Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is one of the best retained medieval European towns. With its web of winding cobblestone streets, which developed in the 11th to 15th centuries, it has been preserved nearly in its entirety. The Old Town of Tallinn has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The golden era in Tallinn’s history lies in the period between the early 15th and mid 16th centuries. Tallinn had attained fame and a powerful role in the Baltic Sea area through its membership in the Hanseatic League. Economic might carried with it both the need to defend the city and the opportunity for a rich period of architectural and artistic creativity.
You can see, feel and touch history everywhere in this overwhelmingly romantic city: it’s in candlelight casting shadows on a cavernous stone wall in an old town merchant house, it’s in the tree-lined parks that were once the strolling grounds for the aristocracy, and in a Baltic Sea breeze slapping waves at your feet along a shorefront promenade.
This is also a city that has won worldwide acclaim for its forward-thinking, state-of-the-art services. A thriving nightlife has also sprung up in Tallinn, the center of economic and cultural activity in the country; it’s also a hub for major festivals and concerts throughout the year. Amid all the advances, this inspiring city also hasn’t become overly developed or refined: there’s a touching genuineness to Tallinn.
Tallinn, the capital of the Republic of Estonia, lies in the northeast corner of the Baltic Sea region, in Northern Europe. Estonia shares land borders with Latvia and Russia, and lies across the Baltic Sea from Finland and Sweden.
Distance from Tallinn to Other Major Cities in Europe
- Distance from Tallinn (by plane, km)
The climate in Tallinn is characterized by a rather cold winter, a cool spring with little rain, a relatively warm summer and a long, warm autumn. Winter temperatures average between 0 and -10 Celsius. Summer months average 15-20 Celsius.
Difference between Estonia’s local time and GTM is +2 hours.
Tallinn’s population is 401 821 (01.04.2005). 53.7% of the inhabitants are Estonians; 36.5% Russians; 3.7% Ukrainians; 2% Belorussians and 4.1% others in their nationality.
Estonia is 95% Lutheran, while other believers are also represented.
The official language is Estonian, which, along with Finnish and Hungarian and a host of smaller languages, belongs to the Finno-Ugric family of languages. English, Russian and Finnish are the most widely spoken foreign languages among Estonians, but German, French and Swedish are also spoken to some extent.
Estonia is a member of euro area from January 1, 2011.
The medieval citadel of Dome Hill;
Dome Cathedral with a valuable collection of coats-of–arms and tombstones;
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its onion domes;
Fortified town wall with 25 towers from the 14th-15th centuries, viewing platforms with beautiful panoramic views;
Medieval guild houses (Great Guild, Brotherhood of Blackheads etc.) of the Hanseatic lower town;
Medieval Town Hall;
Holy Ghost Church with the famous Bernd Notke altar;
Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum;
Song Festival Amphitheatre
City tour, 3 hrs – combines 2 hrs walking in Old Town and 1 hour by car/coach through the outskirts of Tallinn;
Walking tour of Old Town, 2.5 hrs;
Bus tour of the surroundings of Tallinn, 1.5 hrs;
Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum, 2 hrs – combines drive and walking in the museum of 18-19th century authentic rural architecture;
Guided tour of Tallinn Town Hall – 1 hour. At request for extra charge concert possible;
Guided tour of Kadriorg Palace – Peter the Great Summer Palace (now Art Museum of West European Medieval Art).
Hop on – hop off City Tour – excursion will take place with an audio guide in 8 different languages: in Estonian, English, German, French, Finnish, Swedish, Russian and Spanish by double decker buses.
The excursion will introduce the most significant objects near the route and give an overview of the most interesting events and facts in the history of Tallinn and Estonia. 1,5hrs.
Visit Tallinn homepage https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng
190 km south-east from Tallinn, the oldest (first mentioned in 1030) and the second biggest town located in the central part of Estonia, famous for one of the oldest universities in Europe.
The Old Town with a neo-classical Town Hall (17th century);
Tartu University (founded 1632 by Gustaf II Adolf, the King of Sweden) with its Corinthian columns;
St. John’s Church (1330);
Toomemägi – the green heart of Tartu with picturesque ruins of Dome Church
Museum of the History of Tartu University;
Estonian National Museum opened in 2016
“Kissing hill”, Devil’s Bridge and Angel’s Bridge
200 Years of Science: Renovated Tartu Old Observatory opened doors as a modern museum to visitors of all ages.
Walking tour – 2 hrs
Visit Tartu homepage http://www.tartu.ee
130 km south from Tallinn, Estonia’s summer capital, a friendly and peaceful resort, former Hanseatic town.
Kilometres of white sand beaches, green parks and promenades;
Wellness and health spas with a wide range of medical treatments (mud baths etc);
Churches of St.Catherine and St.Elisabeth;
Stone houses from 18th century;
Remarkably vivid cultural program in summer.
Walking tour – 1,5 hrs
Visit Pärnu homepage http://www.visitparnu.com/en
100 km south-west from Tallinn, a peaceful seaside resort known for curative mud (numerous mud-cure establishments) and active cultural life in summertime.
Ruins of the 13th century Episcopal Castle;
White Lady festival
Walking tour – 1 hour
Visit Haapsalu homepage
60 km from Tallinn, the oldest national park of Estonia.
162,500 acres of land, water and islands east from Tallinn with remains of ancient settlements, swamps, waterfalls, manor houses, fresh-water lakes and primeval forests.
Visit Lahemaa homepage
Restored manorial estates of Palmse and Sagadi (Forestry Museum);
Picturesque 400 year old fishing village Altja;
Captains’ villages Võsu and Käsmu;
Mire and forest paths – a truly unique destination for friends of nature, birdwatchers, mushroom and berry-pickers.
A full day tour from Tallinn – drive through the National Park, visit renovated Palmse Manor, Käsmu and Altja fishermen villages, lunch at Altja Tavern, visit to Sagadi Manorial complex with Forestry Museum.
A full day tour from Tallinn – 3,5 km walk in the mire, visit renovated manorial estates.
Saaremaa and Hiiumaa
Estonia’s coastline is dotted with about 1500 islands. The biggest of them are Saaremaa and Hiiumaa – known not only for their pure nature with junipers, sandy beaches, sea birds, wild animals and unique plants, but also for rich traditions and cultural historic background.
In 700 years the Germans, Danes, Swedes and Russians have taken turns at possessing the islands. During this history fortifications and castles, churches and manors were constructed; the town of Kuressaare, houses and lighthouses, harbors and bridges, wells and chapels were built. The islanders have their own dialect, customs, songs, national clothing, tales and heroes, a special sense of humour, even their own way of salting fish, baking bread and brewing island’s famed beer.
Koguva fishing village, an example of Estonian peasant architecture, a living Estonian village and an open air museum;
Liiva (13th c) Church with unusual ship murals;
Eemu – the only working trestle windmill of Estonia;
Lake Kaali – formed by a crashed meteorite 2700 years ago;
Capital Kuressaare with Bishop’s Castle (1384), the best preserved medieval fortress in the Baltics;
Panga pank (Cliff’s cliff), an over 21 m high limestone bluff
5 windmills of Angla;
Karja Church with its unique pagan frescoes and sculptures.
Walking tour of Kuressaare and visit to Bishop’s Castle, 3 hrs;
Coach tour of Saaremaa, 5 hrs;
Coach tour of Muhu Island; 3 hrs
Visit Saaremaa homepage http://www.visitsaaremaa.ee/en
Remarkable variety of wildlife (over 1000 species of plants – 50 of them rare and under protection);
West-Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve;
Capital Kärdla – a small lovely green town;
Tahkuna and Kõpu Lighthouses;
Pühalepa Church (12th c.);
Kassari peninsula – an idyllic peninsula with a long tail-like extenuation, with a few metres wide end, finally disappearing in the sea.
A full day coach tour of Hiiumaa.
Otepää, Põlva, Võru, Viljandi
South Estonia is the land of untouched nature, rivers and deep lakes. Old farmhouses, picturesque villages and pastoral small towns are typical for this part of Estonia.
Otepää (215 km from Tallinn):
Otepää Church (1608);
Lake Pühajärv (Sacred Lake) – the most beautiful lake of Estonia;
Sangaste Castle (18th c), a manor house in Windsor style with acoustical tricks;
Popular winter sport centre.
Põlva (230 km from Tallinn):
Church from 15th c;
Sandstone cliffs and caves in the valley of Ahja River;
A unique mixed Russian-Estonian cultural group in the far south–east of Estonia (Setumaa).
Viljandi (160 km from Tallinn):
A small green Hanseatic town on the shores of Lake Viljandi;
Viljandi Order Castle ruins;
Beautiful Castle Park with suspension bridge;
Medieval St.John’s Church (15th c).
Võru (255 km from Tallinn):
Fr. R. Kreutzwald, the author of the Estonian national epic Kalevipoeg, lived and worked here;
In the southern part of Võru county is the picturesque Haanja Highland;
the highest hill of the Baltics – Suur Munamägi (Big Egg Hill) with an observation tower;
Vastseliina Castle ruins and manor;
Piusa valley with colourful sandstone caves.
Tailor-made tours available.