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City breaks in

A dynamic mingling of old and new

Tallinn holidays are becoming increasingly popular with travellers looking for an alternative to more established destinations, and who are tempted by the Estonian capital’s combination of medieval architecture, lively heritage, and innovative contemporary outlook. With a Unesco-listed Old Town, an ever-changing and impressive craft beer and food scene, a wealth of museums and a unique history, Tallinn is a tempting prospect. A tumultuous history has given Estonia a unique blend of influences, and this is partly reflected in its diverse cuisine, with Nordic, Russian and Baltic food all mixing together.

There’s no resistance to international trends, though, and everything from vegan to sushi is on offer – particularly in the Kalamaja and Telliskivi districts. In Kalamaja, you’ll also discover contemporary galleries, designer shops and bohemian coffee outlets, while the revamped Port Noblessner area, once home to a submarine factory, has a number of new museums, a craft beer brewery and more. And those drawn to Tallinn for its historic charm won’t be disappointed. The best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe, it’s replete with winding cobblestone streets, Gothic spires and buildings dripping with history, from the medieval period right through to the 20th century. So whether it’s hip cuisine or Disney-esque castles you’re after, holidays to Tallinn thoroughly deserve their place on an increasing number of travellers’ wish lists.

All resorts in Tallinn

Three tips for a top trip

Get a travel cardA one-off purchase of a Tallinn Card covers public transport around the city for a set period, as well as access to museums and attractions, shopping discounts and free hop-on-hop-off bus privileges.
Settle into a saunaSauna culture is huge in Estonia, and Tallinn is no different. You’ll find a number of public saunas dotted around the city and in many hotels.
Eat like the localsThe Old Town is gorgeous to visit and wander around, but you won’t hear many Estonian voices in the restaurants. Locals know the food is as good, or better, outside the tourist centre – and a lot cheaper.

Best attractions to see in Tallinn


Although it has great bars, cafés and restaurants, the atmosphere and pretty wooden houses of the Kalamaja district is reason enough to take a relaxed walk around.

Old Town

The ‘all-linn’ (lower town) is a Unesco World Heritage site, and while the Old Town can get crowded, its beauty makes it a must-visit. Enjoy the architecture, cobbled streets and busy atmosphere.


The portside Noblessner area has undergone significant regeneration in recent years. Once a submarine factory, it now has restaurants, museums and fantastic views of the Baltic Sea.

Your Tallinn questions, answered

In winter, you get snow-enhanced medieval architecture, however, the White Nights of summer are spectacular, with the sun staying up late into the night and plenty of events.

There are many family-friendly museums, plus national parks further afield, but Tallinn’s picture-postcard views and medieval charm also make for a great romantic city break.

About 70% of Estonia is covered in forest, so wooden items are an authentic souvenir. Often carved from fragrant juniper wood, look out for pretty buttons, boxes and cutlery.