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View of Tallinn's Old Town | © ESB Professional/Shutterstock

How to Spend 24 Hours in Tallinn, Estonia

Picture of Elizabeth Georgian
Elizabeth Georgian
Updated: 2 May 2017

Tallinn, Estonia is an enchanting city that can easily be explored in a short stopover of 24 hours. We’ve combed through all the city has to offer, and suggest this full-day itinerary to get a feel for both the historical Tallinn as well as the current, hip capital known for its tech-savvy ingenuity.

Tour the Old Town

Stepping into Tallinn’s Old Town is like stepping into an enchanting fairytale, so visitors spending only a short time in Tallinn should choose to start within the confines of the city walls. Walking in through Viru Gates allows visitors a glimpse of the 14th-century defense system as well as views of some of Tallinn’s handicraft markets.

The town square and town hall are another highlight of Tallinn’s medieval Old Town. If your eyesight is very good, or your camera lens long, you’ll be able to spot Old Thomas on the top of the town hall. Nearby, visitors seeking a bit of a coffee and a sweet treat before touring more of the Old Town will find Anneli Viik. This café and chocolaterie, will certainly provide ample fuel.

Following the town square, a walk along Tallinn’s Town Wall illustrates just how well-preserved Tallinn’s Old Town actually is. The Tallinn Town Wall was formerly 2.4 kilometers long, and an impressive 1.9 kilometers remain today. You can still walk along a short portion of this wall, and its small windows provide great views of the city.

Viru Gates: Viru, 10140 Tallinn, Estonia

Anneli Viik: Pikk 30, 10133 Tallinn, Estonia, +372 644 4530

Tallinn Old Town| © yegorovnick/Shutterstock

Visit historic churches

St. Olaf’s Church was built in the 1200s and still stands today. In the summer only, visitors can enter St. Olaf’s Church and opt to climb the stairs to the top of the church tower for more views of Tallinn’s Old Town.

Another must-visit church is Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is a Russian Orthodox church located on Toompea Hill. This cathedral was completed in 1900 and its striking, black onion domes can be easily spotted no matter where you are in the city.

St. Olaf’s Church: Lai 50, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 641 2241

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: Lossi plats 10, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 644 3484

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral| © Mikhail Markovskiy/Shutterstock

Lunch at Tallinn’s top restaurant

Estonia features some fabulously tasty and affordable restaurants. One such restaurant that is a perfect option for lunch is Rataskaevu 16. This restaurant serves local Estonian food in a relaxing atmosphere and is a favorite among families for its children’s play area. Menu items include pumpkin soup, elk roast, and chocolate fondant sprinkled with lime.

Rataskaevu 16, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 642 4025

See Tallinn from above

To have a final view of Tallinn from above, walk the winding streets up to the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. This platform is free to visit and is located on top of Toompea Hill. Unobstructed views of sky-scraping towers and cobbled streets are accompanied by music played by buskers who frequent the area.

Kohtu 12, Tallinn, Estonia

View of Tallinn’s Old Town| © ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Get off the beaten path

Check out the hip design scene in Tallinn by heading to Telliskivi Creative City. This cool complex of former warehouses turned design studios, shops, restaurants, and cafés is adorned with bright murals. Some store highlights include Les Petites, Vintage Chick, Sfaar, and Safran. Telliskivi Creative City is also packed with delicious cafés, restaurants, and bars, so it is a perfect spot for dinner after a spot of shopping. Great restaurant options include Sfaar Restaurant, Lendav Taldrik (a tasty Indian restaurant), or F-Hoone.

Lendav Taldrik: Telliskivi 60A, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 621 4222

Sfaar: Mere pst 6, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 56 992 200

F-Hoone: Telliskivi 60, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 5322 6855