Views & walks, Tallinn County
To see a great panorama view over Tallinn county and the Gulf of Finland: go to Tallinn TV Tower. There's a cafe, restaurant and observation deck at the height of 170 metres. Sometimes in the evening also live dance music in the restaurant. Tickets 60 kr for adults. Open from 10 to 24.
The Danish King's Garden /Toompea Hill.
Legend has it that the Danes received their national flag in Tallinn. The tale go that on the brink of losing a battle 1219, the flag was handed down from the skies, and the battle tide turned in Danish favor. Denmark’s victory resulted in over a hundred years of Danish rule in Estonia.
Each summer Danneborg Day is celebrated here
Estonian History Museum/Great Guild Hall
The Great Guild united the city’s wealthy merchants and protected its members’ common interests. It is no coincidence that the Guild’s coat of arms and Tallinn city’s coat of arms are identical: a white cross on a red background.
The building now preserves the 15th C interior and exterior with the Great Guild’s coat of arms and bronze knockers from 1430 on the door door to the Estonian History Museum.
Built in the latter part of the 15th centuryKiek in de Kök was considered to be the most powerful cannon tower in 16th-century Europe.
The tower was partially destroyed during a number of wars but the building itself did not fall and has been rebuilt numerous times. The external wall still holds stone and iron cannonballs from Russian tsar Ivan IV
Today the tower has a permanent exhibit on the emergence of Tallinn and its history.
St. Catherine’s Passage is a landmark that once combined craftsmen’s workshops with a medieval atmosphere connecting Vene and Müürivahe streets near St. Catherine’s Church .
Studios of artisans are now located here where tourists can watch artists and craftsmen practise daily.
(Est 1939) The zoo is home to over 5,400 animals representing nearly 350 species.
A tropical house has been completed, where you can see crocodiles, chimpanzees, many other rain forest dwellers and a petting zoo for children.
Great Coastal Gate and Fat Margaret's Tower
The Great Coastal Gate (CALLED Suur Rannavarav) and Fat Margaret's Tower (CALLED Paks Margareeta) were said to be built for sea related defense.
Fat Margaret's Tower now the Estonian Maritime Museum.
For those barmy baltic summer days, Tallinn has some beautiful sandy beaches within easy reach. The nearest is just 2 kms (a 30 minute walk) along Narva mnt from Viru gates.
However, best of all are those beside (and north of) the Pirita marina. Pirita is approximately 5 kms from the town centre (or five to ten minutes in a bus or taxi).
It is covered by the 'green line' of the Tallin City hop-on/hop-off bus tour (which is worthwhile doing in itself) or (much cheaper) you can just get the very regular number 34 bus from the Autobussijaam (bus station) located underneath the Sokos Viru Hotel (see 'A visit to Pirita' or 'Tallin City Tour Bus' in my 'Transportation Tips' page)
Otherwise, get a taxi or hire a bicycle - the beach road (Pirita tee) has a cycle path along it's whole length.
All of the beaches mentioned also offer a memorable view of Tallinn's sky line.
The Radisson SAS Hotel is one of the finest hotels in Tallinn - if you can afford it, it is highly recommended.
The hotel is that modern glass skyscraper with the curious vertical red-coloured appendage viewable from just about everywhere in the city. Look a bit closer and you can see a circular set of glass windows on the very top floor.
This bit is known as 'Floor 24' and it is a posh bar/cafe with an open viewing terrace. Non-residents are welcome from midday to 2am. Just stroll into recpetion on Ravala pst and catch the elevator.
The near 270 degree view from 90m above the city is awe inspiring. You can see from beyond the Rocca Al Mare open air museum in the west to Pirita beach and beyond in the east. All of the landmarks along the Pirita tee coast road are clearly visible as is the airport and the gigantic Lasnamae estate built atop the limestone plateau inland of Pirita.
Oh, and the drinks are no more expensive here than in any city centre bar, view or no view. 40 or 50 EEK (less than £2 for a 0.5ltr beer)
The Eesti Meremuuseum or Estonian Maritime Museum is worth a trip on it's own but what makes it more special is the location and spectacular viewing opportunity.
The museum is housed in Fat Margaret's Tower (Paks Margareeta - one of the round towers forming part of the city walls). It overlooks the port and bay of Tallin and the open air roof top offers an unrestricted 180 degree view of the city from about 20m up.
Free entry with Tallin Card (see 'General Tips'). Open Wed-Sun 10am to 6pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
In the Old town the really must to see are the 5 platforms. From there you can enjoy the view to. They are situate in old town (all in toompea). Besides those there is one viewing platform near Rusalka.
The view of Tallinn's skyline from a distance should not be missed.
If you arrived by ship, you will already have seen it but those flying in will have missed it.
This viewing point is just a few kms out of town on the Pirita tee road. You can walk or take a bus.
You can even incorporate this with a trip to Pirita Olympic Centre or the TV Tower (for further details see my 'Visit To Pirita' transportation tip)
The Old Town is split into two distinct districts - the upper town atop Toompea (Dome Hill) and the lower town.
For spectacular views of the lower town - with it's spires and red tiled roofs - and the harbour beyond, visit the Kohtu and Patkuli viewing platforms.
Naturally, both are worth another visit after dark !!
Follow Pikk jalg (Long Leg Street - just off the main square) & left at the A. Nevsky Cathedral on to Piiskopi. Keep right and join Kohtu street. The platform is at the end of the street (it's all signposted anyway).
Patkuli platform is a 2 minute walk from Kohtu. Turn right from the platform along the very narrow streets, through an arch and turn right again.
Walking around in the old part of the city certainly is a must for every tourist.
The medieval atmosphere is so unique and there are wonderful places to dine and wine everywhere.
Although the old city is great during the day it is just breathtaking in the evening when all the restaurants' terraces are illuminated by candles and torches.
Besides the main view points on the Toompea hill, there are more of them. You may wish to, say, climb a church tower or a roof.
The tower of Oleviste Church is mostly open now (though I didn't yet figure out when and when not; I heard it's daily except weekends).
And then there are the roofs. Be aware that climbing onto them is first of all eventually dangerous, and depending on what roof you choose could be considered an offense by the people living under this specific roof......!
Rooftops: Well, am I allowed to give you any hint on those... okay, one for sure: The roof of some kind of biology laboratory is accessible. This is, note, not likely to be liked by police if they catch you climbing it. But the point is that especially in the night, you won't disturb anyone there. The building is on the corner of Lai and Suur Kloostri streets. Entering Suur Kloostri from Lai, the first gate to a backyard on the right hand side it is - sometimes it's closed, but mostly open. Inside the backyard, you'll already see the ladder just on the right side of the backyard entrance. Be careful!