November is dark and cold over here in Stockholm, so a while ago I decided that it was time for a weekend trip! Stockholm is not the best city in terms of short flight connections, so I went back to Helsinki. With Erikas and some friends, we have been there about a year ago. This time I wanted to do something different and new. So, I went on a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia!
In this article, we want to show you that it is possible to enjoy a day trip, to a place that you have not been to before. We will also share with you some tips and a short itinerary to make the most of your day trip to Tallinn!
Note that as I flew to Helsinki, my friend and I took the ferry to Tallinn. The ferry is 2-hours long, and despite the journey time, we had a lot of time to see many things without feeling rushed.
Tallinn’s Old Town
Needless to say that we have spent most of our day exploring the Old Town of Tallinn… I really wanted to spend some time there as I have never been to Tallinn before but also because it was really pretty! All the roofs are red, the buildings are colorful and the streets nicely paved.
We arrived in the old town, which is surrounded by walls, through the main “gates”. We walked around and whenever we felt like we turned into the small streets, especially if there were not many people. The best part of it is that we had the freedom of stopping when and where we wanted to. And for the first time, I did not plan anything for that day. I did not really read anything about the city as I knew, spending a day there would be too short to see it all. This is probably also why I did not feel rushed or running from a place to another.
After wandering the nice streets of Tallinn, we climbed all the way to “Toompea“. Toompea is the name of the upper part of the Old Town and we enjoyed walking in the maze of alleys and tiny streets. We visited a few churches and walked around Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, located in the heart of the Old Town. From there, we walked by the Danish King’s Garden and Kuberneri (Governor’s) Garden. After our local exploration, and because it was really cold, we stopped for a tea in Harjumäe Kõlakoda, a very cute café nearby.
Once we got warmer, we made our way to an area called “Telliskivi Creative City” (Telliskivi Loomelinnak). There, you can find a lot of restaurants and other nice stores. We’ve had a late lunch in the area and when walking around we saw that there is a nice covered market, with a lot of street food and cheap-eat options.
Obviously, after this, it got dark and so it was time to go to the Christmas market! The market is located in the main square of the Old Town. There is a large scene where you can enjoy a show of traditional Estonian dances and music. The Christmas market is quite big, and arranged all-around a giant Christmas tree! There is enough space to walk around, stop at the different kiosks and shops, get some snacks, candies, and glögg! There are also a lot of ornaments and other Christmas related things that will take you straight to winter wonderland!
Eateries & Cafés in Tallinn
We have not spent much time in restaurants or cafés but we have been to a few places which are worth mentioning! As you can guess, the end of November was pretty cold and after an early morning on the ferry, we stopped to one crazy and unique café: Pierre Chocolaterie! There, you can find a selection of tea and coffee as well as pastries. You can also eat other things as well as have a brunch there! For 2 hot drinks and a pastry, we paid less than 10€ (in total).
For lunch, we went to F-hoone, a very nice restaurant in a more “hipster” or trendy area of Tallinn. They have a lot of different foods, including vegan, gluten-free, and other options. We have had a great and delicious burger with 2 glasses of wine and paid around 20€ each.
The last place we have been to is….. The Christmas market! As mentioned above, I really liked it and it is a great place if you are looking for snacks and/or glögg! We paid around 3,5€ for a (normal-sized) glass of glögg – with alcohol, and about 2,5€ for the non-alcohol one.
How much can you eat when on a day trip to Tallinn?! Of course, there are many more places where you can go to, but as we were there only for a day, we did not want to spend all of our free time eating! So, if you have more recommendations, please share them in the comments below!
Why you should visit Tallinn
There are a lot of reasons why you should visit Tallinn. First of all, it is a beautiful city! I was kinda expecting it, as after being in a few Eastern European cities, I knew it would be really pretty. Not only the city is pretty, but there is a lot of nice architecture, landmarks, and History. When going for a day trip to Tallinn you will not have time to get bored!
Then, the prices there are quite nice. From what you can read here above, Tallinn is not the cheapest place in Eastern Europe or in the Baltics… But it is quite a bit cheaper than in Stockholm! There is also a variety of places where you can eat, snack and drink. You can pretty much find everything you need – everywhere!
Lastly, and very importantly, you can walk everywhere. I have been surprised by the little amount of cars in the city center. It is easy to discover the different neighborhoods by just walking around. The city is clean and safe and going from a place to another is perfect to discover unique sceneries!