Musement takes a look at some of the best things to see and do in Tallinn, the lovely Estonian capital.
Of all the Baltic capitals, Tallinn feels the most compact, with its neat little old town and hip former industrial districts.
The slower pace of life there in summer is perhaps due to its proximity to beautiful beaches and island getaways, where locals stay on holidays and enjoy traditional saunas and barbecues by the sea.
We put together a list of 33 things to see and do in Tallinn. Though Estonia’s inexpensive public transport will allow you to get out of the capital and see more of this beautiful country.
1. Visit the trendy Telliskivi district for artisan coffee, craft beer, or to search for some Baltic souvenirs.
2. Take a day trip to the island of Prangli and compete in the weekend marathon from the harbor to the church and back
3. Photograph the distinctive architecture of the old town.
4. Eat solyanka, a popular soup originally from Russia available at plenty of restaurants around town.
5. Take public transport everywhere and pay nothing. It’s free for locals, so just try to blend in.
6. Drink spring water from the island of Saaremaa, or better still, take a day trip there.
7. Walk along the seafront and admire the architecture built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics
8. Buy a book written in Estonian at Puänt Bookshop.
9. Reenact your favorite scenes from the film Stalker by the iconic brick tower embossed with the with letters ‘UN’.
Photo: Pjotr Mahhonin, Creative Commons: CC-BY-SA-4.0
10. Take the ferry to Helsinki for 20 euros but beware, the country is much more expensive than Estonia.
11. Enjoy the clean white sand on the beach that’s just a 20-minute walk from the center.
12. Discover Estonia’s troubled history at the KGB museum.
13. Make your own Estonian summer salad with tomato, cucumber, dill, and sour cream.
14. Read “Our Man in Havana” in one of the parks, a book that author Graham Greene originally set in Tallinn.
15. Stroke a cat whilst enjoying coffee and cake at Cat Cafe Nurri
16. Do not get stuck drinking at sports bars, there are better places to imbibe in Tallinn.
17. Imagine what life was like during the Soviet era at Café Narva
18. Photograph monuments at Kadriorg Park and tag them #Musement.
19. Go skateboarding at Spot of Tallinn and get stoked for the summer skate festivals
20. Visit Seaplane Harbour Lennusadam and find out about Estonia’s maritime history.
21. Admire the gorgeous interior of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
22. Walk around Linnahall, a striking bit of architecture.
23. The “Broken Line” monument has a tragic backstory, go see it and learn about it.
24. Brush up on your local history at the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom.
25. For a day out that will please all ages, head to Tallinn Zoo.
26. Drink craft beer in the old town, Estonians love the stuff.
27. Eat pelmeni, traditional Russian dumplings, at Pelmen Käsitöö Kohvik.
28. For fans of heavy rock Rockclub Tapper puts on some great evenings.
29. Stay in the tiny Old Town Alur hostel, which has a friendly and sociable atmosphere.
30. Hang out with the intelligentsia at Tallinn Art Space.
31. Visit Super Alko for inexpensive booze and authentic Russian vodka.
32. Check out the Estonian National Opera for an evening of culture
33. Take the Lux Express bus down to Tartu, a gorgeous university town.
This list of things to see and do in Tallinn is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to leave some of your own ideas in the comments.