Tallinn In One Day: Things to Do And Where to Stay

tallinn in one day

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 one day (in my opinion). 

one day in tallinn

Estonia is a small country with a sad history, which mainly involves being occupied - be it by Soviets, Germans, Swedes or even Danes. 

tallinn airbnb

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 (like one of the guy's surname's was even Tallinn, lol). So we headed to its capital: Tallinn.

things to do in tallinn

We only had one night and one day 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:

Things to do in Tallinn in one day

Wander Around Tallinn's Old Town

tallinn tours

True to its 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 around every corner.

where to stay in tallinn

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:

24 hours in tallinn

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. This was one of our favourite things to do in Tallinn

tallinn in 24 hours

Although it was fun to walk around (read: take photos) I did feel a little like I didn't know anything about what I was looking at. Next time I'd probably book a Tallinn Old Town Walking Tour or do some serious wiki research beforehand (let's be honest I'll be booking a tour, it's easier).

Check out the Raekoja Plats in Tallinn

things to do in tallinn

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 down a side street: 

tallinn tours

Update: yes this was pre-vegan oops... if you're wondering, here's a blog post on how travel made me vegan. And if you're not (yet) vegan there's a highly recommended 3-Hour Estonian Food Tour that my friends went on. 

Walk to the top of St Olaf's Church in Tallinn

airbnb tallinn

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 of 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. 

Best views in Tallinn

tallinn in one day

(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 orange 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. Nope that's not so environmentally friendly... Use architecture and your legs, please.

Count the creepy dolls in Tallinn

one day in tallinn

Don't miss one of the weirdest things to do in Tallinn: 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.

More of Tallinn in one night: 

Our friend Jeevan made a cool vlog about Tallinn:

And talking of nightlife, if you're anything like me (gets lost and drunk easily) you might want to try a bar crawl in Tallinn cause they'll look after you :) We also highly recommend Tallinn Stag, who gave us great tips on how to spend our time in Tallinn. They tend to organise stag-dos in Tallinn for British and Scandinavian cis-male groups, although occasionally groups of women visit Tallinn as well for their hen parties. I think this is a pity as Tallinn has a lot to offer women with its cosy historical downtown, hot-water spas, saunas, yacht trips on the Baltic and the classy nightlife. The stag groups tend to enjoy shooting with real guns, moto-paintball (playing paintball from cars running on the paintball field), craft beer sessions, demolition derby with Russian Lada cars and clubbing - all of which women can and do enjoy too. Tallinn might not be as progressive when it comes to women's rights and equalities as some other European countries, but it's still more progressive than most of the rest of Europe and indeed most of the rest of the world. 

If you're lucky enough to spend longer than 24 hours in Tallinn you must make sure you try these 7 fun things to do in Tallinn and let us know which one you liked best. 

Where to stay in Tallinn

Tallinn Airbnb

tallinn airbnb

When we spent 24 hours in Tallinn, we decided to stay in Tallinn 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 Airbnb 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 Paris Airbnb here for tips on using Airbnb for the first time. 

Prices from £13/night.

Boutique Hotel Tallinn

CRU Hotel Tallinn ☆☆☆☆

boutique hotel tallinn
CRU Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel and one of the best places to stay in Tallinn. This 4-Star hotel boasts an excellent restaurant and is set in a great location - it's actually in Old Town (you can't get more authentic than that) and is right next to St Mary's Cathedral. 

CRU offer free wifi and a great breakfast. 

Prices from £96

Dorell Hotel 

cheap hotel tallinn

If you're looking for the best cheap hotel in Tallinn, have a look at Dorell Hotel. Prices start from £41 per night (which even includes breakfast). They even have an indoor pool! And free wifi and parking of course. 

Prices from £41

Transport to Tallinn

Tallinn was extremely easy to get to from Helsinki with 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 airbnb

Tallinn is also very easy to reach/ leave from by plane. Thanks to flight comparison site Kiwi (the best website when it comes to finding the best cheap flights) 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 Tallinn in one day - 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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tallinn in one day

Have you ever been to Tallinn? What was your favourite bit? Write a comment below and let us know!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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