Source: Toomas Tuul
The Rocca al Mare district stits in the western part of Tallinn along the coast of Kopli Bay. If you’re looking for a bit of nature and a break from while you see the capital this is the place to visit. The area is a well-known place for city residents and travellers to visit and is probably most well known for the Estonian Open Air Museum with its expansive grounds.
Despite being a part of Estonia’s capital, Rocca al Mare bears a distinctly Italian name, which means ‘rock by the sea.’ The name came from Arthur Gerard de Sucanto, a French aristocrat and merchant living in Tallinn who was a great admirer of Italian culture. In the 19th century, he built a summer house surrounded by a large park there, which is now part of the Open Air Museum.
In Rocca al Mare, you’ll find the largest shopping centre in Estonia, the Rocca al Mare Shopping Centre. However, for visitors who want to relax in another way, you can enjoy the beach or surrounding nature. The long beach along the Bay of Kopli gives a relaxing view of the sea while the sandy Kakumäe beach and the lakeside Harku beach are just a short walk away.
The district is also one of the best bird-watching spots in northern Estonia. If you want to see more animals, the Tallinn Zoo is just south of the district with more 11,000 animals to see.
To take in the more rustic side of Estonian history and culture, stop by the Estonian Open Air Museum. Founded in 1957, the 79-hectare space invites you to take a long walk through the forest and meadows on the grounds. Here you can see how society and life was in Estionia during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Inside you’ll find 14 farmhouses as well as a church, schoolhouse, fire station, shop, mills, and fishing sheds along the sea. There’s also a shop to buy handicrafts and an inn where you can taste traditional Estonian dishes.