Travel Guide Europe Estonia Tallinn



Tallin dall'alto

Tallin dall'alto

© paolino79

Tallinn is Estonia's capital and most important city. Bracing the country's northern coast, the city of 400,000 lies alongside the Gulf of Finland. Tallinn has a colourful Old Town which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name is said to derive from the Danish word for castle and it is still sometimes referred to as Reval, an old German name for the city.
You will find Tallinn is easily accessible by boat, plane and bus from many European destinations. Tallinn also boasts a number of low cost airlines that fly into the city airport. It has become a very popular destination in recent years for cruise ships to make stops here as well as weekend breakers, flying in to enjoy the great beers and food on offer around the Old town.




  • Toompea
  • Lower Town
  • Kadriorg
  • Pirita



Sights and Activities

There is a really good information point operating in the summer months known as the Travelers Info Tent which is situated just next to the main tourist office. From here they run a number of really cool tours such as bike rides, pub crawls and even a free walking tour. They have information on events and local sites and it is run by young enthusiastic locals.

Old Town

Tallinn's Old Town is a beautifully preserved medieval part of the city with fantastic buildings and elements of its original defensive city wall still in tact. One of the most enjoyable things to do in Tallinn is to take a stroll before the rest of the city wakes up. You can get a true feeling of a time past and gone when there is no traffic and few other pedestrians walking around the Old streets. The Old Town is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and has numerous interesting buildings and squares. The centrepiece is the Raekoja Plats, with the Town Hall and numerous bars and terraces lining up next to it.


Head down towards the train station and you will find a great little city market. Here you can buy all kinds of things from food produce to second hand goods. This is a really good place if you are interested in finding some old Soviet memorabilia, such as badges, flags, coins etc. Prices of food are sometimes better than that of the supermarkets and in general the whole atmosphere here is a real gem in itself.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

© Utrecht

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Tallinn's old town. It is built in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 to 1900. After Estonia declared independence from the Russian Empire the government talked about destroying it but never did it. After separating from Russia the Estonia's faithfully restored the church. The church is located on the top of Toompea Hill.


Kumu, an abbreviation of the Estonian "Kunstimuuseum" (art museum), is located near the Kadriorg Park in Tallinn and is one of the best in the country and has even been chosen the European Museum of the Year in 2008. This art museum, the biggest of the 5 branches in the country and even the biggest of the entire Baltic region, presents both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The main collection covers Estonian art from the 18th century onwards, including works from the occupations period (1940–1991). Temporary exhibitions include both foreign and Estonian modern and contemporary art.

Other Sights and Activities

  • National History Museum - This museum gives a great description of Estonia history with good English translations. There is also an awesome model of the old town in the lobby.
  • Kadriorg Palace - Visit this amazing former palace of Peter the Great. Part of this palace now houses the Art Museum of Estonia (see above). The palace and museum are located in the splendid Kadriorg Park.

Daytrip to Helsinki

Yes! A trip to another city and country is easily possible, with numerous connections. If you find yourself spending too much time in Tallinn you can always jump on the boat to Helsinki. Tickets are priced quite fairly and boats run on a regular basis, especially in summer when fast boats make the trip in 1.5 hour one-way!



Events and Festivals

Tudengijazz Festival

This jazz and blues festival kicks off many other musical events across Estonia, especially in Tallinn, Tartu and Viljandi. It is held early in the year, between January and February.

Baroque Music Festival

A celebration of classical music, this is one of the most highly anticipated festivals in the region, attracting orchestras and musicians from across Europe. The event tours the most prominent venues in Tallinn between January 28 and February 6.

April Music Festivals

Throughout the month of April, a number of music festivals are held all over Estonia, starting with the International Choir Festival, which heralds the arrival of the spring season with a choral competition. Estonian Music Days is another month-long celebration that recognizes the most prominent symphony composers and chamber music. Harpsichord Days Festival happens mid-month, and is celebrated in various towns like Tartu, Parnu and Viljandi, while the Jazzkaar Festival fills Tallinn Town Hall and Sakala Center with soothing sounds.

Day of Tallinn

This annual Estonian holiday on May 15 commemorates the birth of one of the most beautiful and historic European capitals, Tallinn.

Old Town Days

Held throughout the month of June, this festive is marked by medieval celebrations, parties, street entertainment, markets, and live folk music. It celebrates the rich old town Heritage of Tallinn’s downtown district.


This July beer festival is one of the most popular in Estonia and is held alongside many of the town’s musical events. Local groups perform, while beverages overflow on the Tallin Song Festival Grounds.

Tallinn FoodFest

The Tallinn FoodFest is held throughout November, attracting all kinds of restaurateurs, bakers and wholesalers who show off their goods to hungry foodies and visitors.

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Held from November to December, this festival eases long winter nights with good theater. The highlight is a competition recognizing the best of Estonia’s filmmaking industry.




Summers, though warm, are not particularly inviting. Although temperatures of over 30 °C are possible, they are around 20 degrees during the day on average. Winters are cold with snowfall. Average maximum temperatures are around -5 °C while nights average around -10 °C. Occasionally, when the winds blow east from Siberia, temperatures can plummit way below -20 °C. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, but winters and spring tend to be a bit drier. On average, there are between 10 and 15 wet days with around 50 mm of rain or snow a month.

Avg Max-2.1 °C-2.3 °C1.6 °C8 °C14.6 °C19.2 °C21 °C19.8 °C14.7 °C9.3 °C3.3 °C-0.1 °C
Avg Min-7.5 °C-8.2 °C-4.9 °C0 °C4.9 °C9.8 °C12 °C11.5 °C7.4 °C3.5 °C-1.3 °C-5.2 °C
Rainfall48.3 mm32.4 mm32 mm36.5 mm37.9 mm56.9 mm78.4 mm82.2 mm74 mm72.7 mm67.2 mm56.6 mm
Rain Days1188778111112111414



Getting There

By Plane

Estonian Air is the national airline of Estonia and operates flights throughout Europe from Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (TLL), or Ülemiste Airport, with the main destinations being Amsterdam, London, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Oslo, Stockholm and Brussels. Other airlines serving Tallinn are Air Baltic, Lufthansa to Frankfurt and Munich, Ryanair to Bergamo, Bremen, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Girona, London Luton Airport, Oslo, Stockholm and Airport Weeze, and LOT to Warsaw. Low-cost airline easyJet flies from Liverpool and London Stansted Airport to Tallinn.
Both Estonian Air and Avies have a limited number of domestic flights, for example between Tallinn and Kuressaare and Tartu.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: There are two bus stops at the terminal, one stop in front of the departure area (coming from the city centre) and another one in front of the arrivals area (going to the city centre).
  • Car: Major car rental companies include Avis, Sixt, Europcar, Budget and Hertz.

By Train

Edelarautee is the national railway of Estonia. It has services between Tallinn and dozens of other cities and towns, including Pärnu, Viljandi, Valga, Narva, and Tartu. International trains serve Russia and it's possible to travel between Tallinn and Riga by train via Valga. The train leaves early morning (around 7:00am) from Tallinn and arrives around 11:30am in Valga, where you can catch the onward train at 11:42am to Riga. It takes over 8 hours though, compared to just 4.5 hours by bus.

By Car

Tallinn is easily accessible by car and lies on the Via Baltica, E67 European route. A road that joins Prague to Helsinki, passing through the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

By Bus

GoBus within Estonia and Eurolines to other countries operate a number of buses to and from Tallinn. Destinations include Riga and Vilnius.

By Boat

Finland and Sweden

  • Nordic Jet - Has boats running between Helsinki and Tallinn, 1 about every 2 hours starting at 8:00am and ending at 7:30pm. A one way super economy ticket is €28 but you have to book your tickets online.
  • Tallink Silja - Also has regular service between Helsinki and Tallinn starting at 7:30am but also has service to several other Scandinavia cities.
  • Viking Line - One of this companies larger boats makes its first or last stop in Tallinn before going to Helsinki then on to Sweden.




Getting Around

By Car

Tallinn has a well marked road system and Estonians are quite considerate drivers compared to their Baltic neighbours to the south.

If you are catching a cab, make sure that the taximeter is turned on when you start off. Usually it's a good idea to avoid black "taxi" cars with tinted car windows. Check the different taxi companies for options.

By Public Transport

There are Electric trains in Tallinn to the suburbs. The city operates a system of bus (62 lines), tram (4 lines) and trolley-bus (8 lines) routes to all districts. A flat-fare system is used. Payment for single tickets is made either by pre-purchase of tickets at street-side kiosks or by a purchase from the transport vehicle. Monthly cards are available by registering through the national ID-card. Starting from January 2013 public transport for citizens registered to live in Tallinn is completely free. That includes buses, trams and trolleybuses.

By Foot

Within the Old Town of Tallinn you will be more than fine just walking around on foot. Everything you could possibly need is within easy reach and despite the cobbles and hills it is really simple to get around.

By Bike

Tallinn has bike lanes and in general Estonians are a lot more aware of cyclists than their Baltic neighbours. Bike rental is available from a number of rental services as well as bike tours around the city.




The Old Town is packed with restaurants claiming to offer authentic Estonian food, particularly on and around Raekoja plats. Prices at restaurants near the Raekoja Plats are generally more expensive, yet offer the same quality of food, as restaurants off this main square. Prices are steep by Estonian standards, but still much cheaper than neighbouring Helsinki, which explains why on weekends they're always packed with day tripping Finns.




Tallinn's crazy nightlife is out of proportion to the city's small size. The days of armed mafiosos are over and these days any drunken fights tend to involve stag parties. Exercise some caution in choosing your venue, as some strip clubs and regular clubs make their money by fleecing tourists who come in for a drink. In local places, beers cost €2.50-4.00.





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English language teachers with TEFL certificates or equivalent are in demand. Especially during periods of Summer School and/or TOEFL test times, teachers have good opportunities.

Jobs for non-Estonian speakers are less common in other fields, although several IT companies (e.g. Skype) have English based job openings. Compared to Finland or other Scandic countries salaries are lower, so it could make sense to utilize job opportunities in nearby areas. Estonia is part of the EU and Eurozone, so work permits are easy for EU member states and associated countries. All other will need to apply for work permits.




Keep Connected


Estonia is one of the most connected nations on earth when it comes to internet, boasting 'Internet access is a basic human right'. You will find no shortage of Wi-Fi hot spots around the city, with most hotels and hostels offering high speed internet and Wi Fi included in their prices. Access to wireless, free internet is widespread in Tallinn and Tartu. As with most cities you will find the Wi-Fi spots in most good cafes, bars, pubs, libraries and public areas. Outside of the city you will even find Wi-Fi spots in petrol stations! You can also find internet cafes around town but with the advent of internet enabled phones and wireless connections all over the city many of these establishments may not be around for so long. On the open road you will often find petrol stations which offer wireless internet access too. Most hotels also have a computer with internet access available. The departure lounge at Tallinn airport has several free internet access points for passengers


See also: International Telephone Calls

The international phone code for Estonia is 372. The general emergency number is 112, but you can also use 110 for police only if you prefer.

For local calls, dial the 7 or 8 digit number given. There is no "0" dialled before local numbers

GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover the whole country. Main operators include AS EMT, Radiolinja Eesti and TELE2. Mobile access is available everywhere, even on the smaller islands and at sea. Prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards and their top up cards can be bought from R-kiosks (ask for a "kõnekaart" - calling card in English). Popular brands are Smart, Simpel, Diil and Zen. Start-up packages are in a range of €1.55-10.

If you use your own cell phone and don't buy a local SIM card, switch off data roaming to avoid high costs for internet. Only use wifi in that case.


Eesti Post is Estonia's national postal service with generally fast and reliable services for sending postcards, parcels and letters. It can take up to 4-5 days to send mail to Western Europe though, longer outside the continent. Domestic services are much faster though. Post offices are generally open from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:30am to 3:00pm on Saturday, though some variations might be possible depending on the post office. Some larger central ones might be open evenings and on Sundays. There is no need to buy stamps at the post offices though; just get your stamps at some shops or kiosks and drop your mail off in any of the small orange post boxes, which are abundant throughout the country. Within Estonia, the postage cost for a letter up to 50 grams is €0.45. To other EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine the cost is €1 and to the rest of the world €1.10.
If you want to send packages to other countries, it is best to use international courier companies like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx, as they offer fast, reliable and competitively priced services.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 59.438862
  • Longitude: 24.754472

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This is version 38. Last edited at 1:59 on Nov 6, 19 by SZ. 39 articles link to this page.

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