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Things to do in Tallinn, a Long Weekend in Estonia's Capital City

A Travel Guide to Tallinn - things to do and sights to see over a long weekend

Where is Tallinn?

Tallinn, Estonia's captivating capital is nestled on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Estonia is a country in Northeastern Europe, bordered by Russia and Latvia. Out of the three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Estonia has the smallest population, being home to only 1.3 million people, 450,000 of those living in Tallinn.

Why Visit Tallinn?

This enchanting city seamlessly blends medieval charm with modern vibrancy. As you wander through Tallinn's cobblestone streets you'll see medieval walls, fortified towers, narrow alleyways...the city is surrounded by beautifully preserved medieval architecture.

There's loads to do in the city but if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Tallinn is surrounded by beautiful coastlines and forests.

We visited Tallinn in February as a winter city break and it was really cold, so make sure you pack your thermals if your'e visiting this time of year.

Here are some of the things we did and saw over a long weekend:

1. Explore Tallinn Old Town

Visiting Tallinn's Old Town is like being transported back to Medieval times. The town is adorned with enchanting pastel-coloured buildings, hidden courtyards and is home to architectural wonders as well as bars, restaurants and cafes.

Tallinn Old Town
Tallinn Old Town

2. Go to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Located atop Toompea Hill in the heart of the Old Town, this grand Orthodox cathedral showcases striking Russian Revival architecture with its magnificent onion domes and intricate ornamental details. This breathtaking masterpiece is a must visit for anyone visiting Tallinn.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

3. Climb the Hill to Toompea Castle

Perched on Toompea Hill, Toompea Castle is worth the climb up the many steps. This medieval fortress, with its imposing stone walls and distinctive towers, offers panoramic views of the city below.

Toompea Castle Tallinn
Toompea Castle

4. Visit Tallinn Town Hall

Dating back to the 13th century Tallinn Town Hall is a magnificent Gothic masterpiece set in the heart of the city's Old Town.

Tallinn Town Hall
Tallinn Town Hall

5. Go to the Observation Deck at St. Olav's Church

St. Olaf's Church, an iconic landmark in Tallinn, captivates with its towering spire that dominates the city's skyline. Originally built in the 12th century, this Gothic-style church offers visitors panoramic views of Tallinn from its observation deck.

St. Olav's Church Tallinn
St. Olav's Church

6. Check out St. Catherine's Passage

St. Catherine's Passage is a narrow cobblestone pathway flanked by historic buildings and artisan workshops, offering a glimpse into this medieval city.

St. Catherine's Passage Tallinn
St. Catherine's Passage

7. Walk the Medieval City Walls

Over a mile of medieval city walls still exist in Tallinn and you can walk across them view the city from above. Head to Helleman Tower, where you can walk for 200m and take in the panoramic views of Tallinn. It costs about £5 to go up to the tower, see the art inside and do the walk.

Medieval City Walls Tallinn
Medieval City Walls, Tallinn

8. Have a Traditional Medieval Meal at Ill Draakon

Ill Draakon is a must-visit medieval tavern in the main square of Tallinn's Old Town, where you can sample some very interesting dishes. With its rustic interior and staff dressed in period costumes, it offers a unique experience, serving up hearty traditional dishes and transporting visitors back in time to the medieval era. We had ox ribs, dried wild boar, pastries with a mystery meat in (the drawing on the label looked like a badger) and a pig's tail (which was pretty disgusting).

Ill Draakon Tallinn
Ill Draakon, Tallinn

9. Swim in the Baltic Sea at Iglupark

This was one of my favourite experiences in Tallinn. About a 20 minute Uber taxi from the centre of Tallinn, Iglupark offers visitors the opportunity to swim in the ice cold Baltic Sea and then warm up in saunas after. You can book a private sauna for a group (of up to 10) for around 85 Euros that includes showers, toiletries, a fridge and outdoor furniture. If you are part of a smaller group, you can do the 'Morning Sauna' (between 8am-12pm everyday) instead, where they have one sauna open to people who want to swim and use it and it costs 20 Euros.

Iglupark Tallinn
Iglupark, Tallinn

10. Go for a Walk in Valdeku Park (Nomme)

Escape the city life of Tallinn by getting the train from the main station (Baltic Station) in the city centre to Nomme, where you will find Valdeku Park. When we went it was snowing so we explored the beautiful picturesque forest that was like a winter wonderland.

Valdeku Park Tallinn Forest
Valdeku Park, Tallinn

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