City Break in Tallinn, Estonia

Citybreak in Tallinn, Estonia

I wasn’t planning on going to Tallinn this year, but when Ryanair surprised me with very affordable tickets, I couldn’t resist and I went for it. You can totally visit Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, for a weekend city break, but I booked a five-day trip dedicating four days to Tallinn and spending a day day-tripping from Tallinn to Helsinki by water. You can clearly see some nordic and some Russian influences in Tallinn, which makes it a very interesting see and a town centre to see. I was impressed with this little city like I always am when I visit countries in Eastern Europe. They are full of charm and my four days there were fully packed, so you can stay longer if you want to chill and take it slower.

In this post:

  • Things to see in Tallinn

  • Is it worth getting the Tallinn Card?

  • Attitudes towards Muslims in Tallinn

  • Hotels in Tallinn

  • Budget needed for four days in Tallinn, Estonia

Things to see in Tallinn

Tallinn is a lovely city with a lot of things to see that can easily keep you busy for four days or more if you are willing to venture to the surroundings of the capital especially if you go there in the Spring or the Summer because they have lots of national parks for nature lovers to explore.

I can sum up Tallinn itinerary in six things:

  • Old City Sights

  • Three Museums

  • Market

  • Brutal Architecture

  • Botanical Gardens

  • Marina

Cityscape to Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn City Tour

If you have been reading my posts for a while then you know I love to start my first day in a new city with a walking tour to get a feel for the city, so I can continue my trip with some knowledge of its history and heritage. It was a cold September day when I visited, so the first walking tour was cancelled and I had to wait for the second one. It was handy that all of them met right outside of the tourism office there, which also has few cafes nearby, so I stayed warm until the tour. The walk included going around the old city and some of the main sights there included the two main squares, city walls and churches.

Museums in Tallinn

There are a lot of little museums to see in Tallinn and time can be tight to see many of them. I visited two a day and I enjoyed it especially that I went on a cold month, so doing things indoor in the warmth was very appealing. I wasn’t sure which ones were must dos, I just went with what seemed nice or moving. We ended up seeing the three main ones.

We started with the KGB Museum especially that we already visited another KGB in Lithuania and were so moved by the struggle that went through. This one was much smaller, but also full of pain and it had cells down stairs and execution room. It is not for the faint hearted.

KGB Museum and cells in Tallinn

The second day it was raining heavily which meant it was another museum day and we went to the biggest one they have for arts the Kuomo Museum and it was a very enjoyable visit that took a couple of hours to see most things.

We wanted to visit the Harbour Museum on the same day but with rain and many cafe stops, we left it to the following day and started there early. It was very interesting to see everything there, but not very engaging. My favourite part was the inside of the submarine. It was so fascinating to see how people lived and worked inside it!

Market - Balti Jam

The market was SO COOL! I really enjoyed going there and having some dinner and snacks. They also sell basically everything there, so if you are too cold or too hot, you can get some second hand or new clothes there. It was very local from what I saw and they also had lots of little antique shops. It was something like Camden Market in London.

Soviet Buildings (Brutal Architecture) in Tallinn

The Soviet buildings in Tallinn that some people refer to as brutal architecture is impressive! I only managed to see two of them: the music hall and the old prison. They are good to see when the weather isn’t rainy.

Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden is about 40mins outside of the old city and it was easily accessible by any of the public buses. Although, make sure to buy a ticket before you get into the bus because they come inside to check the tickets at random! I really enjoyed the botanical garden and all the little gardens within it and the green house. The TV tower is just outside of it and you can buy a joint ticket to see both. I wasn’t too excited to see the tower, but you can.

Walk along the marina

On the way back from the Botanical garden, we took the bus for half of the way and then we stopped for a walk along the marina to see the view of Tallinn old city. It was a very nice walk.

Here are a few more sights and tour options in Tallinn that you can check out as well:

Is it worth getting the Tallinn Card? 

Since we are talking about the budget for Tallinn, then it’s worth mentioning that the tourism board there offers a Tallinn card that includes transportation, some museum entries and discounts for some places. The full details can be found in their website, but I didn’t find it very useful for me depending on what I wanted to see because I am paying discounted student tickets anyway. I would suggest that you read the options and go what’s best for your budget because you might be able to save with it.

Attitudes towards Muslims in Tallinn Estonia

Attitudes towards Muslims in Tallinn, Estonia

When I visited in October, it was really cold, so everyone was covered up and modestly dressed and had something on their heads because of the weather. I had my turban on and I felt okay and everyone was the regular level of friendly. There is a very small Muslim community there and they have their own Islamic centre in Tallinn. Their website will also tell you where to buy halal meats and produce. They also sell some in the mosque. I haven’t had a chance to go, but I am glad they at least have that there. Check their facebook page for updates though. There aren’t halal restaurants, but I was very happy with the vegetarian and seafood options.

Tallinn Hotels and places to stay

The more travel, the more apartments appeal to me. I get all the privacy I need and get to make my own breakfasts and sometimes packed lunches. I found this building called Dharma Yoga Residence Apartments and it was very decent. There is also a yoga studio in there as the name suggests, but all the sessions were already fully booked when we got there, so if that’s something you want to do, make sure you contact them about the yoga sessions in advance. It was comfortable and the location wasn’t too bad. It was two stops outside of the old city, which made it quiet. The walk was also good and around 15minutes.

Budget needed for four days in Tallinn, Estonia

  • Plane: Return on Ryanair £60

  • Hotel: 203 euros for five nights

  • Transportation:

    • Taxi from airport to hotel €8  

    • Smartcard (Ühiskaart) €8 each for five days of public transports on trams and buses.

  • Groceries for breakfasts and snacks €18

  • Restaurants (it ranged from €20 to €40 a day) you can keep this low or go higher depending on your personal food choices. I really enjoy the food aspect, so I don’t mind paying a little more for some good food. You can also make your own food with the affordable groceries.

  • Attractions: for a student total €19.50 - for an adults total €32 

    • KGB Museum €4 student/ €5 adult 

    • Kuomo Museum €6 student/ €8 adult

    • Harbour Museum €7 student/ €14 adult

    • Botanical Gardens €2.50 student/ €5 adult

Watch my video on Tallinn:

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