Travel Estonia – Tallinn: Travel Guide for First Time Visitors

This travel guide is full of up-to-date background and travel information, and travel inspiration for first-time visitors to Tallinn in Estonia. A travel guide with museums, churches, and cathedrals, a library, street art, cafés, restaurants, and a hotel recommendation. 

Read whether you need a visa to visit Tallinn, how to pay, which language they speak in Tallinn, when to best use public transport, whether they have wi-fi, and what time is the best to visit.

Coffee art in the form of a swan, a green wooden house, a bed decorated in pastel-yellow fabric, a mural of a pink and blue beetle on a house facade, a baroque-style ballroom, a restaurant decorated with countless ceiling lamps, several rows of coffee table books in a bookshop.

Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia. I can't say whether it is a Scandinavian country or an Eastern European country. Locals I ask aren't sure either. Estonia is a bit of both. Anyway, have a look at the map. You find Estonia way up north in Europe, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, close to Helsinki in Finland and St Petersburg in Russia. About 440,000 people live in Tallinn. That is astonishing considering that in the whole of Estonia there live only 1.325 million people. Estonia is one of the most forested countries in Europe, with over half of its land covered by forests.

Over the centuries, Tallinn saw different oppressors come and go. The Danes, the Swedes, the Germans, and the Russians brought along their ideologies. Rulers did what rulers do. They established seemingly random rules and regulations and expected people to follow them readily. The regime's ideology has altered access to freedom. Living a self-determined life was hard. Life had to be in line with the oppressor’s ideas.

To a certain extent, the Estonian culture got suppressed under Soviet rule. After decades of Russian oppression, Estonians were desperate to end the occupation. Estonia’s weapon of choice was singing; they started a non-violent singing revolution. Protestors sang in massive gatherings. When Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost, people felt encouraged, maybe even empowered, to speak freely.

After a time of careful testing of how far one could go under Soviet rule, the people organize a mass protest. In August 1989, two million people create a human chain. It is 600 kilometres long, from the north coast of Estonia to the southeast of Lithuania. People hold each other's hands for fifteen minutes. Estonia eventually breaks free from Soviet Russia and gains independence in 1991.

Singing remains big in Estonia. Estonia has a strong choral tradition, and the Estonian Song Festival, held every five years, is a massive event that gathers tens of thousands of singers.

Tallinn should be your next city break. It offers life at a small-town pace, but people have a high-spirited dynamic forward-looking attitude. Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced societies in Europe.

A purple electric-lightning ball lamp on top of a brown antique trunk.

Estonia is a true digital society

After Estonia gained independence from Russia, it wanted to find ways to block Russia out where it could. With new technology, it can do just that.

To begin with, free computer training was offered to adults. Internet access was declared a human right in 2000. Children as young as seven years old start learning how to code. Today, one can vote online, is connected to doctors online, can open a business online, and can file tax returns online. Skype was created by Estonian developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn. Public services are almost all available online. Every school is online.

A physical ID gets paired with digital signatures. These get used for online banking, voting, and accessing health care records (prescriptions get issued electronically and doctors can share information online). Estonia was the first country to implement online voting in national elections.

Estonia wants to attract people to register and start businesses in the country, even if they aren’t living in Estonia. One can easily apply for a e-residency, that allows individuals from all over the world to become virtual residents of Estonia and access various digital services, start and run a business online, and sign documents digitally.

The Estonian Language Inspectorate

Having survived the Russification under the Soviet occupation, Estonians know about the importance of protecting their heritage. The Keeleinspektsioon penalizes companies for using the English language. They come around to check whether the Estonian language is used in signposts.

Two pots of purple-coloured plants on stairs leading to the entrance of a one storey dark-pastel green painted wood-paneled house with white window frames.

Being a tourist in Tallinn

There is a situation where I want to take a photo of an extraordinarily cute little house. Two guys standing with food menus under their arms in front of their restaurant, chatting. I wait several minutes; they look at me and wouldn’t move a centimetre out of my view. I ask them friendly to step to the side for just one moment. They just laugh (in a rather arrogant and malicious kind of way). They say “No, no,” and swat me away with their menus, like a fly.

They are either tired of tourists or can’t stand women or are genuinely rude. Are there too many of us visiting Tallinn?

Over the course of my weeklong stay, I get the impression that people are saturated. They are sure that a constant stream of visitors will visit Tallinn and secure their income. Why go the extra mile for tourists? I enquire on every possible occasion, and locals tell me it has got to do with the Russian oppression. People weren’t used to expressing feelings, and they keep to themselves still.

It takes my breath away that some Estonians I speak to tell me Estonia had a “not so bad time” during the German occupation, and that it can’t be compared with the horrors they had to suffer from under Soviet oppression. Overwhelmed is how I feel.

It is only three decades since the cold war ended. It takes time until people are fully healed from what they had to endure under the Russians. All this makes me wonder how much the Russians know about their history. How do they feel about their history? And do they know that people aren’t big fans of Putin? As a woman tells me in a conversation, while we discuss this: “No way do they think about anything like that. The Russians? They live in happy oblivion”.

And now, Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Keep that in mind, on your visit. Locals aren’t rude, it might just be the way they were brought up.

Tallinn is busy with visitors during the summer months. In the cooler months of the year, fewer visitors are around. There is nothing better than discovering Tallinn in peace and quiet.

What to see and do in Tallinn?


The Old Town of Tallinn is a UNESCO world heritage site

A high protective city wall runs around the old town, which is a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. If there is only one place you can visit in Tallinn, it has to be the old town, it is worth the visit alone. A maze of cobbled laneways lined with colourful crooked medieval houses. The individual boulders of the cobbled lanes are different large and small in size. They form this uneven sea of stones one must navigate.

Tallin's importance grew as a centre of the Hanseatic League in the 13th to 16th centuries. Millions of people manoeuvred their way through these lanes over hundreds of years. The Old Town of Tallinn has in fact such a wonderful charming medieval centre, that it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

You can spend hours aimlessly strolling through the streets and alleyways of the old town. You are going to find a good choice of specialty shops, art galleries, craft studios, traditional Estonian handicraft stores, and cafés and restaurants.

An illuminated shop on the ground floor of a three storey coral red painted house with white and dark red window frames.

Two light grey painted doors and two windows with light grey painted window frames on a light grey and pastel pink painted house facade.

Town Hall Square - Raekoja Plats

The Town Hall Square, Raekoja Plats in Estonian, is the lively heart of Tallinn's Old Town and one of the most iconic and picturesque locations in town. It is steeped in history, its cobbled square is surrounded by well-preserved medieval merchant houses and a maze of medieval lanes.

The obvious star of the Town Hall Square is the Gothic style Town Hall with its elaborate facade and striking tall spire. Erected in the 13th century, makes it the oldest surviving town hall in Northern Europe.

There is always one or another street performer, musician, and artist who creates a joyful atmosphere and entertains visitors. Throughout the year, the square is host to events, concerts, and festivals. Come Christmas, from around mid-November, it transforms into an enchanting Christmas Market, offering handicrafts, mulled wine, and festive delights.

Tallinn Town Hall Pharmacy: One of the oldest continuously operating pharmacies in Europe that has been serving the community since the early 15th century. It is a fully operating pharmacy but also has a tiny museum. 

Information Tallinn Town Hall Pharmacy. Raekoja plats 11, 10146 Tallinn, Estonia. Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm. Sunday closed. Tickets: Free.

Holy Spirit Church

The simple 14th-century Lutheran church with its whitewashed exterior features an ornate clock set into the wall above the entrance. Its carvings date back to the late 17th century, and that makes it Tallinn's oldest public clock.

Its special position in Old Tallinn, located on the way from the town hall square to the great guild hall, tells us that together with local tradespeople, it might also have been regularly frequented by merchants and nobility.

The interior is decorated with extensive dark woodwork and wooden figurines. When I visited, I was so lucky that somebody was playing the organ. The music created a wonderful atmosphere.

A simple 14th-century whitewashed church featuring two dark wooden entrance doors adorned with stone arches and an ornate light blue and gold clock set into the wall above the entrance.

Dark woodwork, rows of seats, and colourful wooden figurines on a church pulpit.

Dark woodwork, and rows of dark wooden seats in a church.

Information Holy Spirit Church, Pühavaimu 2, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia.

Tickets: EUR 3.

A wooden door adorned with a beautiful stone arch, and narrow and tall lattice windows on the facade of a dark grey painted facade of a church.

If you are interested in churches, you could also visit these:

St. Olaf's Church - Oleviste Kirik, Lai 50, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia.

St Nicholas Church, Niguliste 3, 10146 Tallinn, Estonia.

St. Charles Church – Kaarli Kirik, Toompea 10, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia.

St. John’s Church. Vabaduse väljak 1, 10146 Tallinn, Estonia.

Estonian History Museum – The Great Guild Hall

The Great Guild Hall of Tallinn is a historic and remarkable building located in the heart of the Estonian capital. It was constructed in the early 15th century as the central meeting place and administrative center for the wealthy and influential merchants belonging to the Great Guild. The Great Guild Hall is a symbol of Tallinn's medieval heritage, and a testament to the importance of trade and commerce in shaping the city's past.

Standing in front of the Great Guild Hall you look at an excellent example of Gothic architecture, with its ornate facades and intricate detailing. The main entrance's heavy dark wooden door is adorned with a beautiful stone arch, adding to its grandeur. Step inside to look at the impressive main hall, which features vaulted ceilings, windows allow ample natural light to flood the exhibition space. The exhibition showcases 11,000 years of Estonian history. It is here where you can gain a good understanding of what makes Estonia.

Over the centuries, the guild hall was used for all sorts of functions, including guild meetings, banquets, and social gatherings. Looking at the building's interior, decorated with intricate wooden carvings, medieval tapestries, and valuable artwork, one can very well imagine all the lavish ceremonies and celebrations that took place within its walls.

A main entrance heavy dark wooden door adorned with a beautiful stone arch next to a red wooden delivery door, of a three storey medieval light yellow painted house.

Five large glass exhibition stands in a large room under a white vaulted stone ceiling decorated with medieval-style ceiling lights.

A box full of light blue, orange, and grey banknotes.

Information Estonian History Museum - Great Guild Hall Tallinn. Pikk 17, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. Closed Sunday.

Tickets: Adults EUR 10. Family ticket (two adults and children): EUR 24.

Tallinn City Museum

This is a medieval merchant house in the old town of Tallinn. Climb down into the storage vault in the cellar and look at ceramics, metal, and porcelain. On the upper floors, you can uncover the history of the city, and immerse yourself into townpeople's stories. Find out how people lived through the centuries from medieval times until now, and how Tallinn developed over time after having weathered the terror of German and Soviet occupation.

The red rooftops and two white church towers of a medieval miniature town model.

A giant in size miniature model of a tall ship.

A giant in size miniature model of a three storey medieval whitewashed merchant house.

Information Tallinn City Museum. Vene 17, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am to 6pm.

Tickets: Adults EUR 6. Family ticket (two adults and children): EUR 12.

Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels

This museum tells you about the history of Tallinn's fortifications, and times of the plague, and about methods of torture all while you walk through tunnels, dungeons, and up and down narrow staircases.

Information Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels. Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels, Komandandi tee 2, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am to 6pm.

Tickets: EUR 12.

Museum of Photography– Fotomuuseum

The Museum of Photography tells you about the history of photography in Estonia, and overall, about Estonia's photographic heritage. Together with the permanent one there are also changing exhibitions. You have to climb up a narrow and steep staircase, and you would also need to climb down into the vaulted cellar to take it all in. The museum is directly in the centre of the old town, and it is of course housed in a medieval property. This place used to be the Town Hall's gaol and the prison warden's quarters.

When I visited, I catched the end of a lecture on the ground floor by the entrance.

Information Fotomuuseum. Raekoja 4-6, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday and on bank holidays. Tickets: EUR 5, free for children up to six. The entrance is free: on the first Sunday of the month and on Tallinn Day, 15 May, and on International Museum Day, 18 May.

Toompea Hill and Toompea Castle

Walk towards the western part of the Old Town. Toompea Hill has been a focal point of power and governance in Estonia for centuries. Toompea Castle sits on top of the foundations of the fortress built on this exact site in the 13th and 14th centuries. Toompea Hill is also home to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu).

Pikk Hermann Tower

Pikk Hermann Tower, also known as Tall Hermann, is a medieval defensive tower located within the Toompea Castle complex. The Estonian national flag is hoisted on this tower, and it serves as a symbol of Estonian independence. You can't climb the tower, but the view from up here towards the Baltic Sea is wonderful.

Tickets: free. Hours: 24/7.

Kohtuotsa and Patkuli Viewing Platforms

From up here, the view over the city is too beautiful. These two large viewing platforms offer stunning vistas over the red-roofed houses and church spires. 

Red-roofed houses and church spires under a winter light grey sky.

Information. Kohtuotsa, Kohtu 12, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia and Patkuli, Rahukohtu 5, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia.

Tickets: free.

Hours: 24/7. Go early in the day and have the platform to yourself.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

One of the landmarks on Toompea Hill is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Church. It was built in the 19th century. The cathedral has eleven bells, including the town's largest bell, which weighs a whopping 15 tonnes. Go inside, to marvel at the beautiful, chequered floor, and mosaics and icons, almost all of them glitter in the colour gold. The Russian Orthodox church has these distinctive onion domes. 

The distinct facade of a red brick Russian Orthodox church with three onion domes.

A cobbled lane along a yellow painted two storeyed period house leads to a red brick Russian Orthodox church with four onion domes, under a light grey winter sky.

A cobbled lane along a yellow painted three storeyed period house leads to a red brick Russian Orthodox church with four onion domes, under a light grey winter sky.

Information Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Lossi plats 10, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Sunday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Saturday 8am to 7pm.

St. Mary's Cathedral – Toomkirik

The oldest church in Tallinn, and in mainland Estonia, which origins dating back to the 13th century. The cathedral houses various medieval artifacts, including an exquisite 14th-century carved wooden altarpiece.

Information St. Mary's Cathedral. Toom-Kooli 6, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.

Tickets: free.

Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu - National Library of Estonia

Approaching the building, you might feel like entering a fortress of books. The eight-story building holds twenty reading rooms. A must-see for fans of brutalist architecture and monumental structures. 

Two giant staircases in a tall hall in brutalist architecture style.

National Library of Estonia, Tõnismägi 2, 10122 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 12 to 7pm, Sunday closed.

Tickets: Free. You find the National Library only about ten minutes from the medieval old town.

More libraries: Travel the World: A few of the most beautiful libraries.

Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom

The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Tallinn stands as a poignant tribute to Estonia's turbulent, and often gruesome past. The museum sits right in the heart of town and serves as a somber reminder of the dark chapters of Estonia's history, and as such as an inspiration to create a wonderful present and future.

On your visit, you are guided through the time of the German occupation and directly on through the Soviet occupation. The exhibits, artifacts, photographs, personal accounts, and interactive installations vividly portray how much Estonians had to endure, and how devastating the impact of foreign rule was on their lives and culture. You will soon understand that Estonia's struggle for independence was backed by a spirit of resilience. People were determined to preserve their identity and to end the occupation.

The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom also celebrates triumphant moments in Estonia's history. You come face to face with local heroes when they tell their stories about how they stood up against oppression and fought for the restoration of Estonia's independence. You really want to cheer loudly for Estonians once you reach the exhibition space of regaining independence in 1991.

This is the ideal place to learn about how easy it is to spread populism and false realities, to brainwash people, and understand the devastating effect of oppressive regimes. A place to understand the importance of a functioning democracy. Hate is never a good option. The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom is an inspiring place. It reminds us that we should never take freedom for granted. Freedom has no boundaries.

With Russia having invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Estonians got a stark reminder of what happened to them, and they surely didn't need one.

The sculpture of a woman with a brown bob, dressed in a red dress, black stockings, and yellow ankle boots, and a man with short cut hair, dressed in skinny dark jeans and a yellow-green chequered shirt, balancing on a scale, under a ceiling that is decorated in black and white fringed thin foil in the same pattern as the floor.

Four glass bistro tables with black chairs on the concrete floor of a room with large windows decorated with scenes of cartoons.

Two empty black folding chairs next to hundreds of colourful books trapped behind a jailed door in a room with light grey concrete walls and dark grey floor.

Information Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. Toompea 8b, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia. Hours: Monday closed. Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Tickets: Adults EUR 13. Family ticket (two adults and children): EUR 26.

How to get to Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom: You can easily walk here in about ten to fifteen minutes from Tallinn’s old town.

Telliskivi and Loomelinnak

Telliskivi is the trendy, and vibrant part of Tallinn. It hasn't always been like this; one can still see that this was the site of factories and heavy work. Today, Telliskivi is once more a busy part of town, where it is all about creativity. It is here where you can find art studios, galleries, bookshops, locally made goods at design shops, and street art in abundance.

No surprise, the economy declined during the Soviet occupation. Lots of the original architecture was neglected, and large parts of the area fell into disrepair. Fast forward to the independent and free Estonia of today. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, locals could breathe again and started to rediscover Telliskivi. The old workshops, warehouses, and factories have been converted beautifully. Their original character has been preserved and creates the perfect backdrop for cafés, restaurants, concerts, events, festivals, and exhibitions. Telliskivi is only a short walk of about twenty minutes west of the old town of Tallinn.

Fotografiska in Telliskivi

You find Fotografiska, a photographic art centre, in Telliskivi Creative City. Fotografiska is Estonia’s leading photography art centre where photography, design, sustainable food, and music come together in one space. Fotografiska is more or less open 24/7, not true, it is open seven days a week. Read all about it here: Travel Estonia. Fotografiska - The Power of Photography

Rows of coffee table photography books on white shelves in a bookshop. People sit on pastel-coloured chairs in a cafe with illuminated white- and red brick walls and light grey concrete floors. A large glass entrance door decorated with the words Fotografiska, on a red brick facade.

Information Fotografiska. Fotografiska Tallinn, Telliskivi 60a/8, 10412 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday 9am to 9pm. Tuesday to Friday 9am to 10pm. Saturday 10am to 10pm. Sunday 10am to 9pm.

Tickets: EUR 12 to 17.

Exhibitions change every few weeks.

LITERAAT Telliskivi Rahva Raamat - bookshop

Is it a bookshop with a café and restaurant, or is it a café and restaurant with a bookshop? Go and visit and decide for yourself. It is the perfect space to spend a few hours with food and books.  

A light green-painted counter that holds books and stationery in a room decorated with green plants and a wooden parquet floor.

People sit at wooden tables and on light green padded chairs in a room decorated with shelves of books and green plants and a wooden parquet floor that is laid out with light grey and light blue carpet.

Information LITERAAT. Telliskivi Rahva Raamat. Telliskivi 60-2i-hoone, 10412 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday to Thursday 9am to 10pm. Friday 9am to 11pm. Saturday 11am to 11pm. Sunday closed.

Proto Invention Factory

The Proto Invention Factory is at home on the seaside in Tallinn, the Noblessner district. In 1912, two businessmen, Emanuel Nobel, and Arthur Lessner from St. Petersburg, launched an important submarine factory in Tsarist Russia. They combined their surnames to name the factory ‘Noblessner’ (right, just like J Lo and Ben Affleck when they became Beniffer). Until 1918, when Estonia gained independence, they had built twelve submarines. The submarine production at Noblessner came to an end, but shipbuilding and shipyard operations continued for another century until August 2018.

A dark wooden desk holding stationery under two dark wood shelves holding books, a green plant, and about eleven bottles of brown and green liquid, against a bare concrete wall.

These days, Noblessner with its distinctive architectural heritage of a shipyard, is a popular district by the Baltic Sea with housing, restaurants, cafés, event spaces, and museums.

Why visit Proto? Have you ever visited the heart of the planet, raced in a self-driving car, or hunted for treasures on the ocean floor? The Invention Factory offers you all this and more with virtual reality, there are ten adventures waiting for you to be discovered.

Life-Size Hot Air Balloon - You know that warm air is lighter than cold air and rises upwards. Jump on board the world’s oldest aircraft, a life-size hot air balloon. In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers wrote aviation history when they flew the first people over Paris in a hot air balloon. Follow in their footsteps and steer a hot air balloon.

A white and red life-sized hot air balloon in a factory with concrete walls decorated with huts, plants, and lights.

Subterranean Vehicle - In the early 19th century, the first attempts at drilling tunnels were made. Picks and shovels, used until then didn't make work easy. At the time, people didn't understand much about the subterranean world. In 1846, Henri-Joseph Maus used innovative drilling methods to dig a tunnel between Italy and France.

Jump into a cage built especially for subterranean trips and put on your virtual reality headset. You will be taken on a journey to a place where no human being has ever set foot before. Travel to the centre of the earth.

Self-Driving Car - The first cars had no brakes nor a steering wheel. Streets were full of horse-drawn carts and carriages. Then, something unimaginable happened. Gustave Trouvé presented his electric tricycle at an international exhibition in Paris in 1881.

Pretend to be a developer for cars heading to the world exhibition to introduce the design. Grab a partner. One of you drives the car while the other adjusts the speed.

A coach with four thin framed wheels, packed with thirteen period-style brown leather suitcases, parked in a factory hall with concrete walls.

Flying Bicycle - In the second half of the 19th century, bicycles became popular. Before cars were invented, bicycles were the best option for transporting a person. Why not make it even better? Somebody dreamed about attaching a propeller to a bicycle, to lift it off any bumpy ground and potholes. At the invention factory, you can realize that dream.

Put on your virtual reality headset and play post man. You are going to be lifted high above an industrial town, flying above and between houses, to collect and deliver letters. Please mind the oncoming traffic.

Deep Sea Exploration - The depths of the oceans are as undiscovered as space. Submarines were developed not as transport machines for deep-sea exploration but as weapons of war. There are so many discoveries to be made still. Bathyscaphes are designed to reach the deepest depths of the ocean.

Drive a bathyscaphe to the lost city of Atlantis to recover a treasure. 

A piece of a black submarine with portholes, illuminated by a blue tube lamp, parked in a giant factory hall with concrete walls.

Wooden tables and black and white bistro chairs in a restaurant on two different levels decorated with large potted green plants, under a light grey concrete ceiling with about fifty illuminated basket lamps.

Wooden tables and large hand-woven rattan chairs and black and white bistro chairs in a restaurant with large potted green plants, under a light grey concrete ceiling with about twenty illuminated basket lamps.

Wooden tables and large hand-woven rattan chairs and black and white bistro chairs in a restaurant with large potted green plants, under a light grey concrete ceiling with about twenty illuminated basket lamps.

Information Proto Invention Factory. Peetri 10, Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 6pm. Monday closed. Cafe: Monday 11.30am to 4pm. Tuesday to Friday 11.30am to 5pm. Saturday and Sunday 11.30am to 6pm. The café at Proto Invention Factory is great for vegetarians.

Tickets: Adults, 19 years and older: EUR 14 Tuesday to Friday. EUR 16 Saturday and Sunday. Family ticket: Two adults and their children under 18 years, EUR 32 Tuesday to Friday, EUR 34 Saturday, and Sunday. Free for children under six.

While you are in Noblessner, you can also visit the Seaplane Harbour Museum.

Street Art in Tallinn

In Telliskivi, the Roterman Quarter, and in the Kalamaja District, you are going to find all sorts of murals and graffiti art. The art often has a political message that might tell you about Estonia's history, and about current affairs, and environmental issues. 

Mural of two cows on a whitewashed brick wall.

A mural of a giant artistic interpretation of a rodent with two large dark brown eyes holding a large green tree branch, on a grey clinkered wall plastered in promotional posters.

A mural of a deer, and a hand holding soil from which sprouts a green seedling.

A mural of mountain scenery around a large window of a light grey clinkered wall.

A giant-sized Rubik's cube on a muddy square in front of a two storey industrial stye warehouse, under a light grey winter sky.

Mural of the artistic interpretation of a Sphynx cat, its bright blue eyes looking up towards fish bones, with a purple-washed brick facade as background.

Mural of the artistic interpretation of a woman with long hair, full lips, and a prominent pointed nose, with a dark-grey--washed brick facade as background.

Mural with 22 green, blue, and red balloons that tow a woman with long brunette hair, dressed in a light blue t-shirt and dark stockings, towards a giant green flying fox with pointed ears, large brown eyes, and thin hands - a green-orange-yellow-red-striped-washed brick facade as background.

Mural with a man dressed in a fringed mini skirt, and a hedgehog that sits on his bum, fighting a minotaur - a green-orange-yellow-red-striped-washed brick facade as background.

A mural with five black and white ufos, two of them start their journey into the sky, leaving thick grey clouds of smoke behind - a light-blue-sprinkled-with stars-washed brick facade as background.

A mural of a pink-coloured naked bald guy with large white eyes, large white teeth, and thin stretched-out arms, sitting in a tiny, purple-coloured car.

A mural of a skeleton wearing sunglasses and a piece of fabric around his lower body, showing a peace sign while putting its left arm around a guy with a beard and short hair, dressed in skinny dark jeans, a white shirt, white sneakers, and sunglasses while both smiling at his mobile phone that sits on a selfie stick.

The large mural of a blue, yellow, turquoise, and dark-pink beetle on a white brick facade.

Two women stand in front of a white brick facade with a large mural of a naked guy, dressed only in a fringed mini skirt, holding a blue head above his head.

 Information Street Art in Tallinn:

-Telliskivi, west of the old town of Tallinn.

-Rotermann Quarter, between the old town of Tallinn, the port, and Viru Square.

-Kalamaja District, part of Põhja-Tallinn, to the northwest of the old town.

Kadriorg Art Museum – Kadriorg Palace

The Kadriorg Art Museum in Tallinn, a renowned cultural institution, houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and applied art from Western Europe and Russia from the 16th to the 20th centuries. The museum is housed in the picture-perfect Kadriorg Palace on Lasmanäe Hill.

This exquisite Baroque-style building commissioned by Russian Tsar Peter the Great, in 1718, was designed by the Italian architect Nicola Michetti, as a summer residence for the Russian royal family during their visits to Tallinn. At the time, the Tsar, inspired by Tallinn's enticing European atmosphere and its proximity to the Baltic Sea, decided to build a palace in Tallinn. All around the palace is a beauty of a park.

The Tsar named the palace Kadriorg (and by now the whole district holds this name) in honour of his wife Catherine I. Catherine and her husband had twelve children, and she accompanied her husband on all sorts of military campaigns and business trips. When Peter the Great died in 1725, Catherine as the empress, became the first woman to rule over the Russian Empire. She died only two years after her husband. The palace was still used, and over time, most of the Russian rulers visited their imperial summer residence in Kadriorg.

Kadriorg Palace housed the Art Museum of Estonia in the 1920s, and for 45 years from 1946 to 1991. In the 1930s, it was the residence of the Head of State of the Republic of Estonia. In 2000, after almost a decade of extensive restoration, the palace re-opened once more as the Kadriorg Art Museum. The result is mesmerizingly beautiful.

You can also visit the House of Peter the Great, where the Tsar and his wife Catherine I stayed on their visits to Tallinn before the Kadriorg palace was built. 

Three storeyed, grand red washed baroque-style palace with white window frames in a garden under a grey winter sky.

Information Kadriorg Art Museum. Weizenbergi 37 (Kadriorg Park), 10127 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. Closed Sunday.

Tickets: Adults EUR 9. Family ticket (two adults and children): EUR 18.

There is a cute little café in the basement, it is open during museum hours. The café at Kadriorg Art Museum is great for vegetarians.

How to get to Kadriorg Art Museum: You can easily walk to Kadriorg in about 30 minutes from Tallinn’s old town. Another option is to get here by tram Line 1: Kopli – Balti jaam – Hobujaama – Kadriorg and Line 3: Tondi – Vabaduse väljak – Hobujaama – Kadriorg.

Information House of Peter the Great: Mäekalda tn 2, Tallinn Kadriorg, Estonia.

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 6pm. Sunday and Monday closed.

Tickets: Adults EUR 5, family ticket EUR 12.

Kumu Art Museum in Kadriorg

The Kumu Art Museum, located in the Kadriorg district of Tallinn was built as an art museum, to preserve and interpret Estonian art from the 18th century to the present day.

Construction of the property took three years and followed the Finnish architect’s Pekka Vapaavuori vision of combining Estonia’s heritage with modernity. It was the Estonian public who chose the name of the museum. Kumu is a combination of the Estonian words kunst and muuseum, art and museum in English. As I also found out when visiting, the word kumu in Estonian means a response or rumour.

Kumu plays a vital role in promoting and preserving Estonian history, art, and culture. When you approach Kumu from the Kadriorg park you instantly see that Kumu is a true architectural landmark in its own right. Once inside, you walk through light-filled galleries and open spaces. It is overall so aesthetically pleasing that at times one might almost forget to look at the art on display. The paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia exhibits kindle a sense of wonder and reflection. As a visitor, you are constantly reminded how big a source creativity and art are as an inspiration for all walks of life.

There are ever-changing exhibitions together with three permanent ones: Landscapes of Identity: Estonian Art 1700–1945. Conflicts and Adaptations. Estonian Art of the Soviet Era (1940–1991). The Future is in One Hour: Estonian Art in the 1990s. On your visit, you are going to walk through time, through good and bad and horrible times.

Information Kumu Art Museum. Weizenbergi 34, Valge 1, 10127 Tallinn, Estonia.

Hours: Monday closed. Tuesday to Wednesday 10am to 6pm. Thursday 10am to 8pm. Friday to Sunday 10am to 6pm.

Tickets: Adults EUR 12. Family ticket (two adults and children): EUR 24.

On the first floor of the Kumu Art Museum, near the Kadriorg Park-side entrance, you find a café, that serves snacks, baked goods, salads, soups, as well as hot and cold drinks. The café at Kumu Art Museum is great for vegetarians.

How to get to Kumu Art Museum: You can easily walk to the Kumu Art Museum in about 40 minutes from Tallinn’s old town. Another option is to get here by tram Line 1: Kopli – Balti jaam – Hobujaama – Kadriorg and Line 3: Tondi – Vabaduse väljak – Hobujaama – Kadriorg.

You can visit the Kadriorg Palace and Kumu Art Museum after each other within one day since they are next-door neighbours. Be warned: It is a lot of history, information, and inspiration for one day.

Where to eat and where to drink coffee in Tallinn?


Café Maiasmokk - Kohvik Maiasmokk

Café Maiasmokk is Tallinn's oldest cafe. Maiasmokk, sweet tooth in Estonian, has been in this exact same location since the year 1864. The wonderful interior with its dark red velvet and mirrored walls and dark wood paneling on its first floor has been unchanged for over 100 years. It is the ideal place to spend some time and devour handmade cakes and pastries. As if that wouldn't be too good to be true already, there is also a marzipan room on the premises, where one can learn all about marzipan. Café Maiasmokk is great for vegetarians.

Information Café Maiasmokk. Pikk street 16, Tallinn. Hours Monday to Sunday 9am to 9pm. Marzipan room Monday to Sunday 10am to 9pm.

Rataskaevu 16

In my head, I call it the restaurant without a name. Their address is the name. The moment you walk in you feel welcomed. Wooden tables, and matching chairs with sculpted curves, red brick walls, and low-hanging table lights. The Nordic and rustic style offers oozes the greatest warmth and comfort. All waiters are friendly. They offer several vegetarian options, depending on the season. Rataskaevu 16 is great for vegetarians.

Restaurant Rataskaevu 16, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia. Phone +372 642 4025. Sunday to Thursday 12pm to 11pm. Friday and Saturday 12pm to 12pm. Book in advance.

Stenhus Restaurant

You find Stenhus Restaurant directly in the Old Town of Tallinn in the picturesque cellar of the 5-star Schlössle Hotel. Stenhus is such a romantic place. White table linen, exposed medieval stone walls, and log fires. Products are sourced from local farms and producers, with a focus on organic products, and the menu changes according to the season. Stenhus Restaurant is great for vegetarians.

Stenhus Restaurant. Pühavaimu 13-15, Tallinn, Estonia. Hours: 12pm to  10.30pm. Book in advance. Phone: +372 699 7780.

Fika Cafe

Are you looking for speciality coffee? You came to the right place. They serve espresso-based drinks as well as filter coffees. Fika also serves all sorts of danish and banana bread and sandwiches. Fika Cafe is great for vegetarians.


Information Fika. Telliskivi 60a-1, Loomelinnak, 10412 Tallinn, Estonia. Hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

For more speciality coffee in Tallinn, go and visit:

Café Kiosk No 1, Toompuiestee 22a, 10149 Tallinn, Estonia.

Brick Coffee Roastery, Telliskivi 60M, 10412 Tallinn, Estonia.

Paper Mill Coffee, Masina 20, 10144 Tallinn, Estonia.

Säde Kohviteek, Rüütli 4, 51007 Tartu, Estonia.

Where to stay in Tallinn? Schlössle Hotel

Directly in the heart of Tallinn’s medieval and Unesco-listed Old Town, the Schlössle is a gorgeous boutique hotel. The antique tapestries and furniture, thick stone walls, and massive wooden beams create a unique atmosphere. The building dates back to medieval times, and you will be carried back in history.

The cordial staff ensures that you will have a memorable and relaxing stay. During my weeklong stay, I started my days with long breakfasts and visited their spa for massages, after exciting days of sightseeing. There is also a sauna.

Information Schlössle Hotel. Puhavaimu 1315, Tallinn, Estonia, 10123. 17 rooms, 6 suites. Check-in after 2pm. Check-out before 12pm. Visit the website for bookings and more information.

Travel Information Tallinn

Visa requirements for Estonia

You can apply for the Estonian Schengen Visa, as a Member State of the EU Estonia is a member state of the Schengen Area. Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa, only a valid ID-card or passport. Visit this website to see whether you need a Visa to visit Estonia.

How to get to Tallinn

Public transport: Catch a ferry from neighbouring Helsinki in Finland.

By plane: Most European airports offer direct flights to Tallinn. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is a few kilometres from the centre of town. Catch the tram 4 from the airport. The trip to Tallinn’s old town takes only 20 minutes. You can buy the ticket (EUR 3) from the driver.

Best time to visit Tallinn

Temperatures in Tallinn are pleasant in summer and rarely rise above 30 degrees Celsius (June, July, and August). Autumns can be wet and grey. It can get seriously chilly and freezing in winter, with temperatures well below zero. Bring warm clothes (beanie, scarf, gloves, thick winter coat, thick boots) if you decide to visit in the autumn and winter months.

Estonia – Currency and how to pay

Estonia is a member of the European Union. The official currency in Estonia is the Euro. Exchange money on arrival at the airport, or get some cash at an ATM. You can pay in cash still almost everywhere (some shops/restaurants/cafes will only accept cash). Credit cards are widely accepted.

What language do they speak in Estonia?

The official language in Estonia is Estonian. Parts of the population also speak Russian. As a visitor, it is easy to get around with English (if that doesn’t work try German or Swedish).

Wi-Fi in Tallinn

Free Wi-Fi is available (and fast) in most places like hotels, restaurants, cafes, public transport, and museums.

Search on The Touristin for more Capitals in the Baltic States: Travel Latvia. Riga Guide for First Time Visitors, and Travel Lithuania. Guide to Vilnius for First Time Visitors.

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