City break destinations in Tallinn

Source: Siiri Kumari

City break destinations in Tallinn

Estonia's rich history and Northern European mentality inspire its creative community to generate innovative ideas in lifestyle, design, and technology. Visitors are encouraged to discover the many lightly trodden paths to Estonia's urban delights. Find below a list of some of Estonia's best-kept, hence coolest secrets.

Estonia's largest cities are host to creative villages, hotbeds of energized talent who have had a truly transformative effect on the neighborhoods they inhabit. Tallinn is the logical place to start for any city break, and it's the most popular city for tourists to Estonia. In fact, it was voted the second-most desirable city in Europe to visit by readers of the UK-based travel magazine Wanderlust. Telliskivi area in Kalamaja is a popular hangout spot for locals in Tallinn, and the area is home to studios of up-and-coming designers such as Karl, KÄT and WÖÖ.

Telliskivi is currently in a state of constant change. Its stock of post-industrial cavernous buildings is now being converted into hip gastropubs serving up some great offerings of modern Estonian cuisine and Estonian craft beer.

Tartu meanwhile is quickly picking up with a collective of creatives running a range of cafes and design studios. Aparaaditehas is well worth keeping an eye out for, as it is deemed to be the next big thing in the ranks of "cool". if you're the kind of person who likes to be there first, then get booking.

Holiday like a local

Day 1: Kalamaja, Tallinn

Anytime is a good time to visit Tallinn, but if you're looking to listen to some awesome music in cozy, original venues (rap concert in a boutique bike store? folk concert in someone's living room? Jazz session on a tram?), then head on over during one of the many music festivals such as Tallinn Music Week, Jazzkaar etc.

For the best views of the industrial, medieval, and modern towers (not to mention the sea), make your way up the many stairs leading to the top deck of Linnahall. This large jewel of Soviet architecture is loved by Tallinners as a place to hang out, skateboard, and watch the sunset with your date.

For those curious about Estonia's 20th-century history, pop into Viru Hotel KGB museum and Patarei sea-fortress for dark tales of the bygone era. For architectural gems of Estonia's tsarist history, you should definitely pay a visit to Seaplane harbour, port Noblessner and Kultuurikatel.

Where to eat & drink

Estonia's most rewarding secret is perhaps its food. Indeed, here you can easily enjoy a delicious gourmet meal without having to break the budget. For an urban dweller, some of the best places to eat and be merry are F-hooneKlaus, Sfäär and Von Krahl.

Where to sleep?

There's a range of guest houses and guest apartments to choose from, whether you want to cozy up in front of a warm fire or opt for no-frills accommodation. Tallinn also has several hotels known for their original designs, such as L'Ermitage and Telegraaf.

Day 2: Naissaar island

Oldschool discoveries

Naissaar surprises with an old railway and many other discoveries from the time the island was a closed-off border zone.

Photo by: Mart Vares

Located a short ferry trip North of Tallinn you will find a naturally beautiful island with beautiful sandy beaches, a variety of hiking trails, and the remnants of a Russian Empire naval fortress. Take a look at the military installations and cannons dotted around the island, which date back to the imperial times of Russian Tsar Peter the Great. The fortifications were designed to deter naval access to Tallinn from the Gulf of Finland. Bear in mind that these structures were built during World War I and are liable to collapse – and that you, therefore, survey them at your own risk.

In the summer, you can enjoy classical music performances in a shed-turned-concert hall as part of the annual Nargenfestival.

Do you see yourself more as a nature wanderer or historical merchant? Find your story below.

Photos by: Siiri Kumari, Aron Urb, Piret Saar, Veiko Vaikmaa, Shardee Rebas.

Last updated : 30.11.2022

In category: Tallinn, North Estonia, Shopping, Food & Drink & Nightlife