Interesting facts and ideas for your own excursion in the Estonian capital
- Regular berth: Old City Port/Harbour
- Harbour shuttle: available for a fee, but not essential
- Taxis: usually available at the berths
- Public transport: very good network of buses, trolleybuses and trams
- Car hire*: Budget, at Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport.
- Car hire*: Hertz, at Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport.
- Car hire*: Avis, at Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport
- Car hire*: Europcar, Paadi Street 5 and at Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport.
- Car hire*: Alamo, at Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport.
- Post Office: Narva Maantee Street 1
- Tourist information: Niguliste 2 and at the berths
- Banks and ATMs: mainly located east of the Old Town
- Berths of the Cruise Ships
Under the name Reval the capital of Estonia was named until 1918. Today, Tallinn has not only a historic old town worth seeing, but also an important ferry port, which in turn has several berths for cruise ships. In the Cruise Terminal you will find a tourist information office, a post office, small souvenir shops, gastronomic offers and free Wifi. The way to the centre of the city is approximately 1,5 kilometres, offers some nice photo motives on the ships that are in the harbour and can be done on foot in 15 to 20 minutes. The edge of the old town can be reached after about one kilometre. Shuttle busses with costs are frequently used by the shipping companies and cost, for example, 6 euros per person with Aida*. These buses usually go to the Viru Väljak square. In addition, public buses of line 2 stop at the berths at the nearby ferry terminal.
- Take a Taxi in Tallinn
In Estonia the prices for taxi rides are not regulated and vary greatly depending on the taxi company. Despite installed taximeters you should ask the driver for the expected total costs for all passengers before you start the journey. Normally there is a valid price information on a yellow sign in the window of the right rear door. On it you can see the basic fee, costs per kilometre (night surcharge between 23:00 and 06:00) and eventual costs for waiting times. This gives you a first overview. The white plastic pass with photo and name of the licensed driver must be attached to the dashboard of the taxi. At the destination you can print out a receipt.
- Local Public Transport
Tallinn's residents use the extensive public transport network completely free of charge with personalised cards activated for this purpose. Visitors to the city, however, must have a valid ticket with them. For example, for a one-way trip on the modern buses, trolley buses and trams, you pay 2 euros per person, directly from the driver. If you want to use public transport more intensively, you may want to use the green smart card (Ühiskaart). This rechargeable card is available at post offices and R-kiosks for a 2 Euro deposit. The smartcard can be used for up to 6 people and must be read at the orange machines in the vehicles each time you travel. The number of passengers is also entered there and the corresponding amount is debited. When using this card, an hourly ticket costs 1.10 Euro each and the 24-hour day ticket costs 3 Euro each per person.
- Tourist Tallinn Card
An alternative to regular tickets is the Tallinn Card, which allows unlimited use of public transport during the period of validity. It also gives you free admission to over 40 museums/attractions, discount offers and in the "Plus" version, the use of the Hop On Hop Off buses of "City Tour" is also included. The Tallinn Card is available for 24h, 48h and 72h. The 24-hour card, which is interesting for most cruise passengers, costs 25 euros per adult, in the "Plus" version 36 euros. Children up to the age of 17 years pay 14 and 20 euros respectively. Two children up to the age of 6 can use the offers free of charge in combination with an adult ticket.
- Sightseeing Tours
For large vehicles, the narrow and winding alleys of the historic old town are mostly difficult or impossible to pass. So it is better to go on foot. For the rest of the city you can take one of the Hop On Hop Off buses, which also make a stop at the harbour. Usually, the buses of the three providers City Sightseeing, Tallinn City Tour and Red Buses are available there after the arrival of a cruise ship in order to show potential passengers the city on different routes. Interesting explanations about the sightseeings are also available in German and English language during the trip via headphones.
- Historic Old Town
In the charming city centre of Tallinn, you sometimes feel like you're back in the Middle Ages. The historical old town is a sight in itself, offers many places to stop and is divided into the upper town of Toompea, located on the 48-metre-high Cathedral Hill, and the lower town of All-linn at its feet. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Magnificent, faithfully restored houses stand close together along the partly narrow cobblestone streets. A large part of the mighty city wall has been preserved to this day and underlines the medieval charm with its guard towers. Many of the small streets and paths in the lower town at the central town hall square are closed to motor vehicles. The most important streets Viru, Harju, Vene, Müürivahe and Suur-Karja are located in the eastern part of the old town. They offer numerous shops, small shops, bars and restaurants. Perhaps interesting for fans of the cruise ship company AIDA*. In the north-west of the lower town there is an alley of the same name.
- Rotermann Quarter and Shopping
Tallinn has good shopping facilities in the historic old town, as well as large shopping centres and department stores. These include, for example, the Viru Keskus shopping centre located on Viru Väljak Square, which has a large number of boutiques, shops and restaurants. The most popular shopping streets are Suur-Karja, Väike-Karja and Müürivahe. In addition, there is the modern and car-free Rotermann quarter (Rotermanni keskus), which borders the old town to the east, was built from an old factory complex and houses numerous shops and restaurants. Here the old, listed buildings merge with partly futuristic architecture, which in turn must not be built higher than 24 metres.
- Town Wall and Towers
A good two kilometres of the mighty city wall of the lower town have been preserved to this day. In the middle of it, almost half of the once 46 magnificent watchtowers still stand, some of which can also be visited from the inside. For example, the three towers Kuldjalatorn, Saunatorn and Nunnatorn, together with the associated wall sections, are open to interested visitors daily from 11:00-19:00 in June and until August. In the winter months from November to March, Friday to Tuesday is open from 11:00-16:00 and in the rest of the year in April, May, September and October, one hour longer and additionally on Wednesday. The entrance fee is 2 Euro for adults and half for children. You can get a good view of the Wall in the park complex Tornide Väljak, located between the main station and the old town, and also from the Patkuli viewing platform on the Cathedral Hill.
- Fat Margarethe and Estonian Maritime Museum
If you go from the moorings in the direction of the old town, the first thing you come across there is the town gate, the Great Beach Gate (Suur Rannavärav) and the adjacent, mighty fortified tower, Fat Margarethe (Paks Margareeta). Built at the beginning of the 16th century, it was mainly used for defence purposes, but in the meantime also as a prison and armoury. From the top floor you get a great 360° view of the roofs of Tallinn. In summer, coffee and various bakery products are also available on site. Behind the thick walls, the Estonian Maritime Museum with an interesting exhibition is now hidden on four floors. The regular entrance fee for adults is 10 euros per person and for children from the age of 9 years on 5 euros per person. A part of the museum with a barrier-free exhibition area of a good 6500 square metres is located about 1.3 kilometres away in the Tallinn Seaplane Harbour Lennusadam. Among the partly quite large exhibits there is also the submarine Lembit in restored condition. Both exhibitions are open daily from 10:00-18:00 and in the summer months also until 19:00. From October to April there is a day off on Mondays. Admission to Fat Margarethe and the sea airport is granted after payment of a fee of 20 euros per person. For children, half is called. For Lennusadam an average stay of about two hours can be planned.
- Pikk Tänav ( Long Road ) and Pikk Jalg
From the city gate Great Beach Gate the road Pikk Tänav (Long Road) leads south. It is one of the oldest streets in the Old Town and passes close to the Town Hall Square in the southern part. In the further course it is separated by a gatehouse, from now on it is called Pikk Jalg and thus created the important connection between the Cathedral Hill and the port facilities. At the Pikk there are still some well-preserved, historical buildings. In the northern part, for example, you will find the building complex The Three Sisters. A merchant is said to have erected the three identical buildings for his daughters, in which today a hotel under the same name is operated. Not far from there is the Olai church with its 123 metres high tower. A little further south, at the corner of Pikk 59/Pagari Street 1, the KGB headquarters was located in the building there. The Swedish Embassy, the Russian Embassy, the History Museum in the House of the Great Guild and the Café Maiasmokk are also located there. Among the numerous locations at the Pikk, there is also a well-run Schnitzel House with traditional German cuisine.
- Former Headquarters of the KGB
Until 1989, the Russian secret service KGB had its domicile at Pikk 59/Pagari Street 1, which was then converted into living space, but today hardly anything reminds us of its former use. In the basement of the once very dreaded building you can still see the former KGB prison cells, which impressively remind you of darker times. From October and until April the doors are open daily from 11:00-18:00. In the months May to September the tour starts already at 10:00 am. The entrance fee is 5 Euro per person. A family ticket is available for 11 euros and children up to the age of eight can enter free of charge.
- Café Maiasmokk and Marzipan Room
From a small bakery, which has been run since 1806, the popular Café Maiasmokk was established. It was opened in 1864 at 16 Pikk and is the oldest café in Estonia. The attractive interior is in a well-kept condition and has hardly been changed in the past. However, the name Maiasmokk means "foodie mouth", indicating the many tasty, home-made products of the café. A small marzipan museum has been set up in one room of the historic building, which tells the important history of Reval marzipan production. In addition to numerous exhibits, figures are still made by hand there today. In addition to the extensive assortment of chocolates and marzipan, guests are also served freshly ground coffee with a variety of traditional baked goods. In addition, a few main meals, small snacks, salads, pasta and desserts are on the menu. The traditional house is open Monday to Friday from 08:00-21:00 and on weekends from 09:00-21:00.
- House of the Great Guild and the Estonian Historical Museum
Opposite Café Maiasmokk, at Pikk 17, is the house of the great guild. Intended as a central meeting place for Reval's most influential merchants, the building complex was completed in 1410 after three years of construction. Today the interior houses a part of the Estonian Historical Museum, with its modern, interesting and partly interactive exhibition. Here the visitor is introduced to the Estonian past, which goes back up to 11,000 years. In addition, one learns about the guild house itself, old means of payment and typical weapons of former times. In the summer months from May to September is open daily from 10:00-18:00. During the rest of the year, the house is closed on Mondays. The entrance fee is 6 Euro per person. Family tickets are available for 12 euros. Children up to the age of 8 years are admitted free of charge.
- Town Hall Square
In the immediate vicinity of the long road Pikk Tänav, south of it, is the centre of the original Reval. The important Raekoja plats (Town Hall Square) is home to numerous localities, including Tallinn Town Hall, built in 1404, and one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, opened in 1422. In addition to the markings on the site of the former Weigh House and a pillory, the square also features a circular slab that marks the zero point of the Old Town and from which all distances used to be measured. Markets are held every Sunday, where all kinds of handicrafts are offered. The annual Christmas market is particularly attractive in winter.
- Town Hall and Town Hall Tower
One of Tallinn's landmarks since 1530 has been the soldier figure of Old Thomas (Vana Toomas), which is enthroned on the 64-metre-high spire of the Town Hall as a weather vane and as a copy. The original from the 16th century is kept in the basement of the building. The town hall, which dates back to 1322, was extensively rebuilt between 1402 and 1404 to meet the requirements of the time. Today it opens its doors to interested visitors during the summer months for a fee. From July and until the end of August it is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00-16:00 and the entrance costs 5 Euros per person. Children pay 3 euros each and a family ticket costs 10 euros. An interior tour of the Town Hall Tower must be planned separately. It is accessible daily, except on 24/25 June, from mid-May to mid-September from 11:00-18:00 and offers a great view of the roofs of the city. The entrance to the tower is located at Café III Draakon. The regular entrance fee is 3 euros per person from the age of 16. If you are younger, 1 Euro is charged. There may be waiting times at the entrance, as a maximum of 10 people are allowed inside at the same time. There is also no elevator. A 115-step, partly narrow spiral staircase leads to the bells at a height of 34 meters. Further, more uncomfortable steps lead up a little further.
- Nikolai Church and Art Museum
Southwest and only about 200 meters from the Town Hall Square is another landmark of Tallinn. St. Nikolai Church (Niguliste kirik) was built in the 13th century and today houses the Niguliste Museum, part of the Estonian Art Museum. In addition to typical church art, such as altarpieces and wooden sculptures from the Middle Ages and early modern times, there are also some silver pieces and important paintings from the 15th century on display. In addition to the exhibition, the spacious interior of the sacred building is often used for small concerts, due to its good acoustics and preferably at weekends. The building is open for viewing from 10:00-17:00. However, from May to September every Monday is a day of rest and in the winter half year from October to April also the Tuesday. The entrance fee is 6 Euro per person, children pay 5 Euro each and a family ticket is available for 12 Euro.
- Kiek in de Kök and the Bastion Corridors
A little south of the Nikolai church, a former cannon tower houses another museum. The mighty Kiek in de Kök (look in the kitchen) tower, with walls 3-4 metres thick, is 38 metres high and was built in 1475 with a diameter of 17 metres. Once immensely important for the city's defence, the four cannonballs on the south-east side still remind us of turbulent times. Administered by the Tallinn City Museum, the tower and the connected bastion corridors, which run below the surface of the earth and connect various watchtowers, can be visited by interested visitors. However, the tunnels are only accessible as part of a guided tour, which must be booked in advance. When entering the approved sections, you go on a short journey through time into Tallinn's past and learn a lot of interesting facts about the origins and development. The Tower Kiek in de Kök is open daily from 10:00-17:30. For the entrance fee, each adult pays 6 euros and children 4 euros per person. Family tickets cost 12 euros and are valid for two adults with a maximum of 4 children up to the age of 18. Combined tickets for the Neitsitorn (Maiden Tower), Tallitorn (Marstal Tower), The Short Leg Gate Tower and Kiek in de Kök cost 7 euros each for adults, 4.50 euros each for children and the family ticket costs 14 euros. Children under 8 years of age are admitted free of charge. In the underground corridors it is quite cool all year round. The temperatures there are in the range of 7-10 °C.
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
On the Cathedral Hill of the Upper Town, at the Castle Square (Lossi Plats), stands the impressive Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The church building, with its five onion domes, was completed in 1900 and was scheduled for demolition in 1924. Fortunately, these plans were not realized and so today the impressive interior, with many mosaics and icons, can be visited. In the bell tower of the building there are 11 bells, the largest of which weighs 15 tons. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is accessible free of charge and open daily from 08:00-18:00.
- Castle Toompea and the Long Hermann
Opposite the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn Castle (Toompea Loss). Today seat of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), it was also in the past the centre of power of various rulers. As each of them had their own ideas, the area was subject to a certain change and was redesigned several times. What began as a wooden fortification became a castle complex and in the course of time developed into today's official residence. The last major change was initiated by Czarina Catherine II the Great and corresponds in broad outlines to the current design. Every morning at sunrise, accompanied by the country's national anthem, the Estonian national flag is solemnly hoisted on the adjacent Long Hermann (Pikk Hermann). The striking 46-metre-high corner tower is a remnant of the original castle complex. Unfortunately, the 215 steps to the tower's viewing platform are not accessible to visitors. Likewise, it is not possible to visit the inside of the castle.
- Tallinn Cathedral
Not far from the castle square, another church building can be found to the north. Tallinn Cathedral (Tallinna Toomkirik) was built in the 13th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Today the modest cathedral church is the bishop's see of the Protestant Lutheran Church and has one of the largest collections of coats of arms of German Baltic aristocratic houses. Tallinn Cathedral is accessible free of charge and open daily from 10:00-16:00. In the summer months also longer. It is possible to visit the 69-metre-high bell tower for a fee of 5 euros. After climbing 156 steps you will have a great view of the roofs of Tallinn, the harbour and the nearby Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
- Patkuli and Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
The Tallinn upper town has some good viewpoints. For example, one gets a great view of Tallinn from the Patkuli viewing platform that is located in the northern part of the Cathedral Hill. In the immediate vicinity, the Patkuli Staircase, built in 1903 and with 157 steps, leads to the lower situated Shnelli Pond, in the adjacent Cathedral Park. To the east of the Cathedral Hill, the best view from the Kohtuotsa viewing platform is of the medieval lower town with the cruise port behind it. As this place is quite popular, you may have to be patient before you can enjoy the unobstructed view. In summer, an outdoor café is operated there.
- Television Tower Tallinn
After five years of construction, it was completed in 1980 for the summer Olympics. With a height of 314 metres, the Tallinn Television Tower (Tallinna Teletorn) is the second tallest free-standing structure in Northern Europe. Extensive renovation work, however, made it necessary to close it down in 2007. The tower could only be reopened in 2012 and now offers visitors a magnificent panoramic view of land and sea at a height of 170 metres. In good weather even the Finnish coastline is visible. Integrated glass panels allow an unobstructed view into the depths. In addition to the viewing platform there is also a nice restaurant at lofty heights. In addition, a walk at the outermost edge of the platform, secured with ropes, is possible for an extra charge. The regular entrance fee to the tower is 13 Euros for adults and 7 Euros for children. As a family (2 adults and children) you get access to the fast elevator for 27 Euro. It takes 49 seconds for one ride. The television tower is open daily from 10:00-19:00, barrier-free access and a maximum of 100 people can be on the viewing platform at any one time. This can lead to unpleasant waiting times, especially if there are several cruise ships in the port of Tallinn and unless you have booked a ticket in advance. By taxi or rental car*, you can plan a journey of about 20 minutes in each direction for the approximately 11 kilometres. Alternatively, you can take the 34A, 38 or 288 bus, which takes about 45 minutes in each direction.
- Botanical Garden
About one kilometre from the Tallinn television tower, there is a very well-kept botanical garden, which covers an area of about 123 hectares and is more reminiscent of a park. More than 8000 plant species can be discovered in the greenhouses and along the 4 km long paths. From the moorings, the extensive area can also be reached by taxi or rental car* in 15 to 20 minutes. In addition, the buses of lines 34A, 38 or 288 also stop nearby. Unfortunately, the audio guides on offer for hire do not speak German and are therefore only partly suitable for a tour. The Botanical Garden is open daily from 11:00-16:00 and in summer from May and until the end of September, from 10:00-20:00. The entrance fee for adults is 5,50 Euro each, children pay 3 Euro and the family ticket is available for 10 Euro.
- Katharinental Castle and Art Museum
For his second wife Catherine I, Tsar Peter the Great had the area on the eastern outskirts of Tallinn extensively redesigned. This resulted in Katharinental Castle (Kadrioru loss), which is also called Kadriorg Castle because of its location, in the middle of a very beautiful and spacious park with smaller outbuildings. Today the main building, which is well worth seeing, houses the Kadriorg Art Museum, which is part of the Eesti Kunstimuuseum. On display are foreign exhibits from the 16th to the 20th century. From January to April is Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00-17:00 and from May to the end of December is already open from Tuesday and one hour longer. Wednesdays are closed all year round only at 20:00. Adults pay 6.50 euros each for regular admission. The cheaper family tickets are valid for up to two adults with underage children and are available for 13 Euros. Katharinental Castle is about four kilometres away from the moorings of the cruise ships. By taxi or rental car* it is a journey of about 10 minutes. Alternatively, trams lines 1 and 3 stop near the park, and buses lines 1a, 5, 34a and 60 stop at J.Poska.
- Zoo Tallinn
On the edge of the Kadriorg Park the only zoo in Estonia was founded in 1939. The first animal was a young lynx, which was won by Estonian sport shooters at the World Championships in Helsinki in 1937 and from then on is immortalised on the coat of arms. As the original area was much too small, in 1983 the zoo was moved from Tallinn (Tallinna Loomaaed) to the outskirts of the city, to a former military site in Veskimetsa, which today covers an area of around 87 hectares. The approximately 11,000 animals of over 600 species can be visited daily from 09:00-19:00. In summer, from May to August, it is open one hour longer and in winter, from November to February, it closes at 17:00. The ticket offices close 2 hours before. The regular entrance fee is 5 Euros for adults and 3 Euros for children from the age of 6 years. From May to September the price increases by another 3 euros for adults and 2 euros for children. The Tallinn Zoo is about 8 kilometres from the pier. By taxi or rental car* it takes about 15 minutes in each direction. Public transport takes about 30 minutes each way. Some bus lines stop nearby, such as the 42 and 43 bus lines.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Tallinn, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book well in advance, you can realize a variety of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators
for, in and around Tallinn,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you have not yet booked a Baltic Sea Cruise, but would like to get to know Tallinn personally and go on your own excursions, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the museums: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-18:00. Partly closed on Monday.
- Opening hours of the churches: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-16:00
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 10:00-19:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 09:00-18:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday to Saturday from 09:00-19:00. Sundays from 09:00-18:00.
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday through Friday from 10:00-19:00. Saturday from 10:00-17:00. Larger shops often close at 21:00 and are also open on Sundays.
- Country code: +372
- Taxi Tallinn: Tel. +372 644 2442 (Linnatakso)
- Taxi Tallinn: Tel. +372 697 9349 (Rahva Takso)
- Taxi Tallinn: Tel. +372 621 5080 (Sõbra Takso)
- Taxi Tallinn: Tel. +372 601 4333 (Viiking Takso)
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. +372 14410
- Police: Tel. 110
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 112
- Fire department: Tel. 112
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Estonia
- German Embassy: Toom-Kuninga 11, 15048 Tallinn
- Safety information: Federal Foreign Office Estonia
- Public Transport: Tallinn Transport
- Map of the city: Tallinn Map
- Climatic table: Tallinn Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Tallinn
- Official language: Estonian
- National currency: Euro, 1 EUR = 100 Cent
More port information of popular cruise destinations in Northern Europe / Baltic Sea
Russia - St. Petersburg