How to Spend 1 Day in Tallinn
Got a day to get to know Tallinn? If so, you’ll have time to see the star attractions of Estonia’s 1,000-year-old capital and delve a little deeper into its history, culture, and off-the-radar sights. Here are our ideas for making the most of 24 hours in this lively city.
Morning: Cover the Old Town
Start by familiarizing yourself with the Upper Town and Lower Town of Tallinn’s Old Town. Select a private or group walking or bus-and-walking tour, and absorb Upper Town highlights such as Toompea Castle and the onion-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, before seeing the Lower Town’s medieval towers, Old Town Square, and more. Many tours include a sightseeing drive around farther-out sights such as Kadriorg Palace and the ruins of Pirita Convent. Alternatively, select a hop-on hop-off bus tour that combines a panoramic overview of the city with the flexibility to disembark at stops that interest you.
Afternoon: Different Perspectives
See Tallinn from a different angle this afternoon. Take a leisurely bike tour around its old fishing quarter of Kalamaja, passing its pastel-painted wooden houses and visiting off-the-beaten-trail attractions such as the 1980-built city hall and Balti Jaam market. Otherwise, leave town to climb the Soviet-era Tallinn TV Tower for bird’s-eye views over Estonia’s forests and coastline. If you’re a foodie at heart, let a guide introduce you to some of Tallinn’s markets and delis to taste staples including rye bread and berry wine. Alternatively, celebrate Tallinn’s claim to fame as the birthplace of marzipan by learning to shape the sugar-and-almond paste at a workshop.
Evening: Ghosts and Good Times
Tallinn gets extra atmospheric at night, with a party air mingling with the history and mystery of its darkened lanes. Tap into its creepy credentials on a ghost-themed walking tour, roaming the cobbles to discover hidden corners and tales of murders, hauntings, and spooky happenings. Alternatively, sample Estonia’s home-grown brews on a craft-beer tour, or take your tastebuds on a jaunt around the country’s traditional liqueurs, such as Vana Tallinn. For some serious partying, meanwhile, join a bar crawl around Tallinn’s hottest spots, enjoying included drinks at happening bars before hitting a nightclub.