Tallinn’s city center is very compact and easily walkable. You don’t need any transport to reach most of the sightseeing spots (except the Kadriorg Palace). No transport is allowed inside the old city anyway, so you should simply walk the narrow streets of the beautiful old city and find something interesting at every corner. What I love most about it is that it has a number of viewing platforms and towers, which provide wonderful views of the city.
Where to stay? I suggest to stay close-by the city center, so that you can walk there and not need transport. If you arrive to the city by bus, bus station is about 25-30 min walk from the center. We stayed in the middle, 10 minutes from bus station and 15 from the old city, which was very convenient.
Transport: No transport is allowed inside the old city anyway, so you will walk to most places. Otherwise, there are several tram lines, which are very convenient and will take you to most spots, you may be staying at. You can also choose buses.
From the bus station take tram #2, from the airport take tram #4 or bus #2 to the city center.
If you have an additional day, do take a cruise to Helsinki, it is a great experience. See the details here.
Visit the Tallinn Town hall and climb its tower. The tower has great narrow and steep stairs. We love climbing such old towers and were very happy to find this. The views are nice, although the space upstairs is very small and it limits the possibility to enjoy them for long.
After coming down from the tower, head to the 15th century Town Hall pharmacy, which still works today.
Head to Kompressor for an early or late lunch. This place has great pancakes, but huge queues as well. So try to arrive a little outside the lunch and dinner times. You will still have to queue , but the pancakes are worth it and are very cheap – the prices range from 4.50 to 6 EUR. We ordered one savoury and one sweet pancake and were dying afterwards 😊
Here is the queue we stood in, grab a table while waiting, as most probably there will be few to no places.
Head up to the Toompea hill and take pictures at the viewing platforms. Go to Kohtuotsa viewing platform, which is the best one. Patkuli doesn’t have such great views, but is still worth checking out. Piiskopi is even less interesting.
See Alexander Nevsky cathedral and the outside of the Toompea castle and the Tall Herman. You can’t enter the Toompea castle, as it is the President’s palace, but you can see this pink building from outside. Also climbing the tall Herman is usually not allowed and the entrance is from the Parliament building.
See the 4 towers and the tunnels under them. The entrance to the towers is from Kiek in de Kok, from which you go through to the other 3 towers. The passageways are nice to walk on and take photos. The tunnels are lined in accordance with historical times. The Soviet parts are followed by medieval parts with armory. Definitely a very interesting experience.
Head back down from the Hill and go to Pierre Chocolaterie for their delicious hot chocolate drinks, ice creams or coffees.
Have dinner at the St. Patrick’s forum, a relatively cheap place with great food. Chose either central or Rotermani Kvartal branch.
In the evening, you can also go to National Opera Estonia, if you have time and energy 😊 At the time we visited, West Side Story was being performed there.
Start a day at one of the great coffee shops, like the Kalev Marzipan or Kohvik August. We loved the atmosphere in this old style places with delicious cakes and coffee and cozy seats.
See the St. Catherine’s passage and the art galleries in the area. Continue wandering the narrow streets of the city.
Visit the great Guild Hall.
Climb St. Olaf’s church tower. Unfortunately, we were not able to do this, as the church is under renovation at least until the end of 2019. But we hear that the views from up there are the best, so we have a reason to visit again.
Explore Tallinn city gates and city walls. Just wonder around the outskirts of the old city and you will find wonderful places with the remaining parts of the city walls and several gates all around. Particularly interesting to me was the north side.
Try to eat lunch or dinner at III Draakon. Try because they always have very long queues and if you have limited time and/or are impatient, that may be extremely inconvenient. They don’t have menus, so you will have to ask, what the day offer is. This is a great medieval pub, which is amazing just to visit, even if you don’t eat there.
Head to the Kadriorg Palace. You can either get a taxi with the Bolt app, or hop on the tram 1. The price of taxi would be about 4 Euros. If you don’t buy your tram ticket in advance, it will be 2 Euros per person. So if you are two persons, Bolt is more convenient.
Kadriorg is a 19th Century palace built by the Russian Tsar Catherine I. The palace is also an art museum worth visiting. Also explore the garden behind the palace.
Then head to the Gourmet cafe nearby, which has a very cosy seating and great coffee.
Visit Helios Hall. Through October 2019, they host Monet2Klimt art in motion exhibition, a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Visit St. Nicholas church and museum.
Spend the evening at the Rotermann city area, where you have a number of food options and bars.