Tallinn is a Baltic fairytale

Last summer was all about fairytale and medieval destinations. I went to the magical Lake Bled and the enchanted Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, to Game of Thrones locations in Dubrovnik and the historic town of Kotor in Montenegro.

When I came to Tallinn, I wasn’t at all prepared for the intense medieval atmosphere. Entering the Old Town was like entering a fairytale; a small kingdom in the Baltics with tall thick city walls, narrow alleyways, and locals in traditional attire. I literally felt like I was back in the 13th century.

THE GOTHIC TOWN SQUARE

After checking in at my charming Russian hotel, I went for a stroll down the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. Right around the corner from my hotel, I found the town square which is the heart of Tallinn. The tall, Gothic town hall in the middle is surrounded by traditional colorful houses and a number of restaurants, cafés and bars.

Tallinn, Estonia

This is the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe. It was built in 1402.

Tallinn, Estonia

From June to August, you can climb up the 64-metre tower for a view over the Old Town

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

TALLINN’S MEDIEVAL RESTAURANTS

The medieval buildings and houses certainly added to the fairytale feel, but so did some of the restaurants. One of the more well-known places is Olde Hansa, located right next to the town hall. The restaurant comes with medieval menu cards and atmosphere, but prices are hefty. Personally, I preferred Kuldse Notsu Kõrts restaurant, which offers traditional Estonian meals, all prepared with fresh products from local farms. 

I loved visiting local restaurants where the staff was dressed in traditional clothes and the interior was medieval. It turned my dinner into a whole experience! And even though it came across as touristy, I wasn’t put off by it, because the food was great and people were nice. The dressed-out locals, the themed restaurants and the colorful old houses brought a certain energy and charm to this Baltic city. 

Tallinn, Estonia

Menu card from Olde Hansa

Tallinn, Estonia

Dressed-out locals in the Old Town

FAIRYTALE CITY WALLS AND TOWERS

My favorite thing about Tallinn was the city walls. They reminded me of the walls in Dubrovnik and I liked that you can walk on them and get a view of the town. Aside from the fact that the walls made Tallinn’s Old Town a UNESCO site in 1997, they are almost 800 years old and still in fairly good shape.

A few tips: You’ll get the best view from Viru gate, Kiek in de Kok and Hellemann tower. And another thing, the walls are split into sections so it’s not possible to walk around the entire city. You’ll need to pay an entrance fee of €3 every time you enter a new tower and walking passage.

Tallinn, Estonia

Viru gate – the entrance to the Old Town

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Hellemann tower

Tallinn, Estonia

You can walk on these walking passages

Tallinn, Estonia

CHURCHES & CASTLES

Tallinn’s Old Town is divided into two parts: the lower part (the center) and the upper part (Toompea Hill). If you want a panoramic view of the Old Town, its towers, steeples, and picturesque red-tiled roofs without climbing the city walls, you should go to Toompea. 

Aside from the viewpoint, the upper part has another stunning feature → the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Do you remember I showed you a Russian cathedral in Riga? Both that one and the Alexander Nevsky cathedral was built during the Russian oppression and they stand out from the rest of the city.

Tallinn, Estonia

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in 1894

Tallinn, Estonia

St. Nicolas’ Church

Tallinn, Estonia

Maiden’s Tower

Tallinn, Estonia

City Wall

Tallinn, Estonia

View from Toompea Hill

Tallinn, Estonia

Impressive architecture. I love it!

STUNNING SUNSETS & HAPPY ENDINGS

Tallinn is one of those cities that are best viewed from above. Aside from Toompea Hill, the walls and St. Olav’s church, I went on a balloon trip to enjoy the view – and the sunset of course. You know me, I can’t visit a place without watching the sunset  I’m sure it would have been beautiful from one of the other viewpoints too, but really guys… Would you look at the view I had from the air! ↓

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

They say that on a clear day, you can see all the way to Finland

Tallinn, Estonia

Can you imagine how Tallinn looks in the winter with a frosty blue sky and all covered in snow?

Tallinn, Estonia

So what do you think? Would you visit Tallinn?

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The ultimate fairytale destination, including medieval buildings, cobblestone streets, city walls, towers and castles.

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Miriam

Travel blogger at Adventurous Miriam
I’m Miriam Risager, and this site has been my scrap-book, playground and home since 2013. I launched this blog as a way to share my journey, as well as share the hows, whys and wheres for other travelers.

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