12 Instagrammable places in Tallinn

Alisa Ruda 25 April 2021 0 views 7 min. read

is very popular with tourists at any time of the year. The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea coast. If you are interested in what to see in Tallinn and where to take Instagram photos in Tallinn, the Old Town is the first thing that immediately comes to mind. It is the oldest part of Tallinn, which in the late 90s was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The old town is so popular because it is very well preserved. Even during the war, it was practically not damaged and retained its integrity. The main instagrammable places of Tallinn are located in the Old Town. tallinn night Of course, now many buildings have been restored, but the government is trying to preserve their original appearance. Tallinn has a rich history — the first settlers, the Estonian people, came to this area several thousand years ago after the ice age ended in modern Estonia. Gradually, the scattered settlements became one city. It was first mentioned in 1154. It was then called Kolyvan, from the word Kalev. Later the city was called Revel, and only then — Tallinn. For almost a thousand years, Estonia has been under the rule of Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the Soviet Union, and each country has influenced Estonian culture in its way. For example, many words came from German to Estonian, and since the Soviet era, houses and other architectural buildings have remained. Here is a list of the most important attractions in Tallinn:

1. Viru Gate and Viru Street

tallinn architecture

The first thing you will see when you enter the Old Town is the Viru Gate. The gate is no longer there — only the corner towers on either side of the road remain. After passing through the gate, you will find yourself on Viru Street. It is the most popular pedestrian street in Tallinn, where there are many shops, cafes and restaurants. Old brick houses and a wide paved road are great Instagrammable places to take most liked Instagram photos.

2. Multi-purpose venue, Linnahall

view of linnahall

Linnahall is a massive reinforced concrete structure near the port terminals. It was built for the opening of the 22nd Summer Olympic Games. The main part of the Games was held in Moscow, but it was not possible to hold sailing competitions there. That is why the choice fell on Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The new cultural and sports complex was originally called the Lenin Palace of Culture and Sports, but after Estonia became independent, it was renamed Linnahall. Now the inner parts of the site are closed and fenced off. People still come here to see the sea and the giant ferries that run between Estonia and Sweden. By the way, Christopher Nolan short part of his new film "Tenet" was shot there. Judging by the trailer, it may even have been the main part of the film.

3. Long Instagrammable Embankment

tallinn sunset

Along the sea in Tallinn, you can walk endlessly. There is a long embankment from the very centre, along which you can walk to the small town of Viimsi. Recently, the embankment was rebuilt, and now there are two paths: one for leisurely walks, and the other for roller skating and cycling. On the way you will meet the monument to the sunken ship "Rusalka" – Mermaid , the Estonian Historical Museum, the monastery of St. Birgitta, the old Olympic Sailing center, and towards the end of the way, you will see a panorama of the city: the whole Old City and the new Tallin skyscrapers. The most liked Instagram photos of Tallinn were taken on this embankment. In summer, the embankment is very Instagrammable, but the Gulf of Finland smells of blooming algae.

4. Kadriorg and the Japanese Garden

japanese garden

Kadriorg or Catherine's Garden was built in honour of Peter the Great's wife Catherine I. Construction began in 1718 by the order of Peter the Great. The most popular place in Kadriorg is the Swan Pond, where white swans, gulls and ducks swim. The area of the park is now about 70 hectares. Kadriorg is home to several museums: the KUMU Art Museum, the Mikkel Museum, and the Kadriorg Art Museum. Also in Kadriorg is the palace, which is the residence of the current President of Estonia. Part of the Palace is open to tourists, but you need to make an appointment in advance. I would like to highlight the Japanese garden. It is a small part of Kadriorg, designed by Japanese landscape designer Masao Sone. The stones lying in the garden were brought in the early 1990s from Hiroshima itself. The garden grows there is a pond and grows Instagrammable cherry trees that bloom in early May. The Japanese Garden is home to several unique species of bats, but it is impossible to see them during the day — they are still asleep. During the day, you can see squirrels scurrying back and forth on the grass and trees.

5. Authentic Olde Hansa restaurant

olde hansa

If you are wondering where to go in Tallinn, then go to "Olde Hansa". This restaurant is a must-visit. Going inside, you are immediately immersed in the Middle Ages atmosphere, when the Hanseatic League was dominant in Europe. Thick candles in massive cast-iron sconces burn on rough-hewn wooden tables, and waiters and waitresses are dressed in medieval clothing. On some days, workers play medieval musical instruments in the evenings. The walls are painted in an antique style. Even the food is authentic — coarse bread, chowder, meat fried over an open fire. However, the most interesting thing here is beer. Old Hanse serves light beer with cinnamon and dark beer infused with herbs. You can't taste this beer anywhere else. You can also buy clay mugs, spices and Estonian glass products at Old Hanse.

6. Rotermann Quarter

rotermann quarter

Rotermann Quarter is more than a hundred years old. It began to be built at the beginning of the XX century, and in the first years of construction was very fast. In 1902, Rotterman, one of the main industrial magnates of Tallinn, built a tall pipe, which is still visible from afar. In the following years, a flour mill, salt warehouses, and a red brick apartment building were built. The quarter was actively developed until the First World War and gradually began to fall into disrepair. By the 1970s, the Rottermanni quarter was planned to be demolished to build a road that would lead directly to the sea, but the project was not approved. In the late 1970s, Andrei Tarkovsky shot the main part of the film" Stalker" in this quarter. A few years ago, it was an abandoned quarter, but now Rottermanni has turned into one of the most visited Instagrammable places in Tallinn. The old warehouse buildings were converted, and new brick houses were built. Now, Rottermanni is full of restaurants, cafes, shops and beauty salons.

7. Town Hall Square

town hall square

The largest square of the Old Town is located near the Virussky Gate. In the spring, when it is warmer, restaurant verandas are open on the square in the summer and early autumn, and in the winter, in December and January, there is a Christmas market. On the square, a large Christmas tree is put up, a stage for performances is set up, and many stalls are set up where you can buy warm knitted things (scarves, hats, mittens, socks), drink mulled wine and eat traditional Estonian cuisine. The sellers speak Russian and are always ready to bargain or make a discount.

8. Lake Harku

lake harkuLake Harku

is the second largest Tallinn lake (1.6 km2). The largest Tallinn lake is Yulemiste (9.6 km2), near the airport, but it is fenced off and closed to the public. It is from Yulemiste that freshwater is taken for the Tallinn water supply. But Lake Harku is no less Instagrammable and beautiful. It especially attracts fishermen. In winter, you can skate on the lake, and in summer you can swim. However, Estonia is not the best country for swimming. Even in the hot summer, the water here barely warms up to 22-23 degrees. The best Instagram photos on Lake Harku are taken at sunset when the calm water reflects the sky.

9. Hotel Three Sisters

three sisters hotel

"Three Sisters" is the most famous and one of the most expensive hotels in Tallinn. Three colorful houses pressed together, are often found on postcards and the covers of souvenir notebooks. Despite the high prices, visitors are not always enthusiastic about the hotel. They complain about poor ventilation and noise from the street. And this is not surprising — the "Three Sisters "are on their way from the Old Town to the port, and early in the morning, Finns go from clubs and bars to the ferry that sails to Helsinki. Therefore, it is better to watch and photograph the "Three Sisters" outside.

10. Oleviste Church/St. Olaf's Cathedral

cathedral view

It is the tallest building in Tallinn. It is still not allowed to build buildings higher up. It may seem that modern skyscrapers surpass Oleviste in height from a distance, but this is not so. They stand a little higher. It is believed that the Cathedral of St. Olaf was once the tallest building in Europe, and maybe even the whole world. The thin green-and-black spire is visible from afar, and this church can not be confused with any other. However, it isn't easy to find it in the city, so it is better to map with you. Oleviste was built in the 12th century and has since been rebuilt many times. Initially, the height of the main spire reached 159 m, but after a fire in 1625, the spire had to be built again. Now the height of the cathedral is about 124 m. Both in the Middle Ages and now, it is an excellent reference point for ships coming to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

11. Observation deck

observation deck

The old town is located in a hilly area, so there is a lower and upper one. The observation deck is located in the upper part of Vyshgorod. There are two observation decks. On one side, you can see the tiled roofs of the Old Town, and on the other, you can see the Baltic Sea and the ferries coming to Tallinn. There are different ways to get there — either through the tangled streets of the Old Town or by the stairs leading directly from the train station. By the way, if you go down this staircase, you can see the places where the Soviet version of the "Three Musketeers" was filmed. It was the Old Town of Tallinn that became the prototype of Paris for the film.

12. Creative City, Telliskivi


Until recently, this industrial quarter near the railway station was abandoned. Now Telliskivi has become the main creative centre of Tallinn. Artists, poets and writers gather here, and creative events, exhibitions and free microphones are constantly held for those who want to read their poems. Telliskivi has a flea market and many vegan cafes. The houses in Telliskivi (literally "brick" or "brick stone") are built of bricks of different colours and look photogenic at any time of the day. But still, the main activity in this quarter begins in the evening.

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