Updated 2016

Tallinn is the capital and largest city in Estonia, but at only 400,000 people this is not a metropolis that overwhelms visitors. The old center is gorgeous and very well preserved while the outskirts feature new buildings that make this the most modern city in the Baltic Region. The Russian influence can still be felt, but Tallinn feels very Scandinavian compared to some of the other cities of this region.

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What To Do

The old city center is filled with medieval walls and buildings and the entire thing is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Viru Gate is on one edge and it’s the city’s most fashionable shopping area. Further in you come to the Raekoja Plats, which is the central square in the district and also home to the 14th Century City Hall building.

The Toomkirik, on a hill overlooking the city, is Estonia’s oldest church, dating back to the 13th Century. This is where the city of Tallinn was born and today is one of its most interesting and popular attractions. There is also an interesting open air museum in the city that recreates an authentic craft village from centuries past. For something a bit more modern there is the TV Tower with its 21st floor observation deck that offers great views of the whole area.

Read: Medieval Maidens in Tallinn.

Getting There

It’s possible to arrive in Tallinn by train, but this area is not known for efficient and organized rail service so flying is usually the better option. You can book a flight into Tallinn Airport (code: TLL) from all over the region. This is the busiest airport in the Baltics so fares are competitive. The airport is close to the city center so taxis are affordable although there is local bus service as well.

Where To Stay

Tallinn is not a big city, but the old center is where the attractions are so it might be worth paying a bit more to be central. There are several hostels in Tallinn and the usually variety of hotels in Tallinn as well. Summer is the busy season so things can get booked up in advance. Plan ahead if you are coming during July and August. Winters are somewhat harsh in this region so accommodations should be easy to find if you are brave enough to arrive then.