Looking for all the best things to do in Tallinn? I’ve been twice now and thoroughly enjoyed both times. Here’s what I think you should do to really make the most of the city…
Loved Tallinn. I was expecting drunk stag groups and grim Soviet vibes but instead I found a quaint and unique city filled with interesting boutique shops, healthy restaurants, hipster bars, stunning parks and a full schedule of year round festivals.
I’ll definitely be going back.
I took a lot of photos in my four days in Tallinn, seeing as I’d just got my new camera, so here are 31 of my most favourite, guaranteed to make you want to book that cheapo flight and get yourself over to Estonia.
Great Things to Do in Tallinn
Enjoy this list of what you really need to do if you’re visiting Tallinn anytime soon!
1. Visit the many healthy restaurants
Tallinn is home to a surprising number of healthy restaurants, and Salt is one of them. Serving fresh seafood, such as octopus and scallops, this restaurant serves delicious entrees based on a fusion of different international cuisines.
Another fantastic healthy restaurant is NOP Cafe and Shop, which is committed to sustainability and the environment. The rotating menu features organic staples like avocado toast, kale salads, and quinoa-based dishes.
2. Go to the Tallinn Wine Museum, for samples
The Museum of Estonian Drinks Culture is one of Tallinn’s remarkable hidden gems. At this museum, you’ll learn about Estonia’s wine-making history, taste delicious wines, and tour the 800-year-old wine cellar. For only 8 euros, you can purchase a ticket to the museum, along with two wine tastings.
3. Enjoy the stunning viewpoints
Tallinn boasts several picturesque views, the most famous being the Khostuosa Viewing Platform. Showcasing the backdrop of the city, this scenic view is a must-see. This Instagram-worthy photo opportunity reads, “The Times We Had,” although no one actually knows the history behind the phrase.
Another stunning viewpoint is located in the Danish King’s Graden, located opposite St. Nicholas’s Church and Toompea. Don’t forget to pose next to the sign that reads “Breathe Baby.”
4. Go to the Tallinn waterfalls
While you can find an abundance of greenery and small waterfalls in the city centre, there are several other major waterfalls near Tallinn. The Jagala waterfall is one of Estonia’s most famous and tallest waterfalls.
Only a half-hour drive from Tallinn, Jagala is incredibly gorgeous in the winter when it partially freezes. Other waterfalls near Tallinn include the Treppoja waterfalls, Keila waterfall, and Joaveski waterfall.
5. Book in with the hipster barbers
With hipster barbershops, flea markets, vegan restaurants, and an abundance of artists, Tallinn is a hipster’s dream! If you’re a fan of this sort of atmosphere, visit the Telliskivi Creative Centre, located in the Kalamaja area of Tallinn.
From street murals to artisan shops, this old Soviet factory complex is an up-and-coming neighborhood. While you’re here, check out the Renard Coffee Shop, situated in a multipurpose building with another barbershop, mechanic shop, and jewelry store.
6. Enjoy some al fresco dining by Tallinn castle
While visiting Tallinn, be sure to eat at Katharinethal Castle Cafe, a cafe and bakery located right next to Kadriorg Palace. After you walk through the park and museum, sit on the cafe’s outdoor terrace and satisfy your hunger with delicious pastries and coffee drinks.
For dinner, check out Restaurant Rataskaevu, only a three-minute walk from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Top-notch cuisine and an outdoor terrace create a lovely dining atmosphere.
7. Chill at the beautiful parks surrounding the Old Town
Green spaces abound near Tallinn’s Old Town. Snelli Park, near the centre of Tallinn, runs along an ancient moat that fortified the city. You can relax and enjoy the outdoors, take a walk on the paved paths, watch the ducks, or savour the medieval atmosphere of this area.
Another great park near Tallinn’s center is Kanuti Garden. This small garden, showcasing a serene fountain, is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the outdoors any time of year. Deer’s Park is situated under the city walls of Tallinn, creating a unique atmosphere for walking or sitting on one of the many benches. The park also hosts a fantastic playground that’s perfect for the kids.
8. Explore the enticing passages
Tallinn’s Old Town is a maze of cobblestoned passageways, narrow streets, and quaint buildings. Along the way, you will see impressive cathedrals, colourful houses, historical museums, and several local businesses. As you wander through this area of Tallinn, it will feel as though you have been transported back in time.
9. Enjoy the views of pink houses overlooking parks
10. Admire the cool cars in cool bars
11. Visit the beaches 5 mins away on the bus
Located next to the Baltic Sea, Tallinn has several beach areas. Just a few minutes away by bus, you will find Kalarand. This beach is home to several large rocks, clean water, and beautiful seaside views.
Another nearby beach is Linnahali Rand, a quiet coastal area ideal for relaxing and watching the waves.
12. And even more beaches 10 minutes away
A few minutes further, you will find Russalka Rand, a beach area with captivating sunsets. While swimming isn’t allowed here, Russalka is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll at dusk.
A bit further east, you will find Pirita Beach. Even though this is a longer drive from Tallinn, it is entirely worth it. White sands, beautiful forests, and sparkling waters are just a few highlights of this coastal area.
13. Relax by the park pagodas
14. Visit Kadriorg Palace aka ‘Catherine’s Valley Palace’
Kadriorg Palace dates back to 1718, when Peter the Great of Russia bought a small house for his wife. The impressive existing palace results from a massive renovation headed by Nicholas I of Russia in 1827. Today, this majestic building houses the Kadriorg Art Museum. You can admire the abundance of art while enjoying the rich interior.
15. Wander round the gardens in Kadriorg Park
Kadriorg Palace is surrounded by lush gardens and impressive landscaping, known as Kadriorg Park. Peaceful fountains, colourful flowerbeds, and Japanese gardens abound throughout the 70 hectares of this area.
The most substantial body of water in this park is the Swan Pond, surrounded by flower gardens, making this a picturesque location for walking.
16. Enjoy the Old Town architecture
17. Go on the Tallinn train
18. Explore the Tunnels that connect the city
19. Wander the colourful streets
20. Climb the towers and turrets eyeing the city
21. Visit this tower, which is a museum
22. Drink at the many hipster bars
Tallinn’s Old Town is home to an impressive number of hipster bars. NoKu, which used to be a members-only club, is now open to everyone – if you can figure out how to get in. With no signs or labels, it may take you some time to figure out its location. However, NoKu’s door is blue and red, and is usually surrounded by smokers. There’s also a building code, which may or may not be 2580 (sometimes it changes). Other notable bars include Must Puundel, Koht, and Von Krahl.
23. Relax in the cute little market square
Tallin’s charming Town Hall Square is picturesque no matter the time of year. In the summer, it holds several outdoor cafes and medieval festivals. The Town Hall Square is decorated with hundreds of twinkly lights and Christmas decorations during the winter, with a massive spruce tree at the centre.
These decorations create an enchanting backdrop for the Christmas market every holiday season, which dates back to 1441.
24. Explore the many viewing points
25. Visit this restaurant that overlooks the previous view
26. Check out the Presidential Palace
27. Sit here for a coffee
Best things to do in Tallinn, Estonia
As you’ve read, there are loads of great things to do in Tallinn. It’s also one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for a cheeky weekend away. Hope this has shown you there’s more to Tallinn than the main square. Just let me know if you have any questions about Tallinn in the comments box below.