Tallinn has one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval historic centres, dating back from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, which has remained virtually unchanged. This splendid Baltic city is characterised by a collage of architectural styles spanning different eras. It is a city that has embraced modernity: the “new town” with its skyscrapers, offices and shopping centres, lies alongside the historic centre.
The exquisite old town of Tallinn is on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites and includes many Medieval buildings that have preserved their original appearance, such as the Town Hall, the ancient walls and St. Catherine’s Passage.
Once inside the upper town, visitors are confronted by old, majestic Tallinn on Toompea hill, a strategic location overlooking the entire city.
There are three main buildings to be found here: Toompea Castle, the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Lutheran Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin.
The Toompea Castle
The Toompea Castle
Toompea Castle, built between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, overlooks the city from the top of a rocky hill. Situated at 50 metres above sea level, it dominates both land and sea, and today is the seat of the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia.
Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Facing the castle square, the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a recent construction, has the largest dome in the city and a richly decorated interior. Its tower holds the largest bell in Estonia - 3 metres high and weighing 15 tons. A short distance away lie the Gardens of the Danish King.
The Cathedral of St. Mary the Virgin is Tallinn’s most important Lutheran church. It dates back to the seventeenth century but is in part Baroque. There are several places to enjoy a spectacular view of the city of Tallinn.
Kadriorg Palace
Kadriorg Palace
The most important is Kadriorg Palace, a Baroque style building that for centuries was the summer home of Russian tsars. It is entirely surrounded by an enormous park, and that is used today as seat of the foreign collection of the Art Museum of Estonia.  
Tallinn specialties
A jewel of hospitality, Tallinn offers an abundance of restaurants, concentrated above all in the center, where one eats a lot of good and good, especially the latter (both meat and fish).
Curiosity: in Tallinn there is the oldest pharmacy in Europe, which has been operating since the year 1422, in which there are a large number of antique objects and instruments.

Text by Luca Lembi
Photos:, Shutterstock
Copyright © - Reproduction prohibited
Published on Avion Tourism N55 - Update October 2018
Tourism Board
Where to sleep in Tallinn

Tallinn is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.



Vene, 12
Without doubt the most picturesque of Old Town's alleywaysSt. Catherine's is a narrow walkway that runs between Vene and Müürivahe streets. What makes the passage particularly interesting is that it's home to a series of craft workshops where artists use traditional methods to create and sell glassware, hats, quilts, etc.
Lai 50
This 13th-century church was once the tallest building in the world. Its gigantic, 159-metre spire, which was used to warn approaching ships, also turned out to be a very effective lightning rod. Throughout the church's history its steeple has been hit repeatedly by lightning, completely burning down the structure several times.
A. Weizenbergi, 37
A trip to Tallinn isn’t complete without a visit to this magnificent northern Baroque palace, built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine I, in 1718, and now a museum, which was designed by the Italian architect Niccolo Michetti. The manicured gardens surrounding the palace are a typical example of Tsarist extravagance.

Vabaduse valjak
From the final days of the Tsarist empire through the first period of independence of Estonia, this large open space on the outskirts of the historic centre has been a place of national symbolism and civic pride, as well as the favourite public meeting place of the city’s inhabitants.
Quarter -  Roseni, 3
To see where Tallinn is heading in the 21st century, a walk through the Rotermann Quarter is a must. A decade ago this former factory complex, situated between the Old Town and the Port, was a series of crumbling buildings, but today it is a lively shopping and cultural centre with modern architecture.

Toom-Kooli, 6
The Medieval church that stands at the centre of Toompea hill is best known by locals as the 'Toomkirik' (Dome Church), and it is themain Lutheran church in Estonia. Built in 1233 and repeatedly reconstructed since, the church displays a mix of architectural styles. The Baroque bell tower was added in 1770.

Lossi Plats, 1
The Castle, seat of the Estonian Parliament, dominates the entire city of Tallinn. Despite continuous renovations, it still retains the same basic form it had during the 13th and 14th centuries. From the Garden, the 46-metre Pikk Hermann tower comes into view. The tower is a national symbol: each day at sunrise the Estonian flag is raised above the tower to the tune of the national anthem.

Gumnaasiumi, 3
With nearly 2km of its original city wall still standing, Tallinn boasts one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval fortifications. The best places to see the wall from the outside are the Patkuli viewing platform on Toompea and the Tornide väljak (Tower Square).

The picturesque Town Hall Square has been the hub of Old Town for the last eight centuries. Surrounded by merchants’ houses and, in summer, packed with cafeteria tables, today it is the social heart of the city and the site of open-air concerts, craft fairs and Medieval markets. 
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