Where to enjoy the best views of Tallinn

Source: Karl Markus Antson

Where to enjoy the best views of Tallinn

Striking church spires, red-tiled roofs and sleek glass towers make up the unique skyline of Estonia's capital. In the summer, green foliage peeks out between buildings, while in winter, snow turns these red rooftops white. The streets below are a maze spanning the centuries.

Where can you find the best views of Tallinn? There is no single answer. Tallinn has many intriguing viewpoints, each showing a different side of the city's personality. Whether you're looking for beautiful photos or you just want to take in the vibes of the city, these locations are perfect for a bird's-eye view.

Kohtuotsa viewing platform

Kohtuotsa viewing platform is on the northern side of Toompea hill. It provides excellent views over the red roofs and towering spires of the Old Town as well as of the gleaming highrise buildings in the new part of the city. In the background is the Gulf of Finland, the port and the Pirita district. Unforgettable views are guaranteed all year round, in all weather. Due to renovation works this object is closed till October 2022.

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Patkuli viewing platform

The Patkuli viewing platform is situated in one of the most ancient parts of Tallinn. It has an idyllic and enchanting view of the Old Town as well as its towers and walls, which can be seen all the way down to the port. The stairway leading up to the platform was constructed in 1903. There are 157 steps connecting Toompea hill to the town below, with the stairway coming out in Toompark by Snelli pond.

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The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin in Tallinn and its bell tower

At Tallinn St. Mary's Cathedral (1233), you'll find gravestones from the 13-18th centuries and coat of arms epitaphs dating from the 17-20th centuries. The most famous people who have been buried in the church include the Swedish military officer Pontus De la Gardie and his wife, the Swedish King Johann III's daughter Sophia Gyllenhelm, and Admiral Samuel Greigh. The visitors can climb the cathedral's 69-metre baroque-style bell tower and admire the view of the city. The tower can be visited only in case of fine weather and when no concerts or religious services are taking place. A donation should be made for a visit to the church. For visiting the bell tower, a ticket should be purchased.

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Niguliste Museum and viewing platform

The museum in the Niguliste Church, which was built in the 13th century, is one of the few museums housed in a sacral building. Enjoy ecclesiastical art in its historical context: here you will find medieval tombstones, unique altars and Tallinn's most famous artwork, a fragment of Bernt Notke's painting the Danse Macabre (the 'Dance of Death'). This more than five-hundred-year-old painting mediates the worldview of the Middle Ages but is still relevant today. The silver items from churches, guilds, and the Brotherhood of Blackheads exhibited in the Silver Chamber are especially valuable. A glass lift takes visitors to the church tower and skydeck, which offer a 360° view of the Old Town.

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Town Hall tower

Town Hall tower was built at the same time as the building itself, between 1402 and 1404. In 1530, a weather vane was placed at the top of the tower which the people named 'Old Thomas'. He remains one of Tallinn's most popular symbols and is considered to be the city's guard and defender. The original Old Thomas (from 1530) is stored in the ancient cellar of the town hall. In summer, visitors to the city can climb the winding staircase up the octagonal tower and enjoy the stunning views over the Old Town and surrounding areas. In order to reach the clock balcony of the tower that is 34 m above the ground, you need to climb 115 stairs. The higher you get, the steeper and higher the stairs become.

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St. Olav’s Church and viewing platform

The gothic steeple of this church, which was completed in the early 16th century, previously made the church one of the tallest buildings in the world (soaring to 159 metres tall according to some sources). Historians disagree, however, on the details and interpretation of the measurements, and some even think that the steeple has never been higher than 115–125 metres. Nevertheless, the church has always been a grand structure, and its 124-metre tower is considered one of the symbols of Tallinn. There are 232 steps leading up to the observation platform!

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Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum

Kiek in de Kök Fortification Museum forms a museum complex over 500 metres long that includes four towers: Kiek in de Kök, Maiden's Tower, Tallitorn Tower, and the Gate Tower of the Short Leg (Lühikese jala väravatorn). The fortification museum also includes mysterious underground bastion passages, which house the Carved Stone Museum. The Kiek in de Kök exhibition provides an overview of the warfare of the past. The bastion passages were built in the 17th–18th centuries. The exposition of the bastion passages introduces the history of the defensive structures and the most important military events. The bastion passages and the Carved Stone Museum can be explored with an audio guide, which we ask you to download to your phone beforehand. Note! From 1 November, the Kiek in de Kök tower will be closed for renovation. During the works, the rest of the Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum will remain open, including.

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Museum and Visitor Centre of Fat Margaret, Estonian Maritime Museum

Welcome to the Museum and Visitor Centre of Fat Margaret! Listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, the complex provides an overview of maritime trade, agencies, and navigation in the Middle Ages, as well as in the era of sailing, steam, and motor ships. There is a total of 1,000 m² of exhibition space. The star exhibit is the 700-year-old Koge wreck found in Kadriorg in 2015. There are about 70 ship models out of which 17 have been created especially for the exhibition, nearly 700 items, and 50 digital and hands-on solutions.

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Hotel Viru and KGB Museum

There once was a hotel that came to be named the Viru. The year was 1972, and there were still two decades or so until the fall of Communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Any hotel that was appropriate for foreign visitors also had to be appropriate for the KGB... This museum tells the story of more than just one hotel and the KGB: it is a treasure trove of stories of two different worlds - one which existed mostly on paper, of happy Soviet citizens living in friendship and never wanting for anything, led by a wise, all-powerful group of men in a place where there were never any accidents or catastrophes; and the other real world, which was a very different and a much tougher place to live in. Please book in advance to visit the museum.

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Tallinn TV Tower's observation deck

Welcome to the Tallinn TV Tower's observation deck! At a height of 170 metres, you will be treated to one of the most magnificent views of the Estonian capital city. You can enjoy a captivating panoramic view that stretches further than the eye can see. You can observe the bustling city life, watch beautiful sunsets, and feel the wind. The TV Tower's observation deck is a true window to the past and the present day. Today, the TV Tower has three main functions: to provide nationwide communication, to offer traditional Estonian flavours in a modern restaurant and to provide experiences. Tallinn TV Tower offers a picturesque view all year round, no matter the weather!  

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Restaurant & Bar Horisont

Elegant and stylish Restaurant & Bar Horisont is located at the top floor of Swissôtel Tallinn. This is an ideal place for relaxing and enjoying a five star cuisine. Visitors can enjoy the enchanting panoramic view of the Old Town of Tallinn and the sea. Restaurant Horisont offers a modern take on food, using seasonal, local and international ingredients. The Restaurant also offers a possibility to hold private dinners in a special purpose room. Read more about MICHELIN Inspector review!

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Fotografiska Roofbar

The cocktails of Fotografiska Roofbar are inspired by our exhibitions. We follow the zero-cost principle and work with the kitchen to find use for everything from flower to root by using different techniques. Our wines and sparkling wines are each unique, and we bring many of them to Estonia on our own.If the weather is nice, you can enjoy the sun in our roof garden, and in the evening, you can admire a great view of the city.

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Last updated : 16.10.2023

In category: Tallinn