Tallinn, Estonia

Unlike many other European cities where the old town is part of day-to-day life of the people who live there, Tallinn’s old town gives the impression of being quite separated from the ‘real’ city. It’s a walled-off area where the tourists visit, distinct from the places where people live and work. However, it is one of the nicest old towns I’ve visited and has a fascinating history.

I travelled on the Linda Line ferry from Helsinki and had a (very) reasonably priced hotel near the centre of old town Tallinn for a short stay. A great place to spend a few days.


St. Olaf’s Church tower, for great views across the city. Be prepared for the climb.

Balti Jaam market (on the far side of Balti Jaam station from the old town).

Patarei prison – a ruined Soviet-era prison.

Old town walking tour. I went with Tallinn Free Tour.

Food and drink. There is a wealth of places for coffee/lunch, dinner and drinks in the old town with a huge selection of local beer available in a few bars.

Tallinn by day

Tallinn by night

Patarei prison

The Soviet-era prison was open right up to Estonia’s entry into the EU. Since then it has been abandoned, been somewhat trashed and turned into a tourist attraction / art exhibit. To set the scene, the first place I wandered into was “the hanging room”.

Arriving in Tallinn

The ferry stop is around a ten minute walk from the old town and isn’t the best welcome to the city. There’s nothing there.

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