Dating from the 13th century, the most imposing St Nicholas’ Church (Niguliste kirik) was badly damaged by Soviet bombers from 1944 and also a fire in the 1980s, but now stands restored to its Gothic glory. Even though deconsecrated, it is a strikingly apt site for its Art Museum of Estonia to display a number of its own treasures of sacral art — the late-medieval altarpieces, sculptures and paintings you’ll notice are drawn from all around Estonia, but much of that initially sailed right here, in St Nicholas’s.
Estonian Open-Air Museum
This sprawling ethnographic and complex features 80 historic Estonian structures, resurrected in segments representing different areas of Estonia and ranging from the country. In summer staff in period costume highlights the effect performing conventional tasks among the farm houses and windmills. Different activities and demonstrations (weaving, blacksmithing and such ) are scheduled along with an old wooden tavern, Kolu Kõrts, serves conventional Estonian cuisine.
This Finnish-designed building is a spectacular structure of limestone, aluminum and glass that integrates intelligently into the 18th-century picture. Kumu (the name is short for kunstimuuseum,” or art tradition ) comprises the country’s biggest repository of Estonian art and 11 or 12 temporary exhibits each year. The exhibition covers 18th-century classics of Estonian art to contemporary artists like Adamson-Eric’s work and venerable altarpieces.
Tallinn Town Hall
Completed in 1404, this could be the sole surviving town hall in Europe. The sloped attic has exhibits on its restoration and the building. Details such as brightly colored painted columns and carved wooden friezes give some sense of the original splendour.
This is the sole surviving town hall in northern Europe. Indoors, you can go to the Trade Hall (whose tourist publication drips with royal signatures), the Council Chamber (comprising Estonia’s oldest woodcarvings, dating from 1374), the vaulted Citizens’ Hall, a yellow-and-black-tiled councillor’s office and also a small kitchen. The steeply sloped loft has displays on the building and its recovery. Details such as brightly colored painted columns and intricately carved wooden friezes provide some sense of the splendour.
Great Guild Hall
The Great Guild Hall (1410) can be really actually just a delightfully complete testament to the strength of Tallinn’s medieval trade guilds. Now a branch of the Estonian History Museum is’Nature of Survival: 11,000 decades of History’, illustrating the history and psyche of Estonia through interactive and odd displays. Additionally there is the basement, investigating the heritage of the Guild itself the older fashioned room, using relics extending back to Viking times; along with segments to geography, language and Estonian music.
Kadriorg Art Museum
Kadriorg Palace, a baroque beauty assembled by Peter the Great between 17-18 and 1736, houses a division of this Art Museum of Estonia devoted to Dutch, German and Italian paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and Russian works by the 18th to early 20th centuries (checkout the decorative ceramic with Greek vision upstairs). The pink palace is fabulous and as frilly as it need to be, and there exists a fine formal garden at the back.
If this cavernous construction was completed in 1917, its structure was exceptional in the world. Resembling a traditional lair, the huge space was restored and opened as a museum celebrating the rich seafaring tradition of Estonia to people in 2012. Highlights include researching a tasteful collection of ice-yachts, a 1930s submarine’s cramped corridors, hanging from the ceiling as though inflight, and the many interactive exhibits to test your hand at.
Telliskivi Creative City
Once literally on the wrong side of those tracks, this set of abandoned factory buildings is now Tallinn’s best purchasing and entertainment precinct, together with cafes, and a bike shop, pubs selling craft-beer, graffiti wallsand artist studiosand food trucks along with pop up concept stores. But it’s not only hipsters who flock riffle through the stalls at the flea market, drink espressos and to peruse the design and fashion stores — you are just as likely to see families rummaging and sipping.
About 2km west of Old Town, this beautiful park ample acreage is Tallinn’s favourite patch of green. Together with the baroque Kadriorg Palace, its own 70 hectares were commissioned by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great because of his wife Catherine I right after his conquest of Estonia (Kadriorg means’Catherine’s Valley’ in Estonian).
Town Hall Square
To Raekoja plats all roads lead in Tallinn, the pulsing heart as markets of the city began creating here from the 11th century. 1 side is dominated by the Gothic town hall, whilst the remainder is ringed by pretty pastel-coloured buildings. Whether bathed in sun or even sprinkled with snow, it’s always a spot.
Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral
The positioning of the glorious, onion-domed Russian Orthodox cathedral (completed in 1900) in the core of the country’s main administrative hub was no accident: many such churches were built in the previous part of their 19th century as part of a general wave of Russification from the empire’s southern provinces. Orthodox believers come here in droves, alongside tourists snapping its profile and ogling the striking icons along with frescoes of the interior. Cameras are not, although respectful, demurely dressed people are all welcome.
Resembling a cross between a WWII sea-fort, a nuclear bunker plus a succession temple to a vanished god, the Linnahall is in reality a coated concrete stadium. Originally the Lenin Palace of Sport and Culture, it has an extraordinary architecture — rotting, banned, weed-strewn and graffitied. Heritage-listed and badly decayed as it is, it allowed for a seminar and concert place for restoration, also it has been fenced off to keep the curious out.
This Janus-faced pile turns a sugar-pink baroque facade towards Toompea, and a stern 14th-century Livonian visage to the sea and intervening suburbs. Three towers have survived from the Knights of the Sword’s hilltop castle, the finest of which is 14th-century Pikk Hermann (Long Hermann – best viewed from the rear). In the 18th century, the fortress was radically updated by Russian empress Catherine the Great, converting it into the pretty-in-pink baroque palace that now houses Estonia’s Riigikogu (National Council).
Kiek in de Kök
This stout cannon tower has been clearly one of Tallinn’s most defences when assembled from the 15th century. Its name (funny to English ears) is Low German for’peep into the kitchen’ — out of its own peaks, voyeurs could reputedly peep (kiek) during the wide chimneys of the 15th century lower town houses into their kitchens (kök). Today it’s a branch of the town Museum, focusing on Tallinn history and defences, antique arms and armour, and exhibitions.
St Olaf’s Church
By 1549 before 1625, if its 159m steeple has been hit by lightning and burnt , this (currently Baptist) church had been one of the greatest buildings in the world. The existing spire reaches a still-respectable 124m and you’ll be able to have a tight, restricted, 258-step staircase up the tower (adult/child $3/1) for lovely views of Toompea and over the lower town’s roof tops. Renovations began shutting the interior tourists; check before seeing.
Boasting a broad collection of rare goat and sheep species, and round 350 other varieties of feathered, furry and four-legged friends (including lions, leopards and African elephants), this sizable, spread-out zoo is gradually upgrading its enclosures right into modern, animal-friendly spaces as funds allow. It’s the ideal location to observe all the indigenous species (bears, lynx, owls, eagles) you’re unlikely to see in the wild. There’s a children’s zoo a fresh polar-bear enclosure and also a cafe and souvenir shop.
Tours exploring the 17th century Swedish-built tunnels linking the bastions that ring town walls leave from the Kiek in de Kök tower. Over time, they’ve been used as fall out shelters refuges and punk rehearsal spaces. Bookings are required, and warm clothes (it’s about 10°C, or 50°Fdown there) and sensible shoes are suggested. Regular tours finish in the Carved Stone Museum, showcasing tablets, figurines along with other historical lapidary work from Tallinn.
St Catherine’s Church
Perhaps Tallinn building, monks in 1246 founded St Catherine’s Monastery. In its glory days it had its own brewery and hospital. A mob of mad Lutherans torched the monastery languished until its own recovery in 1954 for another 400 years and the invest 1524. Now the part-ruined complex comprises the dismal shell of this church (an atmospheric venue for occasional recitals) and also a calm cloister lined with carved tombstones.
Maarjamäe History Centre
Maarjamäe Palace, also a neo-Gothic 19th-century extravagance built with a wealthy Russian, anchors this excellent cultural-historical complex, run by the dispersed Estonian History Museum. The Palace is currently a tradition; the prior Stables certainly are a intelligent exhibition space; the purpose built Film Museum comes with a theater and shows on the process of filmmaking; and also the reasons are a Brobdingnagian reliquary of older Soviet monuments. It is possible to visit everything, or just buy specific tickets (even though everything is closely spaced and rewarding ).
Lower Town Wall
Running along the north western edge of the Old Town, the many photogenic stretch of Tallinn’s remaining 1.9km of medieval walls joins two different towers, like the Nunna, Sauna along with Kuldjala towers, which can all be entered. You’ll see art displays, and displays of arms and armour and the like. Naturally, the real attractions are the walls , and also the views from the very top. Outside the walls, Towers’ Sq’s gardens are relaxing pretty.
Tallinn Botanic Garden
Set on 1.2 sq kilometers in the Pirita River valley and surrounded by lush conifer woodlands, these delightful gardens boast over 8000 species of plants, scattered between a series of green houses and assorted themed gardens and arboretums. Bring a picnic and make time of it. Joint admission with the neighboring television Tower can be obtained (adult/reduced $15/8).
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
This open air amphitheatre could be the website of Estonia’s quinquennial National Song Festival, various blockbuster rock concerts as well as other momentous events. It’s an parcel of Soviet-era structure, using a formal capacity of 75,000 people and a period that fits 15,000. When no events are reserved, and from prior reservation, it’s possible to climb the Song Grounds Light Tower, at which the festival flame is lit. Inside there exists a display on the foundation of the song festival.
The primary characteristic of the Maarjamäe History Centre of the dispersed Estonian History Museum could be your Maarjamäe Palace, now a museum. An ornate lime stone palace built in1874 it’s been restored, and also houses the permanent exhibition’My Free Country’, focusing on Estonia at the 20th century and celebrating its own 2018 centenary. More fun and interactive may be the’Children’s Republic’. The other two components of this complex will be Maarjamäe Stables and the Film Museum.