Tallinn is a beautiful city which has preserved its history. One of the highlights of Tallinn is the Medieval Old Town. However, there are interesting attractions in each area of the city. Tallinn is divided into different districts, each with its own character and sightseeing spots.
This district is mainly a residential area with large panel buildings of Väike-Õismäe, mainly built during the 1970s. Lake Harku and an extensive beach area at Kakumäe, also the Kopli Gulf all make it a great recreational place. Attractions include
Kesklinn could be considered the city center, since it serves as a home to the Medieval Old Town and port suburbs. Visitors can admire the red roofed buildings and stone paved streets. You can also admire wooden and stone houses. Most of the historical attractions are located in this district. Visitors should be sure to check out the
Located next to the center, this district has several apartment buildings that date back to 1930s and single family houses dating back to 1950s. The industrial part of this area is rather extensive. Southern part is given to the Tondi area of military barracks. One of the best restaurants in the city is located in this district;
Lasnamäe is the largest area. This eastern section of Tallinn has several out of the way attractions. Visitors shouldn't miss the
Mustamäe is the oldest residential region with large panel houses from the 1960s. It is also the home of Tallinn Technical University and numerous scientific institutions. There is great shopping at the
Dating back to the end of the 1800s, this area used to be a separate city until 1940 when it was united with Tallinn. The area is covered with sand and pine groves and has mainly single family houses. It is considered as one of the most prestigious areas of Tallinn.
This is a beautiful area in Tallinn. You can enjoy beaches, yachting and a lot of sporting opportunities. The
Põhja-Tallinn is architecturally, historically and socially diverse. This serves as home to Kalamaja, with 1 to 2 story wooden houses. The Pelgulinn area has more modern wooden buildings and areas of multi-story houses. This is also the area of railway station, ports and various industrial buildings.
Tallinn, like most of Europe, is up to the highest standards of accommodations. The hotel industry is well developed, and anyone will find their place in town. Whether you are looking for luxury or inexpensive accommodations, Tallinn has it all.
This is the area for most of the fashion boutiques, flashy restaurants, cozy cafés and booming bars with clubs, along with the cultural heritage of museums, galleries or just parts of Old Town buildings and walls. For both tourism and business, the Kesklinn district, specifically in the Old Town area, has the most amount of hotels as well as the best accommodations.
Some of the most unique options are located in this district, such as the Merchant's House Hotel. The hotel has interesting medieval features, such as hidden staircases, balconies and wooden beamed ceilings. Another one-of-a-kind hotel is the Kalev Spa Hotel & Waterpark, which is perfect for the family because it has a waterpark on its premises. Olevi Residents is located in a building from the 14th Century, though the hotel was recently renovated and all the rooms have modern luxuries.
Most of the deluxe and high end hotels are located in the Kesklinn district, often in the Old Town portion. The luxurious Meriton Grand Hotel Tallinn is in a great location while Scandic Palace Tallinn offers spacious suites. For modern comforts look no further than Hotel Barons. A world class spa is available at Hotel Telegraaf. Sokos Hotel Viru is located in the first skyscraper in the city. The Three Sisters Hotel is a premiere boutique hotel, perfect for a romantic stay. For an inexpensive stay, the City Hotel Portus has a reasonable price and is in a great location.
Although this district is not known for its hotels, you can find some great gems. Hotel Stroomi is located near the sea and offers a romantic setting. If you don't want to go to the ocean, you can pamper yourself at their beauty salon or relax in a sauna.
Outside the City
If you are planning a distant getaway from busy city life, there are various opportunities outside Tallinn with tremendous landscapes and beachfronts. Kalvi Castle is a beautiful option. The accommodation offer hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities, as well as organizing various special events. Whether it is a flashy wedding party, an important business conference or a relaxing retreat there is something for everyone.
Tallinn is a diverse city with great cuisine options. Tallinn had a historically important trading location and it was ruled by different countries in different centuries, which resulted in the city learning about a lot of different dishes techniques. Today, visitors can find a wide variety of cuisines.
For a wide variety of dining options visit the Old Town in Kesklinn. There are a number of restaurants, cafes, bars, breweries and wineries around the old part of Tallinn. Kesklinn also has some of the best fine dining. Gloria Veinikelder is a luxury restaurant which has a great wine cellar. Moskva is a stylish restaurant and nightclub. The unique restaurant Admiral offers dining on a steam ship. Olde Hansa offers delicious fare and is set to look like you are eating in the 15th Century, complete with mouth watering dishes such as Arabian Fillets in Fig Sauce. Or simply relax with a cup of coffee at Bogapott, a small artistic shopping gem and café.
Enjoy local cuisine at Eesti Maja and Kuldse Notsu Kõrts. For Italian food and pizza visit Restoran Bocca, Controvento, Americana, and Tiina Pizza. Delicious French cuisine is served at Le Château where the staff is dressed up in peasant costumes and the restaurant is decorated to resemble 17th Century France. The lovers of American cuisine won't be disappointed either. Texas Honky Tonk & Cantina brings Texas straight to Estonia. The Soviet times have passed, but the Russian influence remained, Troika Trahter offers Russian fare and a Russian Tavern ambiance including live folk music. Tchaikovsky Restaurant offers both French and Russian dishes.
Kristinne may not be known as a tourist area, but it has several delicious options that may make it worth the trip. For belly dancing, Middle Eastern cuisine and a wide selection of dishes, head to Bazar. The restaurant is aptly named for an Arabian bazaar and is decorated to match. Mandarin offers reasonable priced Chinese food with huge portions. A long queue often forms, but the wait is usually short.
This district offers a beautiful area for dinning. You can find a cafe and enjoy a drink by the Kadriorg Park. For Mexican food Cantina Carramba can't be beat. Cantina Carramba is the place for unique Mexican experience with real drinks from Central America and outstanding interior design.
The capital and largest city in Estonia, Tallinn has a diverse and interesting history. Although pottery has been discovered in the area that is over 5000 years old, official settlement began in approximately in the 10th Century. As ancient Estonians were seeking for a suitable trading place around the Gulf of Finland, they came across the spot where Tallinn now stands. In 1219 Northern Estonia was conquered by the Danes led by King Valdemar II, who later established Toompea Castle. At first the area was ruled by the Danish, but in 1230 German merchants were invited to live in the settlement. This then grew to a multinational town.
Throughout the Danish period (1219-1346) behind the town wall a network of streets were formed and churches, convents, warehouses and defense buildings were erected. The city's big coat of arms, with three lions against the golden background, comes from the Danish royal coat of arms. The small one, with the white Latin cross on the red background, comes from the Danish national flag the Dannebrog, which according to the legend fell from the sky during the battle for the castle.
In 1285, Tallinn became a member of the Hanseatic League, which was an alliance of trading cities. The city prospered since it was located in a great trading spot for Europe and Russia. The Danish sold Tallinn in 1346 to the German Order, also called the Teutonic Order or Teutonic Knights. However, life in Tallinn did not change much with different rulers and the city continued to prosper. The Germans built several important buildings that still stand today, such as the Tallinn Town Hall and the Great Guild Hall.
During the Livonian War, Tallinn became under the rule of Sweden in 1561. Although Russians tried to capture the town, Tallinn remained under Swedish control. The city continued its local government, but life became tougher since trade did not flourish as much. The city was further set back because of the Plague of 1602-1603 and the Great Fire of 1684 which severely damaged the city. However during the Swedish rule education increased.
The Great Northern War of 1700 to 1721 greatly damaged the city and the plague reappeared. The population of Tallinn dramatically dropped during that time period. In 1710, Tallinn came under Russian rule. At first Tallinn continued to govern itself, but slowly the Town Council's power was limited and was disbanded in 1889. Russia changed how the city was governed, but it helped the city industrialize.
Around 1857 the town started to grow industrial-wise. Large factories were built and their production was exported to Russia. Tallinn became one of the most important ports. The Russian influence can be seen in the town's architecture. Kadriorg Palace and park ensemble, the building of the Provincial Government of Estonia at Toompea, as well as several churches, theater buildings, banks and schools–all represent the luxurious Russian czarist influence.
Estonians had slowly gained control of the city government and the first Estonian mayor was elected in 1906. However in 1918 the Soviets took control of the Council, but a month later Estonians took back control and declared independence. However Germany occupied the city right after the declaration, but in 1919 World War I was over and Germany left Tallinn. The Estonia War of Independence occurred from 1918 to 1920 as the Estonian Army fought against the Soviet Western Front Offensive. In February 1920 the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed and Soviet Russia acknowledged Republic of Estonia's independence.
In 1920 Tallinn became the capital of now independent Republic of Estonia. This lasted for 20 years. During this period some of the most beautiful buildings were created. When World War II began the Soviets occupied Tallinn in 1940, then German troops occupied the city in 1941. The Soviets again occupied Tallinn in 1944. During the war more than 50% of Tallinn's residential buildings and 11% of Old Town were destroyed by bombing attacks. Luckily most of the historical buildings in Old Town were preserved.
The Soviet retained control over Tallinn. At first Tallinn had lost a lot of its population because of the war, but in the 1950s and onward Estonians moved to Tallinn for employment the city greatly grew. In August 1991, the Supreme Soviet of Estonia declared the re-establishment of independence of Estonia. Tallinn became the capital of the Republic of Estonia. Now Estonia is part of the European Union and is looking forward to a bright future.