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2 days in Tallinn: What to do and what to see

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A few words about Tallinn

Estonia

Tallinn, one of the most unique, well-preserved, and romantic cities in Europe. A fairytale city with unique beauty, medieval character, and a colorful architecture that will enchant you.

During your 2-day trip to Tallinn, you will feel like time stands still. Visit the old town, climb up Toompea Hill, explore the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and stroll in Kadriorg Park.

Wondering about the best things to do in Tallinn in 2 days? In this article, you’ll learn everything about your vacation in the capital of Estonia, the most famous attractions, where to stay, where to eat, and the most useful information.

Colorful buildings dusted with snow and tall steeples.
Travel back in time by strolling through the alleys of the Old Town.

How to spend 2 days in Tallinn

1st Day in Tallinn

1. Explore the Old Town

The first day in Tallinn couldn’t start without exploring its heart, the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Narrow, cobblestone streets, Gothic churches, towers, and castles are some of the things you’ll encounter. So, begin at the iconic Viru Gate, Estonia’s historical landmark, to enter the Old Town.

As you walk, you’ll come across colorful buildings, Gothic spires, quaint little cafes, and restaurants. To further enrich your knowledge of Tallinn’s history, visit the Tallinn City Museum. Continue your exploration by strolling through the central square of the Old Town, Raekoja Plats.

There, you will encounter the oldest Town Hall in Europe, the iconic symbol of Tallinn, built in Gothic style. It is adorned with paintings, wood carvings, and arches, with its tower reaching a height of 34 meters. Additionally, in Tallinn’s Old Town, you’ll find one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, operating since 1942, where you can discover medieval remedies and treatments. Finally, Pikk Street is the oldest and longest street in the center of Tallinn, lined with colorful stone houses.

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Discover the Old Town of Tallinn
Learn everything about the history of Tallinn, how it was founded, and its connection to the flag of Denmark. Visit the most impressive landmarks with an experienced guide.

2. Visit the Tallinn Christmas Market

We visited Tallinn during Christmas, and it was the most beautiful Christmas atmosphere we have ever experienced. Experience the authentic magic of Christmas in Tallinn as it transforms into a magical place in winter. Not surprisingly, it was voted in 2019 as the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe.

The magnificent Christmas tree stands in the middle of the square. Did you know that it is believed to be the site of the first Christmas tree in Europe, set up in the 15th century? The air is filled with the aroma of hot wine and traditional foods. Don’t leave Tallinn’s Christmas market without trying traditional sausages and wandering around with a warm chocolate in hand. Get up close with Santa Claus and buy a Christmas souvenir.

3. See the Church of St. Olaf

The Church of St. Olaf is the largest building in the city and takes its name from the Norwegian king Olav II Haraldsson. What sets it apart is its Gothic spire. This church in Tallinn has been struck by lightning about 10 times, resulting in extensive fires three times. Climb to the church’s observation deck, which stands at a height of 65 meters, and you’ll enjoy a unique view of the Old Town and the harbor. However, you’ll need to climb 232 narrow steps, but the view will enchant you.

Tip: The cost to ascend to the observation deck is €5, and they only accept cash.

The majestic spire stands out in the church of St. Olaf in Tallinn. Surrounding it are buildings with beautiful architecture.
The Church of St. Olaf was the center of the Scandinavian community in old Tallinn.

4. Explore the Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels

Continue your exploration of the first day in Tallinn by learning everything about how it was during the medieval period, how the city was fortified, and what weapons were used. This fortress museum covers an area of 500 meters and features four defensive towers and underground passages. Today, it operates as a museum, and your visit will provide insights into the defensive structure and the most significant military events. Discover the mysterious underground bastions and, similarly, visit the stonecutter’s museum with an audio guide.

Tallinn's towering defensive stone wall covered in snow..
The defensive tower Kiek in de Kök invites you to explore its fortress museum with mysterious underground bastions.

5. Visit Toompea Hil

Don’t forget on the first day in Tallinn to climb Toompea Hill, which is the upper part of the Old Town. You can ascend through the picturesque Pikk Jalg path, enjoying a unique route with Baroque elements. Toompea Hill served as the seat of power, dominated by the castle, making it the iconic symbol of Tallinn.

There, you’ll encounter the pink Estonian Parliament, serving as the administrative and military center for centuries. The Estonian flag is raised daily at sunrise, accompanied by the national anthem. Explore landmarks like the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Kohtuotsa and Patkuli platforms, and the Cathedral of Saint Mary, the seat of the Archbishop of Tallinn. Did you know it was the only building that survived the devastating fire in 1684?

6. Discover the Alexander Nevsky Cathedra

One of the most impressive, ornate, and imposing temples in Tallinn is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church. This magnificent cathedral with its striking architecture was part of the Russian Empire. Inside, you’ll find mosaics and icons, but photography is not allowed. Additionally, there are 11 bells, among them the largest and heaviest bell weighing 15 tons.

7. Enjoy the unique views from Kohtuotsa and Patkuli platforms

While you’re on Toompea Hill, discover the most Instagram-worthy landscapes in Tallinn and capture the most beautiful panoramic photos of the city. The Kohtuotsa viewing platform is located in the northern part of Toompea Hill, offering views of the red rooftops, tall spires, and in the distance, the modern side of the city. On the wall, you’ll find the inscription ‘Tallin,’ making it a perfect spot for a memorable photo. Similarly, you’ll enjoy a unique view from the Patkuli viewing platform, witnessing the picturesque sight of the Old Town, its walls, and the harbor.

8. Have a meal at Rataskaevu 16 restaurant

Don’t know where to eat on your first day in Tallinn? We have the solution for you. Take a break and enjoy your meal at one of the most famous restaurants in the area, such as Rataskaevu 16, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The ambiance is particularly charming, and the food is delicious. It’s important to make a reservation to ensure your table, as due to its popularity, it can be challenging to find an available one easily.

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Discover Tallinn with a guide
Explore the top attractions in Tallinn through the most experienced guide. Uncover the legends hidden in the medieval Old Town, wander through the Kadriorg neighborhood, and visit the outdoor museum.

9. Take a stroll in the Kalamaja neighborhood

Step outside the walls of the Old Town and head towards the Kalamaja neighborhood, just a 10-minute walk away. This area used to be an old fishing village, hence its name, the neighborhood of fishermen. Today, due to the increase in industrial activity, it’s home to many workers, entrepreneurs, artists, and students. There, you’ll find bars, cafes, outdoor markets, parks, and boutiques. The wooden houses and bohemian atmosphere will impress you. The restaurant prices in this area are generally more budget-friendly than in the Old Town, and the neighborhood has a peaceful vibe.

10. Stay at Citybox Tallinn City Center

On our trip to Tallinn, we stayed at Citybox Tallinn City Center and had a unique experience. This hotel is conveniently located near the Old Town, just 500 meters away. The room is modern and stylish. What impressed us the most was the large window providing a view of the city. This room is very affordable considering the amenities it offered. We highly recommend it.a

A girl sitting on a wooden bench, gazing at the snowy landscape of Tallinn.
Stay at Citybox Tallinn City Center and enjoy a unique view.

2nd Day in Tallinn

1. Visit the TV Tower

On the second day in Tallinn, start by visiting the tallest building in Estonia and Northern Europe, standing at 314 meters with a breathtaking 360-degree view. Enjoy the panoramic sights of the Baltic Sea and the vast green landscape. At the tower’s top, explore an exhibition about genes and relax in a cafe, where you can savor your meal at 170 meters above ground.

As you enter, the first thing you’ll notice is the cinema hall, where you can delve into the tower’s history and learn about Estonia’s path to independence. At the tower’s peak, discover Estonia’s achievements through the centuries and get insights into the city’s most interesting landmarks with a special program.

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Enjoy the panoramic view of the city
Climb up to the 22nd floor and savor a unique perspective from the TV Tower in Tallinn. With this ticket, you’ll have the opportunity to try two special dishes and record your own video message from the tower’s TV studio.

2. Have coffee at Maiasmokk

Continue your second day in Tallinn by having coffee at the oldest café in the city, which opened in 1864. Head up to the first floor and witness the uniqueness of its interior, which has remained unchanged for 100 years. There, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast and savor your coffee.

A café with unique decoration in the center of Tallinn
Maiasmokk, the historic café in Tallinn

3. Walk through St. Catherine's Passage

The element that makes St. Catherine’s Passage so unique is that it has preserved its medieval atmosphere with cobblestone streets running along the narrow passage, transporting you to another era. This spot has been the most picturesque pathway in Tallinn for 700 years, connecting Vene Street to Müürivahe Street. Along the way, you will encounter St. Catherine’s Church, from which the passage takes its name. There are also craft workshops where you have the opportunity to learn how specialists create ceramics, hats, and glass.

A particularly medieval path with tiled roofs and stone walls
The most picturesque path in Tallinn is St. Catherine's Passage.

4. Explore Kadriorg Palace and Park

Just 20 minutes away from the Old Town, you’ll find yourself in the romantic neighborhood of Kadriorg, home to the Kadriorg Palace with its Baroque architecture and vast park. You couldn’t miss on the second day in Tallinn the colorful Kadriorg Palace, constructed for Catherine I by the command of the Russian Tsar Peter with its impressive central hall. Nowadays, inside the palace, you’ll discover works by foreign artists. Take a stroll in Kadriorg Park and enjoy nature with its swan lake, beautiful flowers, and fountains. In the park, you’ll come across museums like Kumu and Mikkeli.

A couple smiles at the camera and enjoys the snowy landscape of Tallinn.
Exploring winter in Tallinn.

5. Have a meal at Olde Hansa

Completing your second day in Tallinn, savor your meal at the unique medieval restaurant Olde Hansa. There, you’ll enjoy dishes from the Hanseatic era, all prepared with recipes and methods from the 15th century.

Book your accommodation early and secure the lowest prices
Now, you can explore Tallinn with comfort and style by making a reservation at one of the wonderful hotels located close to all the attractions.

Accommodation in Tallinn

A girl is being photographed in Tallinn.
A wonderful journey awaits you in the enchanting Tallinn.

How many days to stay in Tallinn

Most travelers will spend 1-2 days in Tallinn. This is because Tallinn is quite small and easy to explore on foot. If you stay for one day, you’ll get a good taste of the city’s main attractions. However, the ideal duration to enjoy Tallinn is 2 days, allowing you to see it both in the morning and illuminated at night, discovering the surprises it holds.

Useful tips for Tallinn

Below, you will find the 4 most useful tips to keep in mind for your 2-day trip to Tallinn:

1.Purchase the  Tallin Card to save time and money, as it allows you to travel for free on public transportation and explore the city’s top attractions. 

2. Car: If you want to discover more of Estonia, rent a car from Tallinn.

3. If you visit Tallinn during Christmas at the Christmas markets, most vendors prefer cash.

4. You can’t visit Tallinn without trying the traditional black rye bread. Also, tap water is drinkable.

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