If you're heading for Tallinn and you're not sure what to do there — then look no further. Here's a guide covering the must-do sights and activities for a (hectic) one day itinerary. Or, if you rather want to keep it a slow pace then just incorporate these into two days!
9:00 AM — The Old Town
Head out for the Old Town of Tallinn in the early morning to avoid too crowded streets. By getting up early you get more time for other cool stuff during the day as well, am I right?
Visitors from all over the world drop around to admire the beauty of Tallinn, the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe boasting Gothic spires, winding cobblestone streets and enchanting architecture. Once a home to wealthy merchants settling from Germany, Denmark and beyond, Tallinn Old Town today is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, with great restaurants, bars, museums, galleries and more.
Spend some time in an authentic medieval milieu and you will soon realise why so many visitors have described Tallinn Old Town as mystical, mesmerising and addictive.
11:00 AM — Have a Lunch at Rataskaevu16
There's a good reason to why Rataskaevu16 is ranked the number #1 restaurant in the whole of Tallinn on Tripadvisor. The food is so delicious, and the staff is amazing — so friendly, so outgoing, and so dedicated to their profession. We even came back for a re-round later.
What makes this place even better, besides being an incredible enthusiastic and committed restaurant, is that the prices are also very decent — around $ 16, plus minus.
Anyhow, if you want to eat at Rataskaevu16 then please make reservations. We actually did not have reservations and were super lucky that available tables just opened up when we came by. But we saw plenty of groups being turned away at the door. So yeah, don't miss out and make a reservation.
- Try the braised elk roast, the creamy tomato soup, the beef tenderloin with avocado and the slow-roasted duck leg.
- They also have great local beer and cider.
And ohh, check out their toilet — it's so cool (I'm not gonna spoil the fun by explaining it).
1:00 PM — Sky Walk on the Tallinn TV Tower
Head to TV Tower located a few minutes outside of the city. Not only does the place offer spectacular views, but you can also walk on top of the tower! And it only costs 10 Euros. That's a bargain! If you wanna do something similar in, let's say Macau Tower, you easily have to pay 6–7 times more — if not more.
What's I personally particularly enjoyed with this experience was how the staff didn't not rush us through it, but was more than happy to take plenty of photos, relax and have fun with us at the top.
And while you're there you might as well check out Tallinn's Botanical Garden just next to the TV Tower.
3:00 PM — Have a Snack or Drink at Korsaar
Korsaar is definitely an interesting place, worthy at least of a brief visit. It is likely to be the best pirate themed restaurant you've ever come across (you might not have come across any before though...). The place has impressive detailed pirate decor and style, especially the toilet! (See photo below), but importantly, the food is also amazing.
Recommendation (of course you ought to have sea food — you're a pirate living on the 7 seas!):
- Scallops and octopus salad
- Shrimp burger
It is a little pricey, but such a cool experience. Depending on timing, it can be necessary to have made a reservation in advance.
Korsaar | Tripadvisor
6.00 PM — Enjoy the Sunset at Pärnu and Take a Bath in the Baltic Sea
Pärnu is the fourth-largest city in Estonia, and is located around 1.5 hours from Tallinn. So this may, or may not, be possible on your itinerary. Nevertheless, let me show you why you ought to go.
Pärnu’s long, wide, sandy beach – sprinkled with volleyball courts, cafes and more, is easily the city’s main draw card. Moreover, for an avid "bucket list"-person like myself the place also offer great activities such as wind-surfing, kite-surfing and plenty more.
Besides that, the sunsets in Pärnu are amazing. To put it shortly, there's a reason to why they refer to the place as the "summer city of Estonia".
PSST! It is also the perfect excuse for a swim, and to make that cross of the bucket list to have taken a bath in the Baltic Sea.
Pärnu | Lonely Planet
There's definitely more to both Tallinn and Estonia than what has been covered here. Be sure to check out these for some more potentially bucket list worthy endeavours:
Top 10 Best Free Things to Do in Tallinn | Like a Local Guide
Tallinn | Viator
Top 22 Must See Sights | Visit Tallinn
When's the best time to visit Tallinn?
Talinn is great all-year-round, but if you're hoping for a certain type of weather, then plan accordingly. In the winter the city turns into a wonderful snowy winterland and the Christmas markets are definitely worth a visit. However, the day are shorter and quite cold. If you want a warmer and sunnier stay, then a trip in the summer months might be your cup of tea. Then the attractions are usually also open for longer and you might be lucky to encounter one of the medieval festivals.
Is Tallinn expensive?
There's no need to worry about visiting Tallinn on a budget. It's quite easy to both stay and eat affordably in the city, and none of the must-see sights will cost unreasonably much. Just reduce the cost on often-expensive taxis, and overly touristy restaurants.
That concludes my suggestion for a bucket list worthy day in Tallinn. What do you think? Do you have other recommendations you would have included? Let me hear them!
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