If you’re planning on visiting the Baltic States, I would highly recommend spending 2 days in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
I went there recently during my Baltic States Road Trip and had a fantastic time.
You can expect to visit the awesome Tallinn old town, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St Olaf’s church, and Toompea Castle.
Walking around Tallinn’s old town feels like taking a step back in time to the medieval era. The impressive defensive walls, magical towers, and stunning architecture are something to behold. The beautiful gardens surrounding the city make for an excellent afternoon walk.
There are an incredible amount of cultural experiences, exciting festivals, and historic attractions to enjoy.
There is so much to see and do during a weekend in Tallinn!
This 2-day itinerary of Tallinn will let you know the best things to do, the best eateries, and more!
There is also helpful information on where to stay, the best guided tours, and how to get around.
Whether you spend 2 days in Tallinn or more, it’s somewhere you should definitely visit whilst in Estonia.
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2 Days in Tallinn Itinerary
So you’re wondering:
What is there to do during a weekend in Tallinn?
Use this 2-day Tallinn itinerary for inspiration and to help plan your trip. You can navigate around the different attractions from here.
There are many fun things to do in Tallinn and this guide will provide a full explanation.
2 DAYS IN TALLINN ITINERARY
Free Walking Tour | Tallinn Old Town |Towers’ Square | St Olaf’s Church | Medieval Food and Drink
Tallinn Guided Tours | Kalamaja |Telliskivi |Tallinn Museums
Day 3 (Optional) :
Balti Jaam Market | Estonian History Museum
What is Tallinn famous for?
Tallinn is famous for its incredible medieval architecture. Its historic old town is one of the most immaculately preserved in Europe and was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status
With excellent restaurants and a magical atmosphere, there’s something for everyone!
Tallinn Itinerary Day 1
On the first of your 2 days in Tallinn, I highly recommend taking a walk around the historic old town. It’s difficult to justify doing anything else on the first day as it’s such an amazing place to start!
I’ve been to many of Europe’s capital cities and Tallinn is right up there with the most impressive old towns to explore. The architecture is incredible and the town hall is an impressive sight! There are many themed gift stores offering hand-crafted goods. Local people can also be seen wearing medieval outfits serving treats or drinks.
I’ve outlined a route in the next section but if you would like extra information you could consider a tour.
If you are looking for a guided tour during your 48 hours in Tallinn then GetYourGuide offers walking tours and bike tours around Tallinn’s top attractions!
Tallinn Walking Tour
If you choose to go it alone then you will have a fantastic time. I’ve outlined all of the key spots for you to see. This will take up most of the day if you take your time at each location.
I’d suggest having lunch near the Cathedral and then dinner when you return back to the town square towards the end of the day.
- Viru Gate
- Tallinn Town Hall
- Danish King’s Garden
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Toompea Castle
- Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
- Towers’ Square
- St Olaf’s Church
- Tallinn Town Square
Tallinn Walking Tour Map
Tallinn Old Town
Tallinn’s old town has many different points to visit. People come from all over the world to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many historic streets, medieval churches, and buildings which date back to the middle ages.
The center of the old town is the central square. This is also the center for many of Tallinn’s yearly festivals.
Let’s get started with the first destination, which I recommend as the starting point – Viru Gate.
The Viru Gate is one of the entrances to the old town. It has market stalls next to it and is a great example of the preserved medieval structures that make Tallinn such a special place to visit.
It looks particularly awesome at night when it’s lit up and is only a short walk from the central square!
Tallinn Old Town Hall
The Tallinn old town hall is one of the centerpieces of the city. Bordering the old town square, this building is a must-see. There is an excellent choice of bars and restaurants nearby, some of which are medieval-themed!
Here is a photo below of one of those themed places that I visited, inside the town hall itself. It’s called Draakon Bar. The landlady stayed in character and served a delicious variety of homemade pastries and house ale.
The candlelit atmosphere is a great way to end a long day exploring the city.
Google Maps Link to DRAAKON Bar.
Danish King’s Garden
The Danish king’s garden is nearby to Toompea Castle. It’s an area, that according to legend, is the spot where a flag descended from the sky in the midst of a Danish invasion.
There are stalls with sweet treats and information about the history of the area. You can also get your photo taken with a gentleman in suited armor!
Google Maps Link to Danish Kings Garden
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
This is a 19-century Russian orthodox cathedral, an astonishing sight! It was completed in 1900 and includes Tallinn’s largest bell. It weighs an amazing 15 tonnes!
You can also go inside the cathedral and take a look around.
Google Maps Link to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Toompea Castle is the next stop on your Tallinn walking tour! It was built between 1767 and 1773.
Once an ancient stronghold, today it contains the Parliament of Estonia.
Google Maps Link to Toompea Castle
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
This viewing platform gives an excellent view of the city. The image above is one I took whilst there! It’s a short walk from Toompea castle.
Google Maps Link to Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
Tower’s square is a great green area to explore on the outskirts of the old town. It’s on the other side of the great defensive walls and is accompanied by spires.
Google Maps Link to Towers Square
St Olaf’s Church
St Olaf’s Church is an incredible piece of history in the center of the old town. Dating back to the 13th century its name relates to King Olaff the 2nd of Norway. Prior to Tallinn being conquered by Denmark it was a central part of the previous Scandanavian settlement.
Google Maps link to St Olaf’s Church
Food and Drink in Tallinn
Tallinn has some fantastic places to eat and drink. One of the highlights of the visit was going to the Draakon medieval tavern after a long day exploring the old town. The sausages were delicious.
Olde Hansa and Peppersack also served a great variety of beers and the food coming out to the other customers looked great.
The three places I would recommend going to are all located near the main square:
- Olde Hansa – Medieval experiences and delicious food
- Peppersack – Medieval themed restaurant with historical recipes
- Draakon Medieval Tavern – hearty elk broth, pastries, sausages, wine and beer!
Tallinn Itinerary Day 2
On day two of your 2 days in Tallinn, you have several options. Whilst I was in Tallinn, we spent the second day down by the harbor. There are old ships on display and an excellent museum.
In this section, I’ve outlined information on Tallinn Harbour, Tallinn Museums, and Tallinn tours. This way you can choose what you want to do on your second day.
Don’t forget to practice eco-friendly travel habits whilst in Estonia
Guided Tours in Tallinn
On your second day, you may want to take a guided tour in Tallinn. Getyourguide has a big variety of tours that you can book online
- All inclusive day tip from Tallinn to Prangli Island
- Tallinn 2-hour shooting package
- Return day trip to Helsinki
- Escape room experience
I spent some time in Helsinki and had a great time so I would definitely suggest visiting if you have extra time to spare.
Kalamaja is the area to the northwest of the city. It was originally a home for sailors (it’s by the sea). It’s now full of shops bars and cool things to see.
If you take a walk down to the harbor of Kalamaja you will find a display of old warships. It was really interesting to walk around.
Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour
There is also an old abandoned prison and the Seaplane Harbor Lennusadam Museum. This is a museum with an old submarine in it! Here is a photo below.
Tellskivi Loomelinnak ( also known as the creative city) is the hotspot for creativity in Tallinn. You can find a wide array of shops, places to eat and art galleries.
Its located outside of the old town on the west side.
Make sure you check out the incredible street art that you can find.
If museums interest you then you may be interested in some of the other ones around Tallinn.
We tried to visit this museum after reading excellent things about it online but were unable to get a ticket. Be aware that you must book in advance!
Tallinn Museum of Orders of Knighthood
Tallinn is famous for its history. There is a fantastic military museum right next to the town square. It could be a great spot to visit after your breakfast on the second day.
Tallinn Itinerary Day 3
If 2 days in Tallinn isn’t enough and you have an additional day, here a few ideas for you to consider!
Balti Jaam Market
This is a newly restored market on the west of the city. It’s great to walk around and sample local food as well as visit the variety of stores and entertainment options.
Don’t forget to check out our article on how to eat healthy while traveling!
It’s near to the tower garden so you can also take another walk on the grounds and enjoy the gardens.
Estonian History Museum
A bus ride away from the city is the Estonia history museum. Tickets cost 8 euros and you can see history from the previous 100 years of Estonia.
2 Days In Tallinn – Extra Activities
Have you got the extra time? Check out these places…
- Soviet Car Graveyard
- Take a day trip to Helsinki
- Visit Pirita Beach
Soviet Car Graveyard
When we left Tallin during our Baltic States Road trip we drove to Riga. However, we stopped off at a small town called Järva-Jaani to see the Soviet car graveyard.
This interesting place is essentially a giant field full of old vehicles from the soviet era. It was fascinating to walk around.
When you arrive, there is a box for you to pay a small entrance fee, then you are free to wander around!
Here’s a photo from my visit there. The graveyard is located here.
Take a day trip to Helsinki
Prior to Tallinn, I was in Helsinki. It was an interesting city to visit and you can take a day trip from Tallinn by catching the short 2-hour ferry.
You will have a full 10 hours there so there is plenty of time to experience the local culture. If you want to try one of the famous saunas they have one right on the waterfront!
The cafe scene is also excellent in Helsinki so it’s perfect for caffeine lovers.
Visit Pirita Beach
Up the coast from Tallinn is Pirita beach. It’s the biggest in Tallinn and is very popular with visitors. You can take a bus from the city center to the beach or alternatively rent a car and see some other things around Estonia too.
There are shops, bars, and sun loungers… although it’s chilly most of the year!
Where to stay in Tallinn
There are a number of accommodation options available for your 2 days in Tallinn.
My favorite place to stay is near the old town as there are many bars and restaurants to walk to in the evening. I would suggest searching hotels, hostels, and AirBnB before making your decision.
Checking multiple platforms and booking in advance is the best way to get a good deal in my view.
Here is a list of a few accommodation options in Tallinn
Three Crowns Residents – 3-star hotel in the middle of the city
Hestia Hotel Maestro – 3-star hotel in the south area of the old town
Baltic Hotel Vana Wiru – 4-star hotel in the city center
Old Town Alur Hostel
Red Emperor Bar & Hostel
Air BnB can be an excellent option for finding accommodation options in Tallinn
Options range from studio apartments in the center of the city/town/village to chalet-style cabins nestled in the woods.
Tallinn Travel Tips
After my recent trip here are my best travel tips for a weekend in Tallinn.
My thoughts on Tallinn
Tallinn was one of my favorite European cities which I visited during my European road trip. What I particularly liked was the themed shops and restaurants that complimented the medieval architecture.
The prices were reasonable, even in the old town. The compact nature of the city also made it easy to walk around and see the different interesting things. I visited in early September and it was fairly quiet, even in the center.
During my 2 days in Tallin, the highlight for me was the medieval-themed tavern Draakon, situated on the main square.
Costs in Tallinn
What you spend when in Tallinn depends completely on what you want to do.
Here is an updated 2019 list of costs in Tallinn from a reputable source.
For example, the more tours you take or the more you party, the more you will spend. These costs are non-essential, and you can take part in as many or as little as you like depending on your budget.
However, certain costs such as food, accommodation, and travel are non-negotiable.
Here’s a rough breakdown of essential travel costs in [enter place]:
Hotel room for 2: $40+
Hostel: Dorm – $14; Private – $45+
Air BnB: $40+
Metro / Bus: $1.1
Bike rental: $17
Taxi from airport to center: $12
Tallinn Card (Best Option)
Take-out meal: $8+
Beer in local bar/pub: $5
Beer in high-end bar: $9
How to get to Tallinn
If you catch a flight for your trip you will most likely fly into Tallinn airport, the largest airport in Estonia and a hub for the airline Nordica.
There are direct flights from many major airports in Europe but book in advance as I have found prices to vary greatly.
You can often catch very cheap flights into Riga airport (Latvia) so you may want to consider this if you have more time and turn it into a Baltic States Road Trip. Riga to Tallinn is just a 4-hour drive so you can see two capital cities!
I traveled to Tallinn on a ferry from Helsinki which took around 2 hours. If you are interested in visiting as part of your trip you can book a day trip to Helsinki on GetYourGuide.
You can get a train to Tallinn from Riga but if you are planning on visiting multiple Baltic States I would recommend doing this on a road trip as Estonia and Latvia are not part of the Interrail global pass.
How to get around….
The great thing about Tallinn is it’s easy to walk around; the old town is particularly pedestrian-friendly. It’s a small city and whilst I was there I didn’t need to use my car, or public transport, at all.
However, reaching farther out places is possible due to an excellent network of buses, trams, and trolleys.
You can buy tickets or alternatively a Tallinn card for 24,48 or 72 hours. This also allows you to enter over 40 various museums and attractions in addition to unlimited public transport.
You can buy them online or at a supported retailer.
Tallinn Card Prices
With the Tallinn card PLUS you can also have free access to the hop-on and hop-off buses that tour the city!
If you fancy a different way to get around and see the city you can rent bicycles for around 17usd a day.
Uber Available: Yes
Best time to visit Tallinn
The prime season to visit Tallinn is in the summer months. This is when you will be greeted by the most pleasant weather.
It’s also when the majority of the festivals and cultural events take place, such as the Tallinn Medieval festival in July. You can view the cultural calendar and pick the perfect time!
It’s particularly popular from June- August so you may want to visit outside of these months if you like the atmosphere to be quieter.
Local events also take place during the winter season such as the amazing Christmas markets and the 600-year-old tree raising tradition. The town square is magical at this time of year!
How to save money in Tallinn
My main money-saving tip whilst in Tallinn is to purchase a Tallinn card. Once purchased, it will be activated the first time it is used on public transport or for entrance to an attraction.
You can visit this website to see what’s included.
- Book tours in advance
- Eat away from the central square
- Take the bus to and from the airport
- Consider Air BnB, Hostels and Hotels before booking where to stay.
- Don’t change currency at the airport
- Get a Tallinn card
Practical Information for Visiting Tallinn
- Timezone: GMT + 3 – Eastern European Summer Time
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Power: Two pin plug
- Internet access: Excellent
- Drinking Water: Yes, tap water in Tallinn is fine.
Safety: Whilst I was there I felt very say walking around Tallinn. That being said, you should be wary of pickpocketing and mugging, especially around the area of the old town.
Further Reading for Your 2 Days in Tallinn
To help you further plan your visit to Tallinn, here are some useful resources:
- Lonely Planet Guide to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
- Cost of living article for Tallinn.
- Public transport information in Tallinn.
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