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The fairytale city of Tallinn, Estonia is absolutely enchanting, with winding cobblestone streets, a picture-perfect skyline dotted with turrets and steeples and stone walls dating back centuries. Beyond the old town walls, visitors can explore a deserted monastery, museums and even white sand beaches–really, what more could one ask for?
It’s easy to visit Tallinn as part of a stop on an eastern Europe road trip, by hopping on the train from St. Petersburg or even a boat ride from Helsinki. If you haven’t already added the city to your travel wish list, here are 25 photos of Tallinn that are sure to have you packing your bags in no time.
Tallinn Old Town
Old town Tallinn is divided into two parts—Toompea Hill and Lower Town. Medieval Tallinn has one of Europe’s only surviving gothic town halls, and its lively main square is home to lively cafes and restaurants where tables spill into the streets and music and laughter fill the air.
Here are some highlights of the historic centre, including Towers’ Square which has sweeping views of the fortified lookout points, towering St. Nicholas’ Church, and the Bastion Tunnels where visitors can explore hidden underground passageways.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Toompea Hill
Heading up to Toompea Hill is one of the best things to do in Tallinn, since it’s the home of the iconic, onion-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. You’ll find it on a high perch overlooking the city, adjacent to the fuchsia-coloured Toompea Castle and a plaza with great views.
Book a tour of Tallinn:
Day trips from Tallinn: Pirita
If you hop on a bike and head away from the busy streets of Old Town Tallinn, you’ll find yourself in pretty Pirita. Despite only being 20 minutes away, the suburb seems a world away thanks to its surf shops, bars and white sand beach. Ride through the tranquil Forest Cemetery’ (Metsakalmistu), and eventually you’ll see a major landmark rise up over the trees: the 314 metre tall TV Tower.
Marvel at Pirita klooster, a convent that dates back to the 1400s that’s now essentially deserted. Its towering stone walls make for incredible photo ops.
Book one of these fun day trips from Tallinn:
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