I’ve visited the enchanting medieval old town of Tallinn three times and each time I’ve loved it more. With immaculately preserved buildings, traditional food carts (complete with vendors in costume) and a large market square full of stalls with traditional Estonian goods, entering the gates of the old town transports you to another era.
Raekoja plats– literally Town Hall Square, is at the centre of the old town. For a few euro you can climb the 115 steps of the Town Hall’s gothic tower, with the 360 degree view at the top well worth the climb and small fee.
Another unmissable tower climb is that of St. Olav’s Church. Completed in the early 16th century, the 124m tower was once one of the tallest buildings in the world.
While exploring the lower parts of the old town is tirelessly enchanting, perhaps my favourite thing to do in Tallinn is to wander around the upper streets of Toompea (Cathedral Hill). Picture-perfect views can be found at numerous viewing platforms and there are many hidden gems to stumble upon.
A hidden staircase leads down from Toompea Castle to a grassy path that circles the base of the old town wall.
Continuing along the outter western wall of the town, you’ll find a perfectly quaint garden know as Tower’s square or Tornide väljak, as it’s boarded by numerous towers to one side. As well as being generally aesthetically pleasing, it also has several interesting art installations.
You can also explore inside many of the towers along the outer wall- this one I stumbled into had an art exhibition that particular weekend.
As well as the endlessly endearing surrounds, the city has a plentiful supply of inviting cafes and restaurants- at very nice prices compared to most of Europe, especially nearby Scandinavia. But if you want to see a different side of Tallinn then head out of the time-warp to Telliskivi, an inspiring “creative city for everything new”.
Lunch at F-Hoone is a highlight.
There are also ridiculously cool second hand shops and markets to find the perfect bargain.
Tallinn is definitely a place you can visit over and over again, yet never tire of as you continue find new places to explore. I’m excited to visit again in the lead up to Christmas to experience the medieval town come alive during the festive season!