How to spend a day in this romantic Baltic city…
Tallinn is an often-overlooked city on peoples’ Europe itinerary, but this still somewhat secret getaway is sure to steal a piece of your heart. During summertime, you’ll find yourself enjoying its many cafes and street stands, and in the wintertime, the entire Central Square turns into a Christmas wonderland. Staying in Tallinn is also not expensive, so if you’re a budget traveler, this travel location is well suited for you!
Once you arrive in Tallinn, the first spot to check out is Central Square. The locals love to hang out in the center, dining, relaxing, or people watching. The restaurants here are many, so you have plenty of opportunities to stop for a morning cup of coffee or to sit down for some Estonian delicacies. During Christmastime, the square turns quite literally into a winter wonderland. Enjoy a hot cup of mulled wine and admire Estonian handiworks. This is especially fun to experience with a group of friends! Of course, in this case, two hours will not be enough… 😉 If you have the time, you can also climb to the top of St. Olaf’s Church to get a cool view of the city!
Once you’ve enjoyed Central Square, walk up the Lühikese Jala värav, which is a stone staircase connecting the ‘lower town’ to the ‘upper town’. You’ll find a gelato shop by the name of Cortile just before the stairs go up, so if you need a little boost to get up the stairs, this is where you’ll find what you need. Before hiking all the way up, you’ll find a platform inside old ruins, where you can get a peek of the city from above.
The upper town of Tallinn has plenty to offer its visitors. First, find yourself visiting the Alexander Nevsky cathedral, which you will not be able to miss. Then, walk the streets of upper Tallinn to the Kohtuotsa viewing platform, where you get an amazing view of the entire city from above. Photographers, keep this place in mind. 😉 On the way, you’ll spot the magnificent white St. Mary’s Church. You’ll also find a fun local crafts/coffee shop by the viewing platform, ‘Estonian Manorshop’, where you can go buy some souvenirs!
Before heading out for the evening, check out the Viru Gates. The city of Tallinn used to be surrounded by walls with gates around the city, but these are the only original ones still standing. A little historical moment for all the history lovers out there… 😉 There are also some market stands around the area (lots of flowers in the summertime), which you can admire!
Once the evening arrives, head to Telliskivi, the cultural hub of Tallinn. Here you’ll find the Telliskivi Creative City, where you’ll be surrounded by an industrial atmosphere. This is the perfect spot to enjoy vintage theatre, draft beers, art, club events, and much more. Max out the bohemian vibe with your TravelMates, and you even have the possibility to enjoy a flea market that takes place in Telliskivi every Saturday. The ultimate spot for good vibes!
Well, get some sleep in between, but start the next morning by walking or taking public transport to the Kadriorg Palace. The public transport in Tallinn is relatively easy to use, and the best decision is to buy an Ühiskaart for a period of 24 hours. You can find these at any R-Kiosk, some supermarkets, and most info points.
There’s a lot to see around the Kadriorg Palace, and if you’re curious about museums, you’ll also find a cool art museum here. There are a few cafes also directly in the area, so you can grab breakfast or otherwise have a picnic (if the weather is good!). Locals come here to lounge around the small pond in the park, or to walk around the beautiful trails which surround the palace.