Travelling through the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania before finishing in Poland on our Baltic Explorer tour, I was lucky enough to spend time in Tallinn before the itinerary started. Found along the coast of the Baltic Sea, I was delighted to explore the capital of Estonia – the fairy-tale architecture, the magnificent medieval centre and the charming markets. Here are my suggestions on where to visit during any extra time in Tallinn.
You will find the quaint Cafe Dannebrog perched along one of the medieval walls of the western part of Old Tallinn. The steep zigzagging stone steps are worth the climb to enjoy this peaceful and relaxing treetop cafe. The Old Town of Tallinn, UNESCO certified for its well persevered medieval buildings, is incredibly picturesque and exceptional to view from above. I would certainly recommend trying a drop of Vana Tallinn in a mug of hot chocalat as you look out and appreciate the views of the Old Town.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Located on Tompea Hill and just down the street from the Kiek in de Kok artillery tower, you’ll find the beautiful Russian orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which is currently being restored to its full glory. The church houses eleven bells, one of which is the largest in Tallinn weighing 15 tonnes.
The Raekoja Plats, the Town Hall Square, is the perfect place to take a break and rest your feet from all the sightseeing. Enjoy a hearty Estonian meal with a honey beer in one of the many restaurants and, if you’re lucky enough to have the sun shining, sit outside and watch the people walk by.
Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
For those looking for something a bit alternative or fans of every gruesome aspect of medieval history, the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments is the place for you. With an extensive collection of over 60 instruments of torture including the rack, the Spanish boot and chastity belts, despite the macabre subject matter the exhibition is also very educational on the more inhumane parts of European history.
Viru Flower Markets
Getting slightly off the tourist trail is a great way to enjoy an authentic experience of a city, watching locals interacting and going about their everyday lives. A place that will certainly liven up the senses is the flower markets just outside the Viru Old Town gate.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Rather than joining the crowds of people at the popular Patkuli Viewing Platform, venture to the less visited Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform where you can still get fantastic views of Tallinn’s Old Town and new city without fighting for a spot with other tourists. It is the perfect spot to view the sunset as the lights and street lamps flicker on across Tallinn.
We have a range of tours across Eastern Europe and can help organise pre and post-tour accommodation if you feel inspired to explore the beginning and end cities of your trip.