Tallinn travel guide

Tallinn Tourism | Tallinn Guide

You're Going to Love Tallinn

The Estonian capital of Tallinn offers a glimpse into Eastern European cultural traditions, foods and history. The country is relatively small, making it easy to travel between Tallinn and other cities in the region.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Tallinn

1. Kadriorg Palace

The palace was built for Catherine I of Russia and now features foreign art exhibitions for guests. Adult entrance prices are 6.5 euros.

2. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

This orthodox cathedral in Old Town was built entirely by public donations in the 19th century.

3. Tallinn Botanical Garden

These are the largest botanical gardens in Estonia and are located near to Kloostrimetsa forest in the Pirita district.

4. Estonian Open Air Museum

This reconstructed historical village has daily tours, where guides explain the daily routines and cultural practices of ancient Estonians.

5. Lahemaa National Park

Located 70km outside of the city, this Park offers many trails for hiking as well as lakes, bogs and sandy seashore terrains.

What to do in Tallinn

1. Kadriorg Park: An Eston-inishing Urban Park

In 1718, Russian Tsar Peter the Great decided that Tallinn would have one of the Empire's most beautiful palaces and parks, and the result was Kadrioru - modern day Tallinn's urban oasis. On one hand, the park is an artistic center, being home to KUMU, the Mikkeli Museum and the Kadrioru Art Museum. But on the other, it's a blissful place to relax, with perfectly manicured flower beds, swan ponds and what is now the Estonian Presidential Palace at the park's heart.

2. Kiek in de Kök: A Quirky Tower That Tells the Tale of Tallinn's History

With a name that means "Peep into the Kitchen", you might expect Kiek in de Kök to be a museum of domestic life or a high-end restaurant, but you'd be wrong. It's actually a medieval artillery tower with sturdy 4-meter-thick walls. The peeping referred to the ability of those stationed there to look into neighboring kitchens, a sign of how rarely the city was attacked. These days, people tend to peek into the tower, which holds a museum of the city as well as a shooting simulation, in keeping with the artillery theme.

3. KUMU Art Museum: An Outstanding Contemporary Art Space

Tallinn's premier art museum by a mile, KUMU is located in the idyllic grounds of Kadrioru Park and couldn't make a starker contrast with the 18th-century palace with its angular, postmodern exterior. Inside, the collection has seen the gallery crowned as European Museum of the Year and runs from Estonian art of the Baroque era, through to socialist realism of the 1920s and a vibrant selection of contemporary works created since the fall of Communism. As the curators say, "Art Lives Here!" - and it's a treat for all culture vultures.

4. Toompea Castle: A Fortress of Democracy

Tallinn has been around since the 13th century, so it's no surprise to find that the city is capped by an impressive fortress. When you see its commanding setting, you also won't be surprised to learn that Toompea Loss serves as Estonia's parliament, and you can watch politicians debate the issues of the day from the public gallery. However, castle tours are a must and allow visitors to explore the 1920s Riigikogu (parliament) and the fortress grounds, including the Renaissance State Hall and the Governor's Garden.

5. Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum: An Amazing Tribute to Estonian Traditions

Probably more palatable to outsiders by its English name, the Estonian Open Air Museum is a historical gem. Located about five miles west of central Tallinn, the museum features reconstructions of traditional Estonian farms, farm animals that kids can pet, on-site bakers creating irresistible snacks and even a gourmet restaurant serving up national delicacies in the evening. It's the kind of place where you can see artisan blacksmiths plying their trade, watch folk dances, and pick up local handicrafts to give to the folks back home.

1. Kadriorg Park: An Eston-inishing Urban Park

In 1718, Russian Tsar Peter the Great decided that Tallinn would have one of the Empire's most beautiful palaces and parks, and the result was Kadrioru - modern day Tallinn's urban oasis. On one hand, the park is an artistic center, being home to KUMU, the Mikkeli Museum and the Kadrioru Art Museum. But on the other, it's a blissful place to relax, with perfectly manicured flower beds, swan ponds and what is now the Estonian Presidential Palace at the park's heart.

2. Kiek in de Kök: A Quirky Tower That Tells the Tale of Tallinn's History

With a name that means "Peep into the Kitchen", you might expect Kiek in de Kök to be a museum of domestic life or a high-end restaurant, but you'd be wrong. It's actually a medieval artillery tower with sturdy 4-meter-thick walls. The peeping referred to the ability of those stationed there to look into neighboring kitchens, a sign of how rarely the city was attacked. These days, people tend to peek into the tower, which holds a museum of the city as well as a shooting simulation, in keeping with the artillery theme.

3. KUMU Art Museum: An Outstanding Contemporary Art Space

Tallinn's premier art museum by a mile, KUMU is located in the idyllic grounds of Kadrioru Park and couldn't make a starker contrast with the 18th-century palace with its angular, postmodern exterior. Inside, the collection has seen the gallery crowned as European Museum of the Year and runs from Estonian art of the Baroque era, through to socialist realism of the 1920s and a vibrant selection of contemporary works created since the fall of Communism. As the curators say, "Art Lives Here!" - and it's a treat for all culture vultures.

4. Toompea Castle: A Fortress of Democracy

Tallinn has been around since the 13th century, so it's no surprise to find that the city is capped by an impressive fortress. When you see its commanding setting, you also won't be surprised to learn that Toompea Loss serves as Estonia's parliament, and you can watch politicians debate the issues of the day from the public gallery. However, castle tours are a must and allow visitors to explore the 1920s Riigikogu (parliament) and the fortress grounds, including the Renaissance State Hall and the Governor's Garden.

5. Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum: An Amazing Tribute to Estonian Traditions

Probably more palatable to outsiders by its English name, the Estonian Open Air Museum is a historical gem. Located about five miles west of central Tallinn, the museum features reconstructions of traditional Estonian farms, farm animals that kids can pet, on-site bakers creating irresistible snacks and even a gourmet restaurant serving up national delicacies in the evening. It's the kind of place where you can see artisan blacksmiths plying their trade, watch folk dances, and pick up local handicrafts to give to the folks back home.

Where to Eat in Tallinn

III Draakon is a nice medieval-themed tavern in the Old Town serving Eastern European cuisine. Pastry prices are modest at 1-3 euros.

When to visit Tallinn

Tallinn in September
Estimated hotel price
€77
1 night at 3-star hotel
Tallinn in September
Estimated hotel price
€77
1 night at 3-star hotel

August and September are the best months to visit due to the warm weather, cultural festivals and long daylight hours.

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How to Get to Tallinn

Plane

Lennart Meri Tallinn International Airport is located 5km outside of the city center. RyanAir and EasyJet have flights from London to Tallinn for around 60 euros one way.

Train

The Railway Station (Balti jaam) is right in the center of Old Town, with daily international trains to destinations such as Latvia, Russia and Poland.

Car

Motorways T1-4 will take you from the capital to other notable Estonian cities of Tartu, Parnu and Narva.

Bus

EcoLines and LuxExpress have routes from other Eastern European cities for around 15 euros one way.

Airports near Tallinn

Airlines serving Tallinn

United Airlines
Good (2,838 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,152 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,377 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (399 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,414 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,324 reviews)
SWISS
Good (454 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,206 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (958 reviews)
Iberia
Good (915 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,414 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (278 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (320 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (539 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (100 reviews)
Finnair
Good (694 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,671 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (439 reviews)
LOT
Good (341 reviews)
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Where to stay in Tallinn

Old Town – The center of the city is one of the best preserved medieval towns with the highest concentration of hotels, restaurants and bars.

Popular Neighborhoods in Tallinn

Pirita – This seaside area has lots of luxury houses and is considered one of the more wealthier neighborhoods.

Kalamaja – Here in the old fishing quarter you can find lots of local favorite bars and restaurants.

Most popular hotel in Tallinn by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Tallinn

Most booked hotels in Tallinn

Swissotel Tallinn
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
€89+
Hestia Hotel Europa
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
€69+
Original Sokos Hotel Viru
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
€84+
Park Inn by Radisson Meriton Conference&Spa Tallin
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
€55+
Metropol Hotel
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
€43+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Tallinn

Public Transportation

There are many buses and trams in the capital. A single ride ticket can be bought for 2 euros from the driver, while a reloadable SmartCard can be bought at the R-Kiosk station.

Taxi

Taxi prices start at 2.5 euros and will cost around 6 euros per trip.

Car

Daily rental vehicle prices start at 50 euros a day and can be picked up at Tallinn Airport or in dowtown.

Car hire agencies in Tallinn

Budget

Budget
Find car hire in Tallinn

The Cost of Living in Tallinn

Shopping Streets

Viru Centre in Old Town sells souveniers for tourists and has lots of cafes and restaurants. Telliskivi Shopping Street sells more crafts and independent designs from local Estonian culture.

Groceries and Other

Solaris and ABC Supermarkets are the main food shopping stores in Tallinn. A dozen eggs costs 1.2 euros.

Cheap meal
€8.52
A pair of jeans
€72.50
Single public transport ticket
€1.71
Cappuccino
€2.52