Want to visit Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, but have limited time? Don't worry, with this guide you will experience the best sights of Tallinn in just 24 hours!
Estonia is a small country with a sad history, which mainly involves being occupied - be it by Soviets, Germans, Swedes or even Danes.
But the last twenty years have been happier, and Estonia now holds its own as a country with good education and good freedom of speech. It's also a very internet happy country and brought us the wonder that is Skype! So we headed to its capital: Tallinn.
We only had 24 hours in Tallinn, which isn't really a long enough time to make a judgement on a country, but is long enough to have a taste of it and to be able to bring you some recommendations, so:
How should you spend just one day in Tallinn?
Wander Around Old Town
True to it's name, this is a very Old Town, with some parts dating back as far as the 11th century. The whole thing is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it's very impressive with surprises round every corner.
One of the most famous towers is Fat Margaret's Tower. I don't know who poor Margaret was, but I think it's a bit harsh to name a fat tower after her:
Although Old Town is very small (about 30 minutes walk from one end to the other) there are so many little side streets and alleys that to explore it properly takes hours.
Check out Raekoja Plats
This is Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square). It's at the centre of Old Town and has lots of restaurants and souvenir shops and quite often a market too.
We thought about having lunch here, but it was a) expensive and b) the restaurant people stand outside and pressure you to go in. That makes me feel super awkward and mean when I say no.
There were also a lot of Italian restaurants. We LOVE Italian food, but wanted something a bit more 'Baltic'. In the end we settled for a delicious burger and beer:
Walk to the top of St Olaf's Church
St Olaf's Church was built around the 12th century and is very pretty from the outside. If you've read our 14 Free Things to do in Helsinki post you will know that we have three categories for churches: spiritual, creepy and boring.
St Olaf's unfortunately fell into the latter category, but nevertheless it was pretty from the outside and you can walk up it.
|Photo credit: Pixabay|
Tallinn's real beauty can only really be found by getting up high. This is because just like Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia, Tallinn has some really gorgeous orangey red roofs. To find the best views in Tallinn, we recommend St Olaf's Church, Komeet or even riding in a hot air balloon over Tallinn.
Count the creepy dolls
For some reason, there are a lot of creepy dolls in Tallinn. Perhaps it was because we'd just seen 'Annabelle' but they were scary. Still, you can't miss them if you wander around Tallinn and they make great Instagram photos!
Where to stay in Tallinn
Stay with AirBnB
|Prices from £13/night|
When we spent 24 hours in Tallinn, we stayed the night at an AirBnB. Our host was so nice! He came and picked us up from the town centre, which isn't required by AirBnB, so it was very considerate of him.
The flat was just a studio, but had everything that we needed for the night - plus tasty coffee and a log fire.
We had a great night's sleep. This was our second stay with AirBnB, you can read all about our first stay with AirBnB here.
And if you'd like to stay with AirBnB please have a $25 AirBnB voucher :)
CRU Hotel Tallinn
|Prices from £133 per night|
If you're looking to spend the night somewhere fancy, consider CRU Hotel. This 4-Star hotel offers rooms starting at £133 per night.
|Prices from £30 per night|
If you're looking for a cheaper hotel in Tallinn, have a look at Dorell Hotel. Prices start from £30 per night (which includes breakfast).
Tallinn was extremely easy to get to from Finland by the ferry. Where the ferry drops you off look out for St Olaf's Tower and then head straight towards it (if you want to go into Old Town).
Tallinn is also very easy to reach/ leave from by plane. Thanks to Skyscanner (an excellent website which compares plane prices) our flights to Germany were super cheap. The airport is very close to the city centre - and only ten minutes walk from where we stayed with AirBnB.
All in all we really enjoyed Estonia - even though we weren't there for very long, it's always great to experience a new country.
The strangest thing was, going from Finland - Estonia - Germany, was half the price of journeying straight from Finland - Germany.
(We took the ferry from Helsinki to Estonia, and then a cheap flight from Tallinn to Bremen.)
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Have you ever been to Tallinn? What was your favourite bit? Write a comment below and let us know!
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!