Tallinn – where tradition meets modernity
In Tallinn, tradition meets modern; historic buildings meet ultra-modern architecture, regional Estonian cuisine meets culinary specialties from all over the world, and chic meets a grandiose alternative scene.
A wonderful mixture that makes Tallinn an extremely livable city and a fantastic destination for a city trip. The Estonian capital has at least ultimately cast its spell on me from the very first moment.
In this article, you will find our local guide’s tips for the most exciting sights in Tallinn, the most beautiful viewpoints, as well as ideas to choose your next Tallinn walking tour and free walking tour Tallinn Estonia trough suggestions for essential sights such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or Town Hall and activities in Tallinn and around for your road trips.
Tallinn Walking Tour
Today, Tallinn walking tour have prepared the perfect introduction to the fascinating history through the medieval times within the Town Wall, with stories about Tallinn and Estonia that will make your tour of Tallinn a memorable experience.
There are some to see in the Old Town of Tallinn and It is only an introduction to Tallinn as a classic tour covers only some of the many things to see in the Estonian capital.
We know the newcomer to Estonia loves Tallinn, and its people, so ask your local tour guide for more ideas and locals spots to discover around Freedom Square, Viru Gate, Town Square … and all-round the city.
Tours in Tallinn
Where does modern multimedia meet medieval tradition? In Estonia’s capital Tallinn!
There is a lot to discover here. The medieval old town, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes thousands of tourists every year, is mainly well visited.
But only very few discover the “real” Tallinn, which blooms outside the high city gates. That is why our insider tips will take you away from the paths that every Tallinn visitor strolls to the places that only a few of them visit.
- The Old Town and Town Hall Square
The center of the old town is the Town Hall Square, onto which eight old town streets flow. For a long time, the square served as a marketplace, and the pillory was also there. Today only the Christmas market and annual markets take place here.
- The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
From the town hall square, you should continue your walk up the Toompea. Among other things, this is where the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is located. The Cathedral got it’s name from the Russian national hero and saint Alexander Yaroslawitsch Nevsky.
It is still a Russian Orthodox cathedral today, even if the times when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire are long gone. The cathedral, with its onion-domes, is an eye-catcher.
Insiders’ tip: Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to photograph it from the street, but from the cathedral right next door, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the cathedral.
- Discover the Kalamaja district
Kalamaja probably appears in very few travel guides to Tallinn. The “Fischhaus,” as the name translates, is only a stone’s throw away from the overcrowded old town.
Directly behind the train station, you immerse yourself in a world that is initially reminiscent of a small Estonian town. Traditional wooden houses line up with old factory buildings and could be the basis for a nice photo walk.
The young, hip Tallinn scene mainly discovered the former working-class district in recent years with start-ups in the Telliskivi complex and wild concerts are celebrated in the abandoned industrial buildings.
Kalamaja is colorful, young, and inspired.
Places to see in Kalamaja:
- Telliskivi complex with studios, offices, cafes, and flea markets
- Tallinn’s oldest cemetery, “Kalamaja kalmistu.”
- Sights along the Kulturkilometer such as the Linnahall concert hall
- Visit the Seaplane Harbor Marine Museum
- Walk along the harbor.
- The area around the Patarei prison
On the outskirts of Kalamaja, right by the harbor, a large brick building is waiting: the gruesome remains of the Patarei prison, which dates back to Soviet times and is still in use until 2004. Since it is still unclear what will happen to the imposing walls, it is mostly empty or discovered by the Tallinn creative scene. Studios have been set up, but temporary exhibitions and parties are also taking place.
Insiders’ tip: you can also visit the Patarei premises. Many rooms are still in their former condition for photos.
- Tallinna Linnahall: Tallin’s old city hall
Just one kilometer east of the Patarei prison, another Soviet concrete block is no longer in use today: the Tallinna Linnahall, which translates as Tallinn’s City Hall.
You can browse through the countless design shops. In contrast to what many prejudices or clichés about the Baltic States might suggest, the Estonians are oriented towards their Scandinavian neighbors: cool, precise design, and sometimes pastel colors.
Artists and designers also place great value on handcraft. Whether it’s fancy earrings, DIY notebooks, or wooden furniture, design lovers from the north will get their money’s worth here.
Discovering a new city should also be to try the local ways. In Tallinn, you should eat fish straight from the cutter!
- The Kalaturg fish market
It is directly across from the Estonian Design House. The contrast program awaits everyone who wants to become fish and fish lovers. Every Saturday, the Kalaturg traditional fish market opens here to taste and buy everything that floats in the Baltic Sea.
- Walking by the city wall
Of course, I can’t miss a lap in any city, but there are also many great parks around the city wall, such as the Kadriorg Park or the Pirita tee promenade, which invite you to run.
- Visit the most modern maritime museum: Seaplane Harbor.
The Seaplane Harbor Museum is a great place, even if you are not particularly interested in shipping or marine museums.
Like so many modern places in Tallinn, the design studio Koko took care of expanding the museum in the former hangar at the port. And this studio merges modernity with tradition and old.
- Feed with pancakes at the compressor
A visit to the compressor is an absolute must for me. Because here, you will find the most gigantic and most delicious pancakes in the country. Here you could afford a cheap and nutritious lunch. The menu offers everything from traditional pancakes with apple sauce to hearty and exotic fillings.
- Immerse yourself in the world of Russians at the Bazar Bizarre
The bazaar is called Bizarre Balti Jaam Train Station Flea Market. It is the market where Tallinn’s Russian community meets every day for everyday shopping or bargain hunting.
You can stroll between second-hand clothing, food, and one or the other very questionable objects in the spacious halls and outside.
You can also head a bit out of town …
- Stroll along the Pirita tea promenade
You can stroll almost anywhere in Tallinn, but the most beautiful place is Pirita Tee. Three kilometers of white sandy beach awaits you along the beach promenade.
The Estonians cavort here on hot summer days, while during the colder seasons, you are often alone here. The Pirita Tee, which is around 20 minutes outside the center, is particularly recommended for walks and a running route.
Start your Tallinn Walking Tours
Riviera Bar Crawls & Tours set up a comprehensive list with the best walking tours in Tallinn and other European cities. This way, travelers and newcomers can easily find the best local guides and the best options and choices for a free walking tour Tallinn, a communist walking tour Tallinn and other alternative walking tours of Tallinn Estonia.
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