Tallinn – The Capital
Tallinn sits on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, just 83 km south of Helsinki. A ferry trip between the cities takes 2 hours or less. The city shares a nearly identical geographical latitude with Stockholm and the Alaskan capital, Juneau.
During Estonia’s White Nights in June, the sky here stays bright from 4 am until around 11 pm. This is a green city, proudly boasting 40km2 of parks and forests with a 2km stretch of sand beach bordering its bay.
Tallinn is a popular cruise ship destination, with more than 300 ships making the call here each year. Thanks to its small size and compact layout, Tallinn is extremely easy to get around.
The heart of Tallinn is its Medieval Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage), a fairytale neighborhood of gabled houses, Gothic spires and cobblestone streets that dates in the 13th – 16th centuries, the days when this was a thriving, Hanseatic trade center.
But as much as Tallinners pride themselves on their city’s Medieval heritage, it’s the modern side of city life that tends to grab international headlines. Not only is Tallinn ranked among Europe’s most technology-oriented cities, leading the way in everything from free public Wi-Fi to e-government, it also has a dynamic business community eager to engage in new areas. The city has over 360 public Wi-Fi areas and over 700 public Internet access points, nearly all of which are free.
The legacy of the anti-aesthetic Soviet era is that the pretty old Tallinn is ringed by newer sections of town, in many places dominated by brutal Stalinist architecture.
This makes Tallinn an interesting place for street riding – there’s plenty of both new and old spots all over the city.
When it gets dark, then there’s plenty of things going on indoors in the booming nightlife of Tallinn, Europe’s party capital as titled in the New York Times. And it’s all still reasonably priced. There are quite a few nice places where to hang out and party.
You can fly direct to Tallinn from most major cities in Europe. Connecting at some of the major airports in Europe you can get to Tallinn from anywhere in the world. Information about airlines, schedules and customs is also available on the homepage of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. Updated Covid restrictions check from here.
Estonia is also easy to reach by car, bus, plane and boat but reaching Estonia by train is only good if you are coming from Russia or Latvia.
Find more info about how to get to Estonia from the Visit Estonia website.
10 fun facts about Tallinn & Estonia
- The Skype software was created by Estonians. There are three more Estonian founded and/or based unicorns – Bolt, Transferwise and Playtech, making Estonia with the most unicorns per capita in the world.
- Estonia is a digital society which was the first country to implement online voting in 2005, and virtually all tax returns are filed electronically.
Citizens can sign legal documents remotely with their ID cards and anyone in the world can apply to be an e-resident.
- With 1.3 million residents and more than 2 million foreign visitors each year, Estonia is one country where annual tourists exceed the local population.
- Estonia has one of the lowest population densities in the world (28 per sq km; 72.5 per sq mi)
- Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.
- Estonian Arvo Pärt is the most performed contemporary composer in the world.
- The name “Tallinn” is actually derived from the Estonian words “Taani linnus,” meaning “Danish castle.”
- Oleviste (St Olaf’s) church in Tallinn was the highest building in the world from 1549 to 1625.
- Estonia has the highest number of supermodels per capita.
- Public transport has been fare-free for Tallinn residents since the 1st of January 2013, making Tallinn the first European capital abolishing fares for city residents.
Places definately worth to visit
Spot of Tallinn Action Sports Centre
Krati tee 2, 75312 Peetri
Co-founded by Simple Session brothers Mario and Risto Kalmre, the Spot Of Tallinn opened its doors in 2015. Just a short drive from the airport and the center of Tallinn, Spot is an international action sports, BMX racings and acrobatics sports hub in Estonia. Spot is establishing itself as one of the most unique action sports and gymnastics facilities in Europe, where there are many exciting sports combined under one big roof. Spot’s facilities are designed by Nate Wessel – the designer of Simple Session courses for well over a decade.
The Seaplane Harbour Museum
Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn
The Seaplane Harbour accommodates one of Europe’s grandest maritime museums. You are invited to see the authentic submarine Lembit from the 1930s, the century-old steam-powered icebreaker Suur Tõll, a Short 184 seaplane, mines, cannons and many other life-sized exhibits.
The Seaplane Harbour, including the Seaplane Hangar, was built to become part of Peter the Great’s naval fortress 100 years ago on orders from the Russian emperor Nicholas II. The architecture of the Hangar is remarkable, featuring the world’s first columnless thin-shell concrete domes of such volume. The building was used for seaplanes until the Second World War!
Proto invention factory
Peetri 10, Tallinn
The PROTO invention factory offers a new and unique experience unlike anywhere else in Europe. From October 2019, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in an interactive fantasy world. You will get to experience the great scientific discoveries of past centuries – unique prototypes brought to life by cutting-edge 21st-century technology. Brimming with absorbing and educational activities for older and younger visitors alike, PROTO awaits explorers and adventurers from all over the world – beside the sea in North Tallinn, only 500 metres from the famous Seaplane Harbour.
KUMU Art Museum
Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn
Kumu is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The museum opened on 17 February 2006. In 2008 Kumu received the European Museum of the Year Award. This is a noteworthy international recognition of Kumu’s aspiration to become a truly contemporary art museum, which is not just dedicated to collection, conservation and exposition, but is a multifunctional space for active mental activity, from educational programmes for small children to discussions about the nature and meaning of art in the modern world.
Tallinn TV Tower
Kloostrimetsa tee 58 A, Tallinn
The Tallinn Television Tower in Pirita is the tallest building in Tallinn and Estonia at 314 metres. The TV Tower is a great tourist, culture, and leisure centre.
Waiting for you at the tower:
- a panoramic view from 170 metres;
- outdoor terrace on the 21st floor;
- interactive multimedia solutions that introduce Estonia and Tallinn;
- view of the ground through the glass floor of the platform;
- an adrenaline-filled walk on the edge;
- futuristic interior milieu;
- cinema hall;
- attractions for children;
- mini TV studio;
- gift shop.