Many tourists travel to Tallinn to feel the bewitching medieval atmosphere of the Old Town. Guests arriving here by sea traditionally begin their acquaintance with the Great Sea Gate and the Fat Margaret Tower. The sight is impressive – majestic walls, ancient masonry and a wide arch that opens the door to the past.
At the entrance to the Old Town there is a large map showing all its main attractions.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Estonia is 1.329 million (2021).
The very heart of the fortress is Town Hall Square with a monumental town hall built in the Gothic style. From the top of the main tower, where the main symbol of the city Old Toomas settled many years ago, a very beautiful view opens up. However, there is one more place from which Old Tallinn is visible at a glance – Patkuli observation deck on one of the slopes of Toompeo Hill.
In Katarina Lane, you can buy unique souvenirs created by local craftsmen using ancient technologies, and watch the work of artisans. Small shops are located in medieval buildings, the interior of which has not changed much over the centuries.
Be sure to check out Toompea Castle, whose main attraction is the Long German Tower. Now the Parliament is sitting in this ancient building. Of particular interest are the churches and cathedrals of the Old Town built in different eras and in different styles – the tallest Gothic church in Medieval Europe Oleviste, the Dome Cathedral, in which the famous traveler I.F. Kruzenshtern, and others are buried.
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There are a lot of museums in Tallinn with different thematic exhibitions. Rocca al mare, better known as the Estonian Open Air Museum, is considered one of the most interesting. Far from the bustle of the city, in a picturesque forested area, an old Estonian village lurks. Wooden buildings from different eras are presented here, acquainting guests with the life of the Estonian people.
Several city museums remind of the close connection between the history of Estonia and Russia. Among them are the Tallinn Russian Museum, dedicated to the life of the Russian community in this country, and the House Museum of Peter I, located on the territory of the Kadriorg park. It was within these walls that our sovereign lived during his frequent visits to the city.
You can get a closer look at the history of the country and the peculiarities of the life of local residents in the Estonian History Museum, the main exposition of which is located in the Old Town, on the street. Pikk. The building of the Great Guild contains many exhibits dedicated to Estonia and the difficulties that Estonians faced on the way to independence.
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- Go around all the streets and nooks and crannies of the Old Town.
- Wander into the most deserted alley and imagine that the courtyard is indeed the Middle Ages and a horse-drawn carriage is about to appear around the corner.
- In the evening, set out to watch the brightly lit cruise ships arrive and depart.
- Try to see Helsinki from the observation deck of the Tallinn TV Tower.
Tallinn for children
When going to Tallinn with children, you can be sure that they will not get bored in the middle of the fortress walls and churches – there are many interesting and quite modern entertainments in the Estonian capital.
For outdoor activities in Tallinn, the Skypark trampoline center and the swimming pool with a water park at the Kalev Spa Hotel are open. Both of them are perfect for relaxing with kids – there are separate sections, slides and playrooms. Skypark is equipped with a labyrinth town with trampolines, attractions and a dry pool.
Of the museums, Miia-Milla-Manda is of particular interest to children. Here, in a playful way, they get acquainted with different professions – from a photographer to a watchmaker. Entire workplaces are equipped in separate zones, it is noteworthy that all instruments can be picked up and played.
The exposition is intended for children from 3 to 11 years old.
Tireless researchers should go to the interactive museum “Energy”. All exhibits, of which there are more than a hundred, are allowed to be turned on and off and to see how they work. The science theater demonstrates chemical and physical experiments to visitors, and the museum staff conducts many master classes every day.
Also in Tallinn there is a puppet theater and a museum of puppets “Nuku”, located in the same building. An extensive exhibition, daily performances, as well as workshops with open lessons and a “panic room” make visiting this place truly exciting.
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Holidays and events
To the delight of tourists, the cultural life of the Estonian capital is rich in all kinds of holidays, festivals and just lovely traditions. There is a chance to get to an interesting sports, music or culinary event almost at any time of the year.
At the beginning of summer, the streets of Old Tallinn are filled with tourists and locals. The program includes classical music, shows and performances, knightly competitions and other sports competitions. The festival “Days of the Old City” takes place annually in the first week of June.
A month later, at the beginning of July, the Old Town, along with all its inhabitants, is transferred 5 centuries ago. In the “Days of the Middle Ages” skillful artisans with their apprentices, brave knights and talented minstrels take to the streets. A school of fencing and archery opens its doors for children, wandering artists and musicians perform for adults.
In addition, the city hosts many music festivals (guitar – in mid-June, jazz – in late April, classical – in the first week of June), theater (in early June) and cinema (in mid-November), beer holidays (in the first half July) and street food (second week of June). Most of the events take place around the same time every year, so if you wish, you can plan your trip to take part in the most interesting of them.
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