful buildings painting the scene is a sight to behold in the city centre
Street scene in old town Tallinn
St Olav’s Church
Check out the 12th century church if you are taking a walk around old town. The top of the church gives you a breathtaking view of the town. Be ready to conquer the spiral staircase to witness the views. Entrance fee is EUR 3.
Tallinn Cuisine – Rae Meierei
You can’t leave Tallinn without trying Estonian cuisine and the best place to get it is at Rae Meierei. We tried their rabbit meat with red wine and it was a good tasting experience. It is located right by the Old Town Hall and pretty easy to get to. There is a bar at the bottom level and the restaurant is on the 2nd floor.
Check out the unique restaurant setting
Rabbit steak @ Rae Meierei
This pub is located in one of the four corners of the town hall centre. It gives you a feel of traveling back in time or even into one of the Harry Potter pubs. Best of all, food and drinks cost between EUR 1 – 6, half a kg of ox rib can be served at EUR 10. Cheapest wine and beer around the town hall square can be found here!
Located just beside the old town, Kalamaja is a popular district with a Bohemian atmosphere and charm. The new cafes popping up in recent times and the distinct colourful houses keep our cameras busy while you walk around this hipster area.
The Seaplane Harbour is a maritime museum located at the coastal section of the Kalamaja district. We went there on a wet weather program and this is an excellent option to find out more about the marine history of Tallinn. Entrance fee is EUR 28.
For Nature Lovers
If you are able to rent a car for a day and wanted to check out the nature around Tallinn, consider doing the following short trip!
A round trip from Tallinn is about 200km and takes about 3 hours of driving
Located just 30 minutes away from Tallinn city, you can find the widest natural waterfall in Estonia. Contrary to other famous waterfalls around the world, it is rare to see other tourists here which means that Estonia is definitely still underrated!
View of Jagala waterfall from the air shot with the DJI Mavic Pro.
Lahemma National Park
This is a must-go national park in Estonia! Day trip from Tallinn is common. There are plenty of hiking trails. Read on for specific places in the national park to go.
One of the must-see bogs in Estonia is Viru Bog and it is located within Lahemma National Park. The boardwalk spans 42 kilometres and it is a good hike from the parking area. You are able to witness undisturbed nature and enjoy the beautiful pine forests. The golden hours (dusk and dawn) are perfect for photography lovers because of the soft lighting in the gorgeous landscape.
Kasmu Fishing Village
Located in Lahemaa National Park is a fishing village that locals use as their summer homes. There is a sea museum to visit if you are interested in finding out about the maritime history of the area. Kasmu Fishing Village is listed as one of the European places that haven’t been discovered by tourists by Business Insider. If you are looking for food, check out O kõrts in Võsu for great western food with superb price to portion ratio.
Aerial view of Kasmu village
That’s pretty much all the things and places that I have experienced during my time in Tallinn. Have you got something interesting to share when visiting Estonia? Feel free to do so in the comments below!