Tallinn (Estonia) – sights and information

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Tallinn overview

Tallinn is the capital of the state of Estonia and the only metropolis in the country. The city is located by the sea, in a bay in the Gulf of Finland, which is part of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is only about 70 kilometers by sea.

Tallinn is European Capital of Culture 2011. The old town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tallinn’s comparatively affordable prices and extensive nightlife attract many tourists to the Estonian capital all year round. A very high proportion comes from Finland. Tallinn has around 430,000 inhabitants. The water in the beaches around Tallinn is quite cold even in summer. Tallinn is a city that feels modern. But traditions are also maintained.

>>>  You should book ferries between Estonia and Finland online using this link – inexpensive

Tallinn history

People have been living in the region for over 5,000 years. The first castle on the central Toompea Hill was built in the 11th century. In 1285 Tallinn became a Hanseatic city. Over the centuries, Tallinn has alternately been under Danish, Swedish, German and Russian rule. For a long time the name of the city was Reval. Between 1918 and 1940, Estonia was an independent state with its capital Tallinn. During World War II, Estonia was conquered by military force by the USSR and became part of the Soviet Union. Estonia became independent again in 1991 and became a member of the EU and NATO in 2004. The euro was introduced in Estonia in 2011.

Tallinn Sights Top 10

By far the most important sight in the capital is the late medieval old town. The best way to explore the most beautiful old town in all three Baltic states with its narrow streets and stairs is on foot.

Image: Street in the old city center of Tallinn; © Ironical Photos – Fotolia.com

While the people lived in the lower state, protected by a preserved city wall, the Adlings lived in a large fortress on nearby Toompea (cathedral hill). The buildings and many churches in the old town have been renovated and appear extremely well maintained. If you have the choice, you should definitely choose accommodation in or near the old town. It is the most important attraction in Tallinn. Tallinn’s many museums are mostly closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. There are over 20 museums in Tallinn that focus on the city’s history, art and culture.

Toompi Hill: Explore the upper part of the old town, known as Toompi. Visit Toompea Castle, seat of the Estonian Parliament, and enjoy the panoramic views from the observation deck.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: An iconic Orthodox cathedral with stunning architecture on Toompea Hill.

St. Mary’s Cathedral (domed church): One of the oldest churches in Estonia, a mix of different architectural styles.

Town Hall Square (Laecoza Flat): The heart of the old town, surrounded by colorful medieval buildings, cafes and the town hall.

Kadrig Palace and Park:
Kadrig Palace: A beautiful Baroque palace built by Peter the Great for Catherine I and now houses the Kadrig Art Gallery.

Kadrig Park: This beautiful park surrounds the palace and is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Tallinn walls:
Fat Margaret Tower: Part of the city’s defense system and now home to the Estonian Maritime Museum.

Professional Museum:
Learn about Estonia’s history during the Soviet and Nazi occupations. This museum offers a poignant insight into the struggles of the Estonian people.

Tallinn Botanical Garden:
It is a peaceful retreat with a variety of plants and a greenhouse.

Open air museum:
Located a short distance from the city center, this museum showcases rural architecture and lifestyle from the 18th to 20th centuries.

Tallinn TV Tower:
For panoramic views of the city, visit the Tallinn TV Tower. The observation deck offers breathtaking views of Tallinn and the surrounding area.

Seaplane port (Renusadam):
Discover maritime history at Seaplane Port, home to historic seaplanes, ships and interactive exhibits.

It’s a trendy and lively area with great street art, boutiques, cafes and a unique atmosphere.

National Opera:
Enjoy a performance at the Estonian National Opera, housed in a beautiful building in the heart of the city.

Tallinn arrival

Most holidaymakers come to Tallinn by plane or ferry. From Germany there are direct ferries from Rostock (travel time around 24 hours). Several ferries run daily from Helsinki to Tallinn. There are several train lines from the capital of Estonia to other cities in the country as well as to Latvia and Russia. However, the majority of locals and tourists travel by long-distance buses. The bus network in Estonia is exemplary. The fares are, as with the Estonian railways, cheap.


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