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A visit to Tallinn and the points of interest including Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn TV tower (and view of the city), Toompea Castle, Raekoja plats, Tallinn old town, St Nicholas’ church, Kiek in de Kök (and view of the city), Viru gates and city walls before taking the ferry to Helsinki

Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia which is a Baltic state, part of the European Union and a  Schengen country.  The main points of interest in Tallinn are;

  • Alexander Nevsky cathedral
  • Kadriorg Palace
  • Tallinn TV tower (and view of the city)
  • Toompea Castle
  • Raekoja plats, Tallinn old town
  • St Nicholas’ church
  • Kiek in de Kök (and view of the city)
  • Viru gates and city walls
Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Tallinn

Alexander Nevsky cathedral, Tallinn

When searching for things to do in Tallinn, Estonia the number one search and recommendation is usually to visit the Alexander Nevsky cathedral.  Here it is!  There’s no denying it’s a beautiful building, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate it.  It is a Russian orthodox church completed in the year 1900 but well maintained.  It is free to go inside and the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.  Also the easy walk up the Toompea hill and surrounding buildings are beautiful.  This is a great place for photography.  Not far from here is the Kiek in de Kök museum where you’ll be able to take great photos of the cathedral and also photos of Tallinn city.

Kiek in de Kök, Tallinn

Kiek in de Kök, Tallinn

Kiek in de Kök is a stones throw from the cathedral on Toompea hill, it’s actually a more impressive place to visit than Toompea castle which is also close by.  Kiek in de Kök was built in 1475, this name was given because of the ability to look into nearby kitchens from the towers.  The towers are 38 m tall which gives you great city photo opportunities.  Kiek in de Kök is also a museum which as well as the towers, gives you access to the bastion tunnels below.  In the gardens outside you will find some grim reapers which make for a great selfie.

Viru Gate, Tallinn, Estonia

Viru Gate, Tallinn, Estonia

When you go to Tallinn you’ve got to get your photo taken at the Viru gate and city walls!  This is the entrance to Tallinn old town.  In the old town there are lots of great restaurants, pubs and bars and if you visit on a weekend there are lots of pub crawls you could join.  The hotels here are pretty good value too, I stayed at the Three Crowns Residents which was right in the center of the old town but very fairly priced.

You can’t walk to the Tallinn TV tower, well you could, and you could gain lots of steps on FitBit, but it would take about 2 hours.  There’s a local bus you can catch which will take 30 minutes to get there.  I would only recommend visiting the TV tower if you’re staying more than 1 day in Tallinn otherwise you’ll be short of time to see the other sites which are mostly walkable in the city.

Tallinn to Helsinki ferry

Ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, 2 hours, €15, Tallink Silja Line

You can take a direct ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, this takes 2 hours.  It’s actually possible to take a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn or vice versa.  There are a few different ferry services but I chose the Tallink Silja Line as they had the most crossings.  You can buy your ticket online or easily at the ferry terminal right before departure, everything is very organised inside the terminal.  I have to mention that there was a Burger King on the ferry so you don’t need to worry about going hungry!  There is also free WiFi all over the ship, a few restaurants and a supermarket.

If you plan your time well, it’s possible to visit St Petersburg, Russia without a visa for up to 72 hours.  This is only possible if you use the St Peter Line ferry.  You could go from Tallinn to St Petersburg for a couple of nights, then onto Helsinki.  Now that’s one way to visit Russia without the visa hassle!

Helsinki to Tallinn