27 Unique Things To Do in Tallinn, Estonia
If you are looking to travel to an old Medieval city that maintains its historic essence but is equipped with modern amenities, look no further.
Tallinn is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. This city is the capital of a relatively young country, Estonia, which was under the rule of the USSR until 1991.
While this country is newly independent, it clings to a rich history of the its people that fought so long to stand on their own feet.
Let’s explore all of the unique things to do in Tallinn so that you can properly plan your Estonian adventure.
Need a flight to Estonia? We’ve got you covered!
What To Do in Tallinn, Estonia on Your Next Holiday
As one of the oldest Medieval cities on the face of the earth, Tallinn serves as the hotspot for both Estonian culture and history. This city is bustling with art, history, friendly faces and more!
Many people think of Tallinn as a city that is all history and no fun, but that is not a face. This capital is very rich in history, but it certainly does not run dry of fun.
Check out the 27 most fun things to do in Tallinn! You do not want to miss on any of these wonderful activities.
1. Explore the City with the Tallinn Card
Looking to accomplish a lot of sightseeing during your visit to Tallinn? The Tallinn Card is a pass grants you access to over 40 amazing attractions. It can be purchased in 24, 48 and 72 hour access periods.
The Tallinn Card is good for discounts at a collection of stores and restaurants. It also allows you to travel for free on the city’s public transportation, which saves you even more money!
The 24 hour Tallinn Cards start at just 26 euros. This is such an affordable way to see the whole city.
You can order your tickets online ahead of your arrival. Your access period starts once you activate and use the card for the first time.
Attractions and Activities Included in the Tallinn Card
- Tallinn City Bus Tour
- Skywheel of Tallinn
- Estonian History Museum
- Town Hall Tower
- House of Peter the Great
2. Search for Vibrant Street Art
Many of the streets of Tallinn are decorated by art that locals have created. Some of the most wonderful works of art are hidden in tucked away corners of the town.
If you stick to the Old City of Tallinn, you probably won’t run into much art, but if you explore a little, you’re bound to find some interesting pieces of art.
We don’t want to steal your fun or spoil your search, but here is a hint to help you find some rad artwork: check out the Cultural Kilometer.
3. Visit the Oldest Building in Tallinn
In 1246, the Dominican Order of Monks set up camp in Tallinn. Their home, St. Catherine’s Monastery, still stands today and holds the honorable title of the oldest building in Tallinn.
This famous spot offers so much for visitors to do and see. Both locals and tourists frequent St. Catherine’s Monastery for its private tours, programs, gallery, chapel and more.
You will learn so much about the history of the Dominican Order and Tallinn. Book your tour today!
4. Drop in to the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design has been around since the early 20th century. It displays modern art and innovating designs.
This attraction has a contemporary vibe that is like a breath of fresh air in a city that has such rich history that takes the focus.
Adult tickets are 6 euros each, but students and those with disabilities can get half priced tickets for 3 euros.
5. Live Like the Locals at Bohemian Kalamaja
Bohemian Kalamaja is the place to go if you want to see locals in their natural habitat. This area is just outside of the Old Town.
There isn’t much in the way of touristy stuff in Kalamaja, but that’s okay. It can be really fun to eat, drink and be merry with the locals.
Chatting it up with some true Estonians will give you an inside look at what life in Tallinn is really like.
6. Learn About the Estonian Health Care System
You may be wondering how something like learning about a health care system made this list, but bear with us for a moment. This is actually one of the most amazingly unique attractions in Tallinn.
The Estonian Health Care Museum has exhibits that discus everything from basic healthy eating to complex functions of the human body. It offers a variety of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn about what they are beneath the skin.
One of the coolest things about the museum is that it houses remains of actual human beings that have been preserved for the sake of science. These cadavers have been carefully dissected to showcase different organ systems.
This museum is particularly interesting for anybody who works in the medical field or aspires to study medicine or health science.
You’ve got to add this spot to your itinerary!
7. Taste the Flavors of Tallinn
While traditional Estonian cuisine plays it safe with the standard meat, fish, bread and potatoes, Tallinn offers a blend of cuisines from other regions.
Some of the food may look a little funky at first, but you can rest assured that your belly will be full your entire trip.
What to Eat in Tallinn
- The classics: fish, meat and potatoes
- Rye bread (black bread)
- Aspic (pork jelly and veggie dish)
- Elk soup
- Kvass (fermented drink)
- Mulgipuder (groat and potato dish)
Best Places to Eat in Tallinn
- Manna La Roosa: This restaurant is described as a “multi-sensory pleasure palace” that mixes decor and cuisine from a variety of cultures to set an out of the ordinary vibe. You can expect an offshoot of traditional asian cuisine at this restaurant.
- Maiasmokk Café: Stop by the oldest cafe in Tallinn for a quick treat. Marzipan, a medieval medicine, was created in this very cafe. The restricted areas of this restaurant are included in the Tallinn City Card.
- Reval Cafe: Looking for some gluten free options? Check out Reval Cafe for some of the most delicious gluten free baked goods.
Where to Drink in Tallinn
8. Get a Panoramic View of Tallinn from Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
See the city from the sky from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. This viewing platform offers photo worthy views that will forever be etched in your memory.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform has a super quirky mascot that you’ve got to be on the lookout for. His name is Steven and he is a little seagull who likes to perch on the railing.
9. Stop by the Indestructible St. Olaf’s Church
St. Olaf’s Church of Tallinn has proven indestructible after being struck with lightning several times with no consequence.
This church has been standing since before Tallinn’s Danish take over in 1219. It is thought to have been built at least a century before that.
10. Buy Soviet Souvenirs at the Balti Jaama Market
The Balti Jaama Market is a little market full of good eats and Soviet souvenirs. If you are looking to bring back some Estonian memorabilia for your loved ones, you’ve got to make a stop at these shops!
11. Get Creative at Telliskivi Loomelinnak
Pop into Telliskivi Loomelinnak to get your creative gears turning. This area is the home to a multitude of freethinkers and dreamers who aren’t afraid to deviate from the norm.
Telliskivi Loomelinnak is covered in street art since the residence create beauty wherever they see fit.
In this community, you can find a plethora of cute indie shops and wonderful dining areas. Stop by Telliskivi Loomelinnak to be inspired to live your most authentic lifestyle.
12. Explore the Seaplane Harbour Maritime Museum
The Seaplane Harbour is an incredible maritime museum that shows visitors the important role that the fishing industry plays in Estonia.
One of the coolest parts of this museum is submarine collection. You can go down in a submarine and try out the gear and uniform of a seaman.
This museum will surely provide an abundance of Kodak moments.
13. Adventure Through the Lahemaa National Park
The Lahemaa National Park is a bit of a drive from Tallinn, but it is definitely something you’ve got to see while visiting the capital.
The park was founded to protect the culture of Estonia that is expressed by means of nature.
Lahemaa National Park is important throughout Europe as it hosts a huge European bird conference.
If you can make it to this park, you’ll be blown away by the preservation of nature.
14. Have a Drink with a View at Lounge 24 Radisson Blu Sky Bar
The bar at Lounge 24 Radisson Blu allows you to enjoy your beverage of choice with a view of the entire city. This bar in the sky is the perfect place to wind down after a long day of exploring and sightseeing.
If you are looking for accomodations, the Radisson Blu is an excellent choice of hotel.
What will you be sipping on at Lounge 24?
15. Visit the Estonian Open Air Museum
Tallinn is home of many Estonia’s most valuable museums. The Estonian Open Air Museum is no exception. This museum is located on the outskirts of Tallinn, and it exhibits the country’s farming lifestyle.
This museum will give you a much different taste of Estonia than what you’ll experience in downtown Tallinn.
16. Take a Look at Linnahall
Linnahall is a venue that was built to hold fans from near and far during the 1980 Olympic Games that took place in Moscow.
The csar requested that this structure be built on very short notice, so there wasn’t a ton of time to plan a stadium that would resist the wear and tear of time. In the few decades that Linnahall has been around, it has already begun to deteriorate.
If you have the chance, definitely take a look at Linnahall.
17. Admire the Beauty at Kadriorg Park
Escape the city for a moment and admire the beauty of nature at Kadriorg Park. This park is full of beautiful gardens and woods.
There are several major areas in side Kadriorg Park, including a concert area, a children’s park, the people’s park and the Japanese garden.
You could spend the whole day exploring and admiring the splendor of this large park.
18. Step into a Free Walking Tour
Walking tours are always a great choice when visiting a city for the first time, but do you know what’s even cooler? FREE walking tours!
In Tallinn, young people are encouraged to become tour guides for free walking tours. This activity keeps the youth from squandering their time or behaving badly. It gives them a purpose and allows them to contribute to their city.
There are all sorts of walking tours to choose from. Each tour will be narrated differently since they have varying themes and guides. All of the tours are quite unique because each guide has his or her own perspective of the city.
What would you like to learn on your free walking tour of Tallinn?
19. Visit The Estonian History Museum
Museums are wonderful places to familiarize yourself with the history of a new town or country. Although Estonia has only been an independent state for less than 30 years, it had a long history of battling for this beloved freedom.
Great Guild Hall is one of the most important areas of the Estonian History Museum because it details over 11,000 years of the country’s history.
Admission to this museum is included in the Tallinn City Card.
20. Learn About the Soviet Lifestyle at the Viru KGB Museum
The Soviets and KGB have contributed a lot to the history of Estonia, so it is no surprise that their legacies are so deeply intertwined within the culture.
You can learn about the KGB at the KGB Museum in the Viru Hotel. Back in the 60s, members of the KGB were put up in this hotel.
The museum can only be accessed with a tour guide. The tours typically run about an hour.
Check out their site to book your tour ahead of your arrival!
21. Have a Drink at Whisper Sister
Want to have a little bit of scandalous fun? Visit one of Tallinn’s most best kept secrets…if you can find it.
The Whisper Sister Speakeasy is always quite busy for a bar with no sign, no internet presence and a locked front door.
To get into the speakeasy, you’ve got to call in. You can find the number etched into an otherwise unmarked door. If you’re a visitor and you don’t have an international cell plan, do not fret! You can tag along with whoever is entering in front of you with no issue.
While it might be fun to ask around and explore in order to find the Whisper Sister location, we want to make it easy on you.
Here is the address: Pärnu maantee 12.
22. Find Your Way Through the Bastion Passages
Take a guided tour of Bastion Passages, a history filled fort located in the Old City. Travel under Tallinn in the tunnels that were once used as a protective defense for the Estonians. This tour will provide a different perspective of the city.
The tour runs just over an hour and costs 8 euros a person. While there are family packages that allow a couple to bring four of their children at a reduced rate, it is recommended that all guest are 7 years or older.
The Bastion Passages get steep in places and it’s pretty chilly under the city, so it’s important that you dress appropriately.
This is a great tour for anybody who doesn’t mind the walk!
23. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Kalev Chocolate Shop
Chocolate is considered one of Estonia’s greatest delicacies. It would be a crying shame if you left Tallinn without some of Kalev’s finest chocolates.
Once of the most popular parts of Kalev Chocolate Shop is the Sweets Mastery. You can take classes to learn how to make chocolate and sweet treats for a very affordable rate.
The cheapest classes at the Sweets Mastery is just around 15 euros a person. The more people you have in your group, the cheaper the class is. Each class comes with an exclusive coupon that gives you 10% off additional purchases at the chocolate shop.
24. See Tallinn from the Top of the Television Tower
The Television Tower, which the locals can the “Teletorn,” is said to have one of the best views of the city. The observation deck sits 22 stories above the city.
The TV Tower is definitely an Instagrammable spot. It is also a wonderful place for a romantic moment with your honey, especially as the sun is setting.
In order to beat the long line of tourists waiting to climb to the top of the tower, order your tickets ahead of your arrival. You can purchase the tickets at the TV Tower’s website.
25. Stop by Town Hall
Town Hall is yet another attraction included in your Tallinn City Card.
This building was built in 1404. This building no longer houses the municipal operations, but it does serve as a venue for special events and ceremonies. It also includes a museum.
During the summer months, the Town Hall’s tower is open. This is yet another location where you can catch a panoramic view of Tallinn.
Be sure to check the concert schedule before you trip. Hopefully you can catch a show in this older than dirt hall.
26. Admire the Art at the Kumu Art Museum
Beautiful art seems to be a common theme in Tallinn, so why not visit an art hub while you’re there?
The Kumu Art Museum displays rotating exhibits that have to do with everything from the early 20th century ‘til now. The two permanent exhibits at the Kumu Art Museum include WWII and Soviet works.
Something that sets this museum apart is that it accepts exhibits relating to fashion. The fashion exhibits are quite different from the war exhibits.
You can buy e-tickets and merch at the Kumu Art Museum’s online store.
27. Take a Ferry to Helsinki
Once you’ve seen all of Tallinn, take a short ferry ride to Helsinki. The ride is quite reasonable, which makes it a wonderful place to take a day trip when you’re staying in Tallinn.
Helsinki is Finland’s capital. It is a bigger city, so if you want to leave the Medieval feel of Tallinn, this would be a good day trip for you.
Other Places to Visit in Europe
Here at Hekla, we’re huge fans of Northern Europe. We’ve been traveling around this corner of the world for several decades, so we’ve been able to narrow down the best spots in the major cities and nations of this region.
You can these travel guides to help plan your trip, or you can let us do the planning for you!
Check out all of our amazing tours.
Visit Tallinn, Estonia
So, are you ready to book your flights and plan your trip?
Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, is a wonderful place for sightseeings. It is particularly interesting for history buffs who are interested in the Soviets.
Come to Tallinn to experience the wonder of this Medieval city for yourself.
Contact us to learn more about visiting Tallinn.