One of the greatest things in going to Tallinn by boat is that when you get to the harbour, you are only a few steps away from the old town. You don’t need to waste money on taxis or even public transport, unless you are really lazy or have too much luggage to carry. For a weekend getaway, a backpack with some spare clothes is enough, and you can drop it to the hotel even if your room wouldn’t be yet available.
Rain or shine, Tallinn never lets you down. We didn’t get much sun on a February weekend, but we live in Finland, so we are used to it! My previous visits to Tallinn have always taken place in summer, so a winter Friday morning in the medieval old town of Tallinn was peaceful, and the streets were spacious due to the missing summer terraces and beer gardens.
Our first night’s hotel was located on the Southern side of the old town, so we already started slowly heading that way, without cutting any corners. We climbed on the Toompea hill, also called ‘Cathedral hill’, which is the highest area in Tallinn. The medieval Dome Church, officially the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin, is located on the top of the hill. Visiting the church costs 2 euros, and you can also climb to the tower for 5 euros.
On the hill you can find a street called ‘Kohtu’ (which means, funny enough, ‘a womb’ in Finnish). Along the street there are a couple of observation terraces, from where you can get a beautiful view over the whole city. In case the weather is rainy, as it was this time, the hot wine carts are there to the rescue! We were also offered with some tasty flavoured almonds, which felt like heaven, especially the garlic ones!
Tallinn has a great amount of beautiful churches, which you can admire without being super religious or a professional in architecture. A perfect example is the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is located close to the Dome Church. You can find a lot of useful information about the churches in Tallinn also in English, for example here.
In case you want to explore more and have a proper sightseeing tour in Tallinn, you can purchase Tallinn Card, which gives you discounts and even free entry, including public transport. The card can be bought from nearly every shop and hotel, but I thought it was quite pricey for our purposes. So it’s worth comparing the value of the card with your interests, budget and schedule to find out if it’s really worth buying. If you are planning to stay in the old town only, there’s no use for public transport.
Walking through old towns is one of my top things to do. I enjoy a little walk, without any rush and pressure, without having a feeling I must see every single attraction as fast as possible or my weekend trip is ruined. And I love the fact that even if the old town often is the heart of the city, the atmosphere is always relaxed and kind of rustic.
And as usual, the sunshine arrives when it’s time to return back home after a cloudy and rainy city break. So long, Tallinn, see you next time!
Have you ever visited Tallinn? What did you like the most about the city? Or in case you haven’t yet visited but are planning to, what are you going to see or do there? Please share your thoughts!