Tallinn Tourist Information and Tourism

(Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia)

Picture of the city from aboveEstonia's biggest city of Tallinn is also the capital and has become a major centre for industry and regional politics, and is filled with sights and culture. Founded in the early 13th century and situated next to the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn is home to an important seaport and offers a definite medieval character in many parts of the city, especially around its heritage-listed Old Town area.

With a maze of winding cobblestone alleyways, endless church spires towering into the sky, and well-preserved fortresses and turrets, Tallinn celebrates its rich heritage at every possible opportunity. The Toompea area is where many of Tallinn's most unusual landmarks reside, such as the Toompea Castle (Castrum Danorum) and also the spectacular hilltop Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an important Orthodox building, which has at last been appreciated by the resident Estonians, who for many years resented its Russian origins.

For the very best in the way of tourism in this part of Estonia, pay a visit to the Tallinn Tourist Information Centre on the Niguliste and consider booking up an English-language guided tour of the city. Whilst here you may also wish to enquire about the Tallinn Card, which does provide excellent savings for sights and travel, but only if you intend to use it all the time.

View of the Old Town Square

Tallinn Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

However you choose to sightsee in Tallinn, either by guided bus tour or by simply taking a stroll around the Old Town, you can be guaranteed a wealth of tourist attractions, both new and old. The medieval City Walls date back to the 16th century and still feature some of the original towers, while St. Catherine's Passage (Katariina Käik) is another highlight from the past and is where you will find the ruins of St. Catherine's Church. For families, a trip to Tallinn Zoo is a must and boasts over 500 different animals, with everything from elephants to lynxes. More information about Tallinn Tourist Attractions.

Photo of Kadriorg Palace and gardensApart from the rather unexpected and extremely beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn is home to many further landmarks of note. Tallinn's 13th-century Town Hall (Raekoda) itself is extremely imposing and presides over the Raekoja Plats, with its tall spire topped with an iconic bronze statue of a young boy, which guards the city and is known as 'Old Thomas'. Another stunning building is Kadriorg Palace, where Italianate architecture and formal gardens combine to make an extremely memorable day out. Several churches also hold an important place in history, such as both the Church of the Holy Ghost, and the Dome Church, which is otherwise known as St. Mary's Church or the Toomkirk Cathedral and was founded in the early part of the 13th century. More information about Tallinn Landmarks.

Image showing the Nevsky CathedralFor a touch of Estonian culture and information about the Tallinn of the past, many museums are scattered around the city and the surrounding area. Few are quite as impressive as the Estonian Open Air Museum and its 18th-century buildings, although the Great Guild Hall, the Maarjamäe Palace and also the Museum of Estonian Architecture should all feature on the itineraries of history buffs and are filled with endless treasures from yesteryear.

For some serious art appreciation in Tallinn, don't miss both the Adamson Eric Museum and the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the latter of which showcases paintings, ceramics and tapestries created by local Estonian artists. More information about Tallinn Museums and Tallinn Art Galleries.

Picture of the medieval town wallsTourists staying in Tallinn will soon realise that outside of the city and around the Harju County, many nearby towns and seaside resorts are worthy of exploration. With beach areas and an ancient castle, the town of Haapsalu is a good starting point, as is the market town of Rakvere and the cultural hub of Tartu, home to an important university and centred around the Emajogi River. Also surprisingly close by is Finland's capital city of Helsinki, a much larger, brasher version of Tallinn, where attractions include palaces, amusement parks and the Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium), where massive sports events and concerts are often staged. More information about Tallinn Attractions Nearby.

More Tallinn Information / Fast Facts and Orientation