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Things to do in Tallinn, Estonia (2-day itinerary)Vou na Janela

Before I tell you what to do in Tallinn, I want to talk a little about the origins of the city and its history, so that you can understand more about the place you are going to visit.I promise not to take too long, ok?

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia is one of the most charming cities in the Baltic States and one of the smallest capitals in Europe, with 400,000 inhabitants.Which makes the city look like a small town, but with all the comfort that a big city can offer.

Tallinn appeared around the year 1050 and because it was in the shore of the Baltic Sea, it developed an important mercantile role in northern Europe.For this reason, the city was completely walled and it is these walls that still delimit the old city, the Old Town, from the newer part, which emerged in the following centuries.

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What to do in Tallinn: Old Town

For many years, Estonia was dominated by other peoples, less than 30 years ago the country was still part of the Soviet Republics, with the Soviet Union dominating from the end of the Second World War until 1989.

And it is precisely these two important historical periods that shaped the face that Tallinn has today.On the one hand, the medieval heritage and on the other, the Russian influence that we see in buildings, churches and abandoned buildings around the city.

I wanted to make this introduction before get into the itinerary with what to do in Tallinn, precisely so that you can situate yourself in the historical context and better understand the city you intend to visit.

Old Town details


What to do in Tallinn


Explore the Old Town

The coolest thing to do in Tallinn is to walk the streets of Old Town without compromise.It’s no exaggeration to say that one seems to be taking a trip back in time walking those narrow streets, with medieval houses, churches, squares that stopped in time and all this surrounded by the ancient wall that protected the city.

Start your tour at Town Hall Square, the main square of the city, where the town hall is located.The square is a huge open space surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings.I was in Tallinn at the end of November, it was almost winter and in the square there was a Christmas fair with many typical foods and drinks.I love these fairs and in addition to being delicious, they were a super affordable option for food.

What to do in Tallinn: Christmas Market

Christmas Fair

From Town Hall Square you can choose to go down to the lower part of the city or to the high part.Going to the lower part is the Passagem de Santa Catarina (St.Catherine’s Passage), an alley that has preserved all its medieval authenticity since the city’s foundation.Look at the image below, doesn’t it look like time travel?

What to do in Tallinn: Santa Catarina Passage

Wall

Viru Gate

What to do in Tallinn: Viru Gate

Near by is a huge section of the city wall, it’s the lowest wall.It starts at Viru Gate, the main access gate to the Old Town and continues along Müürivahe Street.There is an entrance fee of 3 euros to climb the wall.It’s not the best view of the city, but it’s interesting to visit the wall and see what these buildings look like from the inside.

Following the Müürivahe is the second most important gate in the city, which in my opinion is the most beautiful, the Fat Margaret Gate and from there starts a huge section of the wall.Admission is 6 euros.

Fat Margaret Gate

Walls

The Old Town is dotted with ancient churches, one more beautiful than the other and looking from afar or from above, they form a beautiful ensemble pointing to the sky.

Be sure to visit St.Olav’s Church, Holy Spirit and St.Nicholas.Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral.

What to do in Tallinn: Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral

It was built at the request of Tsar Alexander III, it is a beautiful building in neo-Byzantine style with those large golden domes.But the cathedral is still a thorn in the side of Estonians’ side, as it represents the entire Russian domination and it was almost demolished and there are still those who defend its demolition.


View Tallinn from above

There are three great places to see Tallinn from above, the first one is on the side of the Government House, it is on top of a hill and on top of the wall, in the highest part of the city.From there we have a beautiful view of the old city, Schnelli Park below and even the Baltic Sea further away.

What to do in Tallinn: First viewpoint

Still walking through the upper part of the city, half hidden is another viewpoint, the Kohtu.It is close to these two previous viewpoints, a ticket of 5 euros is charged to enter.The climb of the nearly 300 steps is very difficult, but it is worth every step.

Onde se hospedar em Tallinn

Dome Church

From up there, we have a 180-degree view of Tallinn and I highly recommend taking this tour in the late afternoon on an open sky day, everything is even more beautiful.

What to do in Tallinn: Dome Church


KGB Museum

As part of a Soviet republic, Tallinn was home to the dreaded KGB, the Soviet Union’s secret service organization, which was responsible for arresting, interrogating, torturing and disappearing alleged traitors to the communist regime.

In Tallinn there is a KGB Museum, which is close to the Viru Gate, but there is also a visit to the KGB prison, which is far from the museum – coincidentally on my street hotel – and that is very much worth the visit.It is on the corner of Lai Street and Pagari.

KGB Prison


Linnahall

The Linnahall is located in the port region of Tallinn, it is a gigantic massif of concrete that was built by the Russians to host the regatta competitions of the 1980. The place is gigantic, with many platforms, stairs and viewpoints.Those who like abandoned places will love it, as well as being very photogenic.

Linnahall is another place that brings back bad memories for Estonians and all the apparent abandonment is on purpose.

What to do in Tallinn: Linnahall


Seaplane Harbour

Not far from Linnahall is Seaplane Harbour, the Estonian Maritime Museum.You can get inside several ships and even inside the Russian submarine.

It’s an interesting tour, it has several interactive rooms and a lot to see.Admission is 14 euros.

Seaplane harbor


Patarei Prison

On the side of the Seaplane is the Patarei Prison, an abandoned prison that now serves as a museum.I love abandoned places, but Patarei Prison is bone-chilling, soul-chilling.Honestly, I only recommend it if you really enjoy these tours because the energy there is heavy.

The prison was built in 1828 and worked until 2002 and the impression we have is that everything was left behind, Like the stretchers with dirty sheets, as the prison also had a hospital for macabre experiments on prisoners, all carried out by the Russians.

Things to do in Tallinn: Patarei Prison


Tours in Tallinn


Operator Estonia Experienceoffers several tours in and around Tallinn and some 1-day tours that go close to the Russian border.They offer from private tours to groups of 10 people.

Walking tour in the Old Town

This is a 2-hour tour of the old town with a guide explaining all about the city ​​covering the entire lower and upper parts of Tallinn.
Price: 90 euros (1 person);46 euros (2 people);26 euros (4 people);19 euros (6 people) and 13 euros (10 people).
Is it worth it?I thought it was too expensive because it’s a tour you can do alone, it’s interesting on account of the guide who enriches the tour with information.

Tallinn City Tour

This is a tour that combines o Walking Tour with a City Tour by bus through the most modern part of Tallinn.First it’s 2 hours around the old city, also with a guide, and then in one of those double-decker buses.
Price: 165 euros (1 person);87 euros (2 people);52 euros (4 people);42 euros (6 people) and 27 euros (10 people).
Is it worth it?I also found it very expensive, especially since the modern part of Tallinn has nothing of interesting.I don’t recommend this one.

Tallinn Panoramic Drive

This is a 2-hour bus tour that goes around the city ​​and stops at some points for panoramic photos of Tallinn and the shore of the Baltic Sea.
Price: 165 euros (1 person);87 euros (2 people);52 euros (4 people);42 euros (6 people) and 27 euros (10 people).
Is it worth it?It’s good for those who want comfort, as all bus stops can be reached on foot or by tram.

Tallinn Old Town and Kadriorg-Pirita

This tour combines the old town, with a bus tour of the most modern part of Tallinn and ends in the secluded district called Kadriorg, which is full of parks, palaces and gardens.The tour goes through beautiful and bucolic landscapes, but stay tuned, it’s only worth taking this tour from late spring to summer.The tour lasts approximately 6 hours and includes lunch.
Price: 365 euros (1 person);195 euros (2 people);130 euros (4 people);122 euros (6 people) and 92 euros (10 people).
Is it worth it?It’s great, but only in the warmer months.

Bate back to Helsinki, Finland

This is a very nice tour for those who have a few extra days in Tallinn.Helsinki is the capital of Finland and is 3 hours away by boat from Tallinn.There are faster boats that make the journey in half that time.The tour includes transfer from the hotel to the port of Tallinn, the round-trip ferry, and the city tour of the city.The tour lasts 12 hours.
Price: 360 euros (1 person);210 euros (2 people);140 euros (4 people);125 euros (6 people) and 97 euros (10 people).
Is it worth it?It’s not, as it’s a tour you can do on your own for half the price.


Tallinn Card


Tourists visiting Tallinn The Tallinn Card is available, one of those cards where you have free access to several attractions.With it, you can enter museums, tourist attractions, use public transport, have discounts at some establishments and with the “plus” version of the card, you are entitled to a city tour of the city.

Price:
– 24 hours: 25 euros on the regular card or 36 euros on the plus;
– 48 hours: 37 euros on the regular card or 49 euros on the plus;
– 72 hours: 45 euros on the regular card or 58 euros on the plus.

Is it worth it? It’s only worth it if you’re going to use it a lot!Visit all museums and use public transport several times a day.Something that doesn’t make sense if you follow my tips and if host inside the old city.


Tips geral


1) In the center of Tallinn, next to Tower Hall Square, there is a tourist support point, it is worth stopping by to get the free guides and maps , use the internet or even buy your Tallinn Card.

2) If you go in winter, be sure to bring boots, heavy coats, gloves, scarf and hat.It is very cold and the temperature is constantly below zero.But also in summer, the nights can be a little chilly.

3) Few people speak English, but you can get by perfectly.

4) In autumn and winter dawns around 9 am and starts to get dark around 3 pm.Knowing this, plan your day in the best way to take advantage of the few hours of sunshine.

5) Buying a SIM card in Estonia is not very simple, but a SIM card from any other European country works well there .I used the one from EasySIM4U that uses the American T-Mobile network and it didn’t work very well.It got super slow.

6) Food in Estonia is basically sausages, cabbage and pork.Those who have a weak stomach or do not enjoy these dishes may have problems, as well as vegetarians and vegans.Luckily it’s one of the places where I’ve seen the most Italian restaurants and very good ones.


Planning your trip


calendario

When to go

The best time to visit Tallinn is from late spring to summer (June to September).Estonia is very cold in autumn and winter, and at this time temperatures are almost always below freezing, and it snows constantly.

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How to get there

There are no direct flights from Brazil to Tallinn, I was in Riga and went there by bus.But it’s also easy to get there from the main European capitals by plane with Air Baltic, an excellent airline that I highly recommend.

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Visa

Brazilians do not need a visa to enter Estonia, the country is part of the European Union and being a Schengen country, the entry visa is valid for visiting the country.

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How much is

Cheaper than Western European countries, but it’s not that cheap.Staying in a 3 star hotel for 40 euros a day.

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How to get around

Tallin is super small, but it has a network of trams that run around the historic center.If you stay in this area, you won’t need to use public transport for anything.



The best place to stay in Tallinn is in from the historic center.And it’s not expensive to stay in this region, unlike the more expensive European cities.and the good news is that

I stayed at the Rixwell Old Town, which is right next to a huge section of the ancient wall that defended the city and super close to the Fat Margareth Gate, which was one of the main gateways to the Old Town.

Near Rixwell I recommend the Kalev Spa Hotel & Waterpark.The hotel is beautiful and very comfortable, located right in the historic center and is great value for money.

The CRU Hotel is located in the heart of Old Town, a very charming boutique hotel in one of the best locations in the city.Close by, with fantastic location and best price, I recommend the Hestia Hotel Maestro Old Town.

On the other side of the old town, I recommend the sensational Hotel L’Ermitage.To book and not have a headache.








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