Things You Need To Know Before You Travel To Tallinn, Estonia

Things You Need To Know Before You Travel To Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, a state in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe.  Sitting ideally on the northern coast of the country it is strategically located on the shores of Gulf of Finland. It lies to the south of Helsinki, Finland, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg.


Read More:  Why Estonia Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

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Small Town Like A Large Castle


The earliest mention of Tallinn is by Muhammad-al-Idrisi, an Arab cartographer in 1154 as a “small town like a large castle” and marked its existence on the world map. In 1219, it came under Danish rule who built their castle on Toompea. 




Tallinn, Estonia


The name Tallinn is thought to be derived from Taani Linn, Estonian for “Danish Town”. It was soon sold to the Teutonic Knights and prospered as an important member of the Hanseatic League, a German-dominated military and mercantile alliance and developed as a major medieval port city.

Due to its German influence, it came to be known as “Reval” from the early 13th century till the 1920s when it was also ruled by Swedish and Russian rulers.

Today, the oldest capital city of Northern Europe is known among the top 10 digital cities in the world and was the European Capital of Culture for 2011. 



Medieval Old Town, Tallinn




The Old Town was built between the 13th and 16th centuries when Tallinn was known by the name Reval and was a thriving member of the Hanseatic League.

It is listed on the World Unesco Heritage List.

Relive fairytale of cobbled streets, colored gabled houses, iron street lamps, Gothic spires and medieval markets neatly packaged within the almost 2 km intact walls running around Old Town dotted with guard towers.

Enter the 18 century via the Viru gate (living symbol of the town), the pair of picturesque ivy-covered towers and get the first glimpse of historic Tallinn.



One can actually climb the guard towers and enjoy the red-tiled roof view of Tallinn’s Old Town which still functions as a living city.

A visit to the Gothic Town Hall will leave you impressed, the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe. The octagonal building functions as a center for concerts to entertain kings and presidents.

At the same time doubles as a museum where a visitor can see its colorful meeting halls, vaulted ceilings, priceless art treasures. Spot the Old Thomas (Estonian: Vana Toomas) vane standing as a guardian on top of the spire of Tallinn Townhall since 1530 as an integral part of its rich history.


First Christmas Tree


 The best time to visit is in winter when it takes on a magical quality. The first Christmas tree in Europe was erected in its Old Town Square in 1441, a tradition continued till date.

The Square is the heart of all social activities, a venue for open-air concerts, medieval age carnival and Christmas fairs.




Saint Olav’s Church and Tower




The church was built sometime during the early 13th century and is dedicated to King Olaf II of Norway. Between the 15th and 16th century this was the tallest building in the world.

Its gigantic 159-meter spire which served as a signpost for approaching ships was burnt down by lightning and replaced by a 124-metre spire.

Till today it dominates the skyline of Tallinn. A visitor can climb on top of the stone portion of this church for a magnificent view of the city’s fabled landscape.  






Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn, EstoniaTake a 15-minute walk on the outskirts of Tallinn to a large area of the forested park with zig-zag paths and numerous ponds.

It is home to numerous villas and presidential palace. The Kadriorg summer palace is the jewel in its crown. It was built by Peter, the Great, Tsar of Russia for his wife Catherine during the early 18 century.

It is a beautiful piece of Baroque architecture surrounded by fountains and well-manicured gardens. It houses the famous Estonian Art Museum where one can see a medley of paintings belonging to the 16th to 20th century by Western and Russian artists besides sculptures and other works of art.  






Bohemian charm welcomes you when you enter Kalamaja. The name literally means “Fish House” in Estonian.

Since the 14th century, it has been the home of fishermen, fishmongers, and boat wrights who built colorful melange of wooden houses to live here, forming a part of Tallinn’s unique architectural legacy.

Throughout Tallinn’s history, this town has served as a fishing harbor. This place is also the home of the biggest sea center known as the Seaplane Harbour.  


Estonian Open Air Museum




Turn back the clock by going back in time. Lying on the outskirts of the city is the Estonian Open Air Museum featuring rural architecture of 18 and 19 centuries.

This well preserved forested park is complete with its windmills, farmyards, net sheds, wooden chapel, village school, and the staff demonstrates how people worked and lived in the past.

Traditional dances are performed by the folklore troupe and family-oriented theme fairs are held. Experience eating food cooked in a village tavern. 




Toompea Castle




The first stone fortress came into existence here in the 12th century by the German Knights of Sword on this limestone hill. Since then, every ruling dynasty has built its stronghold here.

Today, Toompea Castle is the home of Estonia’s Parliament. Do visit the Cathedral of St Mary and Tower, must-see attraction while you are here. The view platforms on the Toompea Hill offer picture-postcard views of the medieval city to take back home as precious memories.  


Read More:  Why Estonia Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

Book:  Sightseeing Tours and Activities


Tallinn On Google Map




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  1. Posted by La Vacanza Travel | 25 Aug 15

    “Your Holiday is our Destination” is our Motto. We are committed to offering authentic & holistic travel experiences. La Vacanza is a leading travel agency headquartered in New Delhi, India.

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