5 things to do in enchanting Tallinn

If you only have a day to explore Estonia’s capital then be sure not to miss these five sites.

With a unique fairy-tale old town, Tallinn is one of my favourite cities to explore in Europe. If you are staying for a few days, I’d also recommend venturing out to the lesser known parts of Estonia on alternative day trip or visiting the eastern city of Tartu. If you only have a day or two, then be sure not to miss these five sites in the capital.

1. Explore abandoned Linnahall

This huge Soviet style building was completed in 1980 as a venue for the sailing events of the Moscow Olympics. The hall then became an entertainment complex and was finally closed in 2010. Despite recent plans for renovations, the area remains derelict, with grass growing through the concrete steps, graffiti on the walls and an a somewhat eerie feel- although these days it’s quite a popular tourist attraction.

Linnahall graffitiLinnahall entrance 2Linnahall steps with shrubs

2. View the old city from above

The old town of Tallinn (Vana Tallinn) has a magical fairy-tale feel to it, in part due to the well preserved town wall and castle on Toompea hill. To get the best view of the old town (and to get your bearings for further exploring) head up the tower of St. Olav’s Church or the town hall in Raekoja Plats. Both are 3€ entry and require climbing of over 100 narrow stone steps!

Tallinn from aboveTallinn above detailTallinn roofs

3. Visit the markets in Raekoja Plats

At the center of the old town you’ll find Raekoja Plats– the Town Square. As with many towns, the main square is the heart of the city. Here you’ll find regular weekend markets, plenty of restaurants, cafes and interesting museums.

Since 1441 the old Raekoja Plats has been home to a magical Christmas Market. It’s even been said that the Brotherhood of the Blackheads erected the world’s first Christmas Tree here, although others claim that neighboring Riga holds this title.

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Horse in old town

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Raekoja Plats Markets

4. Wander through Toompea Hill

Positioned above the rest of the old town, Toompea (Cathedral) Hill boasts impressive views of the city, the old castle- which is now the Estonian Parliament building and the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Toompea streetAlexander Nevsky Cathedral

 

5. Head to Telliskivi

If you want to see a different side of Tallinn then head out of the Old Town time-warp to Telliskivi, an inspiring “creative city for everything new”. Here you’ll find second-hand shops, homeware and arts stores, food and thrift markets and plenty of trendy cafes and bars. My favourite is F-Hoone.

dav

Tallinn, Estonia

Author: Emma

I'm an Aussie who loves exploring my new homeland of Finland in my day to day life and traveling around Europe in my free time. I'm particularly passionate about solo and eco-friendly travel.

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