Tallinn

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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 Zurich or Geneva. Especially in summer, the Old Town is packed with tourists, with the traditional daytrippers from Helsinki increasingly supplemented by other Europeans taking advantage of cheap flights. Alas, the new town sprawling all around is largely built in typical concrete Soviet style, now joined with glass-and-steel cubes celebrating the post-Soviet economic boom. The new centre of town is Vabaduse valjak (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!).

Understand : Tallinn is a historic city dating back to the medieval times and it was first recorded on a world map in 1154, although the first fortress was built on Toompea in 1050. 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 center 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.

Today, Tallinn is a bustling, gleaming metropolis of over 430,000 people. However, among the tall glassy buildings and corporate headquarters, Tallinn retains an inner charm seldom found anywhere else. Estonians consider themselves to be living in a Northern European/Scandinavian or an eastern European country depending on who you ask, with very close ties to Finland (ethnic, linguistic, and cultural), 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!).

Access : Coordinates: 59.437222, 24.745278 / By catamaran or ferry : 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.

The following companies operate ferries between Tallinn and Helsinki – Eckero Line . Operates only one ship, the 2000-passenger Finlandia (2.5 h one-way). Often has the cheapest fares.
Linda Line  – Small catamarans Merilin and Karolin. The fastest option (1.5h) with frequent departures, but susceptible to bad weather. April-November only (or as long as the sea is clear of ice).
Tallink Silja  – Up to 6 departures daily on large Star and Superstar ferries (2h). They also operate the Baltic Princess (3.5 hours), a slick new 2800-passenger behemoth with cabins for easy overnight stays in Tallinn. Discounts are available to Eurail pass holders.
Viking Line  – Large Viking XPRS ferry (2.5h), two sailings daily.
Tallink also offers a year-round daily overnight service from Stockholm taking 16 hours. 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 Eckero and Viking the Terminal A/B at the northwestern side. From there, bus #2 operates to both the city center (A. Laikmaa stop), inter-city bus station (Autobussijaam stop) and the airport (Lennujaam stop). Alternatively, you can take a leisurely 15 minute walk, first west to Mere pst and then down to Viru Square. 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 center is not all that impressive but don’t be shocked – this isn’t the real Tallinn!

By cruise ship : Port of Tallinn is one of the biggest cruise and passenger ports in the Baltics. Over 30 cruise lines call on the port of Tallinn during the tourist season. Cruise vessels are mainly accommodated in the Old City Harbour, which is less than a mile northeast of the Old Town. Within the port area, there are several passenger terminals; free public WiFi areas are in both A and D terminals.

Buses, trolleys and trams operate regularly from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Bus, trolley and tram tickets can be purchased at newsstands in the terminal for 0,96 EUR or from the driver for 1,6 EUR. Bus no. 2 runs between the harbour (bus stops at A and D terminals) and airport via city centre. You can also hop on a red hop-on/hop-off bus stopping in the harbour, only the price is a lot higher. There is also a tram (tram lines 1 and 2) stop in the proximity of the harbour area.

Perhaps the easiest way to get to Old Town is by walking, less than a mile to the southwest . Find the blue line painted on the pavement, and follow it to the Port Gate. After exiting the port gate, proceed across the street, then turn left with the crosswalks. At the next big cross street, Sadama, turn right (west). Walk a couple of long blocks west on Sadama, then you will come to a confusing intersection with many lanes of traffic. Make your way carefully across the lanes of traffic and head towards the tall church spire (St. Olav’s). A round stout stone tower (Fat Margaret Tower) should come into view; the north gate is to the right of it.

By plane : Tallinn Airport  (AKA “Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport” or “Ulemiste Airport”) (IATA: TLL) (ICAO: EETN) is a small airport located 5 km from the city center on the eastern shore of Lake Ulemiste. The flight timetable is available online . A decent and reasonably priced cafe (open 8–20) can be found on the 2nd floor, above the departure area (before security control). Cafes beyond the security are more expensive, as usual. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal building. There is a designated room for smokers – a glass “gas chamber”, with a few tables, but ventilation is imperfect.

The following airlines operate service to/from Tallinn Airport:

Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
airBaltic (Amsterdam, Berlin-Tegel, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Riga, Vienna, Vilnius)
Avies (Kardla) – suspended
EasyJet (London-Gatwick, Milan -Malpensa)
Finnair (Helsinki)
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw-Chopin)
Lufthansa (Frankfurt)
Nordica (Amsterdam, Berlin-Tegel, Brussels, Kiev-Boryspil, Munich, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda, Trondheim, Vienna, Vilnius)
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo-Gardermoen)
Ryanair (Bergamo, Bremen, Dublin, Girona, London-Stansted, Oslo-Rygge, Weeze)
Scandinavian Airlines (Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda)
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul)
To travel between the airport and the city:

Taxis should cost €7-10.
Around midnight, taxis often collect passengers from far before the taxi column, so booking one before arrival is highly recommended.

Bus #2  stops right in front of the airport. The journey to the entrance to Old Town (A.Laikmaa stop) takes approximately 15 minutes. Be careful because both inbound and outbound line #2 buses use the same bus stop at the airport. To get to the city center, catch the bus traveling towards “Reisisadam” (the passenger port) (and not towards “Moigu”, 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 tickets at the R-Kiosks all around the city, in the bus terminal, or on the bus. View a map of route 2 . The tour from the harbour D-terminal (very close to the city center) to the airport costs 2 Euros (12.08.2018).
Tram #4 line was extended to airport. On Mondays through Saturdays, the first tram arrives at the airport at 5.25 AM and at 5.45 on Sundays. The last tram from the airport to the city centre leaves at 0.45 AM. The journey to the city center takes about 15 minutes. Single ticket costs 2 EUR.

Transfers : Riga Airport Transfers  Private or group transfers from Riga International Airport to Tallinn. One fixed fee. Fast and safe.
By train : Elron  operates a limited train service within Estonia. Use the Baltic Station railway terminal right next to the Old Town to catch a train. The station can be accessed from town center and vice versa by tram number 1 or 2 – use the “Balti jaam” stop. Trains run to and from Tartu, Viljandi, St. Petersburg, Moscow and more. The platform and trains are modern and the fares are reasonable. Free wifi is available on Elron trains.
By bus : Frequent buses operate between Tallinn and other cities in Estonia. Domestic bus schedules and prices can be found at Tpilet.ee  and Peatus.ee .

Tallinn bus station can easily be reached from the city center by taking tram number 2 towards Suur-Paala or number 4 towards Lennujaam/airport. Get off at “Bussijaam” (bus station). Frequent buses also operate between Tallinn and Riga, Latvia with continuing service to Vilnius, Lithuania and the rest of Europe. Buses also run between Tallinn and St. Petersburg, Russia (€30, 8 hours). Free wi-fi is usually available on board.

The following bus companies operate international bus service to/from Tallinn:

Ecolines
BalticShuttle
Hansabuss
Lux Express

Get around : The Old City is best navigated on foot. 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 : lt operates frequent buses, trolleys, and trams between 6AM and 12AM. Timetables in English can be found here:  and maps can be found here: Map: (pick Uhistransport). Baby prams can be carried in most of the buses, trolleys and trams except for a few which have steps. For getting out of Tallinn, Peatus  is the public transport route planner for all of Estonia, searchable by points on the map or names of places.

All modes of public transport operate with the same tickets. Single tickets can be bought from R-Kiosks or by mobile phones for €1, or from the drivers for €1.60. In addition the following ticket options are available: 10-ticket book (€8), 24-hour ticket (€5 including the €2 deposit for the rechargeable travel card), 72-hour ticket (€7.50), 10-day ticket (€11), 30-day ticket (€25), 90-day ticket (€50). Discounts are given to students and Tallinn residents. The Tallinn Card  includes unlimited use of public transportation.
By bus : The bus network covers the whole city.

Tourist bus tours (look for the red-colored buses) are also available at designated stops in the Old Town.

By tram
The tram network covers the city centre.[154] There are 4 routes and they all meet at Viru Center, at stop Hobujaama. About 15 carriages have a lowered middle-section, which makes trams wheelchair-accessible. Departure times of those carriages are marked with a yellow background in the schedules. Usually these vehicles serve routes 1 and 4.

By trolleybus
All trolley lines have a direction to south or west. They operate on electric lines. There are seven lines, 1 and 3-7 and 9. The fleet is relatively new, though there are some old Skoda-s.
By Hop-Off-On Sight Seeing Bus
For first time visitors or day visitor, another option is to take the Sight Seeing Buses. It provides good commentary on the history of the city and its various attractions. The tickets are available inside the terminal just near the exit gate or at the bus stop itself. Please note there are around 2-3 operators – City Tour, City SightSeeing Tour and they have similar buses and prices but the tickets are not interchangeable. Ticket rates for one day are 13 euros for just the RED line and 16 euros for ALL lines (consisting of RED, BLUE and GREEN lines), while it is 20 euros for 3 days for all lines. Buying for ALL lines is preferable as RED line route is a very small and can be covered by walking by young people. Also check the timings of these buses at the various stops. These buses operates mostly from 10 am to 4-4:30pm, so plan your stops accordingly.

By taxi
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. 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). Tallink is also one of the more expensive taxi companies.
Sobra , “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
Luxlimu , Sclass Mercedes and Stretch Limousine Transfers.
Mobile Taxi Applications:

Taxify  Leading taxi ordering application with 50,000 users and growing rapidly. Covers 800+ taxis in Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu and Haapsalu. Works on Android and iOS devices. Choose your taxi by location/distance, price list, car model, card payment and user reviews. If you have problems after the ride, report Taxify and they will deal with driver.
By car
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. 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, Parnu 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. The locations of ticket machines, and other methods for paying for parking, aren’t always obvious. The ticket machines are not posted clearly. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid being fined:

Each rental car should come with a clock mock up 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. The clock mock up is used to indicate the beginning of of the parking. For example if you park at 5:30, your plastic clock mock up should show 5:30. You can park for free until 5:45.
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, uks 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. When you get your parking ticket, it will look more like a lottery ticket. 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 is available online
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 center. 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.

Car rental agencies :

By bike : There are a few bicycle paths and lanes in Tallinn, maybe 5 km in total. The other paths are shared between pedestrians and cyclists (“cyclist and pedestrian road” – typically a rebranded sidewalk). Those are not always marked appropriately so you might end up on the pavement where riding is legally not allowed. But the police does not care so long as nobody gets injured. Ride where it’s safe without hitting anyone and not getting hit by anything. Helmet highly recommended when interacting with cars. During evening rush hour getting around by bicycle is on par with cars or even faster.

City Bike . Over 150 bicycles and lot of extra gear, €15 for 24 hours. Real cyclist centre with experienced staff, opened from 2003. The Original Welcome to Tallinn bike tour, daily 11 AM (€19), Soviet bike tour in Tallinn (€19), summer 5 PM, Lahemaa National Park bicycle and nature tours for the whole day (€29), good recommendations for day-routes in Tallinn and self-guided tours in all over Estonia. Tours start from our Old Town office, Vene 33 (500 meters from Viru Street, McDonalds corner).
Tallinn Traveller Tours . 3. Alternative bike tours run by local youth. Tours start from the Tallinn Traveller Info tent (corner of Harju and Niguliste Street) or from the Tallinn Traveller Info office at Vana-Posti 2 (off-season). Funky Bike Tour to Kopli and Kalamaja (€13), Beautiful Bike Tour to Kadriorg (€13), Green Bike Tour to the Open Air Museum (€20), Island Bike Tour to Aegna Island (€35).
Remember to not leave any bicycle during night time (or long time) outside unattended, there is a probability that the bicycle would get damaged/stolen, many hostels provide safe space to store it.
On foot
The Old Town of Tallinn is very comfortably covered on foot. If you have a mobile phone, mobile tours in English are available for download on the internet. Audio guides in several languages are available for small charge at the tourist centres.

Tips for First Time Visitors
If you are on a day trip to Tallinn for few hours only, then you can walk down to Viru street (10-15 min walk from Ferry Terminal) or take a taxi to get there and then roam the old city on foot. There are some great “lookout” points, where you can take in spectacular views of the rest of Old Town.

Attractions : The Old City
Medieval Old Town. Excellently preserved, built in the 15-17th centuries. This compact area is best explored on foot. Call a tour guide for 56 Euros for 2 hours for two. It will give you a lot of stories that you won’t have been aware of. It’s worth the money.

View to the Tallinn old town
Viru Gate, (Entrance to 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.
Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square). The square in the heart of the Old City, ringed with cafes and restaurants. Houses a cute Christmas market in late November and December.
Raekoda (Town Hall) . Built in 1371, this heavy stone structure dominates the square. It now houses the Tallinn City Museum.
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). edit
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. a classic onion-domed 19th-century Russian Orthodox church that has become a touristy symbol of the city, to the annoyance of some who regard it as a symbol of oppression. It was almost demolished in 1924 during Estonia’s first brief spell of independence, but the Soviets left it to moulder and it has been restored to its former glory.
Riigikogu . Estonia’s Parliament, pretty in pink.
St Mary’s Cathedral – Toomkirik. 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, Toompea str. 8, corner of Toompea St. and Kaarli Blvd. 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 Vaike-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: €3.
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.
Outside the Old City
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.

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.
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. edit
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.
Tallinn Linnahall, Mere pst. 20 (stop: Linnahall Bus 3 or #90K (Airport bus) to stop 7 and then a 5-minute walk to the Linda line terminal past the Domina Inn Ilmarine hotel), [8]. A fine example of Soviet Brutalist architecture designed by Raine Karp and Riina Altmae 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.

Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn
National Library of Estonia (Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu), Tonismagi 2. Completed in the early 90s, the exterior of this building looks like a Freemasons building and the interior is like a neo-futuristic dungeon. Free.
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.
Metsakalmistu Cemetary, Pirita (stop: Metsakalmistu, Bus no 34A or 38). Tallinn’s most famous cemetary, housing Estonia’s presidents Konstantin Pats 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.
Song Festival Grounds, (stops: Oru, Lasnamagi, or Lauluvaljak) . 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 kilometers east of the city center 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. €5.
Culture Kilometre, (Starts next to Tallinn harbour behind the Statoil gas station). A 2.2 km route built on an old railroad. The walk-way passes by some interesting destinations including Katel (Tallinn Cultural Hub), Fish market (Kalaturg), the historic Patarei Prison, the Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam) and ends at the end of Kalamaja park on Toostuse street. Free.
Pae Park, (Take the no. 68 bus towards Priisle, get off at the KUMU bus stop, then walk 300m). An old quarry in Tallinn’s biggest sleeping district which has been turned into a lovely park. You can also see a lighthouse in the middle of the city. Free.

Activities :
Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam), 6 Vesilennuki Street, . New maritime museum where you can visit the submarine Lembit which was the oldest submarine afloat in the World when it was hauled out in 2011. The hangars exhibition has different kind of vessels, old (air defense) cannons, sea mines, etc. and has a lot of multimedia information screens, and also some activities for children. It also has the remains of the oldest wreck found from Estonian waters (ship was built about 1550). The museum ships are at the harbor and include steam ship Suur Toll which is the biggest icebreaker in the world preserved through two world wars, and border control boats. In front of the hangars is a an exhibition of different kinds of army vehicles of different ages. Hangars and museum ships: adults 10e, children 5e. Hangars only: adults 8e, children 4e.
Tallinn TV Tower, Kloostrimetsa 58a (stop: Motoklubi). A 314-metre 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.

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.
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. edit
Open Air Museum, Vabaohumuuseumi str. 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. 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.
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.
Schooner Kajsamoor, Lennusadam . Daily, Sailing Sightseeing tours on the Bay of Tallinn with guided tour and lunch. Visitors can contemplate the amazing view of Tallinn’s Bay and enjoy listening to the Old Port Life’s stories. Tours run from May thru mid-September. Private tours and events can also be organized.The schooner is located at the Seaplane Harbour.
Beaches : 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 Marina and Beach, (Look for the massive Soviet architecture located 5km from the centre. Walk or take the bus 1A, 8, 34A or 38). the yachting venue for Moscow 1980 Olympic Games. It features a large sandy beach and in the summer it’s full of locals and tourists.
Stroomi Beach, (North Tallinn). The water is clean and warm, and it is the gay friendliest beach of Tallinn.
Harku Lake, (West Tallinn). 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!
Kakumae beach, (Bus 21 from Balti jaam (where the trains arrive), bus 21A from Vaike-Oismae. 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 sporting opportunities – from ATV rentals to ice skating.

Tourists from European countries often opt for spa holidays in the city.

Film Festivals
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (POFF) . November/December. The festival combines a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films.
Music Festivals

Tallinn Winter Festival, Tallinn . Winter. Winter Classical Music festival, with performances by Estonian top soloists and talented young artists from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. Takes place in historical landmark buildings of Tallinn.
Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn . 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 Parnu.
Tallinn Old Town Days, Tallinn . May/June.
The Estonian Song Celebration (In Estonian: 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.
Ollesummer Festival, (Tallinn) . July. Approx 70,000 people attend the festival each year over the course of 4 days.
Birgitta Festival, Tallinn . August. Music and theatre festival, held at the ruins of the historical Pirita (St. Bridget’s) convent.
Tallinn Chamber Music Festival, Tallinn . 21-31 August 2013. Music festival, held at the historic buildings of the Town Hall, Hopner House, St John’s and St Michael’s Swedish Church. Usually some free concerts. 5-8€, discounts for children.
Sport Events
Simpel Session, Tallinn . Summer/Winter. International skateboarding and BMX event. edit
Tallinn International Horseshow, Tallinn . Spring/Autumn. Biggest international horseriding competition in Baltic states, includes showjumping and dressage. Takes place in Saku Suurhall

Other
Tallinn Free Tour . This walking tour, guided by local young students, is an alternative to normal sightseeing trips, and is made specially for true travelers. In addition to the legends and true stories from medieval times to nowadays, fun facts and stories you can get brief overview on what to do and where to party at night. Tour lasts 2 hours and starts every day at 12PM from Tallinn Traveller Info tent (from June to August) or the official Tourist Info (from September to May). Tallinn Free Tour: Free, tips only.
Old Town Walking Tou . This tour is like a private walk around Tallinn with a local friend. In addition to legends and true stories from medieval times to nowadays, you have a chance to have private conversations with a young local to find out how people in Estonia really live. Tours lasts 2 hours and starts from Tallinn Traveller Info tent (from June to August) or Tallinn City Tourist information point on the corner of Niguliste and Kullasepa street (September to May). Old Town Walking Tour: €10 per person.
Old Town Walking & Secret Tunnels Tour. This tour consists of two parts: off-the beaten track places in Old town with good stories and secret tunnels visit. It is classical tour with different touch, local stories and real information about life in Tallinn. Ask questions to find out how people in Estonia really live. Tours lasts 2-2.5 hours and starts from City Bike office (Uus Street 33) at 2 PM. Booking required, possibility to have also walking tour without tunnels. Old Town Walking Tour & tunnels: €16 per person

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Go next : Lahemaa National Park / Soomaa National Park / Kaberneeme / Viljandi / Tartu / Paldiski / Helsinki, Finland

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