Writing the top ten of Tallinn's many interests seems impossible, but we've given it a shot!
Here is a list that includes heritage sites, engaging museums and neighbourhoods of Tallinn.
10. Toompea Castle
Towering above the rest of the Old Town, Toompea hill has always been a seat of power. Toompea Castle is the seat of the Estonian Parliament. The castle's tallest tower, the Pikk Hermann, is a leading symbol of Estonian statehood; the blue-black-white Estonian flag is raised every day at sunrise from the tower to the tune of the national anthem.
9. Kadriorg Palace and Park
The centrepiece of Kadriorg is Estonia's only Baroque Palace and park ensemble, built more than 300 years ago on the orders of Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Stroll the green promenades, enjoy views of the swan pond, take time out in the rose garden, or admire the landscaping of the Japanese garden. In the majestic halls of Kadriorg Palace, you can get oriented with the Estonian Art Museum's foreign art exhibition.
8. The streets, courtyards, and walls of Tallinn's Old Town
Tallinn's number one attraction is definitely the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, with its medieval atmosphere and exceptionally well-preserved street network and city walls. Take your time and stroll along the narrow, cobbled streets, admire the centuries-old architecture, climb towers, and peek into mysterious courtyards and archways – some of which hide romantic cafés, cute shops, or private gardens.
7. Town Hall Square and Town Hall
At the heart of the Old Town is the Town Hall Square, once a market square and the centre of the city's government. Today, it is a prominent meeting spot for townspeople and a venue for various events, from the Old Town Days in summer to the fairy-tale Christmas Market. Incidentally, the world's first public Christmas tree was erected here in 1441.
The Town Hall Square is named after the Gothic Town Hall, which stands on the edge of the square and offers beautiful views of the Old Town from its tower. At the other end of the court is the Raeapteek, one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe and the oldest in Tallinn.
6. Seaplane Harbour, Estonian Maritime Museum
Built in a unique seaplane hangar, the Seaplane Harbour is the most impressive maritime museum in the region. Step aboard the 1930s submarine Lembit, explore a variety of naval crafts and try out interactive exhibits on topics ranging from ships to fighter aircraft.
5 . Noblessner seafront quarter
Just a short walk from the Seaplane Harbour is the Noblessner seafront quarter, a former submarine factory named after its founders, Emanuel Nobel (nephew of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize) and Arthur Lessner. Now, you will find a modern urban space, galleries, design shops, a marina, and restaurants where you can enjoy the sunset.
Noblessner is also home to the unique Proto Invention Factory, which combines virtual reality, science, and fantasy. Modern art fans should also check out Kai Art Center.
4.Telliskivi Creative City
Telliskivi Creative City is one of the locals' favourite places to hang out. The former factory site is home to numerous design shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions. Telliskivi is also home to Fotografiska Tallinn, a photographic art centre and satellite gallery of the internationally renowned photography museum founded in Stockholm.
Next to Telliskivi, across the tramway, is Kalamaja. This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, known for its colourful wooden houses. Stroll through the streets and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere of the area!
3. Tallinn TV Tower
The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow included a sailing regatta in Tallinn, and the 314-metre TV tower – the tallest building in Estonia – was completed for the occasion. Today, the tower is home to an experience centre where you can enjoy stunning views, indulge in a cup of coffee or a light meal, visit an interactive exhibition, and even walk suspended on the tower's edge.
2. Rotermann Quarter
Founded in the nineteenth century by industrialist Christian Abraham Rotermann, this industrial centre has grown into one of the city's most prominent oases of modern architecture where old and new are skilfully blended. The quarter offers a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants, and leisure facilities, from beauty salons to sports clubs and cinemas.
1. Maarjamäe History Centre
The permanent exhibition at the History Museum in the picturesque Maarjamäe Palace tells the history of the Republic of Estonia from its birth to the present day. The Film Museum, located in the same complex, offers a glimpse into the history of cinema. A selection of Soviet-era monuments has also been assembled in the palace park.