Today I was asked to suggest some places to see and visit in Tallinn, so I thought, I might spend a little more time and offer my thorough commentary on that.
Custom map with all mentioned spots is available below the text.
Shopping for souvenirs
It always somewhat strange to shop for souvenirs in your own city. But due to upcoming trip overseas, I was recently into that subject quite a lot. In Tallinn Old Town there are millions of souvenir shops, literally in every corner. So the best strategy is just to dive head-first to the heaps of linen tea towels and woolen cardigans and mittens and search-search-search until you feel satisfied with the findings.
The one souvenir shop I personally like is “Eesti Esindus Tallinnas” in Estonian House on Viru street. I have recently found some really original hand-made souvenirs there., that didn’t look as mass production and at the same time screamed “Tallinn!” and “Estonia!”. Another benefit is an opportunity to try some of Estonian food items and on the spot before buying them.
For the one’s who crave for larger selection of handmade souvenirs, do not miss out on Masters’ Courtyard on Vene street for various handicraft specialized shops: ceramics, wool and wooden items are only a few to mention.
Okay, magnets and wooden spoons aside, what about food? If you want to buy more of edible souvenirs, I suggest you go directly to grocery store, like Rimi or Stockmann. Rimi has special corner in most of the stores called “Talu toidab” where local produce is presented. In recent years local produce culture is on the rise in Estonia, so you can buy some unique pieces by small producers of Estonia.
For the same reason, while you are exploring Kadriorg park, drop by a new farm produce shop “Mahlaveski Talupood”.
So now we have souvenirs and foodstuff settled, but maybe you want to go shopping for Estonian design? Then go directly to Telliskivi Creative City. filled with small shops and a lot of recommended food and drink places there. There is also newly renovated market “Balti Jaama turg” in close proximity, definitely worth hopping by.
Food and Drinks
One area of interest might be abovementioned Telliskivi Creative City. It offers wide variety of eateries and bars for every taste. Just take you time and explore the area.
Another district to explore is Rottermanni kvartal. The recently restored district with old-meets-new architecture will offer something both to see and to taste. There I can personally recommend Saku Gastro pub. The food, beer and atmosphere were awesome every time we visited it =)
If you are more into craft beers, definitely go for Speakeasy, it is located just across the road from Balti Jaama market.
If you are staying overnight, for morning coffee and cake, visit Kalamaja Pagarikoda. A small basement cafe in a quiet neighborhood that has the best “Napoleon” cake in entire universe =). It is a high probability you will even meet us there on weekend morning =) But why should you wait for morning, just go any time you want: it is always good!
If you are still walking the streets of the Old Town, Rukis cafe on Viru street is highly recommended by me and Ilya.
In the Masters’ Courtyard the Pierre Chocolaterie offers an unique atmosphere both indoors and outdoors. The indoors feels especially cozy on rainy or snowy days.
In the city center, but outside the Old Town the Nikolay Bar-buffeé offers wide variety of delicious pies for every taste. Both sweet and savory are definitely worth trying. Our usual weekend set includes two slices of pie per person, one sweet and one savory. Do not hesitate to ask the staff to introduce you the current selection.
Outside the city center, for a cocktail with seaside view take a 15 min bus ride and visit Pirita beach. Take bus number 1A or 8 from “Viru Keskus” bus terminal and go to “Supluse puiestee” stop. Cross the road towards the forest and you are just 200 meters away from the beach. There is Patrick’s restaurant in the beach house in front of you. It is casual and affordable + the view =). Or you can just walk the beach and enjoy the weather and panoramic view of Tallinn Bay.
NATURE AND CULTURE
If you can use a car, there are two more spots worth considering if the weather is nice:
- Viimsi Open Air museum and restaurant PAAT are located next to each other on the coast of Tallinn Bay.
- Laulasmaa spa and resort surrounding pine forest and beach area are perfect to stroll and enjoy Estonian nature.
The above list is based on my personal experience and there are definitely more places to visit =). Explore!
Hope, you will enjoy your stay in Tallinn!