Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, only 70 km (43 mi) south of Helsinki. At the historical and medieval heart of the city is the hill of Toompea, covered in cobbled streets and filled with medieval houses and alleyways. The lower town spreads out from the foot of the hill, still protected by the remnants of a city wall. Around the city wall is a series of well-maintained green parks, great for strolling.
The city's old town has been astonishingly well preserved and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. It is now in better shape than ever, with the bigger roads converted into fashionable shopping streets reminiscent of Zürich or Geneva. The Old Town is packed with tourists, especially in summer, with the traditional day-trippers from sister city Helsinki increasingly supplemented by Europeans taking advantage of cheap flights.
Alas, the new town sprawling all around is largely built in a typical concrete, Soviet style, now joined with glass-and-steel cubes celebrating the post-Soviet economic boom. The new centre of town is Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) at the edge of the old town, and nearby is the giant matchbox of Hotel Viru, the former Intourist flagship and notorious den of Cold War intrigue (every room was tapped and monitored by the KGB!).
Tallinn is a historic city dating back to medieval times. The first fortress on Toompea was built in 1050 and Tallinn was first recorded on a world map in 1154. In 1219, the city was conquered by Valdemar II of Denmark, but it was soon sold to the Hanseatic League in 1285. The city, known as Reval at the time, prospered as a trading town in the 14th century, and much of Tallinn's historic centre was built at this time.
Tallinn then became a pawn in the geopolitical games of its big neighbours, passing into Swedish hands in 1561 and then to Russia under Peter the Great in 1710. By World War I and the ensuing brief Estonian independence (starting 1918) Tallinn's population had reached 150,000.
Estonia was eventually occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, only to be conquered by Nazi Germany (1941–44) and then retaken by the Soviets. In World War II, the city was quite extensively bombed by the Soviets, although luckily the medieval town remains. The Soviet Union undertook a program of massive Slavic migration, and just over 40% of Tallinn's current inhabitants are Slavic (compared to an average of 28% for the entire country). On 20 August 1991, Estonia declared independence and Tallinn became its capital once again.
Today Tallinn is a bustling, gleaming metropolis of 400,000 people. However, among the tall glassy buildings and corporate headquarters, Tallinn retains an inner charm seldom found elsewhere. Estonia considers itself a Northern European/Scandinavian country, with very close ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties to Finland, and visiting Tallinn you will find a mix of at least three architectures in this very visual city—old Europe (the city walls with rustic buildings and charming living areas with well-preserved and colourful wooden houses of bourgeois taste of 1920s), Soviet brutalist (concrete apartment blocks), and modern Europe (including McDonald's next to the city walls!).
- Tourist Information Centre in Old Town, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Niguliste 2 / Kullassepa 4.
The most common ferry route is from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn Port, which has upwards of 20 departures daily. Depending on the ferry, journey time is anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 hours. Prices average €16-30 one way, depending on operator, season (summer costs more), day of week (Fri and Sat cost more) and time of day (to Tallinn in the morning and back in the evening is popular and hence more expensive). Particularly popular are day cruises, which can go for as little as €19 return. All ferries except Linda Line's catamarans can also carry cars, from €25 one way.
Eckerö and Viking usually have the cheaper fares, as they are more geared towards day-trippers and the party crowd who come to have a great time on board and tend to spend more in the bars, restaurants and shops on board. On the other hand Tallink and especially Linda Line are more geared towards frequent travelers such as Estonians working in Finland.
The following companies operate ferries between Tallinn and Helsinki
- Eckerö Line – Operates only one ship, the 2000-passenger Finlandia (twice a day, travel time 2.5 hr). Often has the cheapest fares. If you take the morning sailing to Tallinn and the evening sailing back you will have about seven hours in Tallinn.
- Linda Line – Small catamarans Merilin and Karolin. The fastest option (1.5 hr) with frequent departures, but susceptible to bad weather. More expensive than the other ships. Apr-Nov only (or as long as the sea is clear of ice).
- Tallink Silja – Up to 6 departures daily on large Star and Superstar ferries (2 h). They also operate the Silja Europa (3.5 hr), a 3000-passenger behemoth with cabins for easy overnight stays in Tallinn. Discounts are available to Eurail pass holders. As this company has more departures you will have more flexibility planning your day trip.
- Viking Line – Large Viking XPRS ferry (2.5 hr). Departs Helsinki midday and late in the evening. Unfortunately the day departure from Helsinki is very late (11:30) and you will have less than four hours to spend in Tallinn (you need to be back on board half an hour before departure) before the ship sails back. On Sundays the ship leaves even earlier. If taking this boat you would better stay overnight in Tallinn if you want to do any serious sightseeing.
All ferries except Linda Line dock at Reisisadam port, to the north of the center. Tallink uses Terminal D at the south-eastern side of the bay and Eckerö and Viking the Terminal A/B at the northwestern side. At Terminal A/B you can grab a useful free city map just before exiting the terminal. From there, city bus #2 and commercial bus #90K operate to both the city centre (A. Laikmaa stop), inter-city bus station (Autobussijaam stop) and the airport (Lennujaam stop). Alternatively, you can take a leisurely 15 min walk toward the Old Town that is easily visible from the terminals. View a map of route 2.
Linda Line uses the Linnahall terminal, a short distance to the west from Reisisadam, and is also within walking distance, with a stop for bus #2. The journey from the port to the city centre is not all that impressive but don't be shocked - this isn't the real Tallinn!
You can sail with a yacht to Old City Marina, the special harbour for recreational vessels.
If you are traveling with your car on the ferry, be aware that the traffic in the harbor can be a bit chaotic as everyone tries to get out from the area as quickly as possible and lanes are not clearly marked, especially around Terminal D.
Tallinn Airport (IATA: TLL), also known as Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport or Ülemiste Airport, is 2 km south-east of the city centre on the eastern shore of Lake Ülemiste. A pleasantly quiet airport, it has a good choice of cafes and free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal building. Car rental desks are located on the bottom floor next to the terminal entrance.
Tallinn is the hub for Estonian Air, which operates daily flights to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, Vilnius, Kiev, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Copenhagen. These flights can be connected with multiple routes by Aeroflot, Rossiya, SAS and KLM. More connecting flights are operated by Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), AirBaltic (via Riga), Finnair/Flybe (via Helsinki), Aeroflot (via Moscow), and Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul). Tallinn also has daily connections to Warsaw (LOT), Oslo (Norwegian), and London Gatwick (EasyJet). Ryanair flights operate in summer (Barcelona, Dublin, Dusseldorf, London Stansted) but effectively cease during the winter months. If you are not excited by any of these options, consider flying to Riga or Helsinki.
To travel between the airport and the city:
Thinking of taking the tram to or from the airport?
Tram lines 2 and 4 have their eastern terminus at the Ülemiste tram stop, located in the Ülemiste district, where the airport is too. Does this mean that the tram will drop you off at the terminal? Nope, the tram is not going anywhere near the airport. Ülemiste tram stop is about a kilometer from the airport terminal as the crow flies, but in practice you would need to walk almost three km, as you would need to cross the railway.
- Taxis should cost €7–10.
- Bus #2 is the only city bus serving the airport. The journey to the Old Town (A. Laikmaa stop near Hotel Viru) takes approximately 15 minutes. Be careful because both inbound and outbound line #2 buses stop at the airport. To get to the city center, use the bus stop next to the terminal entrance and catch the bus travelling towards "Reisisadam" (the passenger port), and not towards "Mõigu", which is a residential area on the outskirts of the city. The bus stop in the city center (A. Laikmaa) is located between Hotel Tallink and the Viru Center shopping mall/intra-city bus terminal. The bus does not stop in the intra-city bus terminal itself. You can buy a ticket from the driver (€1.60, no change given) or purchase a rechargeable "green card" from the R-Kiosk located in the terminal building (see Transport). View a map of route 2.
You can also hop on one of the hourly Sebe buses to Tartu. They stop in front of the terminal. Tickets can be bought from the driver or from the ticket machine installed on the ground floor of the terminal building. Buses to other Estonian destinations depart from the city bus station (see below) and do not stop at the airport.
Copterline used to run a helicopter service from Helsinki. After a crash in 2005 the flights have been suspended and recommenced a couple of times. Copterline's home page states that service would recommence in August 2013 but as of December there are still no new helicopter flights across the gulf.
Tallinn train station (Balti jaam) is immediately west of the Old Town. It is the hub of local Estonian trains operated by Elron in the directions of Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi, Paldiski, and a few other Estonian cities. Go Rail provides daily international services to Moscow (15 hr) and Saint Petersburg (7 hr) in Russia.
Moscow can be reached by an overnight train, which is very similar to long-distance trains in Russia and the ex-USSR. You can choose between 2-bed compartments and 4-bed compartments in a sleeper, and a reclining seat in a seat car. Free Wi-Fi and on-board restaurant available. On the downside, expect border checks in the middle of the night and high price (60€/130€ one-way in a seat car/sleeper).
The St. Petersburg train departs from Tallinn early in the morning and returns to Estonia in the evening. Despite very bumpy tracks and roaring diesel engine, this train is cosy and fairly comfortable. Its inconveniences are merely part of its charm. Expect free Wi-Fi and abundant power sockets, as well as train attendants who do not speak a word of English. A small bar in the 1st class coach offers reasonably priced snacks. 1st class coach (€32 one-way) entails face-to-face seats with tables in between. 2nd class (27€) is without tables, and the seats are arranged in rows. Outside holiday periods in Russia, the train runs half-empty and offers a good alternative to buses.
International train tickets can be bought from the ticket office at the railway station (daily 08:00–19:00), GoRail travel agencies in large shopping malls, and from train attendants. Travellers from Russia can also buy tickets using the Russian railways website. However, remember to print out the paper ticket while you are still in Russia (see Russia for details). Electronic tickets are not accepted (likewise, don't buy tickets on-line when you travel from Estonia to Russia).
The intercity bus station (Autobussijaam) is on Tartu mnt. halfway between the city center and the airport. You can easily walk here from the Old Town in 15-20 min, or use public transport (buses #2, 17, 23; trams #2, 4).
International buses run frequently between Tallinn and Riga, Latvia (4.5 hr) with continuing service to Vilnius, Lithuania and the rest of Europe. Another popular route is between Tallinn and St. Petersburg, Russia (€25-30, 8 hr). Free Wi-Fi is usually available on board.
The following bus companies operate international bus service to/from Tallinn:
The Old City is best navigated on foot, not that you have much choice. A network of buses, trams and trolleybuses covers the rest of the city. There is an abundance of relatively cheap taxis. Before you jump in a random taxi car make sure you check the price on the window of the car. In Tallinn there are more than 20 different taxi companies and some can be a rip-off.
By public transport
Public transport is free for residents of Tallinn. Unless you are registered as a resident, remember to buy your ticket from the driver (€1.60, no change given; the ticket is valid for exactly one trip, no transfer) or get the rechargeable "green card" (Ühiskaart), which is a brand new, cash-free, and smart way of payment. Use your card to touch a bright orange box every time you enter the bus: a single 1-hour ticket (€1.10, transfer allowed) will be charged automatically and on each day individual tickets will total until the price of the day ticket (€3) is reached. Alternatively, the card can be charged for unlimited travel for 3 days, 5 days, or one month. Get this card from one of the abundant R-kiosks for €2, a refundable deposit which, in practice, is very difficult to get refunded. You can charge the card immediately or do it later on-line (major credit cards accepted).
The Tallinn Card includes unlimited use of public transport.
Bus, trams, and trolleybuses form an extensive network with the major bus hub at Viru Hotel (underground bus station). Some trolleybuses terminate at the nearby stop Kaubamaja, which is adjacent to the main department store (Kaubamaja). Vehicles may have different colours depending on their age and model: some old trolleybuses from the time of the USSR can be still seen in the streets of Tallinn. The level of comfort varies greatly. If you want to avoid steps, look out for special yellow markings in timetables: these denote newer vehicles that are friendly to baby prams and people with reduced mobility.
Tallinn has many different taxi companies and independent taxis. There is no standardised base price or price per km. Some tourist scam taxis have absurdly high prices, and as long as those prices are displayed on the sticker in the window and on the dashboard, they are completely legal. Needless to say the locals never take those taxis, their sole modus operandi is to prey on ignorant tourists. Do as the locals do and order a taxi by phone.
Do not accept offers from taxi drivers waiting at the harbour or train station. Same goes for any taxi that looks shabby or does not carry the logo of one of the reputable companies. Also be wary of taxis that look overly luxurious: large Mercedes, TV-screens inside, usually only a very small and vague logo on the door. If you're obviously drunk and are taking one of those questionable taxis from the harbor, you might be driven to some bar/strip club the taxi driver is collaborating with. Usually you will proceed to have a few drinks there without asking for the price and will then be presented with a huge bill. Taxis hanging out in front of nightclubs often have the highest prices.
Reputable taxi companies are:
- Tallink, yellow Mercedes B-class, Audi A6, Skoda Superb or Hyundai I30 Wagon (not to confuse with Tallinn Taxi, who also have their cars painted yellow)
- Tulika, usually white Toyota Avensis
- Taksopark, black Mercedes
- Sõbra, "economy" taxis with a mixed car fleet, somewhat cheaper than the competition. Unlike many other economy taxis, the cars are clean and the drivers competent.
- Marabu, mid-price company
- Krooni which was the highest-rated taxi company according to Estonian taxi rating website Taksod.net in Oct 2009.
- 1taxo Company that brings under one roof independent and licensed taxi drivers and gives the opportunity to order the closest available taxi near you. They also have a handy mobile version of the site.
Like other large cities, Tallinn has its fair share of traffic jams and therefore is not for the faint-hearted. The road rules and driving style can be confusing to tourists. The one and two way roads change frequently and some signposts are not descriptive. Another peculiarity to be found are roads with three lanes where you need to be a local to know if the lane in the middle is meant for traffic going in your direction or in the opposite direction. That being said, traffic jams in Tallinn clear very quickly and if you are from a large city, they will seem like speed-humps rather than traffic jams.
The speed limit in Tallinn is 50 km/h, except some major streets such as Laagna tee, Pärnu mnt., Paldiski mnt., Peterburi tee etc., which have a speed limit of 70 km/h.
There is an abundance of parking, but you have to pay for it. In some cases you can park free of charge for 15 minutes, but if going for sightseeing or for some major shopping that's of course not enough. The locations of ticket machines, and other methods for paying for parking, aren't always obvious. The ticket machines are not posted clearly, however they are the easiest way of paying for your parking if you have exact change; just pay the price for the time you wish to park, push the green button, take the ticket and put it inside the windshield where the parking guard can see it.
Here are a few helpful tips to avoid being fined:
- Each rental car should come with a plastic mock clock on the dashboard that should be clearly visible from the outside of the car. Every car in Tallinn gets 15 minutes free parking in paid parking areas. This clock is used to indicate when you first park at a location. For example if you park at 05:30, your plastic clock should be set to show 05:30. You can then park for free until 05:45.
- Find a bright-orange vested parking inspector in order to determine what type of parking ticket you need.. To ask for a parking ticket, say "Palun, üks parkimispilet" in Estonian. It will help to use a combination of sign language and a phrasebook if your Estonian is limited or non-existent. You may want to simply buy the €1.50 parking ticket to be safe.
- Scratch the correct date and length of time you'll be parking. In kiosks and some grocery stores you can buy parking tickets that look like lottery tickets. The ticket is split into sections and they are written in both Estonian and English. Scratch off the date of usage. Then scratch off the time you wish the ticket to start. Make sure it is clearly visible next to the clock on the dashboard.
- Mobile phone payment is very popular, but you will need a local mobile contract to use it.
- Prices and additional information regarding parking in Tallinn are available on-line.
Signs prohibiting parking are not always well visible, one example is the area between the Terminal D in the port and the Norde Centrum shopping centre. One thing to look out for is signs in a form or another with the word Eramaa - this is Estonian for "private" and means that parking is either prohibited or available against a fee.
There are more than 180 km of bicycle roads in Tallinn. The Eurovelo international route goes from West to East, giving you a good chance to ride comfortably through the city. Many bicycle roads are located in green parts of the city and are meant more for recreation, although suitable for commuting. If you do decide to use a bike to get around, you can drive on every road, even the side-walk driving is allowed, pay attention to pedestrians.
- City Bike, Uus 33 (500 m from Viru Street, McDonald's corner), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Over 140 bicycles and lot of extra gear. Real cyclist centre with experienced staff, opened in 2003. Tours, good recommendations for day-routes in Tallinn and self-guided tours in all over Estonia. €10-13 for 24 hours.
The Old Town of Tallinn is very comfortably covered on foot.
Audio guides in several languages are available for small charge at the tourist centres.
The Old City
Double vision in Tallinn
The Medieval Old Town (vana linn) of Tallinn was built in the 15-17th centuries.and is excellently preserved. It contains a large part of Tallinn's sights and is the only UNESCO world heritage site located entirely in Estonia. As clichéd it may sound — you can't say you've been to Tallinn if you haven't visited the old town. This compact area is best explored on foot.
- Viru Gate (Entrance to the Old Town via Viru Street). This section of town is known as All-Linn or "Lower Town", as it's where the merchants and artisans of old Tallinn lived. Today, Viru is still Tallinn's trendiest shopping street and the entire All-Linn is the busiest (and most touristy) bit of Tallinn.
- Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats). The square in the heart of the Old Town, just next to medieval Town Hall (Raekoda), ringed with cafes and restaurants. The square was formerly used as a marketplace.
- Town Hall (Raekoda), Raekoja plats 1, ☎ . Built in 1371, this heavy stone structure dominates the square. Nowadays it's used as a museum where smaller concerts are held.
- Toompea Hill. According to myth, the hill was built on top of the grave of legendary Estonian king Kalev, but more historically, it's solid limestone and the site of the Danish castle that founded the city in 1219. Toompea was the home of the Danish aristocracy and relations between the toffs and the plebs were often inflamed, which is why it's surrounded by thick walls and there's a gate tower (1380) guarding the entrance. Check out the viewpoints, some of which give great views over the city. There's also a cluster of amber (merevaik) shops around here (no Estonian origin but popular among cruise tourists).
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Lossi plats 10, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A classic onion-domed Russian Orthodox church, built 1894–1900, during the Russification period when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. In 1928, when Estonia was independent, it was argued that the church is a symbol of oppression and architecturally non-suitable, therefore should be demolished. But it survived also the Soviet times, and now is used by the Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate.
- Toompea Castle (Parliament of Estonia), Lossi plats 1A, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00–16:00. It's the seat of Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu). The castle complex consists of several parts: the western wall and the towers of Tall Hermann, Pilsticker and Landskrone built by the Danes between 13th and 15th centuries; the classic style building of the government of Estonian Governorate built 1767–1773 by the Russians, and the building of the Riigikogu from the 1920s. It's believed that already in the 9th century there was an ancient Estonian wooden fortress on the location.
- St. Mary's Cathedral (Tallinna toomkirik), Toom-Kooli 6, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The oldest church in Tallinn, originally built as a Catholic church in 1229 but renovated and expanded many times since then, becoming a Lutheran church in 1561.
- Museum of Occupations (Okupatsioonide muuseum), Toompea. 8, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue–Sun 11:00–18:00. Describes the life conditions under Soviet and Nazi regimes.
- City Wall. A section of the City Wall can be climbed from the corner of Suur-Kloostri and Väike-Kloostri, with entry into three towers possible. Quite frankly, the views from up on Toompea are better, and the spiral staircases are steep and somewhat claustrophobic. Admission: €1.25.
- Ex-KGB Headquarters, Pikk 61. Now the Interior Ministry and not generally open to the public, this is where the KGB detained and tortured suspected dissidents. A Soviet-era joke says that this was the tallest building in Estonia: even from the basement, you could see Siberia. Interrogations were indeed conducted in the basement and you can see even today how the windows were crudely bricked up with concrete to mute the sound.
- St.Olaf's church (Oleviste kirik), Lai 51. Originally built in the 12th century - today it is a Baptist church and probably the most visible landmark on the northern end of the Old Town. When Estonia was part of the Soviet Union the tower was used as a radio tower and a surveillance point. free.
- St.Nicholas church (Niguliste kirik), Niguliste 3. W-S 10-17. St.Olaf's lookalike is located at the other end of the Old Town. Heavily damaged in WW2 and a fire in the 1980's, it is nowadays not used as a church but as an art museum. adults €3.50, concessions €2.
Outside the Old City
- Tallinn Zoo, Paldiski mnt. 145 (Bus stop: Zoo, trolleybus 6 or 7). This is an enormous area. Among its live exhibits, you'll find the world's best collections of mountain goats and sheep, which means there are a lot of them! Tallinn Zoo defies the realities of a relatively modest town -- it features all the elephants and crocodiles a visitor would expect to see in a larger zoo, as well as a breathtaking maze of lake-size ponds that host birds in summertime.
- Open Air Museum, Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12 (stop: Rocca al Mare or trolleybus 6 or 7 to stop: Zoo and then a 15 min walk. Start walking with a map on hand for directions; otherwise, you might find it difficult.). This museum includes 72 buildings of Estonian vernacular architecture and village milieu of the Tsarist time of rule in a dark, dense forest. This museum provides a picture of the life and its hardship in the old times. The Folklore Society Leigarid gives free dancing performances here at 11AM each Saturday and Sunday. The museum organizes special events during Easter, which provide more insight on Estonian traditions and culture.
- Tallinn Linnahall, Mere pst. 20 (stop: Linnahall Bus 3 or #90K (Airport bus) to stop 7 and then a 5 min walk to the Linda line terminal past the Domina Inn Ilmarine hotel). A fine example of Soviet Brutalist architecture designed by Raine Karp and Riina Altmäe and built for the 22nd Moscow Summer Olympic Games in 1980 for sailing events held in Tallinn. Scale the exterior of this crumbling monumental eulogy to mass culture and marvel at the fact that beneath its crumbling exterior lies a 5,000 seat amphitheatre (that held a concert as recently as 2008) and a 3,000-seat ice rink. Currently closed to the public as negotiations regarding its redevelopment continue - maybe a last chance to see part of Tallinn's overlooked architectural heritage in its current form. Linda line run their catamaran service to Helsinki from offices adjacent to/underneath the helipad.
- National Art Museum KUMU, Weizenbergi 37/Valge 1 (stop: Kumu). Opened in February 2006, this is the largest government built building since the liberation and it is an almost 50,000 m² (538,196 ft²). The museum, whose architecture is by itself enough to justify the visit, houses a cyclopic house, partly cut out of limestone rock. Permanent exhibition is obviously focused on Estonian art in a wide interval of time. Quality of many pieces is very good and well worth a visit. Also very interesting is the (not too spontaneous) turn of interests of artists toward socialist themes during the USSR period. Exhibitions of modern art, mixed with net/social applications, are often surprising and amusing. Not to be missed or overlooked.
- Holy Birgitta Monastery (Pirita beach area, 5km from the city center). A monastery of Scandinavian female saints, as well as a landmark of 16th century catacombs and ruins. It includes a guest house operated by the nuns.
- Patarei (Battery) Prison, Kalaranna 2, ☎ . W-Su 12:00-18:00, Jun-Sep only. This is the most recent and least-developed historical attraction in Tallinn. Originally decreed by tsar Nicholas I in 1820 as a fortress to protect the city from the sea-born attacks, it was turned into a notorious KGB prison in 1920. The prison ceased operations only in 2004. Entry €2, guided tours from €6, or pay €40 for a three-hour "new prisoner experience" culminating in a last meal with a glass of schnapps (but no execution).
- Tallinn TV Tower, Kloostrimetsa 58a (stop: Motoklubi). A 314 m high, free-standing structure with an observation deck on the 21st floor which, with its 170 metres, is the highest in Northern Europe. It offers spectacular views across Tallinn and, on a clear day, you can see Finland.
- Metsakalmistu Cemetery, Pirita (stop: Metsakalmistu, Bus no 34A or 38). Tallinn's most famous cemetery, housing Estonia’s presidents Konstantin Päts and Lennart Meri, as well chess player Paul Keres. If you're not there to see the graves of Estonian celebrities, it's a peaceful experience to just stroll among the trees.
- Kalamaja District (north west from Old City). The oldest suburb of Tallinn, dating back to the 14th century. It was probably inhabited by fishermen (Kalamaja means "Fish house") and mostly houses workers. The current wooden buildings are from the 19th century.
- Rottermann District. An industrial district between the City and the Tallinn Port. The buildings are from the 19th and 20th century, with motifs of Art Nouveau and Historicism. New and stylish apartment buildings with shopping centre have now been built there widely regarded as architectural masterpiece in Tallinn.
- Song Festival Grounds (stops: Oru, Lasnamägi, or Lauluväljak). A huge Modernist structure where the All Estonian Song Festival, which is held every five years, features 34,000 singers and dancers in addition to a massive audience.
- Pirita District. Includes forest parks, Botanic Gardens and Metsakalmistu (the last resting place of well-known Estonians). A few km east of the city centre along the seaside road.
- Tallinn Botanical Gardens (Bus no: 34A or 38 stop: Kloostrimetsa). The Tallinn Botanic Garden is in the eastern outskirts of Tallinn, 10 km from the city centre and 3 km from the Pirita Sailing and Recreation Centre.It is a must see destination for nature and plant lovers. The "greenhouse" located near the ticket office houses variety of plants, flowers, trees, cactus family and lot more. Spring temperature is maintained always inside the greenhouse, even during winter season. The outdoor garden is vast and has varied flower collections.
- Kadriorg. A beautiful and rich seaside resort district with mostly wooden buildings from the 18th to 20th centuries, as well as 20th century Art Deco and Functionalist structures. It also includes the baroque pearl of Estonia, the Kadriorg Palace and Garden.
- Kadriorg Palace, Weizenbergi 37. An imperial Russian summer residence built by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti for Tsar Peter the Great in 1718. It is situated in a 90 ha (222 acre) park in the eastern part of the city. The Tsar himself, a classic and mysterious Russian soul, preferred to stay in a modest house nearby. This event signified the beginning of Tallinn's fame as a summer resort for noble and rich Russians for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Currently, the palace is housing some paint collections and other art. A portion of the complex is now occupied by the Office of the President and not available to the public.
A flag system that regulates swimming. A green flag means it is safe swim, a yellow flag means you can swim, but it isn't recommended and a red flag means swimming is not advised, go in at your own risk.
- Pirita Beach (Pirita rand) (Take bus 1A, 8, 34A or 38. to stop "Pirita", or walk by the sea 5 km northeast of centre.). A large sandy beach which in summer is full of locals and tourists.
- Stroomi Beach (Stroomi rand, Pelgurand) (Take bus 40 to stop "Supelranna".). The water is clean and warm, and it is the gay friendliest beach of Tallinn.
- Lake Harku (Harku järv) (Take trolley 6, 7 or bus 16, 36 to stop "Väike-Õismäe".). Small lake that draws a lot of people. The lake gets dirtier by the year and swimming is not always recommended. Watch out for the vipers on the shore!
- Kakumäe beach (Bus 21 from Balti jaam (where the trains arrive), bus 21A from Väike-Õismäe. Stop Landi (21) or Sooranna tee (21A & 21B). From Landi stop keep walking (1km) until Sooranna tee stop, there you'll find helpful signs.). The water is one of the purest in all of Tallinn beaches.
- Pikakari Beach. The water quality is fairly good and it gets deep quite soon when you go in. The huge waves coming from the ships break on shore for the joy of all swimmers. The historical Katariina Pier is nice to walk on.
Sporting & Relaxation
Tallinn offers a lot of sporting opportunities - from ATV rentals to ice skating .
Tourists from European countries often opt for spa holidays in the city.
- Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF). The festival combines a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films.
- Tallinn Music Week. Spring. Showcase festival, aiming to stage the best and most outstanding Estonian talent on two nights in Tallinn's most vibrant live venues, as well as a networking event for the music industry professionals.
- Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar. April. In addition to Tallinn jazz concerts also take place in Tartu and Pärnu.
- Tallinn Old Town Days. May/June.
- The Estonian Song Celebration (Laulupidu). First held in 1869, takes place every five years. In 2009, 35,000 choral singers gathered to perform for an audience of 90,000 people. It is recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
- Õllesummer Festival. July. Approx 70,000 people attend the festival each year over the course of 4 days.
- Birgitta Festival. August. Music and theatre festival, held at the ruins of the historical Pirita (St. Bridget's) convent.
- Saku Suurhall. Rocca al Mare. Estonia's largest concert and exhibition space, the venue for the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. The hall and its facilities include an excellent shopping centre that can easily be reached by trolleybus 6.
- Simpel Session. Summer/Winter. International skateboarding and BMX event.
- Tallinn International Horseshow. Spring/Autumn. Biggest international horseriding competition in Baltic states, includes showjumping and dressage. Takes place in Saku Suurhall.
- Old Town Walking & Secret Tunnels Tour, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. This tour consists of two parts: off-the beaten track places in Old town with good stories and a visit to the secret tunnels. It is a classical tour with different touch, local stories and real information about life in Tallinn. You can ask questions and learn about the daily life in Estonia. Tours lasts 2-2.5 hr and start from the City Bike office (Uus Street 33) at 14:00. Booking is required. There's also a walking tour without the tunnels. €16 per person.
English language teachers with TEFL certificates or equivalent are in demand.
Jobs for non-Estonian speakers are less common in other fields, although several IT companies (like Skype) have English based job openings.
Department Stores & Shopping Malls
- Viru Keskus, Viru väljak 6.
- Foorum Keskus, Narva maantee 5.
- Kaubamaja, Gonsiori 2.
- Melon Kaubanduskeskus, Estonia puiestee 1/3, ☎ .
- Stockmann, Liivalaia 53, ☎ .
- Rocca al Mare kaubanduskeskus (Take trolley 6 or 7, bus 21 or 22 or the free bus from Passenger Port). A few kilometres west of the old town along Paldiski maantee. Consists of a Prisma hypermarket and tens of smaller, mostly fashion boutiques.
- Ülemiste Keskus (Near the airport; take bus 2 or 15).
- Rotermanni Kvartal. Rotermann's Quarter is a downtown shopping area with clothing and department stores and restaurants. It's situated between Viru Keskus, Tallinn port and the Old Town. If you are walking from the harbor towards Viru Väljak the quarter is on your left hand side. One place to find bargain clothes is the Rotermann Kaubamaja situated right at Mere Puiestee. The Kaubamaja also has a combined cafe and restaurant on the third floor which seems to be surprisingly empty even as they have reasonable prices.
Boutiques and Souvenirs
For boutiques and souvenirs, your best choice is Viru street in the Old Town and its side streets. There are many stalls selling traditional items like woolen pullovers, crystal and amber. Be prepared to bargain in order to get a reasonable price.
- Ivo Nikkolo, Suur-Karja 14. Fashion-interested people can visit the main store of Estonia's first Post-Soviet designer brand Ivo Nikkolo.
- Jaama Turg, Kopli 1. A market place next to the train station.
- Keskturg, Keldrimäe 9. Market place situated 500 m from the bus station. They sell food and clothes.
- Jõuluturg, Raekoja Plats. The Christmas market on the Town Hall square is open from late November to early January. They sell knitwear, various wooden objects for use and decoration, Christmas tree decorations, gingerbread and such. It's not all about shopping, the Christmas tree in the middle is worth taking a photo of and there's a stage when they sing carols. Of course you can occasionally run into Santa at the market! Don't forget to try a mug of hot glögg, sold at many stalls.
- Vana Turg, Mere Pst.. The name translates to "old market" and is located on a small square just outside the old town. Vana Turg is a place to buy clothes and decoration items often Estonian-made and sometimes sold by the makers themselves — knitted pullovers and caps, gloves, belts and slippers are examples of what you can find here.
- Biit Record, Pikk 9. Indie/electronics. Small but there is a cute bulldog. €reasonable.
- Rockroad Record, Endla 38. Mainly metal and rock/pop/blues also. Owner knows about Estonian and Russian rock music also. Carries many Melodia label records. €reasonable.
- Raamatukoi Grammofon Records, Voorimehe 9. Good selections. Classic / jazz / Estonian / pop-rock and so on. €little bit high.
- Lasering Records, Viru väljak 4,. Mostly new items and some kinds of UK/US indie records & CD. €reasonable.
The Old City is packed with restaurants claiming to offer authentic Estonian food, particularly on and around Raekoja plats. Prices at restaurants near the Raekoja Plats are generally more expensive, yet offer the same quality of food, as restaurants off this main square. Prices are steep by Estonian standards, but still much cheaper than neighbouring Helsinki, which explains why on weekends they're always packed with day tripping Finns.
- Cafe EAT, Sauna 2. Dumplings with different fillings and really delicious doughnuts. This is probably the most reasonably priced cafe in the Old Town. It is very popular among local students and backpackers. You can also play football (€1.50 for 30 min), exchange books or play one from many board games at this cafe. 100g of dumplings: €0.65; 0.5L beer: €2.
- Karja Kelder, Väike-Karja 1, ☎ . 11-midnight or later. Pleasant and affordable tourist trap in basement. Located in the middle of Old Town. Main courses €4.50-8.00.
- Kohvik Narva, Narva mnt 10. M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-18:00. Cafe Narva boasts its old-style interior preserved from USSR times. Ladies at the counter are also somewhat brusque and mostly Russian-speaking, although this should not prevent you from enjoying traditional food of Soviet workers as well as delicious pastries baked on the premises.
- Kompressor, Rataskaevu 3 (Just few minutes walk from Raekoja plats.). This place offers an assortment of huge and delicious pancakes at great prices. Don't give in to the temptation to order two portions, one pancake is usually enough. Pancakes: from €3.
- Mauruse Pubi (Estonia pst 8) (Near the city library.). A great local pub, featuring cheap food with hearty portions.
- Aed (Embassy of Pure Food), Rataskaevu 8., ☎ . 12:00-00:00, Sun: 12:00-18:00. Excellent organic/biodynamic/Demeter food, also full vegan options. Beautiful interior, very charming and romantic, wonderful service. Lower-than-tourist prices..
- Aserbaijan Restaurant Shesh-Besh, Gonsiori 9, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This dim and blandly decorated Azerbaijan Bar-restaurant "Shesh Besh" offers genuine Azerbaijan cuisine. Although a namesake, it has nothing to do with a branch of Azerbaijan restaurants in Russia. Mains: €6-8.
- Controvento, Vene 12/Katriina Käik. A very nice little Italian restaurant stashed away in a small side passage in the Old Town. Offering genuinely excellent food at reasonable prices with good service. Its only 'flaw' is that it's hard to get into and is most often completely full, even on off-season week nights. You may want to call ahead and make a reservation. Pizzas and pasta dishes are around €10.
- Madissoni Grill & Baar, Rävala Puiestee 3 (next to the Radisson Blu Hotel). This open kitchen type restaurant serves good flame-grilled food at decent prices, especially popular for its daily lunch specials, King Club Sandwich and Burgers.
- Pirosmani, Üliõpilaste tee 1, ☎ . 10:00-24:00. Georgian food as it is done in Georgia. It's well out of the way, but that's a good thing. Almost everyone at this restaurant is local (although the menu has English), and tourists are not in sight, so the food here is good and great value. Try the Khinkali or the Harcho.
- Troika, Raekoja plats 15. Offers generous portions of Russian food. In the warm summer months, people dine on the terrace. In winter, they head down to the warm cellar. To fill up, get a small zakuski (which is anything but small) appetizer plate. It's big enough for three and costs €9, then dip your pelmeni dumplings (costing €6) in smetana or the other sauces provided and wash it down with a shot of vodka (€5).
- Vanaema Juures, Rataskaevu 10/12, ☎ . Translates as "Grandma's Place", which gives you an idea of the warm welcome you can expect here. Friendly and attentive staff are happy to explain the traditional dishes. Excellent value for money. It's a tiny place, so reservations are essential in the high season. Try the meatballs or the pork with sauerkraut and don't miss the kama porridge for dessert.
- Restoran Peppersack. A middle ages-themed restaurant one block away from the city hall square - even the names of the dishes are medieval themed. Outdoor seating available in the summer, when they also played medieval (what else?) music on a small outdoor stage, and they seem also to have sword fight and oriental dance performances. Probably the main competitor of Olde Hansa and a bit touristy indeed but fun.
- Bar Fish and Wine, Harju 1, ☎ . Mon-Thu 11:30-23:00, Fri-Sat 11:30-24:00. The name pretty much says it. This is a modern cocktail bar and restaurant serving vodka and caviar, fish dishes and a wide range of wines.
- Bocca, Olevimägi 9, ☎ . Mon-Thu 11:30-23:00, Fri-Sat 11.30-24:00, Sun 13:00-22:00. One of the trendiest restaurants in Tallinn. Features Italian cuisine by Nicola Tanda. It also has a nice bar to enjoy cocktails and snacks. This is one of the busiest restaurants in Tallinn. Reservations are highly recommended. €30.
- Chedi (chedi), Olevimägi 11 (next to restaurant Bocca, in old town), ☎ . Mon-Thu 11:30-23:00, Fri-Sat 11.30-24:00, Sun 13:00-22:00. Modern Asian kitchen supervised by Alan Yau from Hakasan, London. The modern and warm interior make you feel like you're in Singapore. Reservations recommended. €20.
- Kuldse Notsu Kõrts, Dunkri 8, ☎ . M-Su 12:00-23:00. Good traditional Estonian restaurant close to the main square. Try the house beer or vodka and fresh buckthorn and honey apertif with your blood sausage or the famous pork knuckle with extra spicy mustard. The traditional desserts are also worth a try. Live traditional music Sep-May F Sa nights. €20-30 including drinks and desert.
- Musi, Niguliste 6, ☎ . 17:00-24:00. This is primarily a wine bar, but it has light meals as well. From the outside it looks like a cosy oasis, and you might think the place is one little rustic room on display but there is more tables behind the wine bar. Welcoming staff and a good selection of wine by the glass. A good place for a relaxed meal, or with your friends before or after dinner. Glass of wine: €4; Small dishes: from €5.
- Olde Hansa, Vana turg 1. The ruling king among Tallinn's purely touristy restaurants with some of them trying to copy its style. The place is simply medieval, not just in terms of food but also in the sense of performance - no electricity, no music except live and authentic, no modern inventions. The house special is bear meat "marinated in rare spices and cooked over a fire in honour of Waldemar II, the brave King of Denmark" costing €40+. Try one of the extraordinary beers, such as the honey beer. It is not likely that you will meet any locals here.
- Restaurant Ö, Mere pst. 6E (close to old town, near harbour), ☎ . Mon-Thu 12:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-24:00, Sun 13:00-22:00. Award winning Chef Roman Zastserinski has made a seasonal menu using only Estonian ingredients. Good view of old town. €20.
- Tchaikovsky, Vene 9, ☎ . Mon-Fri 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 13.00-23.00. As the name suggests, it is a Russian restaurant, but don't expect wooden benches, traditional food, and folk music. On the contrary, you will find a selection of Russian delicacies ranging from pancakes with caviar to pelmeni with pork and wild mushrooms, along with fusion-style cuisine (rabbit with Jerusalem artichoke being a good example). Expect delicious food and very high prices, but if you are looking for typical Russian fare, try to find another place for dinner. Mains start from €20.
Tallinn's crazy nightlife is out of proportion to the city's small size. The days of armed mafiosos are over and these days any drunken fights tend to involve British stag parties. Exercise some caution in choosing your venue, as some strip clubs and regular clubs make their money by fleecing tourists who come in for a drink. In local places, beers cost €2.5-4.0.
Bars and pubs
- Beer House, Dunkri 5. Plenty of beer types to choose from in this large authentically styled and decorated Bavarian Beer hall, including 5 of their own beers made on site. Try the Medovar Honey beer.
- Drink Baar, Väike Karja 8, ☎ . Su-Th 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-03:00. Fairly new bar, with the widest selection of beers of any pub in town including many quality imports from Brewdog and Mikkeller. Good English-style pub-grub, featuring award winning fish and chips. Monthly comedy nights from the "Comedy Estonia" and quiz nights.
- Hell Hunt, Pikk 39. The name means 'the gentle wolf' in Estonian. A comfortable and homey pub in the Old Town and offers a wide selection of beers (including two of their own brews) and some pretty decent food. Don't miss the spare ribs.
- Kuku klubi, Vabaduse väljak 8. Founded 1935 by local art community and claiming to have had the best accessible cuisine in whole former USSR since 1958 during the Russian occupation.
- Lab Bar, Suur-Karja 10. Laboratory themed bar known for its shots in testtubes. You should definitely try The "Brain Scan".
- Levist Väljas, Olevimägi 12. A cozy alternative bar in Old Town with a small dance floor.
- Lounge 24, Rävala Puiestee 3. Located on the top floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel, it offers spectacular views of Old Town and the Baltic sea from a trendy indoor setting and a breathtaking outdoor terrace. Lounge 24 serves a variety of light fares to full dinner menu, and a wide selection of beverages. Open to the general public.
- Nimeta Baar (The Bar With No Name), Suur-Karja 4. Really fun place, popular with tourists.
- Texas Honky Tonk & Cantina, Pikk 43, ☎ . 12:00-23:59. Texas-style cantina is a casual place to knock back a Corona or a Bud, or even to try out the frozen margaritas churning in the electric mixer behind the bar. More serious drinkers can try the ‘tequila flights’ - 3 or 5 shots of different tequilas to give you a sampling, not that you’re likely to remember which was which next time around.
- The Lost Continent, Narva mnt 19. Australian bar.
- Von Krahli, Rataskaevu 10. An avant-garde theatre/bar.
- Bonbon, Mere Pst 6e. Open to all who can get past the strict "face control". Over-the-top décor (chandeliers, leather seats) and prices to match.
- Über Club, Madara 22A, ☎ . Trendy nightclub with frequent guest DJs.
- Hollywood, Vana-Posti 8. Enormous club.
- Parlament, Ahtri 10. Bubblegum pop and live events.
- Prive, Harju 6. Tallinn's flashiest nightspot, run by legendary warehouse party organizers Vibe, often has foreign DJs playing. Expensive and has strict face control, so dress up.
- Arena3, Sadama 6/8 (In the port area). Plays middle of the road pop and disco. Popular with the young crowd. Reasonably priced.
- X-Club, Harju 6. 21:00-06:00. Exotic dancers.
We don't list any apartment rentals below that are not available for a week or less or that don't include a local address with a phone number that specifies the physical address in Tallinn for picking up the keys, managing the apartment and/or resolving rental issues.
- Alur Hostel, Lai 20 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Friendly staff, small kitchen and large common room. Wi-Fi available in all of the rooms. Dorm bed: from €9.
- BUNSTEL The Bunny Hostel, Vaimu 1 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Top-rated boutique hostel in the center of Old-Town. Great staff (USA) lead their nightly bunny-bar-hop. Free Wi-Fi, computer, coffee/tea/mate, linens/towels, maps and more. A real live bunny lives in their building that also used to be a brewery. Dorm bed: from €10.
- Dancing Eesti, Väike-Karja 1 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 14:00. The staff here can find you anything that you need in Tallinn from legends of the city to secrets of the underground tunnels. A must for people who want to chill or party. Free computer use and Wi-Fi. Dorm bed: from €9.
- Euphoria, Roosikrantsi 4 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The place with a character. Painted walls, daily events, workshops and unplugged concerts make this place different from other hostels. A must stay for artistic spirits. Friendly staff and Free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed: from €9.
- Fat Margeret's, Põhja puiestee 27 (north-east border of Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hostel with a big living room, kitchen and a lot of clean toilets and showers. Free Wi-Fi. Bed from €10.
- GIDIC Backpackers, 31 Tartu Mnt (Just outside Old Town), ☎ . Australian-owned.
- Hostel Vana Tom, Väike-Karja 1 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff is friendly, there is kitchen and a common room. Wi-Fi available in all rooms.
- Knight House, Rüütli 18 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: Ilya@knight-house.eu. Hotel quality accommodation at hostel prices. Hostel occupies a house that is over 600 years old, with the centre of the Old Town just out the door. Fully equipped kitchen, common area, free Wi-Fi, free tea and coffee. Dorm bed: from €7; Single: €16-25.
- Tallinn Backpackers, Olevimägi 11 (Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Includes a sauna. Dorm bed: from €9.
- Hotel Dzingel, Männiku tee 89, Nõmme (5 km from Old Town and easy to reach by bus No 5), ☎ +372 610 5201, +372 610 5300, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Double: €45.
- Hotel Shnelli, Toompuiestee 37 (near the medieval Old Town, close to Snelli Park and the Baltic Railway Station.), ☎ . Double: €38. There are discounted rates for guests arriving after midnight - €32.
- OldHouse, Uus 22 (Old Town), ☎ . Dorm and hotel rooms are tiny but the furnished apartments are nice, with kitchens and bubble baths. Free Wi-Fi. Single: €22; Twin: €44; 2-person apartment: €79; 4-person apartment: €109; 6-person luxury apartment: €159. Discounts for longer stays..
- Olevi Residents, Olevimägi 4 (Old Town), ☎ . Really nice and comfortable hotel in the middle of the Old Town. Free internet access. It has a very good hotel restaurant. The building is from the 14th century and has lots of character. Double: €103, breakfast included.
- Nordic Hotel Forum, Viru Väljak 3, ☎ , fax: +372 622 2901, e-mail: email@example.com. A new and modern hotel at Viru Väljak square in the city center. Good and generous breakfast buffet. double room 105 €.
- Merchants House Hotel, Dunkri 4/6 (Town Hall Square), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 31 rooms and six suites. The hotel is a small complex of 14th and 16th century buildings with rooms all looking in on the central courtyard. The historic buildings contrasts nicely with the luxurious designer interiors of the rooms.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia (formerly Reval Hotel Olümpia), Liivalaia 33, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 390 air-conditioned rooms and bars and restaurants. It also has a conference centre, health club with swimming pool and saunas. Free WiFi throughout the hotel.
- Radisson Blu Tallinn, Rävala pst. 3, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 280 rooms, all equipped with television, telephone, minibar, air conditioning, trouser press, minisafe, refrigerator, internet connection, bathrobes (in superior rooms and suites), hair dryer and coffee and tea making facilities. The rooms are decorated in Scandinavian, Italian, Maritime and Oriental styles. Free broadband.
- Sokos Hotel Viru, Viru väljak 4, ☎ . This is a large matchbox of a building and, for a long time, it was the tallest modern building in Tallinn. It's very centrally located at the edge of the Old Town. In the Soviet days, when Tallinn was a hotbed of espionage, Viru was the city's premier hotel and every single room was famously bugged by the KGB. Today it's just a very good Finnish-run business hotel, and even the gray facade has been whitewashed.
- Swissôtel Tallinn, Tornimäe 3, ☎ . Tallest building within the banking district. 238 elegantly appointed guest rooms. The hotel houses two restaurants and a deli for guests on the run; Amrita SPA & Wellness delivers private fitness and relaxation facilities, including an indoor pool, a gym, a sauna and a steam room. Views over Tallinn and Old Town are spectacular from 30th floor Horisont Bar.
- Hotel Telegraaf, Vene 9 (Old Town), ☎ , fax: +372 6000 601, e-mail: email@example.com. Located in Tallinn's Old Town, the hotel building was constructed as an exchange station for the Estonian Telegraph company in 1878, and with the historical façade left standing completely renovated to be reopened as a five star hotel in 2007, featuring 86 elegant rooms and suites, a small (Elemis!) Spa area with an indoor swimming pool, two booths for facials and massages, a Symphony Lounge (function room, private events) as well as the renowned Restaurant Tchaikovsky and during the summer months a charming summer terrace.
While Tallinn is generally safe, various governments warn against the dangers of being pickpocketed or mugged, particularly in the Old Town. Watch your valuables closely, especially on public transport and at Viru Street.
The biggest trap to tourists in Tallinn is getting ripped off by taxi drivers or in "gentlemen's clubs". Many of the latter are known for their exorbitant prices and hidden "fees". Credit card skimming and other similar scams are common practice in those establishments. Stay away, unless you particularly enjoy losing your month's pay in a few hours.
The stigmatized outskirts of Kopli and Lasnamäe are probably best to be avoided after dark, although both are a lot safer than the "bad neighbourhoods" in Western-European or North-American cities.
People who arrive to Tallinn by camper van or just by car should be careful and not leave valuables in their vehicles. Unfortunately it's not rare that cars with foreign plates are looted. Those crimes are committed mainly in the area of Tallinn's passenger port and nearby streets where many camper vans stop. There are safer official parking lots, but they are often harder to find, their location might not be very good, and you have to pay quite a lot of money to park in there.
- Ilusalong Felicia, Pronksi 7/9, ☎ . 09.00-19.00.
- Ilusalong Alice, Liivalaia 32, ☎ _372 648 5055. 09.00-17.00, Sat: 10.00-17.00.
- Germany, Toom-Kuninga 11, ☎ +372 627 5300, emergencies: +372 627 5304, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Greece, Pärnu Mnt 12, 1st Floor 101 48 Tallinn, ☎ +372 640 3560, emergencies: +372 5349 6007, fax: +372 640 3561, e-mail: email@example.com.
- F.Y.R.O.Macedonia, Suurtüki 4A-12, 10133 Tallinn, ☎ .
- Viikingite küla (Viking village), Saula küla, Harjumaa. The "Vikings' Village" is 29 km from the city, next to Pirita river and Tallinn-Tartu highway but in a deep forest is a scenic place with a tavern, accommodation and its own small lake, from where everyone can catch their own fish and get it cooked. It is suitable for a day out with kids but too tacky for adults. Prices are very reasonable.
- Soomaa National Park is about 60 km (100 mi) south of Tallinn and is known for its swamps and bogs (Soomaa means "land of bogs" in Estonian). Surprisingly, swimming is popular and is said to rejuvenate the skin.
- Lahemaa National Park is about 50 km east of Tallinn and is a place to find some nice forests, seaside and swamps and bogs. One of the most suggested place to go there is Viru raba (Viru bog), that has 5 km foot track and watching tower. You can also start and finish in same location if You go to tower and back or take a round trip back to start around the bog. There are good maps and information tables at the track. Popular tours to National Park are organized by City Bike, daily.
- Kaberneeme village is about 40 km east of Tallinn on the coast. The village has a 2 km long beach area with pine tree forests edging right up to the shore.
- Tartu - Estonia's student town, 2-3 hr by car or bus to the south-east.
- Jägala Falls. The Jägala Falls (Jägala juga) is Estonia's largest waterfall. It is better to go early in the morning to catch the soft dawn light or in the evening when the sun shines on the falls. During cold winters, Jägala Falls freezes in a spectacular fashion and is well worth seeing. It is located near Tallinn, 15-30 min car drive.
- Hop on the ferry and you are in Helsinki in 2 hours.