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The best things to do in Tallinn

Every city has must-see sights and must-do activities for your visit to there to be complete. Your visit to Tallinn will not be complete if you miss out on these things. The Hop-on Hop-off bus will show you to all the best sightseeing in Tallinn.

Old TownSt Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Old Town

The historic heart of Estonia's capital city was build between the 13th and 16th centuries and is at the top of every must-see list for those on a trip to Tallinn. Once Old Town was divided into Toompea Hill and All-linn, today the entire area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Here you'll find sights such as Toompea Castle, the home of Estonia's parliament; Town Hall Square, packed with cafés and home to the city's Christmas market; St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Estonia's main Russian Orthodox cathedral; and many other sights which you can read more about in our Old Town blog.

Estonian History Museum - Maarjamäe Palace

The Maarjamäe Palace, which is part of the Estonian History Museum along with the Great Guild Hall in Old Town, was originally a summer residence built in 1873. In 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia the palace was first opened as a historic discovery centre.

The palace has a permanent exhibition "My Free Country" with guided tours of approximately 1.5 hours. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through 100 years of Estonian history, from the birth of the republic to the present day.

Just up the road from the palace, you can visit the Soviet era Maarjamäe Memorial. At its centre stands a 35-metre obelisk, but the sight also includes the graves of the crews of the Avtroil and Spartak minesweepers and a bronze sculpture of a flock of birds.

Kumu Art Museum

Kadriorg park is also home to to several museums, including the Children's Museum Miiamilla, Peter the Great House Museum and the Kumu Art Museum. Kumu is the largest art gallery in Estonia and the building itself is considered a work of art as well.

The permanent exhibitions of Kumu showcase the local artistic heritage all the way from Baltic German art and Estonian national art up to the multifaceted art produced in Soviet Estonia and the Post-Soviet period. Every year, Kumu holds eight to ten temporary exhibitions both on historical and contemporary art from Estonia and abroad.

Kadriorg Park and PalaceKadriorg Palace

For those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Kadriorg park waits just east of the city centre. The construction of the park and palace started in 1718 on the orders of Russian tsar Peter the Great and is named after his wife Catherine. The 70 hectare park is considered to be Estonia's most outstanding palatial and urban park, with the flower beds surrounding the Swan Pond and the promenade leading to the palace as most popular places for a stroll.

Kadriorg Palace was designed by Italian architect Nicola Michetti and it's splendid main hall is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Estonia and Northern Europe as a whole. Aside from the magnificent rooms, the palace also displays the Estonian Art Museum's foreign art collection, with Western European and Russian art from the 16th to the 20th century.

Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour

One of Europe's most exciting maritime museums is the Seaplane Harbour, also known as the Estonian Harbour Museum. Set in a historical seaplane hangar, the museum is home to over 200 authentic items, including a 600 ton submarine, a century-old icebreaker and remains of the oldest ship ever found in Estonia.

Seaplane Harbour is an interactive museum where you can go inside the Lembit submarine and take a seat in a simulator amongst other things. The museum also includes an aquarium, a children's corner, an authentic sailboat and an outdoor playground.

Botanical Gardens and TV Tower

Tallinn’s Botanical Gardens are a sight to behold no matter what the weather brings. The 123 hectare garden has both outdoor and greenhouse expositions, which feature over 8000 plant species. The extensive greenhouses are open year round and house everything from banana plants to house plants.

If you prefer a view from high up, you will not want to miss out on a visit to the TV Tower, which is right next to the Tallinn Botanic Garden. The tower is the tallest building in the country, from the top you can enjoy panoramic views of the city, the sea and the surrounding countryside. Up on the 22nd floor of the TV, at a height of 175 metres you can step outside to Walk on the Edge of the roof of the tower.

Pirita Convent Ruins

North along the Gulf of Tallinn the Hop-on Hop-off bus will take you to the Ruins of the Bridgettine Convent. The ruins along the banks of the Pirita River date back to 1407 when it was home to the largest nunnery in Old Livonia. The original convent, named after St. Bridget, survived until 1577 when the forces of Ivan the Terrible destroyed it.

Today the ruins are managed by the sisters of the Bridgettine Order and is used for outdoor events such as concerts. The sisters live in a newly built convent next to the original. The new convent was consecrated in 2001, though the idea to restore the convent came about soon after the restoration of Estonia's independence.