City Guides

Connoisseur’s Guide to Tallinn

Written by Aksel Ritenis

If You ever decide to come to Tallinn, tallin1to visit the Old Town and all the endless sights around, You’ll find this review useful. Tallinn is a small Baltic city with strong ties to Finland . It is a City of contrasts essentially a medieval city, Talli nn (known his torically as Reval) has gathered legends of and around itself. Even the name of the City has been changed during the centuries.

Beyond the city there is much to explore and all within a very compact country, only only 230 km (140 miles) from north to south.

The name derives from Taani Linn (Danish fortress) which was mainly used during the late medieval age. Even older is the German name for Tallinn, Reval, which again derives from the name for the province of Rävala.

Before that, the place – at that time not yet a town – was known as Lindanise or in Russian as Kolyvan respectively.

The medieval walled town is a must-see, and is normally teeming with Ryanair, Easyjet and Finnish tourists…but what if you’ve already seen it?


One of the most dominating structures on Toompea is the characteristic cathedral Toomkirik. This church was built by the Danes and is considered to be the oldest church in town. Especially charming – not only in Toompea but in the entire old town – are the countless tiny narrow alleys, which are often too small for cars to pass through.


1) Telegraaf Hotel and Restaurant Tchaikovsky summer terrace

2) Lounge 24 rooftop bar, Radisson

3) Tallinn Cigarhouse

4) Beauty Salon SP Wella Intersalon

5) Restoran Gloria

6) C’est La Vie restaurant & café

7) Restoran-Lounge Pärl in the Pirita beach

8) Gourmet-restaurant”Korsaar”

9) Winners Sports Lounge, on the banks of Pirita River 300 m from the sea!

10) Patarei sea fortress-prison café and it fantastic beach An absolute Must see!!

And so it’s a very relaxed and romantic place to stroll around and enjoy all the small, often colourful houses. Toompea lies about 25 m higher than the rest of the town – not much, but enough to have a great view from the observation spot Vaateplats in the north and another spot in the north-east over the harbour, the old town and the sea (see panorama above).

If You are visiting Tallinn, You have to see by yourself this Observation sports. Don’t forget to take your camera with you!

Toompea is also home to the Eesti Kunstimuuseum (Kunst = German for “Arts”). Additionally, there are many small boutiques and private galleries along Lühike alley.


The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in the heart of Old Town. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. This spectacular, onion-domed structure perched a top Toompea Hill is Estonia’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral. It’s also by far the grandest, most opulent Orthodox church in Tallinn. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea where the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg is said to have been buried according to a legend.

As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this cathedral were left to decline. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The church’s towers hold Tallinn’s most powerful church bell ensemble, consisting of 11 bells, including the largest in Tallinn, weighing 15 tonnes. You can hear the entire ensemble playing before each service.

ADDRESS: Lossi plats 10, 10130 Tallinn,
TELEPHONE: (372) 644 3484


On the map of Tallinn, this is the large green area to the east of the Old Town. Perfect for a romantic romantic picnic !

The Kadriorg park was created by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great soon after he had captured Estonia from Sweden in 1710. In 1718 he began work on a Summer Palace here, named after his wife Catherine, in Russian Yekaterina. Kadriorg is Estonian for Catherine’s Veil.

It also contains more museums than any normal person would want to visit in a month. However at least two of them – the National Art Museum in its new building and its foreign art collection in Kadriorg Palace – are well worth seeing.

The easiest way to get there is to take Tram number 1 from Fat Margaret’s Tower. The destination will be marked Kadriorg but get off at the fourth stop and walk up to Kadriorg.

Nearby is the symmetrical swan pond, a favourite place among the people of Tallinn for summer outings. A promenade – A. Weizenbergi street – leads past it to Kadriorg Palace.

The main hall of the Palace is a gem of Russian baroque architecture. Behind the Palace is the residence of the President of Estonia, an unexceptional building dating from 1938.

The dull rectangular building just beyond the palace is where Tsar Peter lived while his palace was being built. It doesn’t look like much on the outside but inside are many original pieces of furniture used by the Tsar, and the admission fee is only 13 crowns – less than a euro.

The massive modern green building against the cliff in this corner of the park is the new Kumu Art Museum of Estonia. Even if you’ve had your fill of museums by now, it’s worth visiting for the fine cafeteria on its ground floor. It also has good WiFi coverage, what is very important. You can work with your laptom in fantastic Kadriorg park, sournded with some legends of Tallinn.

ADDRESS: Kadriorg Art Museum. Branch of the AME
Kadriorg Palace: Weizenbergi 37, 10127 Tallinn, Estonia
Mikkel Museum: Weizenbergi 28, 10127 Tallinn, Estonia,
TELEPHONE +372 606 6400,


At the end of a long avenue leading from the Kadriorg Palace to the sea, you may be able to make out one of the most beautiful and popular statues of Tallinn. This is Rusalka, which commemorates a Russian warship of that name that sank in 1893 en route to Helsinki. The kitsch figure of an angel pointing at the waves is regarded by Estonians as a classic but is hardly worth crossing the park for, unless you are in dire need of exercise.

ADDRESS: Pirita tee, between center of town and Pirita promenand, Tallinn

Telegraaf, what makes the moments

In the 19th century, the steam locomotive and telegraph changed the world forever. In our modern age of technology, the ability to appreciate an individual moment is rare. More rare still are those who can create the moments.

Telegraaf building, constructed in 1878 and once an exchange station for the Estonian Telegraph company, has been transformed into a unique five-star hotel. Join Telegraaf and become part of the ambience which has surrounded today’s Telegraaf for well over a century.

You can spend an afternoon in our Elemis day spa, followed by a symphony of Russian cuisine in the restaurant, Tchaikovsky. The only hotel in the Old Town with underground parking.

Telegraaf has agreat restaurant. At the end of the 18th century France’s best chefs found their way to Russia.

The fusion of Russian and French cuisine has given the world a symbiosis that is eternally enjoyable.

Restaurant Tchaikovsky presents a symphony of Russian cuisine.

But the most adorable place is of course the summer terrace of Telegraaf.

Just fifty meters from Town Hall Square, this is a place where one can enjoy light dishes, soups and sweet desserts from the unique menu.

Classical live music is presented five days a week on the Summer Terrace, from Tuesday to Saturday every evening, starting at 19.00!

Entrance from Apteegi Street.

Enjoy the new fairy tale in the center of medievel Tallinn!

ADDRESS: Telegraaf Hotel and Restaurant Tchaikovsky, Vene 9, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia
TELEPHONE. +372 6000600
FAX +372 6000601
SKYPE: hotel.telegraaf


The word museum doesn’t do it justice. Rural buildings from the 18th-20th centuries have been transported from all over Estonia to this park by the sea. It’s similar in concept to Seurasaari Island in Helsinki but closer to the centre and more professionally run.

The farmhouses, barns and smithies are not particularly old but they show the building traditions of a people who have been tilling the land for 4000 years. Not everything is made of wood; northern and western Estonia have plenty of limestone, too.

The on-site guides and costumed extras tend to be older people who are not competent in foreign languages, but words aren’t really needed to show how things were done and made. The location of the museum park is 8. To go by public transport, catch a tram no. 1 or 2 from Fat Margaret’s Tower. The destination of the tram will be marked Kopli but you should travel only two stops to the Baltic Railway Station (Balti Jaam). Change there onto bus 21, which will drop you at the museum’s gates.

If there are three or four people traveling together, it may be worth going by taxi, which will cover the whole distance in about 20 minutes..

ADDRESS: Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum, Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, 13521 Tallinn
TELEPHONE. +37265 49 100,
km (5 miles) by road to the west of the harbour.


If You want spend some relaxife and enjoyble time in Tallinn, after running around old town, spending time in reataurants and meeting with Kadriorg, then Wella SP Beauty INTERSALON is the right place for you!

SP WELLA Intersalon is one of the most popular Haircare and beaty salons in Tallinn.. Offering products that directly match your hair type, Wella SP have built a Haircare range on experience and proven results. Its talented team will keep you updated with the latest hair trends and hairstyle ideas and inspiration…

What’s more, the salon is an oasis of peace and tranquillity: a pleasant place where you can relax and recharge while the team are working on transforming your hair and your image , so that You can hit the great nightspots later in the evening!

The philosophy is that you should enjoy your hair – as well as your time in the salon.

SP WELLA Intersalon is a Wella EXPERT salon, providing an elite standard of hairdressing.

As well as exclusively using products from the Wella Professional range, the team receives regular training on all the latest hairdressing techniques and methods and a member of SP WELLA Intersalon, providing an elite standard of hairdressing.

ADDRESS: A.Lauteri 5, Tallinn 10114,
TELEPHONE. +372 610 6787


Judging by its shop front, right on Town Hall Square, Sigari Maja looks deceptively small. But walk past the first chamber and you’ll find a world of brick and stone elegance, stuffed leather armchairs, and a beautiful fireplace. The ambience here is reminiscent of an old aristocrat’s parlour, where gentlemen sip cognac and discuss politics. The selection here is mainly Dominican and Nicaraguan.

ADDRESS: Raekoja plats 16, Tallinn
TELEPHONE. +372 631 4735

Patarei sea fortress-prison

Culture Park Patarei presents the history of Patarei sea fortress-prison and also carries out various events throughout the year.

Patarei ‘Battery’ prison is of the most interesting examples of culture taking over former industrial and institutional locations.

In 1828 Nicholas I of Russia mandated the building of the sea fortress of Patarei. Completed in 1840, it is located on area of 4 hectares (10 acres). Over the years it has had different.

In 1828 Nicholas I of Russia mandated the building of the sea fortress of Patarei. Completed in 1840, it is located on area of 4 hectares (10 acres). Over the years it has had different functions – in 1864 functioning as barracks, in 1920 as a prison and since 2007 as a Culture Park.

This unique 19th century example of Tallinn’s top architecture has now in the 21st century changed from a longtime symbol of repressions to a favorite place for residents of the nation’s capital and visitors, a multifunctional place to spend free time.

Patarei prison museum. Patarei jail is not a regular museum. Not a very pleasant place to be for many years…and You have good opportunity to peek into the cells and many other rooms of that huge fortress.

Patarei is unique and grim remnant from our past. USSR still exists between these walls.You can see history in every part of that building. Old documents and newspapers, posters of long forgotten movies and dead plants are just short list.

The Last death penalty was enacted here in 1991.

In 2002, the prison’s last inmates were moved to Tartu 150 year old prison by the sea, museum, theater, cafe, experience and beautiful and exiting beach. Patarei Vangla is a former prison turned museum and beach cafe in Tallinn, Patarei ‘Battery‘ prison is of the most interesting examples of culture taking.

If you are searching for the most interesting, historical and unusual seaside beach in Tallinn Patarei sea fortress-prison is for You.

ADDRESS: Kalaranna 2, 10415 Tallinn,
+372 50 46 536


Modern Tallinn has fine shops with prices to match but a taste of older Tallinn still remains, at the central market, or Keskturg. See it soon: it is so close to the centre that it will surely be redeveloped in a year or two.

From the tram stop at Fat Margaret’s Tower, take tram number 2 towards Ülemiste and get off at the 4th stop. Cross over the main road and walk down the side street named Torupilli ots. You’ll know you’re going in the right direction if you see elderly people carrying great sacks of produce towards you.

There is nothing refined about the Central Market but in among all the tasteless clothes and mind-boggling junk, there’ll will be plenty of things you’ve never seen before. Look out for socks made in Belarus from flax, cheap and far more comfortable than cotton.

There is a separate hall for meat, dairy products and other items that need to be kept cool. Smoked cheese or venison salami will make delicious souvenirs. So will bottles of bright yellow juice pressed from sea-buckthorn berries (astelpaju in Estonian). It contains twelve times as much vitamin C as orange juice.

ADDRESS: Keldrimae 9 10113 Tallinn
+372 6606304


Lounge 24 rooftop bar, Tallinn, Estonia A stunning roof top bar with its open air terrace and marvellous view of the city and the sea, Lounge 24 offers delicious refined food, desserts and an exceptional beverage menu including exciting cocktails.

Lounge 24 is on the 24th floor of the hotel, 90 metres from street level; the terrace is 140 sq metres and the bar has a capacity of 50.

This bar is everybodies favourite!. Lounge 24 bar at the 24th floor of the Radisson SAS Hotel has everything a person might need!

First of all, the view. No doubt that is the best view to the entire city You can get in Tallinn. I’ve been to several places like the restaurant in Tallinn TV Tower or observation deck at the Oleviste church, but this place is the best, from there you can see all the Tallinn at once.

The most important directions are supplied with informational boards, with basic facts that tourist must know. You can choose between open-air terrace and room inside. We suggest to try both. Open-air terrace is especially good in summer evenings, while in winter

Considering the menu, there is moderate selection of different food and drinks. You can find meat and fish, something for vegetarians and good selection of desserts.

They make very tasty cocoa and pancakes with ice-cream. I also suggest to try cocktails, I like both, strong and alcohol-free. There is a wide choice of wines!

Another important thing to mention is atmosphere. This place is rarely crowded, very quiet. It’s a good place to come with friends to have a chat, or to just chill our!….. the music there is always excellent..

All things considered, the at the Connoisseur CityGuide we rate this place as an 8 out of 10!,,, and claim this is definitely a“must-visit” place in Tallinn.

ADDRESS: Ravala Puiestee 3 – 10143 Tallinn
TELEPHONE: +372 6823 000

This very personal Tallin City Guide is compiled by Anna-Maria Galojan


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Aksel Ritenis

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