Tallinn

Tallinn From Toompea

Located on the northern Baltic coast of Estonia Tallinn is a charming medieval city but one that can be jammed with tourists (particularly in the summer when cruise ships regularly dock very close to the town centre). Likely of interest to tourists is the walled “Old Town” where narrow cobbled streets house small, local shops and interesting places to eat. The “Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn” is a UNESCO site of “Outstanding Universal Value” so certainly is worth a visit.

Language is not too much of a problem with most speaking English and signs mostly in English also (obviously, when in the tourist areas).

Things to See

"The Broken Line" memorial for 852 people lost in the 1994 sinking of the MS Estonia ferry

The old town can be divided into two parts, the original walled city and the smaller area of “Toompea” at the top of a hill overlooking the city. Just wandering around is interesting enough with the winding streets in this city where it is small enough to never have to worry about getting lost (and there are plenty of free English tourist maps available throughout the town never mind excellent signage). Both areas are surrounded by peaceful parkland which is wonderful on a sunny day.

Fat Margaret's Tower (Gate)

Viru Gate

Old Town

Old Town Back Street

The old town is enclosed by magnificent stone walls with the occasional red roofed tower. The cobbled streets are still lined with homes but now more often than not is some tourist shop or another. There are still authentic places to eat if you look around…stay away from anything with hamburger on the menu! The central square is “Raekoja Plats” where you will also find the town hall.

Town Hall

Raekoja Plats

Walking south from “Raekoja Plats” towards the harbour along Viru road you will find “Viru Gate” which features a number of stalls selling flowers.

Flower Market near Viru Gate

There are a number of cathedrals and art galleries here that are worth a visit. We visited the small Holy Spirit Church (Püha Vaimu kogudus; Pühavaimu 2, 10123) which features a wonderfully carved wooden interior including elevated seating areas. The church is located one street north of Raekoja Plats and is well worth a visit though there is a small admission charge.

Inside Holy Spirit Church

Holy Spirit Church

Toompea

Park in Toompea

With amazing views of the city, Toompea is worth visiting just for that but this area that is slightly away from the busier tourist areas of the old town is worth visiting for a bit of peace and quiet. There are a number of small places to eat and the area also features “Toompea Castle” (housing the parliament of Estonia) and the Alexander Nevski Orthodox Cathedral.

Toompea Castle

Entrance to the cathedral is free but slightly disappoints on the inside…

Alexander Nevski Orthodox Cathedral

On the ridge of the Toompea is the “Maiden Tower Museum” which is part of the “Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum” which itself is part of the Tallinn City Museum offers great views of the city and allows you to walk along the walls which are otherwise inaccessible.

Maiden Tower Museum

Stairs leading up to Toompea can be difficult to find. We used those on the northern side off of Nunne road in Šnelli park and others via Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) alongside “The War of Independence Victory Column” (Vabadussõja võidusammas).

The War of Independence Victory Column

Pictures

Some pictures taken when we visited Tallinn in August, 2019:

 

Further Information

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