Traveling overseas takes quite some time (and effort in dealing with the jetlag), so once you’ve come all the way to Europe, you may want to make the most of your time here and see more than one country. The central location of Poland makes it easy to combine your tour of Poland with other fascinating European countries. One of our ideas for a unique and original tour entails a journey through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Starting in Kraków and ending in Tallinn. If you’ve been reading our blog, you already know all about Kraków. But what about Tallinn? What do you know about it? Why is it worth visiting? Let us give you a few reasons – and leave some space for you to add your own reasons to this list once you visit Tallinn.
A mix of influences
Estonia is located by the Baltic Sea, between Russia and Latvia. No wonder Tallinn shows an intriguing mix of Scandinavian, Russian and Eastern-European influences, both in its architecture and atmosphere.
Tallinn Old Town
You can’t visit Tallinn and not fall head over heels in love with its Old Town. You simply can’t. Picturesque squares, cobblestone streets, majestic church towers, almost two kilometers of original medieval walls… It all makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of a fairy tale. No wonder this well-preserved medieval Old Town is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of the highlights of the Old Town in Tallinn is the Town Hall Square. Hopefully, you’ll be visiting it in good health and you won’t need any medications, but still don’t forget to visit Europe’s oldest operating pharmacy (since 1422). And if you’re up to having a taste of the life in the Middle Ages, drop by the III Draakon cosy, candlelit medieval tavern. But don’t count on a wide selection of food, friendly employees or even… a spoon. Your elk soup and beer will be served in clay dishes, and the staff will let you experience the crudeness with which medieval visitors would typically be treated.
For centuries, the Old Town was divided into the Lower Town and the Toompea Hill, which were two separate political entities. Toompea Hill is the birthplace of Tallinn. With the Toompea Castle to see, the Kiek in de Kök tower (and a system of tunnels) and the stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church built in the 1900, there’s no doubt you’ll keep yourself busy. And if you are a fan of looking at cities from above, there’s a viewing platform offering fantastic views over Tallinn and the harbor.
We’ve just mentioned one – the Kiek in de Kök Museum, but there are so many more of them, it’s hard to decide where to spend your day! Tallinn City Museum, Estonian History Museum and Estonian Open Air Museum are a good pick if you’re interested in history. For art lovers, there’s the Kumu Art Museum or the Kadiorg Art Museum. If you’re looking for a unique experience, then you might want to visit the KGB museum in Viru Hotel, where there used to be a spy base in one of the rooms. Oh, and don’t miss the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor maritime museum with its main attraction, a 1936 submarine that you can enter.
If you are looking for a nice and quiet place to relax, with fountains, ponds and flowerbeds, then the Kadriorg park is definitely a place for you. Apart from beautiful nature, you’ll also find a couple of museums here, as well as a beautiful palace, which was built by the Russian Tzar, Peter the Great, for his beloved Catherine I.
These are already reasons enough to put Tallinn high up on your to-visit list, aren’t they?
A visit to Tallinn is included in the Poland and the Baltic States tour.
It can also form part of your private, tailor-made tour designed by RealPoland.