Are you planning a trip to Estonia but you only have one day to visit Tallinn? Don’t worry, you can visit the main city highlights and also enjoy an ice cream in the time left. Tallinn is full of surprises. Therefore, expect to see doors with intricate designs, houses that look like they are made out of gingerbread and people dressed in medieval clothes.
Read below my full itinerary for visiting Tallinn in one day but first, let’s talk about why you should add Tallinn on your travel list.
Why you should visit Tallinn
For some reason, Tallinn is not a mass tourism destination since people prefer more exotic places, where the weather is warmer and the sun brighter. This means that Tallinn has nothing in common with other European destinations like Rome or London where tourists are basically everywhere.
I like enjoying a place for myself where I can take a photo in my own time without thinking that 100 other people want to take the same shot as me. This is why I fell in love with this city and promised myself to come back as soon as possible.
Because there aren’t many people who visit Estonia, I didn’t know what to expect from this trip. Actually, my expectations were quite low but I was so wrong! Tallinn is a beautiful city, extremely clean, organized and with a great infrastructure. This is where I first saw self-driving buses.
Visit Tallinn in one day – itinerary
Below are my favorite places in Tallinn. It would be ideal to have at least 2 days to explore the city. However, one day in Tallinn is enough to see the main tourist attractions and get an idea about the city’s vibe. Don’t forget to wake up early!
Discover Tallin Old City
Duration (getting there + visiting): 4 -5 h
You cannot leave Tallinn without taking a stroll in the Old City. The colorful houses and beautiful doors will instantly make you fall in love with Tallinn. By just walking in the Old City you will feel the relaxed atmosphere and the city’s medieval charm.
One of the must see places in the Tallinn Old City is the Tallinn Town Hall Square. Right in this square, the first Christmas tree is supposed to have been erected in 1441. Apart from this interesting fact, the square is the perfect place to look for souvenirs. You can find many hand-made items, beautiful decorations and amber jewelry.
I know that buying an amber ring or necklace as a souvenir might be tempting. However, keep in mind that the amber comes from Lithuania, not Estonia. Estonia has little to no amber resources.
Another place to visit is the St. Olaf’s Church. Maybe churches are not your thing, but I bet that the amazing views are. If you climb the tower, your eyes will be rewarded with one of the best views in Tallinn. Don’t forget your camera home!
One of the highlights of Tallinn’s Old City is the Kohtuotsa viewing platform. This place has become popular not only due to the beautiful view it offers over the city but also due to the words ‘The times we had’ written on the wall. It was definitely one of my favorite places in Tallinn.
Eat in Telliskivi Creative City
Duration (getting there + visiting): 2 h
Take a short walk from the Tallinn Old City and you will find yourself in a completely different place. The Telliskivi Creative City is a former industrial area transformed into a creative space for entrepreneurs.
Here you can find restaurants inside train wagons, amazing murals, interesting architecture, home decor stores and the best food in town. This place should definitely be on your ‘must see places’ list if you are staying one day in Tallinn.
Explore this creative place and take a break while eating at F-hoone. The prices are slightly cheaper than in the Old City and you will have the chance to eat in hip, modern place with great food. To check out the menu click here.
Kadriorg Palace or Tallinn TV Tower
Duration (getting there + visiting): Kadriorg Palace – 2 h, Tallin TV Tower – 3 h
I had 3 days to explore Tallinn. Therefore, I had the time to see more of this beautiful city. I have been to both Kadriorg Palace and Tallinn TV Tower but depending on what kind of traveler you are, you will have to choose just one.
If you are looking for a peaceful way to end your day in Tallinn, then I would definitely recommend visiting the Kadriorg Palace. It is perfect for taking a peaceful walk while admiring the beautiful palace.
However, if you are an adrenaline junkie, then you should visit the Tallinn TV Tower and do the ‘walking on the edge’ tour. This means that you will have some security ropes attached to you while walking on the edge of the 170 meters tower. A guide will be with you and will show you all the nearby interest points. It is a thrilling experience and stepping outside of your comfort zone once in a while won’t hurt you.
Tallinn TV Tower opening hours: 10 am – 7 pm
Tallinn TV Tower ‘walking on the edge tour’ price: 25 euros
Public transport in Tallinn
The Tallinn city center is very compact and easy to get around by foot. If you are planning to explore more of the city, don’t worry. The buses, trams and trolleys have excellent connections. The public transport’s operating hours are between 6 am – 11 pm.
There are 2 types of tickets you can use for Tallinn’s public transport. Read more details below.
If you are holding a Tallinn Card, you have unlimited access to public transport as well as free admission to museums and sights. Keep in mind that you have to validate the card each time you are taking the bus, tram or trolley. For more information about the Tallinn Card click here.
You can buy a single ride paper ticket directly from the driver for €2. You will have to have the exact amount of money, the driver doesn’t give change.
Alternatively, you can also use Uber or regular taxi in Tallinn.
Where to stay in Tallinn
I’ve been searching for the best accommodation options in Tallinn, for every budget. If you are looking for an awesome hotel at an affordable price, you are in the right place. Here are my recommendations:
- Luxury – Radisson Sky Hotel – excellent location, beautiful view over the Old Town, super clean, gym access, breakfast included
- Mid Budget – Centennial Hotel – good location, super fast WiFi, very clean, spacious rooms, included breakfast
- Budget – Estonishing Stay – good location, modern & spacious apartment, very clean & stylish
Tallinn is a beautiful surprise. With the beautiful architecture, friendly people and great food it is hard not to fall in love with it. If you are planning to visit Tallinn in one day, I hope that my guide was helpful.
May the travel bug bite you!
More about Europe:
- 10 Iceland tips & tricks – click here
- Travel to Thassos – a complete travel guide – click here
- Buzludzha – an icon of Bulgaria’s Communist Regime – click here
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