Spending a weekend in Tallinn
A few weeks ago, I went to Tallinn for a weekend to visit my friend who is studying there at the moment. During my time, I visited several places in the Estonian capital. For more photos, you can take a look at my previous article ‘Photodiary Tallinn’. In this article I will give you some tips and recommendations for when you are planning a trip to Tallinn.
Places to visit in Old Town
The old town of Tallinn is full of points where you can have a breath taking view over the city. Two of the most popular viewpoints are Patkuli and Kohtuotsa. I have been to both of them, but I think my absolute favorite is the Patkuli viewpoint. The Patkuli viewpoint has some fairytale views of Tallinn Old Town, which you can also see in the picture above. The Kohtuotsa viewpoint is more on the northern side of Toompea hill. This viewpoint shows you views over the many houses in Old Town and also over the new part of the city with some high buildings.
Town hall and Raekoja Plats
In the center of Old Town Tallinn you can find the town hall and Raekoja Plats with colorful houses, nice restaurants and little shops. The whole square is very cosy. During wintertime, you can also find here a Christmas market. Unfortunately, we just missed it, because it started the 18th of November. The Christmas market will take place until the 7th of January. You can visit the market each day from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the evening.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
This Russian Orthodox church is not only impressive and beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside. The church was completed on Toompea Hill in 1900, when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. It has a beautiful architecture and on the inside it features a lot of beautiful details. This cathedral is definitely worth a visit. The entrance is free.
This gate is both beautiful to see in summer as in winter. The Viru Gate was part of the defence system of Tallinn city wall which was built in the 14th Century. Furthermore, this gate is an entrance to the Old Town of Tallinn. You will enter the Viru Street, which is one of the main streets of Old Town with many shops and restaurants.
St. Olav’s Church tower
Once, this church was one of the tallest buildings in the world (in the 16th century). You can climb the staircase of the church to go to the tower’s viewing point and to enjoy the beautiful views over the city.
Other places to visit in Tallinn
This part of Tallinn is also known as ‘the Creative City’. It is a district just outside the city centre of Tallinn, in a former industrial complex. It features ateliers, studios, creative companies and offices of artists. You can find many shops which offer products such as interior design and clothes. Also, there are many unique cafés and restaurants which you can find in the area. What can also blow you away, is the street art in Telliskivi. You can spot a lot of beautiful creations on the walls around the district.
Linnahall is a former sports venue (for the Moscow Olympics) which is located on the harbour of the city. It is also very close to Old Town. Since Linnahall is located next to the sea, you can have a beautiful view on top of the hall. Unfortunately, we did not get to see such a beautiful view, due to the weather and mist that day. Nowadays, the hall is not open anymore, but you can still admire it from the outside.
Ülemiste Keskus (shopping mall)
Between the airport of Tallinn and the Old Town, you can find the shopping mall Ülemiste Keskus (easily to go to by tram or bus). This shopping mall is very big, with two floors in total, and features many different kinds of shops and eateries. You can also find here some international shops, like the H&M and the New Yorker. It’s the ultimate place for shopping lovers to spend a nice afternoon.
Places to eat/drink
This is definitely my favourite restaurant of the ones I have been to during my weekend in Tallinn. Hospitable staff, nice views, perfect ambiance and great food. I have been her twice: ones for lunch and the next day for dinner. As a pre-dinner we both times got their home made white bread (which was, among other things, made out of beer and oil); this was so delicious! I wish I could buy some to bring home.. All the other dishes were great as well. During lunch I had a soup, while during dinner I had a tasteful main dish and dessert. The restaurant is also located at a good place, namely in the middle of Old Town Tallinn.
Address: Harju tänav 1, Kesklinna linnaosa.
Kivi Paber Käärid
In the district Telliskivi you can find a lot of nice places to eat and drink. After wandering around the district for a while, we decided to go lunch in one of the many eateries. We ended up at Kivi Paber Käärid, which was afterwards a very good choice. Again, this place has a nice ambiance, very friendly staff and tasteful dishes. When we took place, the waiter came towards us and offered a nice, typical Estonian drink to try. Some later we got or lunch: a burger with sweet potatoe fries, yummie! It was very good and tasteful, I loved it. And definitely try the sweet potatoe fries when you get there one time, they are delicious!
Address: Telliskivi 60a, C4.
All around the city you can find these coffee shops. It is like Starbucks, but then much cheaper. You can get here all kinds of coffees (and ice coffees, teas, hot chocolates). If you are a real coffee lover, you should definitely pay a visit to one of the Caffeine locations. I enjoyed a really nice pumpkin spice latte when I was there. Tip: one of the Caffeine locations is right on the opposite of the street from restaurant Pegasus. If you are planning to have dinner at Pegasus, you can get yourself a nice coffee afterwards at Caffeine.
The places in this article are the ones I have visited myself during the weekend I was in Tallinn. Because it had already snowed and we had not have the time for it, we did not visited lots of other beautiful places that Tallinn has to offer. The friend I visited was already in Tallinn during the summer, so she is going to tell more about other great places to visit in a article which we will publish later, so stay tuned for more about Tallinn!
This article is part of the GPSmyCity iOS app. You can download it, read this article offline and obtain travel directions (by foot, car or bicycle) to the places mentioned in this article. Click here to download it.
Great post about my hometown 🙂 glad you liked it! Make sure to come again in summer, its so much prettier then and there are fantastic places outside of Tallinn that are worth a visit!
I would love to visit Tallinn in summer again! That’s for sure high on my list. 🙂
Sarah Kim, Tales From a Fork
Oh I love fairytale views so the Patkuli viewpoint sounds perfect for me. I’ve been wanting to go here for awhile so bookmarking this! Thanks!
Wow Tallin looks lovely – bit cold this time of year though! I think I’ll have to go in the summer, I have recently been reading more about it and Estonia is a beautiful country!
I think Tallinn is also very beautiful in summer! Besides, the temperature would be better in that time of the year for visiting the beautiful nature of Estonia. I’d love to go back there in summer myself as well. 🙂
We visited Tallinn in September of 2013. Ever since we have always wanted to go back its an amazingly beautiful city.
Great post! I don’t know much about Estonia, but it seems pretty underrated! I love the architecture on the cathedral- just gorgeous- I’d love to see that in person. Maybe not in the winter though, it looks reeeeally cold
Thank you! Yes, it’s pretty cold in Tallinn at the moment haha. But it seems that there are good summers though and I think the city will be just as beautiful in summer as in winter. 🙂
I have never been to Estonia, and I have to say that Tallinn looks like a fascinating city to visit. I love the style of the architecture, especially the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Your view over the city picture is just stunning.
Thank you 🙂
This is beautiful! Is it worth going just for a weekend?
Absolutely! The city is not that big, so you can see most of the places in a weekend. 🙂