Tallinn in one day

The sights of Tallinn in one day

What to see in Tallinn in 1 day

The Estonian capital is not a city that you have to plan for a week to see. If you do not go deep into museums and pubs all the main attractions of Tallinn can be seen in one day.

What to see in the old city?

Start with the old city. Almost everything most interesting for tourists is within its borders.

If you are traveling with children, you may want to deviate from the route in the direction of the zoo and maritime museum.

Town Hall Square

Town Hall Square

In the Estonian capital town hall square is the place where life goes on and on. It often hosts colorful and lively fairs, festive concerts and other colorful events. During the warmer months, visitors enjoy sitting at tables set up all over the place in cozy outdoor cafes.

Toompea Castle - City Hall

Since 1404, the Gothic City Hall, which in its architectural style differs from the surrounding medieval merchants’ houses, has decorated the square. In its halls are constantly held receptions and concerts for officials.

Regular public can get inside the Town Hall only in July and August.

Viru Gate

Viru Gate

Although Tallinn has a lot of historic buildings on its small territory, Viru Gate has become a symbol of the city.

Once it was part of a mighty medieval bastion, built in the 14th century. Nowadays the remnants of the wall of the ancient fortress and two towers survived. They are called the Viru Gate. Behind them is Town Hall Square, historical monuments of the Middle Ages. Nearby are souvenir shops, where you can buy memorable souvenirs. And in front of them begins the “possessions” of the modern city.

Observation deck on the Patkul Stairs

Patkuli Stairs

In order to see a larger part of the medieval castle wall and a few powerful towers it is worthwhile to walk to Patkul’s staircase.

Since 1903 there is a fairly spacious observation deck for guests of the city, which is considered one of the best such constructions in Tallinn. It is an easy task for any inquisitive tourist to climb the 157 low steps.

View from the observation platform

Dome Cathedral

Among the sacral buildings of the city the building of the Dome Cathedral, which rises on a hill since XIII century, stands out for its ascetic white facade and the large size of the inner hall.

Dome Cathedral

On some days, visitors listen to soulful organ music. For some Russian tourists it is unexpected to see the name of I. Kruzenshtern, the famous navigator, in the list of celebrities buried in the temple.

Architectural ensemble “Three Sisters”.

Continue acquaintance with the Estonian capital guests can be on Pikk Street, where you can clearly feel its venerable age. Here under number 71 in three medieval houses hides a cozy hotel.

But it is not the hotel that attracts tourists, but the facades of these old buildings. Once they successfully played the role of merchant houses. Their long history began in 1362, but only in 2003 after the restoration “Three Sisters” became a luxury hotel, which has kept its medieval facade.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

More than 38% of residents of Tallinn are members of the Russian nation. Therefore, the Orthodox Church in the center of the old city does not surprise you with its presence.

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The majestic building of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral differs from neighboring sacral buildings by its brightly painted facade, five onion domes and high belfry. You can hear the melody of the 11 bells before each service.

Kohtuotsa Lookout

Kohtuots Lookout

Walking through the streets of the upper part of the old city you will definitely reach the spacious observation deck of Kohtuots.

Here, travelers not only view the more familiar city, flooded with evening lights. In the evening, you can hear street musicians. Some of them even dance to unpretentious tunes.

In the summer months, an inexpensive cafe welcomes guests to the site, where you can sit for a while and share fresh impressions of the hospitable Tallinn. And the streets of Old Town sell delicious, savory peanuts – don’t deny yourself the pleasure of tasting them.

Church of St. Olaf

St. Olav's Church

Among the city’s sacral buildings stands out the Church of St. Olaf, famous for its 124-meter spire and named after the Norwegian king.

Tourists try to get here primarily for the observation deck inside the high tower. From it you can look for a long time:

  • The gable roofs of the old buildings
  • Many ships in the port
  • The slender church spires.

What excursions and museums to visit with children

Estonia’s capital is perfect for a weekend family tour.

You can explore the old city with the whole family in the form of a playful quest.

A visit to the Lennusedam Maritime Museum will take the whole family at least 2-3 hours. It should not be missed under any circumstances.

The zoo will be of interest to younger children.

You can expand the program with museums and other children’s activities in the Estonian capital.

Maritime Museum Lennusadam

Lennusadam

Parents with children should visit the Lennusadam, an interactive museum located in the water airport. In its former hangar, young tourists can see with their own eyes:

  • a submarine and descend into it
  • several real sailing ships
  • seaplane
  • real military guns
  • feel the power of wind
  • fly on an airplane simulator
  • go on a 3D journey at a special stand

The greatest interest of young travelers is the “Suur Tull” – a museum ship located at the pier. Young guests can walk through the cabins, boiler room and other rooms of the icebreaker steamer.

From the city center there are cabs (5 €) and buses – #73 and City Tour (from Viru Square).

Tallinn Zoo

Zoo

As always, do not rule out the possibility of visiting the zoo with children. Here you will meet:

  • Bowman the Amur tiger,
  • Amur leopard Darla,
  • Quincy the chimpanzee,
  • Kappa owls, Debi and Kredi,
  • the African savanna elephant, Fin,
  • Nora the polar bear,
  • and many others.

Children can not only get acquainted with the animals and birds of different continents, but also watch them feeding.

All the sights of Tallinn. What can be seen in the capital of Estonia in 1 day?

Despite the fact that Tallinn is considered the most modest European capital, it has many historical and architectural attractions and modern entertainment.

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A leisurely stroll through the Old Town will take you all day. Town Hall Square in Old Tallinn is one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Europe.

And if you come to Tallinn with your family, don’t forget to check out the Maritime Museum and the zoo. The kids will love it here.

Also in Tallinn, a great SPA-hotels and nice beaches. It has a lot to do, both in summer and winter.

IMPORTANT: up-to-date information about opening of borders between Russia and Estonia for all tourists, as well as those who can already travel there at the moment, see here.

A brief look at Estonia’s capital

The capital city of Tallinn is a modern seaport city on the Gulf of Finland.

Its population is 410 thousand people. Estonians, Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Germans and Finns live here. It is the cultural, scientific, political center of Estonia.

Tallinn was founded in the XII century, at different times was called Kolyvan, Lindanise, Revel.

In the search form below you can see flight schedules:

Old Town in 1 day: photo with description

If you come to Tallinn for one day, you go straight to the Old Town. Here are the main attractions.

The historic center of Tallinn is divided into Lower Town and Upper Town. In the Lower Town lived artisans, and in the Upper, or Vyshgorod – the nobility.

Virok Gate

Viruks Gate is one of the most important tourist attractions. They divide the old and new Tallinn.

In fact, the gate itself has long been demolished when they laid a line for the horse-drawn tramway. What remains are the towers of the pre-gate fortification.

Immediately behind them is the lively Viru Street, which leads to Town Hall Square.

Town Hall Square

The center of the old city is Town Hall Square. Over the years the square has changed several names: Forum, Market, Old Market, New Market, German Market, Swedish Market.

The main attraction of Town Hall Square is the Gothic Town Hall building. It was built over 600 years ago and is considered to be the only surviving building in the Gothic style in Northern Europe.

And from the Town Hall Square you can see Tallinn’s five main spires: Oleviste, Holy Spirit, Niguliste, Town Hall and the Dome Cathedral.

A couple of weeks before New Year’s Eve, a Christmas fair opens here, where souvenirs and local delicacies are sold and you can try hot cinnamon mulled wine. For the joy of children there is a merry-go-round and a tall Christmas tree.

Pharmacy

In the corner of Town Hall Square is the oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe. It began to function in the XV century.

The pharmacy is still in operation. In the premises of the pharmacy there is a museum of medical instruments.

Church of the Holy Spirit

On the facade of the Church of the Holy Spirit there is the oldest clock in the city. Despite the fact that five centuries have passed they still show the exact time. Inside the church, there are over 50 paintings devoted to biblical subjects.

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Three Sisters

The Three Sisters are three houses of unusual construction that share common walls. They are built in the Hanseatic style, each house has a high gable roof.

In the history of the Three Sisters has changed a lot of owners. It is now home to a popular designer hotel.

Church of St. Olaf

The tallest spire in the Old Town is on the Church of St. Olaf or Oleviste, as it is also called. The spire is 124 meters high. At one time the city officials forbade the erection of churches higher than the Oleviste. The church was built in the 16th century, the spire served as a landmark for ships that entered the harbor of Tallinn.

There is an observation deck on the Oleviste tower, it is open from 10 to 18 hours. Cost: 4 euros.

Purchase health insurance for the trip is available here:

Dome Cathedral

The Dome Cathedral is considered to be the main Lutheran church of the Old City. In the 13th century on this site stood a wooden church. Later, the monks built a stone church. The walls of the Dome Cathedral are decorated with wooden coats of arms of noble families, on whose funds the temple was built. Many are buried in the cathedral.

If you go up to the observation deck of the Dome Cathedral, you can see a beautiful view of the city. Cost: entrance to the cathedral – 2 euros, entrance to the observation deck – 5 euros.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in 1900 and is dedicated to the salvation of Russian Emperor Alexander III in a railway accident.

The cathedral stands on Toompea Hill and is considered to be the largest church building in the Baltics. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in Neo-Byzantine style, is a cathedral of the Estonian Orthodox Church and is subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchate.

Toompea Castle

Opposite the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Toompea Castle, which rises in the center of Tallinn on the hill of the same name.

It was built in XIII century by the Danish King Valdemar II. The tallest tower of the castle – the Tower of Long Hermann – reaches 100 meters above the sea level. Now the parliament of Estonia sits in Toompea Castle.

Kaarli Temple

Kaarli Church is a Lutheran church built in the neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. Classical music concerts and divine services are held here.

Kik-in-de-Kök Fortress Tower

The tower now houses the Armoury Museum. From here you can also start guided tours through the dungeons of Tallinn.

And in the XV century city guards watched from the tower the kitchens of the city houses. It’s no coincidence that “Kik-in-de-Kök” translates from Saxon as “peek into the kitchen”.

Niguliste

This is a former Lutheran church, named in honor of St. Nicholas – the patron saint of sailors. It was built in the XIII century, and during the Great Patriotic War was badly damaged.

After the restoration in 1984 in the church Niguliste opened a concert hall and museum.

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observation platforms

View from the Kohtuotsa Lookout

To see the Old Town at a glance, climb up to the observation deck on Toompea Hill. There are two of them – Kohtuotsa and Patküla.

Kohtuotsa Lookout is included in the tourist routes of Old Tallinn. And this is no accident. It offers a beautiful view of the tiled roofs of the Lower Town.

The observation deck on the Patküla Stairs is located near the railway station. From it one can see the sea port and the city fortress wall.

View from the observation deck of Patkühl

And finally wander through the streets of Old Tallinn. For example, visit Katariina’s Alley, where you will find many stores selling knitwear and shops selling glass, leather and ceramic souvenirs.

Map

In order not to get lost in Tallinn’s Old Town, use the map. On it are all the objects to visit, photos with descriptions is located above. It also offers a circular walking route. If necessary, you can print out the map and take it with you. The map can be downloaded at the link.

The train schedule can be found here:

A 2-3 day trip on your own in the summer

If you have 2 or 3 days to spare, you will find a lot to see in Tallinn today.

Kardiorg

Two kilometers from the Old Town you will find Kardiorg Park. The original name of the park was Ekaterinental, in honor of Peter the Great’s wife Catherine.

The main attraction of Kardiorg is the Palace Museum of Peter the Great. Ticket prices and opening hours can be clarified on the museum website.

The Kumu Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Kardiorg Park. In the creative building of the museum works of Estonian artists are on display.

You can find out about open exhibitions, opening hours and ticket prices on the museum’s website.

Kalamaja district

Not far from the Old Town is a cozy neighborhood of colorful wooden houses called Kalamaja.

It used to be a fisherman’s village. Now it’s a neighborhood where creative bohemians live. Various times Kalamaja was home to Alexander Blok and Sergey Dovlatov.

Freedom Square

The main square of modern Tallinn is Freedom Square. Installed the Victory Monument commemorates the victory of the Estonian army against the Red Army. Also on Freedom Square is the Church of St. John.

Rotermanni

Rotermanni is a quarter with modern architecture, which is located near the historical part of the city.

It used to be home to factories and workshops, whose buildings remain in the area, though no longer in operation.

After renovations, Rotermanni is now home to trendy restaurants and cafes, a boutique Kalev chocolate store, and modern office buildings.

Find out what Estonian unicorns look like and take a walk through the modern neighborhoods by booking a guided tour of the modern Estonian capital.

Choose a suitable hotel below:

Pirita

Pirita is a coastal area of Tallinn, located 7 km from the Old Town. A sailing regatta was held here during the Olympics of the 1980s.

Pirita is a district of SPA hotels. On Pirita seafront the citizens of Tallinn like to walk and relax and here is the best beach in Tallinn with fine clean sand.

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TV Tower

The height of the Tallinn TV Tower is 314 meters. At the top is an observation deck.

What to see with the kids?

In Tallinn, children are not bored. They will love to explore the medieval towers in Old Town and the submarine at the Maritime Museum. There’s also a delicious marzipan museum, zoo and botanical garden.

Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum is considered the most popular museum in the country. You can stay here for several hours with children.

The main part of the museum is located in the Flying Harbor. This is a huge hangar that contains an exhibit with a real submarine and seaplane. Interactive exhibition tells about the history of Estonia. A fascinating tour through the museum will allow you to learn even more.

The icebreaker moored to the harbor is also part of the museum. You can walk on it and look into all the compartments.

Fat Margaret Tower

The other part of the museum is in Old Town and is located in Fat Margaret’s Tower.

Flying harbor Address: Vesilennuki, 6 Coordinates: 59.451395, 24.738410 Fat Margaret Tower Address: Pikk, 70 Coordinates: 59.442541, 24.749485

Zoo

The small Tallinn Zoo has a lot to see: an African elephant and a Siberian tiger, a polar bear and a striped hyena.

There is also a ropes course on the territory of the zoo, which can also be visited with children for an additional fee. For more information on the zoo website.

Puppet Theater

The NUKU Puppet Museum and Theatre is more than 60 years old. In the museum you can see not only puppets but also special antique machinery for puppet theaters. You can also take your children to one of the shows. Repertoir and ticket prices can be found on the website.

Museum of marzipan

Children will love the Kalev Marzipan Museum in the Old Town.

Here you can not only buy marzipan products, but also see how they are hand painted. Shop-museum is open daily from 10.00 to 21.00

Legends of Tallinn

Older kids will be interested in the interactive museum “Legends of Tallinn”.

It is located in the basement of a house near Town Hall Square. In the performance with the use of light and pyrotechnics actors tell, including in Russian, the legends of the ancient city.

Learn more about show times and prices here.

Botanical Gardens

In the Tallinn Botanical Garden, which is located near the TV Tower, you can find more than 4,500 species of plants. The area of the garden is about 120 hectares.

The botanical garden is open from 10.00 to 20.00 (in autumn and winter – 11.00-17.00). The cost is 5 euros for an adult.

Useful video

Watch a video walk through the interesting places of the city:

It is impossible to see all the interesting places of historical and modern Tallinn in one short trip. Visiting the Estonian capital on your own once, you’ll want to come back.

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