Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is a vibrant city that boasts a rich history and culture. The Old Town of Tallinn, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Estonia. With its charming cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and lively atmosphere, the Old Town is a great place to explore, relax, and have fun. In this guide, we’ll take a look at two outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip that will make your visit to Tallinn’s Old Town unforgettable.
Walk the City Walls
Walking the city walls of Tallinn is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the Old Town. The walls, which date back to the 13th century, surround the entire Old Town and offer breathtaking views of the city and the sea. The best time to walk the walls is in the early morning or late afternoon, when the crowds are smaller and the light is better for photography. The walk takes about an hour and can be challenging in places, but the views make it well worth the effort.
Explore the Parks and Gardens
Tallinn has many parks and gardens that offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Kadriorg Park, which is located just a few kilometers from the Old Town, is one of the most beautiful parks in Tallinn. The park is home to Kadriorg Palace, which was built by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I, as well as several museums and art galleries. In addition to the palace, the park also features beautiful flower gardens, fountains, and a lake.
Town Hall Square
Town Hall Square, or Raekoja Plats in Estonian, is the heart of the Old Town and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Tallinn. The square is surrounded by colorful merchant houses, cafes, and restaurants, and is home to the Tallinn Town Hall, which was built in the 14th century. The square is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike, and is especially lively during the summer months when outdoor concerts and events are held here.
St. Olaf’s Church
St. Olaf’s Church is one of the most iconic buildings in Tallinn and a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Old Town. The church, which dates back to the 12th century, is named after King Olaf II of Norway and was once the tallest building in the world. Today, visitors can climb to the top of the church’s spire for stunning views of the Old Town and the sea. The climb is not for the faint of heart, however, as the stairs are narrow and steep.
Another great park to visit is the Japanese Garden, which is located in the heart of the Old Town. The garden, which was created in 1991 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Tallinn, features traditional Japanese landscaping, including a koi pond, a waterfall, and a tea house. The garden is a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Patarei Prison, located just outside of the Old Town, is a former Soviet-era prison that has been abandoned since 2002. The prison, which was built in the 19th century as a sea fortress, was used by both the Nazis and the Soviets to hold political prisoners. Today, the prison is open to visitors who can explore the eerie, crumbling corridors and learn about the history of the prison through exhibits and guided tours.
Kumu Art Museum
The Kumu Art Museum, located in Kadriorg Park just outside of the Old Town, is Estonia’s largest art museum and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in contemporary art. The museum features a wide range of exhibits, including works by Estonian artists as well as international artists, and is known for its stunning architecture and innovative exhibitions. In addition to the art exhibits, the museum also features a café and a gift shop.
If you’re looking for affordable accommodation in the heart of the Old Town, the Old Town Munkenhof Guesthouse is a great option. The guesthouse offers clean, basic rooms at reasonable prices, and is located just a few minutes’ walk from Town Hall Square. The guesthouse also has a shared kitchen and lounge area, as well as free Wi-Fi.
Hotel Telegraaf is a luxurious mid-range hotel located in a restored 19th-century building in the heart of the Old Town. The hotel features elegantly appointed rooms and suites, as well as a spa, fitness center, and two restaurants. The hotel is within walking distance of many of Tallinn’s top attractions, including Town Hall Square and St. Olaf’s Church.
Schlössle Hotel is a five-star boutique hotel located in a restored 13th-century building in the heart of the Old Town. The hotel features individually designed rooms and suites, each with its own unique style and decor. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar, as well as a spa and fitness center. Schlössle Hotel is a great option for travelers looking for a luxurious and romantic stay in Tallinn.
Swissôtel Tallinn is a luxury hotel located just outside of the Old Town, offering stunning views of the city and the sea. The hotel features spacious and elegantly designed rooms and suites, as well as a spa, fitness center, and two restaurants. The hotel is within walking distance of the Old Town, and is a great option for travelers looking for a luxurious and comfortable stay in Tallinn.
Old Town, Tallinn offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is sure to delight any traveler. From hiking and cycling to exploring ancient churches and modern museums, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for a luxurious getaway, our guide has you covered with accommodation suggestions to fit every need. And don’t forget our unusual tip for a truly unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Old Town, Tallinn like a local.