Make Sure You Extend Your Conference Stay – Top 10 Things to Do in Tallinn, Estonia
If you’ve been too busy mingling with fellow delegates to see much of Tallinn, why not extend your conference visit and take the time to explore? With so many ‘must-do’ activities, it’s time to make the most of your Estonian stay. Take a look at the following list of our top ten things to do in Tallinn.
1. Take the Old Town Walking Tour
Tallinn’s medieval Old Town is not to be missed. Once a bustling trade hub, today, the city boasts UNESCO World Heritage site status and is famed for its winding cobblestone streets, old merchant houses, towering churches and half-hidden courtyards.
Walking tours typically take a couple of hours and take in the most fascinating sights in both the Upper Town (Toompea) and the Lower Town. The Lower Town showcases the city’s rich medieval heritage. The Town Hall Square is home to the grand, 600-year-old Tallinn Town Hall and Europe’s oldest continuously-operating pharmacy.
Katariina Käik (St. Catherine’s Passage) is the epitome of the city’s fairy tale charm. This half-hidden walkway runs behind what used to be St. Catherine’s Church. Home to St. Catherine’s Guild, visitors can watch artists at work as they showcase a range of traditional crafts.
Ancient spires are found in abundance in the Upper Town, which also boasts many sightseeing hotspots not to be missed. Toompea Castle, on top of the Hill, is home to the Estonian parliament.
2. Shoot a selfie at Toompea’s viewing platforms
No visit to the Upper Town would be complete without stopping to see the panoramic views of the Old Town and the modern city beyond from the viewing platforms.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform is on the northern side of Toompea Hill. Offering excellent views over the red roofs and towering spires of the Old Town, it also displays the gleaming high rise buildings of modern Tallinn with the Gulf of Finland beyond. Enjoy unforgettable views all year round, whatever the weather.
Patkuli Viewing Platform is situated in one of the most ancient parts of Tallinn and provides picturesque views of the Old Town, taking in its fairy tale towers and walls, all the way down to the port.
3. Explore Tallinn by bus
Mixing modern and medieval, Tallinn is truly fascinating. Why not explore every facet of the city by taking a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ bus tour? There are three tours from which to choose. Alternatively, take them all.
The Red Line introduces central Tallinn and takes in the Kumu Art Museum, which is also a popular conference venue. Hop off at the Kalamaja district to witness this infamous area of wooden architecture, currently being gentrified along with the Seaplane Harbour and Port.
The Green Line runs to the Pirita beach district and stops at the St. Bridget’s Convent ruins, the Botanic Garden and the modernised Tallinn TV Tower.
Hop on the Blue Line to visit the Rocca al Mare area which is home to the Estonian Open Air Museum and the Tallinn Zoo.
4. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment
Take some time out and pamper yourself with a treatment to relax after attending your conference. Estonian spas offer high-quality services, often within luxurious environments.
The history of spas in Estonia expands over more than two centuries. In 1813, salt and herb baths were offered in Kadriorg, making Tallinn the first resort town in the Russian Empire. From the healing powers of Haapsalu sea mud to the unique treatments particular to Värska, Estonia’s spa treatments are highly valued. Most hotels in Tallinn offer a range of treatments at affordable prices.
5. Head out with the locals
Telliskivi Loomelinnak (the Creative City) is located in a former industrial complex and is the creative centre of Tallinn. Consisting of ateliers, studios and creative companies, this trendy suburb offers a cosy and artistic alternative to the sights and nightlife of the Old Town. A favourite haunt for locals, explore a unique selection of shops, cafés and restaurants and enjoy a beer or two with the in-crowd.
6. Climb on the city wall
With 1.9 km of its original city wall and 20 defensive towers still standing, Tallinn boasts one of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications. The system of walls and towers that surround the Old Town is what gives it much of its unique charm.
To get a look at the wall from the inside, head to the three towers at the northwest corner of the Old Town. Here visitors can climb up and explore the wall as well as enjoy a picturesque view of the Town’s red-tiled roofs.
7. Experience Estonia’s art scene
Take the time to tour Kadriorg, Tallinn’s much-loved park and art museum district. Once a summer estate belonging to Tsar Peter the Great, this leafy neighbourhood is now an urban paradise of flowerbeds, fountains, pathways and ponds. At its centre is Kadriorg Palace. This grand, baroque palace built for Peter the Great in 1718 now houses the Art Museum of Estonia’s foreign collection.
The Art Museum of Estonia has its home in the nearby, contemporary art museum, Kumu. Easily the nation’s largest and most impressive exhibition venue, this cultural hub is famed as a feat of architecture and was winner of the ‘European Museum of the Year’ in 2008.
8. Head to the Seaplane Harbour
The Kalamaja district is renowned for its colourful hodgepodge of old fashioned, working class houses and is home to the Seaplane Harbour museum. The historic hangars of the Seaplane Harbour house Tallinn’s modern maritime museum. The museum was opened in May 2012 and displays in excess of 200 large exhibits. A treasure chest of marine history, the Seaplane Harbour has something for everyone, offering a unique environment and unforgettable experience. It can host the largest of conference events, gala dinners and receptions with spectacular views.
9. Shop ‘til you drop
Shopping in Tallinn couldn’t be easier. There are several department stores in the city centre within walking distance from most of the major hotels. Usually open from 9 am to 9 pm, seven days a week, you really can shop ‘til you drop. If you’d like to buy something truly unique to remind you of your Estonian stay, try the Estonian Design House, which showcases and sells the artwork of some of the country’s most-esteemed, local designers. From a fabulous “Time to Rock” bracelet to a handmade, leather handbag, you’re sure to find something to make a statement.
10. Discover Estonia’s mouth-watering marzipan stories
Made in Estonia since medieval times and initially used for medicinal purposes, marzipan is a traditional Estonian treat. As the largest and oldest confectionary company in Estonia, every Estonian knows and loves Kalev confectionary. In the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room at the Maiasmokk cafe in the Old Town, every glorious marzipan figurine has its own story to tell. Even today the figurines are handmade with 100 year old moulds, using traditional recipes and methods.
Why not contact us about extending your conference stay in this truly unforgettable Estonian city, and we’ll make you sure you and your conference delegates don’t miss the top must see sites in Tallinn.