• travelsbykatie

How to spend a weekend in Tallinn, Estonia.

Another quick, cheap weekend away squeezed into our busy lives! We chose Tallinn as flights were cheap, journey was fast and we'd heard only good things.

As soon as we arrived the cobbled streets and quaint architecture made us feel like we had stepped straight into a fairy tale. The city tries it's best to keep the medieval vibe and it's easy to forget it's actually 2019. We stayed 2 nights and I think that was perfect, especially in the freezing, winter weather. Although I would still recommend going at this time as everything looks prettier in the snow. If i were to return I'd like to go for the Xmas markets and maybe as a dual-trip with Helsinki as its very close to get to by boat.

Where to stay 

We chose to stay at Old House Apartments based on recommendations and we were not disappointed. The room we stayed in had a sauna and open fire which is just what you need when it's -5 outside! The staff were super helpful and friendly and the apartment had everything we needed, we even stayed in one night to cook which was very cosy.

For a cheaper option I've heard Red Emperor Hostel is great, location wise and has everything you would need for a quick trip away.

Where to eat/ drink

Everywhere we went this weekend we were impressed with so here is a list of all the places we went and why it was amazing:

Olde Hansa - Probably the most popular restaurant and features on most blogs about Tallinn but for good reason. The place has a real medieval atmosphere with rustic food and huge portions, local ale is served in clay mugs and the only light comes from the candles on the tables and around the hall. We only went for lunch but saw a few people getting the medieval feast which consisted of around 20 different sharing dishes and looked absolutely delicious!

Pepersack - Go for the sword fights stay for the food! Sword fights are every evening at 8pm, we'd already eaten when we arrived so just had drinks but seriously regretted it as everything looked and smelt amazing.

Secret Garden Club - This restaurant/bar/club sticks out from the rest of the city as it is very modern and sleek, the food is a mix of traditional and modern we opted for soup in a bread bowl which was fantastic.

Draakon - An authentic medieval pub, staff are in character, feels a bit like you are in a cave, they have a very small traditional menu and I very much doubt they take card payments.

Beer house - Everywhere we go we always seem to end up in a German beer house! This place did not disappoint with live music, dancing, beer tasting and great sausages!

Labor - A very strange little bar we stumbled across where all drinks are served in test tubes, good for something a bit different and a bit of a boogie at the end of a night.

The Oak House Cigar Lounge - I have no idea how we ended up here! But Elliot loved it. Hundreds of different types of cigars and whiskey (don't worry they do wine too) in a small lounge with a members club feel.

What to do 

Apart from eating and drinking there's a few things you can do to fill your short time in Tallinn. First is the Tales Of Reval tour. A free walking tour where the guides are in character and show you the history of the small town in the lower part of the city. The tour ended with medieval shots of pepper liquor which was not the best thing I've tasted but a very authentic experience. Make sure you wrap up warm and tips the guides as they are fantastic!

There are 3 main view points looking out over the city in the upper part of town. Kohtuotsa was my favourite but definitely the busiest. You can look out and see the iconic pastel colours of the rooftops. Its located on the northern side of Toompea hill. Basically just follow the crowds and you will find it! The next is Patkuli viewing platform where you can see the ocean and out to the Gulf of Finland and finally the Danish King Gardens which is more quiet and filled with weird dark monk statues apparently these light up at night but I'm not sure I'd want to wait around to find out!

Other things you can do in Tallinn include ice skating, xmas markets (obviously seasonal), and the open air museum which is about 10 minutes outside the city. St Olaf's Church (which is incredibly small considering it used to be the tallest building in the world) and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are other famous landmarks worth a visit even just from the outside.

Tips for visiting Tallinn

  • It's not as cheap as everyone makes out, prices have been on the rise in recent years and in any of the main areas you are still likely to pay around 5 euro a beer.

  • If you have ever flown with Wizz Air you will know hand luggage isn't included!! Every time we fly with them we watch as passengers kick off at airline staff, hold everyone up and then finally pay the fees. Personally I think you can just bring a small backpack for a weekend trip but if you want to bring luggage, it works out cheaper to book Wizz Air priority which allows you to bring a small suitcase on board.

  • I know I have already mentioned, but it is freezing, bring lots of layers!

  • Try to visit at christmas if you can, it looks beautiful!

  • Easy to tie into a Eastern Europe trip so look into tagging on a second destination if you have longer than a weekend.

  • Most of what you will be doing involves walking, steps and hills, bring good walking shoes!

  • Although it's not somewhere I would stay for weeks, its definitely more than a day trip. If you are coming from Helsinki or similar make sure you stay over night as that's when the city really comes alive!

Thanks again for reading don't forget to use my affiliate link when booking your accommodation in Tallinn!


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