The Best Travel Guide to Tallinn
Provided by: Kadi-Liis Koppel
Section in Tallinn
Do & See
Tallinn is a highly compact city, most of which can easily be explored on foot without the need for taxis or buses. Most of the best opportunities for sightseeing, cultural events, dining, shopping, and nightlife are conveniently massed in city centre. Whatever your agenda, whichever of the Tallinn´s you need – the romantic, Medieval Tallinn or the trendy, high-tech one – the doors are open. Just take your pick and head on in! The Tallinn Card gives you free entry to 40 museums and other interesting attractions, one free sightseeing tour of your choice, free use of public transport and a variety of entertainment options.

Danish King's Garden

This open, garden-like area on the slopes of Toompea Hill happens to be the legendary birthplace of the Danish flag, according to a well-known legend. According to the story, Valdemar's forces were losing their battle with the Estonians when suddenly the skies opened and a red flag with a white cross floated down from the heavens. Taking this as a holy sign, the Danes were spurred on to victory. Today the garden remains a place where locals honour the role Denmark played in Estonia's history. Halfway down the steps towards Rüütli street you can see an iron sword and shield with a Danish cross, and each summer, Danneborg Day is celebrated here.
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Estonian Maritime Museum – Fat Margaret's Tower

This museum dedicated to all sea-faring aspects of Estonia’s history is housed in one of Tallinn's fattest cannon towers. Fat Margaret Tower (Paks Margareeta) and the attached Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav), two of Tallinn's most impressive defensive structures, stand guard at the north end of Pikk street. They were built not only to defend the city from the seaward side of town, but also to impress any visitors arriving via the harbour. These days Fat Margaret’s cannon tower is home to the Estonian Maritime Museum, which provides a detailed look at the nation's seafaring past by displaying such things as Neolithic fishing gear, antique diving equipment, and even the entire wheelhouse from a 1950s-era trawler. The extensive museum covers four floors of the historic tower.
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Kalev Marzipan Museum Room

See nearly 200 intricate, marzipan figurines and watch Tallinn's favourite sweet being made in this historic shop-museum-café. In the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room, you'll learn all about Tallinn’s love affair with marzipan. Here you'll find dozens of amazing marzipan creations as well as a marzipan forms belonging to Georg Stude, who founded the shop over a century ago. Children and adults can watch how marzipan figures are hand painted or try their own hand in this craft at a workshop.
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Maiden's Tower

Explore this sturdy, 14th-century tower, sip coffee in its swank café or walk along the Town Wall for some amazing views. Maiden's Tower, one of the most famous of Tallinn's medieval defence towers, was recently renovated and reopened a museum, complete with an exhibition hall in its vaulted cellar. Its famous café, a big hit in the 1980s, has also been restored to its past glory. Meghede torne, as it was originally called, was built in 1370-1373 along with the wall that runs through the Danish King’s Garden.
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Tallinn City Museum

Housed in a 14th century merchant house, this comprehensive museum provides an excellent introduction to Tallinn’s history. It covers all the vital aspects of the city’s past and its development. Various sectors of medieval society are explained using a combination of texts, artefacts, life-sized models and sound effects. High-quality displays on the upper floors are devoted to 20th-century life, its turbulent wars, Soviet occupation, and finally Estonia’s re-independence.
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Tallinn Town Hall

Nothing says power like the impressive Gothic Town Hall that dominates medieval Tallinn's main square. It was built in 1402-1404 as a meeting place for the ruling burgomeisters and has been a showpiece of the city ever since. Nowadays the Town Hall – the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe – is used mainly for concerts or for entertaining visiting kings or presidents. From June to August, visitors can climb up the 64-metre tower to get some amazing Old Town views, or head down to the cellars for the occasional exhibition.
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