Summertime in Tallinn, Estonia is enchanting and if you’re spending any time in Finland, this is a great side trip to take.
It’s beautiful, it’s old (as in medieval old), and it’s busy. There are all kinds of fun things to see, but be careful of the ferry schedule because some of these tourist spots can get crazy. If you catch some of the sights at the right time, you’ll be walking shoulder to shoulder with tourists or battling for a spot on the edge of a lookout cliff to get the perfect picture. Of course, it is worth it to check out this medieval town.
One of the easiest and most relaxing ways to get to Tallinn is by ferry. There’s a ferry that leaves Helsinki a few times a day and it’s about a two hour ride. Once in Tallinn, the port is just a quick cab ride into Old Town, which is where the majority of the interesting sites are located.
Here are our top five favorite spots in Tallinn:
The City Walls
Climbing the city walls just might have been my number one favorite in Tallinn. The walls around the Old Town were built between the 14–1600s and there is a section that is open for the public to climb. You can access three towers: the Nun’s Tower, the Sauna Tower, and the Golden Foot Tower. If you are up for a little challenge (meaning very narrow, dark and winding staircases) then you’ll enjoy the great views at the top.
The Bastion Passages are tunnels that were built underground in the 1600s to initially help fortify the town. Over the years they have served many different purposes. These tunnels are only accessible with a tour guide who will take you back in time to explain their different uses. Kiek in de Kök means peek in the kitchen and the tour does explain the meaning of the name.
The KGB museum is located on the 23rd floor of the Sokos Hotel Viru. This floor is also only accessible with a guided tour that should be booked in advance. The guide will take you back to the Soviet era where the KGB kept a secret watch over the hotel guests.
Museum of Photography
The Museum of Photography is housed in a building from the 1400s, that was once an old prison. Just the building itself is an interesting place to check out. This museum houses many antique cameras and old photos that tell an interesting story of Tallinn.
Old Town Square
There is a big square in the middle of Old Town with many restaurants around to grab some food or coffee. In the summertime, this is a great place to sit back, relax and do some people watching. On certain days there is a market set up with vendors and lots of shopping possibilities. Check out the market schedule ahead of time since it’s not open everyday.