The Baltic shores hold many gems and Tallinn is one of them. With its cheerful colours, looming church spires, and quiet little lanes, this medieval walled city is a place you’ll want to make time for. The following is a brief 48 hour weekend guide highlighting some of the best things to do in Tallinn:
Start your first day in Tallinn with breakfast at Reval Cafe. They are well known for hearty meals at reasonable prices, and they consistently get rave reviews from their steady stream of customers. The cafe blends an old interior with cozy furnishings, and it’s a nice spot to begin your morning in Tallinn.
After fueling up on pastries and coffee, begin a long stroll through Tallinn’s Old Town, which is one of the best preserved examples of medieval architecture.
There are a few sights you should make time for, including the Town Hall and the Town Square, the latter which is home to numerous cafes as well as the setting for various festivals depending on the season.
Another sight to take in is St. Olaf’s Cathedral, which was thought by many to be the highest structure in the world during the 15th century.
By the time midday rolls around, all that walking around will awaken your appetite. Make your way to Rataskaevu 16, a moderately priced restaurant that specializes in European and Scandinavian cuisine. From flavourful soups to elaborate mains like braised elk roast, you’ll be hard pressed to find another place in Tallinn that delivers better service.
With a hearty lunch under your belt, you’ll have all the energy you need to explore the Toompea Hill area. While it is just a gentle hill, it is enough to grant photographers numerous opportunities to capture panoramic photos.
A few points of interest can be found here, including Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which is a Russian Orthodox church topped with the distinctive onion bulb domes, and Toompea Castle, which stood guard over Tallinn during the Middle Ages and serves as the home of Estonian parliament in the present day.
All that walking is bound to have worn you down by now, so why not head back to your hotel and take a well-deserved nap.
For dinner, dig into some authentic Estonian food at Kuldse Notsu Korts. Their menu is quite heavy on meats and their home cooked dishes might result in you ordering a second helping. Be sure to try the wild boar with juniper berries, as its tenderness and rich flavour will have avid carnivores swooning over every bite.
Tallinn is known for its energetic nightlife so there are plenty of options if you’re looking for a night out on the town. Drink Baar is a pub that will appeal to the beer connoisseur with its encyclopedic collection of draft taps.
After having a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation, make your way out to the Estonian Open Air Museum. Consisting of 72 relocated structures from the countryside, it is a living history museum meant to educate people on what life was like for rural Estonians in the 19th century. Try to drop by on a Saturday or Sunday, as the local folklore society puts on traditional dance performance.
After exploring the park, have lunch at Kolu Kõrts, the open air museum’s on-site restaurant. Focusing on simple Estonian cuisine, be sure to try their pea soup, as it was and still is a staple midday meal for many Estonians.
Another spot to consider visiting is Lahemaa National Park which is a relatively easy escape from the city if you rent a car or join a tour. There are numerous walking trails and you can also visit some manor homes located within the park.
Get some more rest back at your hotel and doll up for dinner as you’ll be dining at one of the finest restaurants in the city. (Just be sure to reserve your table as soon as you arrive in Tallinn.)
End your weekend in Estonia’s capital by splurging on fine Russian cuisine at Tchaikovsky. Here you’ll have live classical music serenading your party as you dine on the finest lobster, venison and caviar in town.
What would you do if you only had 48 hours in Tallinn?