Spend 48 hours in Tallinn by Radhika Aligh

Source: Kaupo Kalda, Visit Estonia

Spend 48 hours in Tallinn by Radhika Aligh

Radhika Aligh is a video journalist and TV producer based in London and meeting people, discovering cultures, and finding compelling stories is what drives her. Radhika says: "There is so much to admire about Estonia: the undeniable charm of the Old Town, the independent cafes in Kalamaja and the wonderful gardens at KUMU." Lets take a look at her trip to Estonia.

Estonia leads the way when it comes to technology and its capital Tallinn reflects that. Over the last decade, sprawling suburbs have been transformed into creative studios and design districts have become hubs for innovation.

What hasn't changed at all though is the medieval Old Town, which, with its gothic architecture and lively bars, continues to attract a steady stream of cruise ships and stag parties.

Want to beat the rush? Take a tram to the northern district of Kalamaja and admire the wooden houses with bohemian cafès. And then, as the evening descends, stroll along the promenade to see the lights of the Old Town slowly become visible as the sun goes down.

Day 1

10 am

If there is one thing you can't miss in Tallinn, it's the Old Town. This well-preserved World Heritage Site will sweep you off your feet with its 15th-century charm, cobbled streets, gothic architecture and a bustling Town Hall Square - or 'Raekoja Plats' as the locals call it.

The Old Town is divided into two parts: the lower town and Toompea Hill. Walk uphill to enjoy the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Olaf's Church and Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin. Then head to the viewing galleries for the perfect social media snap.

1 pm

Nestled between the little alleyways of Old Town are Tallinn's hidden culinary gems. Kuldne Notsu serves authentic Estonian food with traditional recipes that have been passed down for generations. And because no meal is complete without a dessert, get your hands on Balthasar's famous garlic ice cream.

Estonia has also undergone a drinking revolution in the last decade; a growing number of breweries produce high-quality craft beers there and you can taste them at most bars in the city.

2 pm

On a sunny afternoon, hit Kadriorg Park. Stroll along its perfectly mowed lawns till you reach one of the several museums that call this park home, including the National Museum of Art - KUMU. Split over seven floors, this contemporary-looking building hosts works by local artists alongside other temporary and permanent exhibits. The elegant Kadriorg Palace is also a gallery for the museum's more classic collections.

4 pm

Estonia has turned 100 and it's celebrating with a special exhibition at the History Museum's new site Maarjamäe Castle. "My Free Country" gives a gripping insight into how the republic was formed, a quirky reflection of life in the 1920s and the future of Estonia as a hub of innovation.

The outdoor space of the castle includes sculptures of Stalin next to Lenin and a red carpet that guides you to the new Film Museum.

6 pm

The best views in town are from 175 metres above ground level. Tallinn's newly refurbished Teletorn TV Tower gives you a chance to admire the city in all its glory.

Adrenaline junkies can strap themselves to harnesses and walk along the edge to enjoy unobstructed views of Tallinn and beyond. For the less brave, there is glass-floored viewing platform that gives a little glimpse of the height without the dizziness.

8 pm

Go for dinner at NOA's Chef Hall or NOA restaurant. Voted the best restaurant in the Baltics last year, this elegant, tastefully decorated seaside restaurant serves between 9-11 course tasting menus with the best locally sourced ingredients. From charcoal-cooked pigeon to asparagus with truffle, this fine dining experience by chefs Tõnis Siigur and Orm Oja is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Day 2

10 am

Many cities have local markets worth exploring and the one in Tallinn is Balti Jaam. Here, pickled cucumbers sit next to Italian cheese and Soviet memorabilia stares 21st-century design in the face. There are street-food stalls in abundance to fulfil your need for a sumptuous breakfast and a craft beer brewery to quench your thirst.

The area surrounding Balti Jaam has plenty to capture your imagination, with a number of independent eateries and design stores too.

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Last updated : 09.09.2020

In category: Tallinn