Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, located at the top of the country just across the way from Helsinki and a little ‘down the road’ from St Petersburg. It’s a cute little city made up of cobbled streets and historic buildings. It is also on a hill which makes for some great look out points.
Walk around town
We spent roughly 36 hours in Tallinn split over 2 days at the end of our Baltic adventure. We lucked out with an awesome AirBnB located right in the middle of town and was one of the best places we’ve stayed. After driving up from Parnu our first port of call was some lunch!
We actually ended up at this crazy German beer hall twice as it had great beer. I can imagine in the height of summer it must be packed as it was HUGE and right off the main square. We grabbed a bench outside and ordered some beer, garlic bread and some crispy pigs ears. Yes you read that right crispy pigs ears. They were actually excellent and I would totally eat them again. You can also get a tasting flight of 7 beers as well which was also excellent – we shared one! Sufficiently fed and watered our first real stop was the Museum of Estonian Drinking Culture.
It sounds a lot more interesting than it actually was. It took a little while to find down a small side alley but once we got there we were given a glass of fruit wine to walk around the museum with. You venture downstairs to a room that has some exhibits and information about the history of wine making in Estonia.
The museum is in the Toompea area which meant we also saw St Mary’s Church and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which was awesome.
Wandering around Toompea you’re up the hill so you get some amazing views over the city.
The centre of town
You can’t go to Tallinn and not visit the Town Hall Square, it is basically the centre of Tallinn. All roads lead to the Town Hall Square. It is much like any other European city with big tall buildings around the edge that now house some restaurants and places to grab a drink. On our second day in Tallinn we had some amazing burger with beetroot and pickles right on the square under cover whilst it poured with rain! It was pretty reasonably priced from memory as well.
To end our first day in Tallinn we decided to go to a highly rated English Pub, a Scotland Yard Pub to be precise. It was one of the strangest places I’ve ever been. Located just outside the historic centre it’s quite a large pub that is decked out as if it was an old English library with dark leather seats and green lamp shades. What made it stranger was the staff were dressed up as police officers.
I’m not entirely sure where the women got their outfits from but I’m pretty sure they weren’t regulation attire!! We had some dinner (nothing to write home about) and some drinks before calling it a night.
Our final day in the Baltic’s
Our second day in Tallinn and our last day in the Baltic’s was sidelined for things we didn’t manage to do on day 1. As there was a flight of 7 beers involved on day 1 we did have a few items to tick off!
First up was the Marzipan Museum. A museum it is not. It is also home to the oldest cafe in Tallinn. We managed to squeeze in to see some old marzipan and purchase some small marzipan souvenirs. The cafe was packed. Too packed for my patience levels – one for next time!
St Olaf’s Church and the Three Sisters are located one street apart from each other so we walked up to them. Three Sisters are a less impressive version of the Three Brothers in Riga, St Olaf’s had a service on so we only popped our heads in. A better activity was just wandering around the side streets. You really quickly get away from the crowds and can find a quiet corner to yourself. We stumbled upon an outdoor theatre and got a little lost but enjoyed some down time.
Aside from some shopping for mittens our last stop before the airport was calling us was the Tallinn City Museum. Located right next to our AirBnB it has 4 floors of Estonian culture. Floor 1 contained an exhibition on Estonia every 10 years from 1918, another contained the largest collection of ceramics, china and tin vessels I’ve ever seen and the top 2 floors were on the history of Tallinn. There was SO much information. You could easily spend all day reading all the information. It was pretty quiet when we went which was nice, although a little like a library.
An end to a fantastic trip!
Before we knew it our time in Tallinn was up. It’s a cute town with lots of things to do and see, some great places to eat and is really affordable. I’d love to head back in the winter, I imagine the Christmas markets are epic!
We really enjoyed our week in the Baltics, it was a perfect mix of adventure, nature and relaxation. Easy to get around and only a few hours from the UK it’s a great destination for those looking for something a bit different.