Twisting cobblestone lanes and iron street lamps. Gothic spires and medieval markets. Cappuccino and Wi-Fi. This is the city's famous Old Town. If you're looking for that mix of historic ambience and cutting-edge culture that defines Tallinn, you'll find it here. Built up from the 13th to 16th centuries, when Tallinn – or Reval as it was known then – was a thriving member of the Hanseatic trade league, this enclosed neighbourhood of colourful, gabled houses, half-hidden courtyards and grandiose churches is, quite rightly, the city's biggest tourist draw. And the fact that it's all neatly packaged within a mostly-intact city wall and dotted with guard towers gives it an extra dose of fairytale charm.
With medieval churches nestled between modern high-rises, Tallinn’s city centre is a place of fascinating contrasts. The area boasts a number of major landmarks, which are conveniently located a short stroll away from each other. Among these is the Rotermann Quarter, a 19th century industrial complex that has been developed into a contemporary shopping quarter with a very unique urban vibe. Those looking for a dose of culture and art can visit the historical Estonian Opera House to enjoy a performance in what is considered one of the 20th-century's architectural masterpieces.
This quiet neighbourhood has long been known for its colourful hodgepodge of old fashioned, working class houses. Throughout most of Tallinn’s history Kalamaja served as the town’s main fishing harbour. The wooden houses built to accommodate workers became Kalamaja's architectural legacy and are now what gives neighbourhood its unforgettable charm. The most architecturally unique of these are called 'Tallinn Houses'. Built in the 1920s and 30s, these two- to three-storey apartment houses are made of two symmetrical wooden wings separated by a stone central staircase. There are about 500 of these in the city today.
Kadriorg is a quiet, leafy area within easy walking distance of Old Town. The park is one of Tallinn's favourite spots for a stroll. It's remarkable for its diverse landscape architecture, which is showcased by the various smaller gardens on the estate, such as the Japanese Garden. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee and fresh pastries in one of the many cosy cafés in the area. Culturally-minded visitors should note that Kadriorg is home to the nation’s best art museums, the quaint 1920-30s style houses of many classic Estonian authors and a children’s museum. The Kadriorg Palace itself acts as the showcase for the nation's foreign art collection, while the extensive Kumu, opened in 2006, displays both classical and contemporary Estonian art, and hosts international exhibitions.
With its popular beach, adventure park and yachting harbour, Pirita is Tallinn's destination for summer fun. The district, only a few kilometres from the city centre, is also one of breathtakingly beautiful nature and the refreshing scent of pine trees. A quieter way to enjoy Pirita is to head across the road to the Pirita River delta, where row boats, canoes and water bicycles can be rented. This is the location of Pirita's own little piece of medieval architecture – the ruins of 15th century St. Bridget’s Convent. The convent is still active today, although it is housed in a modern building beside the ruins. The Tallinn Botanic Garden is located nearby. Filled with rare plant species, the garden is a perfect place to go for a walk or do sports.
Sitting at the western edge of the city is the coastal Rocca al Mare district. It is the site of the sprawling Estonian Open Air Museum, a forested park where traditional Estonian village life is recreated. The museum is home to 74 buildings from the past two centuries, including farms, mills, net sheds, a village school, a chapel, a fire house and more. Museum workers in period costume demonstrate the crafts of old and provide a glimpse into the lifestyles of bygone days. The area also holds some other interesting attractions like the Tallinn Zoo, which claims one of the best collections in the Nordic/Baltic region, and the FK Keskus centre where adrenaline seekers can try their hand at motorised karting and paintball.
Just inside the city limits at the south-western edge of Tallinn is an area that couldn't be any farther removed from the bustle and glass high rises of the metropolis. Nõmme, a quiet, forested, district filled with 1920s- and 30s-era houses, has the feel of a small country town. It boasts its own historic centre complete with a farmers' market, newly opened cafés and pubs, and it even has its own castle of sorts, not to mention a number of other attractions. Glehn's Castle, situated about 2 km east of the Nõmme centre, is now a prime Nõmme attraction, as is the park that surrounds it. Among the more bizarre features von Glehn had installed in the park are enormous granite crocodile and a towering statue of Estonia's mythical hero, Kalevipoeg.
The Medieval church that stands at the centre of Toompea hill is one of the county’s most fascinating historic attractions. Traditionally catering to the nobility, it is filled with spectacular, wood-carved artwork and elaborate coats of arms. Visitors can climb the 69m baroque bell-tower, added in 1779, for amazing views of the city.
This extensive museum presents Estonia's history from prehistoric times’ right up to the end of the 20th century. Films and interactive displays show how people here lived, fought and survived over the last 11 000 years. Children can look for the museum’s very own dragon, displayed for centuries on the building’s pillar. Museum’s courtyard presents all things ideal for the little visitors.
The name of this massive, 38m-high cannon tower and museum of the town’s defences literally means “Peek into the Kitchen." It was so high that Medieval guards joked they could see right down the chimneys and into the kitchens of the houses below. Make sure to pay a visit to the top floor café for beautiful Old Town views.
On the east corner of Toompea hill sits quite a spacious viewing platform with unforgettable views to the medieval neighbourhood against the backdrop of its more modern district. From here you can see most of the Tallinn's spires, even the highest of them, the Tallinn TV Tower at the distance. During the summer season outdoor cafe and dance evenings take over the space.
From this spot, with a little stretching and bending, you can see the tops of all five of Old Town's spires. Today, the square remains the social heart of the city, a venue for open-air concerts, handicraft fairs and Medieval markets. Each winter it's home to the town's Christmas tree – a tradition that stretches back to 1441 – and a buzzing Christmas Market. In spring it hosts the Old Town Days festival, a modern version of a medieval carnival, where traditions from the Middle Ages are kept alive.
With the help of modern multimedia, the Seaplane Harbour in the wooden architecture suburb Kalamaja tells exciting stories about the Estonian maritime and military history promising a “sea full of excitement” for the whole family on an area that would take nearly 2 million A4 paper sheets laid down side by side. The museum’s display that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia. On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.
A trip to Tallinn isn’t a trip to Tallinn without a visit to this magnificent northern Baroque palace, built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine I, in the early 18th century. Designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, the grandiose palace and surrounding manicured gardens are a humbling example of Tsarist extravagance, but just as important a reason to visit is that this is also home to the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia.
Considered a modern architectural masterpiece. Curves and sharp edges mark out the copper and limestone structure, which is built into the side of a limestone cliff. The museum programme features art from the 18th century until today, Estonian art until the II World War, art of the Soviet era and a temporary exhibition programme of contemporary art.
Built for 1980 Moscow Olympics and extensively revamped in 2012. Tallinn’s 314-metre TV Tower is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. In addition to the amazing, panoramic views from its observation deck at the 170m level, visitors will be treated a real TV studio experience and an interactive exhibition,
This museum lets you travel back in time to the rural Estonia of old. The vast, forested park is filled with thatched, 18-20th-century farm buildings, windmills, a wooden chapel and a village school, with staff demonstrating how people lived and worked in times past. An ideal place for families to take a picnic and escape from city life.
What makes this easily the most picturesque of Old Town's lanes particularly interesting is that it's home to the St. Catherine's Guild, a collection of craft workshops where artists use traditional methods to create and sell glassware, hats, quilts, ceramics, jewellery, hand-painted silk and other wares.
This impressive 13th-century church houses a museum dedicated to church art, displaying medieval burial stones, exquisite alarpieces and Tallinn’s most famous painting, 15th-century artist Bernt Notke’s eerie composition, Dance with Death. The building's acoustics also make it a prime concert venue, with organ or choir performances held here most weekends. Entrance is free with Tallinn Card.
The viewing platform on the north side of Toompea hill sits visibly on the limestone cliff. On the right you'll see the Town Wall with its defensive towers. On the left lies Kalamaja and Pelgulinn areas with Railway Station as landmark. Winding series of steps, built in 1903, lead down the cliff face to Nunne Street and Shnelli park below.
This spectacular, onion-domed structure perched atop Toompea Hill is Estonia's main Russian Orthodox cathedral. Built in 1900, when Estonia was part of the tsarist Russian empire, the cathedral was originally intended as a symbol of the empire's dominance. The church's towers' hold Tallinn's most powerful bell ensemble, consisting of 11 bells, including the largest in Tallinn.
Once upon a time, from 1549 to 1625 to be precise, this 14th century Gothic church was considered to be the tallest building in the World. But it’s gigantic, 159-metre spire, meant as a signpost for approaching ships, also turned out to be a very effective lightning rod. Throughout the church's history lightning hit the spire repeatedly, completely burning down the structure three times.
With 1.9km of its original city wall still standing, Tallinn boasts one of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications together with 20 defensive towers. In fact, a large part of what gives Old Town its fairytale charm is the system of walls and towers that surrounds it. Free with Tallinn Card.
Open since as far back as 1422, this curious little shop on the corner of Town Hall Square is in fact the oldest continuously running pharmacy in Europe. Marzipan was one of the pharmacy's best sellers, one that local legend insists was actually invented as a curative here in the 15th century.
This open, garden-like area on the slopes of Toompea Hill happens to be the legendary birthplace of the Danish flag, according to a well-known legend. According to the story, Valdemar's forces were losing their battle with the Estonians when suddenly the skies opened and a red flag with a white cross floated down from the heavens. Taking this as a holy sign, the Danes were spurred on to victory. Today the garden remains a place where locals honour the role Denmark played in Estonia's history. Halfway down the steps towards Rüütli street you can see an iron sword and shield with a Danish cross, and each summer, Danneborg Day is celebrated here.
This museum dedicated to all sea-faring aspects of Estonia’s history is housed in one of Tallinn's fattest cannon towers. Fat Margaret Tower (Paks Margareeta) and the attached Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav), two of Tallinn's most impressive defensive structures, stand guard at the north end of Pikk street. They were built not only to defend the city from the seaward side of town, but also to impress any visitors arriving via the harbour. These days Fat Margaret’s cannon tower is home to the Estonian Maritime Museum, which provides a detailed look at the nation's seafaring past by displaying such things as Neolithic fishing gear, antique diving equipment, and even the entire wheelhouse from a 1950s-era trawler. The extensive museum covers four floors of the historic tower.
The Estonian Museum of Natural History tells stories about the nature of Estonia and helps you to make sense of its secrets. The museum offers a fascinating look at the creatures and habitats of Estonia, as well as wildlife from around the world. There are several seasonal, temporary themed exhibitions every year from alive spiders, edible and poisonous mushrooms to minerals.
See nearly 200 intricate, marzipan figurines and watch Tallinn's favourite sweet being made in this historic shop-museum-café. In the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room, you'll learn all about Tallinn’s love affair with marzipan. Here you'll find dozens of amazing marzipan creations as well as a marzipan forms belonging to Georg Stude, who founded the shop over a century ago. Children and adults can watch how marzipan figures are hand painted or try their own hand in this craft at a workshop.
Explore this sturdy, 14th-century tower, sip coffee in its swank café or walk along the Town Wall for some amazing views. Maiden's Tower, one of the most famous of Tallinn's medieval defence towers, was recently renovated and reopened a museum, complete with an exhibition hall in its vaulted cellar. Its famous café, a big hit in the 1980s, has also been restored to its past glory. Meghede torne, as it was originally called, was built in 1370-1373 along with the wall that runs through the Danish King’s Garden.
Visitors get a behind-the-scenes look at the city's famous puppet theatre, operating since 1952, at this fun, high-tech museum. The museum outlines the theatre's history and displays dozens of the puppets that have starred in its popular plays. Exhibits include puppets from around the world and a 'Chamber of Horrors' where the 'scarier' puppets are safely corralled
Housed in a 14th century merchant house, this comprehensive museum provides an excellent introduction to Tallinn’s history. It covers all the vital aspects of the city’s past and its development. Various sectors of medieval society are explained using a combination of texts, artefacts, life-sized models and sound effects. High-quality displays on the upper floors are devoted to 20th-century life, its turbulent wars, Soviet occupation, and finally Estonia’s re-independence.
Nothing says power like the impressive Gothic Town Hall that dominates medieval Tallinn's main square. It was built in 1402-1404 as a meeting place for the ruling burgomeisters and has been a showpiece of the city ever since. Nowadays the Town Hall – the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe – is used mainly for concerts or for entertaining visiting kings or presidents. From June to August, visitors can climb up the 64-metre tower to get some amazing Old Town views, or head down to the cellars for the occasional exhibition.
Perched on a limestone cliff and towering over the rest of the city, Toompea Castle has always been the seat of power in Estonia. Ever since the German Knights of the Sword first built a stone fortress here in 1227-29, every foreign empire that ruled Estonia used the castle as its base. Today, appropriately, it's home to Estonia's Parliament.
In 1931-33 the square was turned into communal park. Now the square boasts playgrounds for children and fitness areas, and has become known for the Tallinn International Flower Festival, which takes place here every summer. With nearly 2km of its original city wall still standing, Tallinn boasts one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval fortifications. In fact, a large part of what gives Old Town its fairytale charm is the system of walls and and towers that surrounds it.
This pair of picturesque, ivy-covered towers at the entrance to Viru Street is often the first glimpse visitors get of Old Town. Anyone passing between them couldn't be blamed for thinking they've left the 21st century behind and landed smack in the middle of the 18th. The towers are actually only the foregates of what was a much more complex gate system built in the 14th century. It included a large, square tower that stood father back along the street, close to where the city wall can be seen.
From the last days of the Tsars and through Estonia's first period of independence, this open area at the edge of Old Town had been a place of national symbolism and civic pride, as well as a favourite public gathering spot. The Monument to the War of Independence is commemorating Estonia's hard-fought struggle in 1918 – 1920 to free itself of foreign rule.
Top-notch European dining and a superbly-restored Medieval interior make this Old Town establishment an excellent option for those searching for something a cut above the ordinary. Dominic also bills itself as a 'wine restaurant' and indeed its knowledgeable sommelier stocks among the best vintages in town.
Head up the iron spiral staircase and then settle into a wicker chair to enjoy Elevant’s peaceful, sophisticated ambience. Here you'll find a selection of tasty Indian standards, along with daring dishes like wild boar kebab and moose curry, all served up by friendly staff. For a dessert with a difference, try the fritter banana in crunchy chickpea dough.
This is a moderately priced restaurant that offers simple food in a relaxed atmosphere, the highlight being its hand-made bread. This place is like a city-state on the border of Old Town, surrounded by Town Wall with superb garden inside. The daring team of Leib, head chef Janno Lepik and Baltic’s best sommelier Kristjan Peäske, do their utmost to serve local, fresh and seasonal food. The lovely lush garden with a little sandpit for children makes it especially cosy during summer time visits.
Modern Estonian cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients is the speciality here at MEKK, the Savoy Boutique Hotel's restaurant. This sophisticated Old Town establishment has won kudos for its innovative menu and high standards of service. It even offers a free children's menu meal for kids dining with parents.
Just as the name promises, this sharp, Old Town restaurant focuses on all sorts of fish dishes – from herring fillet salad and tiger prawn pasta to oven-baked baby trout – and offers a decent selection of wines. Some non-fish dishes, such as a risotto and a beef burger, are also available, and it opens early to serve decidedly fish-free omelettes and porridge.
Founded by three highly experienced waiters, this artistically decorated restaurant specialises in dishes made with fresh, seasonal, domestic ingredients. Nearly all its menu choices are complex creations, from the crayfish-avocado tar-tar with fennel to the fillet mignon with garlic foam and blackcurrant-red wine sauce. Of its two floors the downstairs is more formal and secluded.
The ultra-elegant Telegraaf Hotel has created this superb restaurant where the traditions of Russian and French cuisine are combined to create a symbiosis of rich flavours. Chef de Cuisine Vladislav Djatšuk, a 2009 finalist in the world's top gastronomy contest, the Bocuse d'Or, has reproduced the recipes of forgotten masters, infusing them with his own experience and vision.
Dishes made with fresh, natural ingredients are the forté at Von Krahl's Garden, also known as the 'Embassy of Pure Food'. Spelt pasta, honey-mustard glazed salmon and roast chicken with pumpkin and white wine sauce are just some of the tempting items on offer, though guests are just as drawn by the romantic, earthy interior that's been created in the restaurant's Medieval dining rooms.
This restaurant in the old town has become a favourite of Tallinners as well as visitors, with its tasty foods and friendly service showing that every customer is a welcome guest here. A terrace is open in the summer where you can have dinner and spend time, protected from wind and noise. The bread baked on location is definitely worth a try. As this is a popular place, it would be a good idea to make a reservation.
Tasty barbecued dishes are the forté at this comfortable, Old Town restaurant. Here friendly waitresses serve up items like grilled butterfish, duck with oven-baked potatoes or beef sirloin, all in a charming atmosphere of wood and brick. Try the mascarpone cheese and chocolate cake for dessert!
An off-beat interior and inventive dishes make Kaerajaan a great place to experience a modern take on Estonian folk cuisine. Located right on Town Hall Square, this comfortable restaurant takes its name from an old folk song and dance, and both the décor and the food resonate with the echoes of the nation's ethnic heritage.
Right in the heart of Old Town you’ll find a fine restaurant known for serving exceptional food in distinctive surroundings. Maikrahv, built in a 15th-century town house, offers an inviting, medieval atmosphere and a selective array of international cuisine. For a unique drink experience, try the house shot or the kir royal.
A new vegan restaurant called V is open next to the Von Krahl theater, with really nothing but vegan food on the menu. The restaurant is located in a small and cosy room in the middle of the sturdy limestone walls of the Old Town, and to date, it has received nothing but praise from critics and visitors alike. An indicator of the level of the restaurant is the fact that you can seldom find a seat without making a reservation. The chick pea burger is one of the favourite main dishes. The delicious foods on offer in this restaurant will make short work of the myth that vegan food is boring.
Experience Estonian cuisine at its finest in one of the city's top-rated restaurants. Vanaema Juures (Grandma's Place) offers an old-fashioned ambience in a cellar packed with antique furniture and knick-knacks from the pre-war days. Here you'll find tasty home-style cooking, featuring dishes like lamb in bleu cheese sauce and wild boar roast. This is also an excellent place to try Estonia's traditional dessert – kama.
The menu of this centrally located restaurant is rich in grilled delicacies in its entrees as well as main dishes selection. You can sit back and watch the city bustle from the terrace in the summer, or if you prefer peace and quiet, the arched medieval interior of the restaurant with its niches spreading on three floors is the place for you.
Quiet sophistication and excellent sushi are the specialities at this much-loved restaurant. Each of its branches has a slightly different feel, with the flagship Kullassepa location offering the most formal experience and the widest choice of Japanese dishes. All branches present a seemingly endless assortment of sushi however, so plan to spend considerable time perusing the menu.
Hungry diners flock to Peppersack, a medieval-themed restaurant in Old Town, to enjoy hearty meals, sample fine drinks and witness the swordfight (every evening at 8 pm) in the lively, historic ambience of this 14th-century venue. Order Alderman Johan's Special or Master Hansu's Feast and follow it with some mulled wine.
A cosy restaurant in the boutique hotel St Petersbourg in the heart of the Old Town, the oldest hotel in Estonia, opened in 1850. The restaurant's menu follows the traditions of Russian cuisine, but the dishes are served with a modern twist. Examples of the menu of Hermitage include a selection of handmade pelmeni or slow-roasted duck hearts. The legendary chicken Kiev and boeuf a la tartar are also available. There is just one selection that you can never know what it will contain - a six-course surprise menu created for the customer by the chef personally.
The building may be Medieval, but both the menu and furnishings at Kuninga show a strong sense of creative modernity. Here you'll find an array of ambitious delicacies starting from oysters on ice and continuing on through caviar, fresh lobster, lamb rib roast and more. For dessert there's even a ginger-and-cardamom-flavoured green tea crème brûlée.
Neh is a foodie heaven dedicated to Nordic island cuisine, offering dishes created with authentic produce and seasonal flavours. The bistro-style establishment is run by the same culinary team that's behind the respected Pädaste Manor on Muhu Island. A varied display of Estonian art adds value to the experience. Check for opening hours and make sure to book a table in advance.
Spend an unforgettable time enjoying modern French cuisine in the historic atmosphere of the 17th-century. Visitors are welcome to try out Bonaparte’s award-winning café or its take-away delicatessen. Both serve divine pastries from the in-house bakery, quiches and sandwiches. The pastry chefs prepare a daily selection of cakes, hand crafted chocolates, biscuits and the exclusive Bonaparte ice-cream range.
The historic setting of the Masters’ Courtyard adds an extra touch of charm to this little café where tempting truffles are the speciality. Visitors can sip coffee or cognac at one of the tables in the frilly, 19th-century interior, or weather and, season permitting, opt for a table in the open air.
Tallinn’s oldest café still retains its amazing, pre-war interior and offers a variety of tempting cakes and pastries, as well as fresh coffee and other treats. This old charmer lives up to its name (Estonian for 'sweet tooth') by serving up a variety of baked goods – all made right on the spot – as well as hot drinks and other snacks. Children will appreciate the adjacent Kalev Marzipan Room with its display of artistic marzipan creations.
A popular destination for the discerning tourist, Bogapott is an intriguing pottery studio, shop and cosy café all rolled into one. This is a unique family-run set-up, where there are many creations on sale that can't be found anywhere else in town. In summer, visitors can relax in the café's courtyard, sipping coffee from cups that were made right on the spot.
This inviting, Old Town venue is where the charm, romance and atmosphere of the French café scene meet the peak of 1930s art. The menu is inspired by French cuisine, while the selection of wines and Champagnes will satisfy even the most demanding of palates. Head downstairs to find more formal dining in the elegant, medieval cellar.
The excellent café in the Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel offers cosy surroundings as well as fresh cakes, pastries, quiches and salads - all made right on the spot! Daily soup specials and convenient, wireless internet connections make the Mademoiselle cafés all the more inviting.
The interaction of museal elements with modern Estonian design has contributed to the birth of a unique restaurant-café situated on three floors of a fourteenth-century defence tower. Through the large floor to ceiling windows, the Old Town can be overlooked while enjoying delicious dishes.
Located in a well-renovated stone house on Toompea hill, the Non-Existent Knight comes complete with café-bar, Estonian wine room and a Medieval-style restaurant hall. The menu covers popular European trends as well as Estonian traditions and the chef ensures that whatever you try will be of the highest quality.
This small café on the Saiakang lane, just off Town Hall Square, has been a neighbourhood staple for years and continues to offer the quintessential café experience. This is a place where you can drop in for a cup and a chat, have a slice of cake and be on your way. Alternatively you can settle down with a bowl of soup or stick around to chat with friends.
Located right on Freedom Square, Wabadus not only has commanding views of one of the busiest spots in Tallinn, it also boasts of stunning, colourful interior. Chicken pasta, salmon fillet and a burger with fries are all on the menu. Head upstairs to find more room and less bustle than on the ground floor.
This café of the Theatrum theatre in the Old Town is a cosy meeting place with a peaceful atmosphere and friendly service that will make you feel at home. The café serves simple foods and tasty coffee. In the winter it is nice to warm up in front of the fireplace, in the summer you can spend time on the terrace in the café's courtyard. Kloostri Ait is also a meeting place for music, words, dance, song, ideas and people who are young at heart. Kloostri Ait's Facebook page will give you an overview of the evening cultural program.
Komeet is a simple, cosy café on the 4th floor of the Solaris Centre, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding neighbourhood while sipping a cup of coffee and eating a slice of delicious chocolate cake. Various cakes, pies, salads, snacks and hot dishes are on offer. In summer, its rooftop terrace is one of downtown Tallinn's most attractive destinations.
This eatery is all about nutritious and delicious foods served in a jiffy. The café style eatery is focused on healthy, balanced foods for busy people to take away or enjoy on the spot. Daily meals are on offer from local and seasonal produce. Small play area keeps the little ones occupied. Variety of dishes also means that even the fussiest eaters find something they like on the menu.
Located just outside Old Town near Freedom Square, this stylish, two-storey café is a worthy destination for a meal. Most of the dishes use ingredients sourced on the Estonian island of Saaremaa, the owner's native land, include hearty choices like the Saaremaa pork chop and the seafood hotpot. Mosaiik stays open in the evenings when it becomes something of a cocktail lounge.
A visit to this friendly, downtown café is a must for those who want a glimpse of the Soviet era. Pastries, salads and a long list of hot dishes are on offer, all at prices that are considerably lower than elsewhere. Narva Cafe's bakery is also known throughout the city as a worthy place to pick up birthday cakes and tasty pretzels.
You can enjoy a light and healthy meal or snacks next to the historic Linnahall by the Bay of Tallinn already early in the morning. Classic breakfast on offer until noon, with omelettes and croissants among other things available. A lunch menu on workdays. The terrace with a view to the sea seats 70. Free parking.
The Pub With No Name is a focal point of Tallinn's night scene, with tourists, expatriates, business people and Estonian bar-hoppers all making at least one stop here on any given Friday night. On weekends DJs will make sure that something is happening on the small dance floor. Nimeta also doubles as a sports bar, with multiple TV screens showing crucial English football matches and the like.
Not only does Gloria Wine Cellar offer the widest choice of wines in the Nordic countries, it’s also one of the most elegant and cosy spots in the entire city. Built right into the medieval town wall, this underground hideaway is as good a place for a romantic rendezvous as it is for finding the perfect vintage.
Known for its comfortable, local atmosphere and good food, the Gentle Wolf is a popular destination every night of the week. Tallinners and foreigners alike are drawn by its friendly prices and service, as well as the extensive list of beers, which include ten draught varieties and over 50 in bottles.
Attached to a theatre in Old Town, this down-to-earth bar is known as Tallinn's main destination for alternative bands and alternative crowds. Anything from Reggae to progressive rock can be found on stage here. Some fans will dance in the small area in front of the stage, while others watch from the wooden-railed balcony above. There's a small entrance charge when bands are playing.
Nothing goes with good food like good beer, and at Beer House, you can enjoy both! This spacious restaurant-brewery just off Town Hall Square produces seven tasty varieties of natural, live beer, which visitors can enjoy with a hearty meal or buy in a bottle to take away. Live music plays every Thursday to Saturday.
Brewery beer club is located in Tallinn's Old Town in the old Pearl complex. But now it has been going through a renovation in which there are side by side ancient architecture and modern design. Brewery offers 47 different types of beer, seven of them are draft beers and five of them are brewed in our own house's brewing factory. Our cuisine is a combination of different meals and food cultures all over the world. All foods are made to go together with offered beers and also with wines for our wine friends.
This friendly, local gastropub in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town creates a welcoming atmosphere with its striking photographs, two home-style dining rooms and casual bar. Dishes are prepared fresh to order using mainly local and seasonal produce, and a wide selection of beers, wines and spirits is on offer. Watch for live music sessions on weekends, and be sure to check out the fantastic terrace in summer.
One of the city's trendiest lounges, this intimate venue keeps its regulars entertained with a venerable schedule of guest artists. Performances can range from jazz singers and trumpet players to dance beat DJs. The extensive food menu, which includes nachos, club sandwiches and Thai soup, is also worth note.
There's only one band you'll hear on the sound system at this unusual bar. Started years ago by the Estonian Depeche Mode fan club, it has remained a staple of the town's alternative bar scene and is a particular favourite of foreign students. Those who want to avoid the bustle of front bar area can find a table in the spacious side room.
Owned and run by an English beer connoisseur, Drink specialises in offering brews that aren't available in most other Tallinn establishments. Though not aiming to be a typical English pub, it nevertheless offers English visitors what they may be missing from home, namely fish and chips, pub quizzes and comedy nights.
Part of the Vana Villem chain of earthy pubs, this Old Town cellar bar is decorated in the traditional style that Estonians tend to love. Lots of iron and wood is used in the décor, while wagon wheel chandeliers and other rural artefacts give it a homey feel. The large variety of beer is the big hit here, but Karja Kelder is also a good spot to enjoy a reasonably-priced, hearty meal.
One of few Old Town bars that specialises in shots, Shooters takes on a raucous, party atmosphere on busy weekends. The long list of available shots is written in chalk on the bar's back wall. These are priced to come in sets of five, so it's best to work through the shots slowly or get help from friends.
A beautifully-restored medieval merchant's house is the home of this casual Old Town pub. Admittedly the historic Tallinn ambience here makes its stereotypical Irish name a bit baffling. It's actually named after the original St. Patrick's Pub, a slightly more Irish-looking establishment operating around the corner. Popular both for its food and its grandiose interior, St. Patrick's is a winner for anyone in need of a break from the more packed and noisy pubs nearby.
The US and Texas flags hanging out at the front, the steer horns, beer ads and other trappings of an American country-style bar may make you think you are in the Lone Star State. The food here is appropriately Tex-Mex, with burritos and quesadillas on the menu. A frozen margarita mixer churning away at the bar provides the perfect way to wash these delicacies down.
A relative newcomer among Tallinn's Irish pubs, Dubliner has all the trappings one would expect of the genre. In addition to offering an array of tasty snacks, the pub keeps its regulars happy by showing the day's sporting events on TV. On Saturday nights a live band provides further entertainment.
This legendary bar is a true anachronism and a welcome sight to anyone interested in a 70s-style drinking environment. If there's one Tallinn watering hole that everyone should check out, it's Valli Baar. The tiny venue has seen few changes since it first open - its interior is actually under cultural heritage protection. Valli Baar's famous house shot is the potent, spicy Millimallikas (jellyfish), which is also the traditional welcome drink for new employees of Skype in Tallinn.
It's definitely worth climbing up a few flights of stairs to reach this comfortable, old-fashioned style wine bar. The aptly-named wine attic is stuffed with the odds and ends you might find under the eves of an old house, including inviting sofas, chairs and beds that bring to mind pre-war Estonia. Come with friends, pick a vintage, and settle in for the evening.
This tiny delicatessen-cum-wine lounge is given its personality by the Italian staff, who will sit and chat with the patrons, taking time to discuss the vintages or any other subjects that come up. The snack plates that Gallo Nero offers go very well with a shared bottle of red. Special tasting events can be arranged with prior notice.
From this 40-seat wine restaurant on Town Hall Square, guests can gaze through wide windows and enjoy beautiful views of Old Town life. It features high quality wines from around the world as well as tasty Estonian dishes like marinated wild boar and a variety of choices from the grill.
Chicago 1933 is an elegant and sophisticated bar-restaurant on the edge of Tallinn Old Town inspired of 1930s America. It offers an international kitchen, a bounty of drinks and a wide variety of wine. The Live music on every evening is inspired by the legendary jazz and swing era. Tobacco lovers can enjoy the luxury cigar room.
Immensely popular both as a restaurant and as a live music venue, Clazz offers high-quality European cuisine served up amid its many niches and corners. An hour before midnight the main menu is replaced by the night menu, but as long as the doors are open – usually until the wee hours – there is food on offer. Artists on the stage perform everything from jazz and swing to soul, funk and bossa nova.
One of the hottest nightclubs in Tallinn, Hollywood is always popular, packed and pulsing with energy. The club’s large dance floor and heart-of-Old-Town location makes it a great place to drop in with friends at the end of a night of pub hopping. Expect different music and crowds depending on what events are on, including everything from Hip Hop Café to Latin Lust to Retro Night. Minimum age: 18 years.
Münt, which means both mint and coin in Estonian, is a small establishment on a narrow, Old Town street. Despite its intimate size, it still aims to pack a full-fledged club experience, complete with go-go dancers on some evenings. Münt is also noted for offering a range of inexpensive drinks, most of them costing just one euro.
Hidden in a quiet, Old Town courtyard is this site dedicated to the master craftsmen of old. Here visitors can shop for handicrafts and jewellery, view art exhibitions, and sample the heavenly confections created in the popular Chocolaterie Café. Comfortable accommodation is available in the courtyard’s guesthouse.
Navitrolla is an Estonian artist whose art has sold well around the world. The walls in the gallery are all covered with his funky works, which are centred on intriguing themes. The most valuable of them, paintings in oil, can only be purchased here at the gallery. Graphics by the artist are available both framed and unframed.
Draakoni primarily shows work by young Estonian artists, with foreign art exhibitions a few times a year. The "inside of the Dragon" usually contains pictures in various techniques, often 3D objects as well, and performance art events are organised from time to time downstairs in the cellar room. The gallery's salesroom has a large selection of contemporary Estonian prints, paintings and photographs. The gallery, founded in 1983, is located in the Old Town in an Art Nouveau building featuring dragons in the facade. It is run by the Estonian Artists' Association.
This ceramics studio inside the historic Löewenschede Tower is a place where you can watch artists at work, buy or order their creations, and see exhibitions. The studio organises regular ceramics courses that are suitable for drop-ins. It's also possible to organise your own group event for your colleagues, friends or family. Booking by phone.
Leading Estonian label Bastion has built a reputation for producing fresh styles for sophisticated women. Its chief designers Merike Pääro and Monika Randloo have been recognised as two of the nation's best, and the company is often called upon by A-listers in need of something for a special occasion.
Helina Tilk, a much-loved Estonian artist, is famous for her colourful drawings of cats, pigs, bears and other friendly animals. These happy creatures decorate the vast selection of kitchen ceramics sold in her Old Town shops. Ceramics with the artist's fanciful Tallinn-related designs also make superb gifts.
Swedish-Estonian designer Liina Viira plays with traditional Estonian patterns and interprets those along the lines of contemporary street fashion. The result is a knitwear collection featuring bold colours and fashionable cuts. The selection includes: dresses, sweaters, jackets, leggings, skirts, mittens, wrist-warmers, leg-warmers, beanies, caps, scarves and bags. The designer's creations follow the principles of using natural materials and sustainable production processes. All items are made of pure wool and made by skilled Estonian craftsmen.
This shop in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town offers Estonian designers’ original creations. TALI incorporates different young designers and well known painters. On offer are unique designed jewellery, leather goods, applied art, hand made toys and natural beauty products. Also presented are local beloved painters Epp Maria Kokamägi and Navitrolla paintings. While in the Old Town make sure to step in to get the taste of local design.
Located right on Town Hall Square, this shop specialises in high-quality, handcrafted dolls, doll clothes, doll houses, puppets, and other accessories. Other items like wooden toys, tin soldiers, ceramic models, and graphic prints are also on sale. The perfect place to find presents for your children!
This shop is an excellent place to find genuine Estonian handicrafts. Rewill offers a variety of knit items like sweaters, blankets, hats, scarves, socks and mittens, as well as souvenirs made from wood, fur and stone. Visitors who knit as a hobby will also find yarn and other supplies here.
In this shop, you'll find unique items crafted by Estonian blacksmiths who painstakingly follow the traditions of old. There are over 300 different ironwork items available here, including furniture, interior design accessories, chimney and grill utensils, souvenirs and more.
The feelings of complete relaxation and well being that this spa provides will be a welcome break in your otherwise hectic schedule. The friendly facility at the Telegraaf Hotel offers everything you'll need to unwind: a range of massages, a 3x10m pool, a full-size jacuzzi, a sauna and a steam bath. Stopping here is a perfect way to relax after your workday is done.
Set in the heart of the Medieval Old Town, this modern spa offers treatment packages where guests are pampered with herbal teas, fruits, fresh homemade vegetable soups and even champagne. Here time-honoured traditions and techniques are carefully combined with the latest high-quality products to create the very best skin and body treatments.
This spacious spa hotel in the city centre offers guests the perfect balance between traditional comfort and the latest facilities. Here you'll find a full-fledged aqua centre, solarium, salt chamber and infra-red sauna along with many other types, in addition to massage rooms and a beauty salon, jacuzzis and much more. Don’t forget to check the day spa offers.
Located next to the passenger port, this spa hotel has all the latest treatments on its menu, along with its unique couples and young family friendly Aqua spa. It offers various types of saunas and pools, including a salt water pool and an outdoor pool that's open all year round. Poolside bar and a beauty centre also on site.
Centrally located Akwaba spa is a health centre that offers various massage- and spa body treatments. The techniques relate to spiritual methods of knowledge and belief in health, according to a traditional African health philosophy. Professional specialists from Africa offer traditional body care with natural exotic African aroma oils. The Spa offers 8 different body peeling treatments, 6 types of body wraps and 9 different types of massage.
Aloe Spa is a cozy little dayspa with professional beauticians. They offer all the classic beauty treatments: facial and body treatments, manicure and pedicure, (also with gel), depilation, permanent make-up. We also offer classical massage, health cocoon treatments and body treatment with 24k gold.
Located on the 11th floor of the towering Swissôtel, this combination spa and fitness centre caters to those who want to experience all the trappings of healthy living in a stylish, contemporary environment. Facials, massages and other spa treatments use essential oils organically produced in Switzerland.
All the latest beauty treatments and more are available at this spa, located just across the road from the Old Town next to Go Hotel Shnelli. The size of the spa allows it to serve groups of up to eight people. Services range from massage and body treatments to reflexology, cellulite treatment and IPL and laser treatment
This small hotel spa specialises in combining the ancient Asian ZEN philosophy with modern technologies offering firming and shaping body treatments, massages and a wellness foot treatment. The spa features two double treatment rooms, two private saunas, a party room with a Jacuzzi and a well-equipped gym. The products used in the treatment rooms are eco-friendly, organic and natural.
This small hotel spa specialises in combining the ancient Asian ZEN philosophy with modern technologies. The spa features three treatment rooms, including a double treatment room, sauna and a pool. The products used in the treatment rooms are eco-friendly, organic and natural.
A true Eastern oasis in the centre of Tallinn, Thai Rose Spa offers a wide variety of exclusive treatments. Experienced, professional massage masters from Thailand perform traditional Thai massage, Thai aroma and oil massage, Thai foot acupressure massage and other unique therapies. Other types of massage are available, as are cosmetic, hairdresser, manicure and pedicure services.
The small relaxation centre located on the fourth floor of the Viru Centre provides a moment of relaxation for tired shoppers. The service range includes classic massage, foot massage, sports massage and on-site massage. The latter is a 10–20 minute massage with clothes on – a quick relief for muscular tension.
At this elite beauty and relaxation center, you'll slip on a soft robe and unwind in an atmosphere of tranquility, hospitality and exquisite interior design, all accented with candlelight and exotic aromas. Exclusive treatments and day packages are available, as are food and drinks from the spa's own café.
Pirita SPA Hotel, a seaside hotel and SPA complex with unique architecture, is an ideal place to relax, leave your tensions behind and restore your body’s natural equilibrium. A number of therapies, including a salt chamber, are available, as are beauty treatments, saunas, a 25m swimming pool, gym, restaurant, café and shops.
This modern complex offers various health and beauty services. Here you’ll find a full-sized pool, children’s centre on two levels including an indoor ice skating arena, jacuzzis, steam salt room, natural salt-stone sauna, juniper sauna, bar by the pool offering healthy snacks and many more treatments on its list. Viimsi Spa is located just at the start of Viimsi peninsula making it a perfect location for a day out for the whole family.
City Bike is Old Town's all-in-one family friendly bicycle company, offering everything from rental to organised and self-guided tours. There are various rental bikes to choose from, including trekking bikes, city bikes, tandems and bikes for children. Helmets, locks are included in the rental price. Bicycle repairs also available.
When the cold weather hits, skating around Old Town’s outdoor ice rink is a great way for the whole family to get into the winter spirit. The Uisuplats is in a romantic setting, on Harju street next to St. Nicholas' Church. Skates and support struts for beginners are available for rent. Afterwards warm up with a cup of hot drink at the next-door café.
What better way to explore Tallinn than gliding through its streets and paths on a Segway Personal Transporter? This fun, high-tech vehicle is easy to use and takes you places that a car or bicycle can't. Pick one up at the rental office in Old Town, and after just 5 minutes of instruction, you're ready to roll! A valid credit card and photo ID are required.
During summer, bicycles provide a perfect way to explore Tallinn and its outskirts. This downtown company rents them out for periods of a couple hours up to a full day. You can ride out towards the beautiful Pirita beach district, cruise along the coast of the Baltic Sea or just tour around Kadriorg to see the park, the picturesque swan lake, the President's residence and more.
Balloon Tallinn lets visitors experience the thrill and romance of ballooning right in the city centre. Set up in the Port of Tallinn cruise area, this tethered balloon takes passengers up to heights of 120 metres (400 feet), allowing them to enjoy incredible panoramic views. The helium-filled balloon has a gondola that can accommodate up to 30 people. A smooth ride takes them up to the full height for a stunning perspective of the city and the Gulf of Finland. Flying is dependent on weather conditions. Operates daily May – September, weekends October – April.
Welcome to the first and only adventure golf centre in the Baltics. Hold the best company event, birthday party and golf tournament with your friends here, in a jungle in the middle of Tallinn city centre. 15 mini golf courses equipped with never-before-seen special effects on three separate levels await you. Three courses are equipped with special effects, for which you need courage and a cool head to pass. The best visual effect is given by colour schemes, which glow in UV light.
Kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens, will love making a splash in Tallinn’s largest indoor water park, conveniently located at the edge of Old Town. Visitors can get their thrills on the three water slides, work out on the full length pool or have a quieter time in the bubble-baths, saunas and kids’ pool. The water park also has a stylish gym offering various training classes including water aerobics.
This super-modern bowling and billiards club just outside Old Town is a comfortable place to relax with a group of your friends. The two-storey establishment offers a total of twelve lanes, as well as a separate room with eight highquality billiards and snooker tables. Drinks, snacks and a fun atmosphere are all on the menu.
What better way for you and your friends to have a blast than to strap on laser packs and do battle in an indoor arena? Megazone lets you do just that, and even has rooms available for your party afterwards. The same centre also offers an adventure park with challenging pathways high up in the air and a Segway obstacle course.
Ferries cross the Gulf of Finland between Tallinn and Helsinki several times a day, covering the distance in roughly 2 to 3 hours. From late spring to late autumn, high-speed vessels also operate on the route, reducing travel time to just 1.5 hours. Ferries between Tallinn and Stockholm depart every evening, with the trip taking approximately 15 hours. All St Peter Line's cruise ships make a Baltic Sea circuit twice per week and can be used for one-way overnight travel from Tallinn to St Petersburg. A return trip is possible by bus or train. In some cases, continuing cruise passengers can stay in St Petersburg visa-free. The world's largest cruise agencies have included Tallinn in their itineraries – the city receives over 300 calls per season, making it the third busiest cruise destination in the Baltic Sea region. Passenger terminals are located within walking distance of the medieval Old Town.
Central Tallinn is very compact and easy to get around, and reaching farther out destinations is simple thanks to the city's network of buses, trolleys and trams. The public transport network operates from 6:00 to 23:00 (some lines until 24:00). The ticket system works on a random-inspection basis, so you can board via any door and don't have to show anything to the driver. You must, however, have a validated ticket or you risk a €40 fine. Some riders are entitled to use the system for free: children under school age (under 7), an adult travelling with a child under 3 years of age, registered Tallinn residents (using a personalised Smartcard and carrying ID). When planning no more than 3 journeys on public transport use the single journey tickets costing 1.60 Euros. You can purchase the tickets from the driver directly. Enter at the front door and keep in mind that tickets are only sold at stops, not while the vehicle is moving. If you plan more than 3 journeys on public transport it is cheaper for you to get the plastic (non-registered) smartcard. This smartcard is easy to top up with money or travel cards and then to validate your e-ticket(s) at the start of each journey. One smartcard can be used by different people (family members, colleagues etc.). Tallinn Card holders travel free on public transport. Validate your Tallinn Card by touching the orange card readers (at all entrances) at the start of each journey.
Taxis can be hailed on the street, ordered by phone or ordered via the Taxify app. They can also be found queued up at taxi stands in front of larger hotels and at some major intersections. Rates are not uniform – they are set by the taxi company or operator, and can vary widely. Each taxi's rates are posted on a yellow sticker on the car's right rear window. The cost usually consists of a base fare (starting fare) plus a per-kilometre fare. Above is an example of the typical fare range. If you want to avoid misunderstandings, you can ask the driver to approximate the cost of the trip in advance.