Tallinn Sightseeing Views, Estonia

Tallinn Sightseeing: 10 Best Things To Do with the Tallinn Card

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The medieval city of Tallinn, Estonia – officially dating to the year 1248 – is brimming with sightseeing opportunities. Remains of the Tallinn city fortifications partially encircle the UNESCO Heritage Old Town, where twisting cobblestone lanes lead to picturesque squares and fabulous viewpoints.

Outside of the historic center, a modern city has developed, but still bears evidence of Soviet occupation with communist-era architecture. A few of these are actually must-see Tallinn attractions. Although we stayed for a week, we reserved our top Tallinn sightseeing for one day to reap the benefits of the Tallinn Card.


Things To Do Tallinn Sightseeing Tips

  • On our list of Tallinn things to do, we have included opening hours, ticket price, approximate time spent at each attraction, official website and directions.
  • While not necessary for our outline of One Day in Tallinn, if you follow our route and partake in the suggested activities, a 24-hour Adult Tallinn Card provides a significant savings ($50 for us). Confirm the current benefits of the Tallinn Card on the official website.
  • The first two stops on our Tallinn One Day Itinerary are not in the Old Town. However, they can be easily reached by public transport, which is included with the Tallinn Card. We have noted the routes to reach these destinations and Tallinn bus schedules can be found online.
  • It is helpful to have a Tallinn Tourist Map for your sightseeing adventures. Pick up a free Tallinn city map at the Tourist Information Office in the Old Town (where you can also purchase a Tallinn Card).


What To See in Tallinn in One Day

Top View of the Old Town, Tallinn, Estonia

Let’s get started with our Top 10 Tallinn Sights with the City Card! Hopefully you have your map and card ready to go, as we first travel out of Old Tallinn to the highest structure in the region.


#1 Tallinn TV Tower

View looking up at the Tower of Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 6pm  |  Cost: €16-19 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 1 hour (plus 45 minutes in transport each way)  |  Website

Getting There: From Tallinn, take bus 34 or 38 to Teletorn. To make the most of your 1 day in Tallinn, arrive at the TV Tower a few minutes prior to opening. MAP 

View of Green Spaces, Tallinn Tower, Estonia

The 1,030 foot TV Tower is the tallest building in Tallinn, but tourist arrive on the 21st floor that is 557 feet high. Still an impressive perch, visitors will find a restaurant, interactive displays and an open-air observation deck that provides views over the area and out into the Gulf of Finland. Brave thrill-seekers can upgrade to the Walk the Edge experience.

Top Tip: If not using the Tallinn Card, you can buy skip-the-line-tickets in advance. 


#2 Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum

Lennusadam Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 5pm, everyday except 12-23/24 and 1/1 |  Cost: €20-30 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 1.5 hours  |  Website

From the TV Tower, take Bus 34 or 38 to Mere Puiestee. Switch to Bus 73 and ride three stops to Lennusadam. MAP

Helicopter Museum Display, Tallinn, Estonia

The Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum is one of the top places to visit in Tallinn. The modern and interactive space is housed in an old seaplane hangar that was used until World War II.

The museum features a variety of maritime crafts – both historical and current. Visitors are invited to tour a 1930s submarine, pilot a simulation aircraft, sit inside a rescue helicopter and step aboard a 100-year-old steam-powered icebreaker.


#3 St. Olaf’s Church Tallinn

Spire of St Olaf's Church, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 6pm, April through October, closed in winter  |  Cost: €5 (free with Tallinn Card) |  Time: 30-45 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: From the Tallinn Seaplane Museum, take Bus 73 two stops to Linnahall. MAP

View of The Old City Towers from St Olaf's Church, Tallinn, Estonia

St. Olaf’s dates to the 12th century and in 1590 its soaring spire made the church the tallest building in the world. Over the centuries, the spire has been struck by lightning at least 10 times and, under the years of Soviet occupation (1944-1991), was used by the KGB for surveillance.

Today, climbing the spiral stairs to the viewing platform remains one of the most popular things to do in Tallinn, Estonia. Once you get to the top, it’s easy to see why: the views are absolutely phenomenal!


#4 Tallinn KGB Prison Cells

Timeline at KGB Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: Weds – Sun 11am – 6pm  |  Cost: €9 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 30-45 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: 2 minute walk from St. Olaf’s Church 

The KGB Prison Cells are a Tallinn must-see for anyone interested in learning about the Soviet occupation of Estonia. The building – which was constructed as a personal residence in the early 1900s – sits inconspicuously in the heart of the Old Town.

In 1941, the KGB constructed cells in the basement and the space was used to detain, interrogate and torture anyone suspected of crimes against the communist regime. Displays in the museums show the faces and tell the stories of some of the people who were held in the cells.


#5 Café Maiasmokk Tallinn

Entrance to Maiasmokk, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 9am – 9pm  |  Coffee or Tea: €2.50 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 30 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: 4 minute walk from the KGB Cells Museum.

Café Maiasmokk is the oldest café in Estonia, dating to 1864. The interior retains an elegant and old-fashioned atmosphere. The ground floor tends to be busy and boisterous, but head upstairs to find a quieter seat with a view – a nice respite during a full day of sightseeing in Tallinn.


#6 Kalev Marzipan Room

Free Marzipan with The Tallinn Card, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 9pm  |  Sweets: €1+ (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 10 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: In the same building as Café Maiasmokk.

Marzipan is a confection made of sugar and crushed almonds – often molded into figurines – and is a popular sweet in Tallinn. Although the story is disputed, many claim that marzipan was created in Estonia during medieval times by a pharmacist, who prescribed the treat as medicine.

The one-room Kalev Marzipan Museum houses a sweet shop, gift shop, marzipan painting workshop and historical artifacts – including one marzipan figurine that dates to 1936. Getting a small taste of marzipan is a must-do in Tallinn!

Top Tip: For groups or families visiting Estonia, book a unique experience in Tallinn by joining the Marzipan Workshop. In addition to a private city tour, participants learn how to shape and paint the sweet treats! 


#7 Tallinn City Life Museum

Mini Tallinn at the Tallinn City Museum, Estonia

Hours: 11am – 6pm May through Sept; reduced hours otherwise |  Cost: €8 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 1 Hour  |  Website

Getting There: Three minute walk from the Kalev Marzipan Museum.

The Tallinn City Museum is housed in a medieval merchant house in the Old Town. The displays cover the history of Tallinn from pre-settlement to Estonia’s independence in 1991. Viewing the engaging exhibitions, which are best accompanied by an audio guide, are one of the top things to do in Tallinn, Estonia.


#8 Hellemann Tower and Tallinn Old Town Wall

View from the Town Wall Walkway, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 5pm |  Cost: €4 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time at sight: 45 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: 2 minute walk from the Tallinn City Museum.

The stone Hellemann Tower and connected town wall dates to the 14th century. Climbing to the top of the tower provides sweeping views of the city. Visitors are also invited to walk along the 700-foot-long portion of the intact town wall.


#9 Kehrwieder Chocolaterie

Frisky Chocolates, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 8am – 11pm |  Chocolate Truffle: €1+ (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 10 – 15 minutes  |  Website

Getting There: From Hellemann Tower it is a short walk. Tip: Take Katarina Kaik (St. Catherine’s Passage). MAP

Located on the northeast corner of Town Hall Square, Kehrwieder Chocolaterie is a café and sweet shop. The cave-like interior is cozy and dimly lit – but there is outdoor patio space right on the main square for pleasant weather days. Whether you sit inside or outside, it’s a great place for a rest from Tallinn sightseeing and to chuckle at chocolates decorated with frisky characters!


#10 Estonian Maritime Museum

Exterior of the Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

Hours: 10am – 7pm May through Sept; 10am – 6pm Oct through April |  Cost: €15 (free with Tallinn Card)  |  Time: 1 to 2 hours  |  Website

Getting There: From Town Hall Square, it’s a 10 minute walk. MAP

Complete your sightseeing of Tallinn at the fascinating Estonian Maritime Museum. Housed in part of the historic defensive structures of the city, the museum features many engaging exhibits detailing the seafaring days of Estonia’s past. 

However, visitors may be tempted to head straight for the rooftop of the tower. The recently renovated space is home to a posh restaurant and cafe as well as super views of Old Town Tallinn. We believe it’s the perfect spot to finish your tour of the Best Tallinn Things To Do!

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More City Sightseeing Tallinn

Church Towers make up the skyline of Old Town, Tallinn, Estonia

Hopefully, you are visiting Tallinn for more than just one day. If so, we have a few additional ideas for your vacation to Estonia!


Other Places To See in Tallinn

View of Old Town Towers, Tallinn, Estonia

There were more attractions we wanted to see, but couldn’t fit into our one day in Tallinn sightseeing tour. A more ambitious traveler (or those with a 48-hour Tallinn Card) could add the following sights to their Tallinn things to do list!


Tallinn Sightseeing Bus

View of Freedom Square, Tallinn, Estonia

For visitors who would rather tour the attractions by coach, there are a few sightseeing bus options for Tallinn.

The City Sightseeing Tallinn Hop On Hop Off Bus allows you the freedom of choice regarding what to see and when. Guests also enjoy the opportunity to listen to on-board commentary while riding between sights. For ferry passengers with one day in Tallinn, the bus makes a stop at the port, as well.

Guests who would rather have a Tallinn tour guide might prefer this Coach and Foot option. After exploring the sights outside of the Old Town by bus, the guide leads participants through the historic city center. 


Tallinn Tours

Classic View of Old Tallinn from Olaf Church Tower, Estonia

There are several popular Tallinn tours where guides lead the way – from ghost tours to pub crawls and even a day trip to Helsinki, Finland. If you are looking for more fun things to do in Tallinn, one of these organized activities might fit the bill! 


Top Tips For Your Trip to Tallinn, Estonia

St. Nicholas' Church and Museum, Tallinn, Estonia

Ready to explore Estonia? Great! We have a few additional travel tips and packing hacks to share with you before you set off.


Where To Stay in Tallinn

View of New Tallinn at Dusk, Estonia

During our 1 week visit to Tallinn, we booked a cozy Airbnb Apartment. For those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many Tallinn Hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center.

Check out these top-rated hotels in Tallinn (based on guest reviews) for your upcoming trip: Radisson Collection, Schlossle Hotel or Hotel Palace.


Before You Go to Tallinn

Walking the Old Streets, Tallinn, Estonia

  • Tallinn is a walkable, but only if you have the right travel shoes! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your Estonia trip. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Reef. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell and Sanuk.
  • We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your Baltic trip. Rather than relying on your phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for high quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures and is a slim and lightweight budget camera).
  • It’s easy to get turned around in any foreign city…even quaint Tallinn. Make sure to have a good Tallinn guide book (like this one from Lonely Planet) before arriving.
  • Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you will certainly want a great day bag to organize all of your essential daily items.
  • Get (and stay) organized with our printable Travel Planner!
  • If you haven’t already obtained trip insurance, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.

Start planning your trip to Estonia! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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Tallinn Sightseeing with the Tallinn Card by JetSettingFools.com