Hello again! I’ve found that I really enjoy reminiscing about these places and our experiences. I like reading about the historical buildings and sites we’ve seen – it’s like being on the trip all over again! Estonia was the second stop of our Baltic cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line – you can look at cruise options here. If you’re interested in this specific cruise, be sure to check out my last post about the first stop in Germany! Thankfully, we had a full day at sea on the ship between Berlin & Tallinn. It was SO nice to have some down time to get back some energy before a big day exploring.
Tallinn is a cute town filled with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. It is a 15 minute walk from the pier to Pikk Gate of the Old Town. Pikk street is the oldest and longest street in Tallinn. There is a trio of 15th century restored homes that is now known as the Three Sisters Hotel. I loved the look of these homes & even though we didn’t go inside I took a peek at the hotel website to see some photos from inside.
Aida street is known as the most medieval street in Old Town so we took a stroll down it as well during our time here.
We started the day at St. Olaf’s Church. You can buy a ticket (around 3€ per person) that allows you access to the steeple – a climb of 268 stairs! It’s a steep and very narrow climb to the top. Travel Tip: If you have any sort of claustrophobia or are not in good health/shape, there’s a possibility that it won’t be easy for you to make it. Surprisingly, the way up is easier than the way down. The staircase is spiraled so you don’t have much room on the steps as you decline. They allow people up and down at the same time making it hard to pass others. There is a rope hanging along the wall that can be used for support. The stairwell is not temperature controlled so it was very hot and humid for us. There is a very narrow space around the top to walk on (maybe a little over a foot wide) & a steep wooden ladder is the only way to access the rooftop once you’ve climbed the staircase. The view from the top is spectacular though – check out the pics below!
I personally feel that the view from St. Olaf’s church was the best since you can walk around the steeple for a 360 view, but some other popular viewpoints you can check out are listed below:
From there, we navigated to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It is located on Tommpea Hill. This is a really popular tourist attraction due to it’s traditional Russian style architecture. It is Tallinn’s largest and grandest cathedral. The inside is very ornate and decorated. It does not cost to tour the cathedral, but donations are accepted. This cathedral does not allow video or photos. There is a guard that will ask you to refrain from taking any – if you do, they step in to ask you to stop. Remember you are in a place of worship & you should behave accordingly and respectfully while inside. Also, if you notice the line of people waiting to get in, don’t let it intimidate you. It does not take long to walk through, but the small hallway you enter into causes some traffic issues.
We also stopped by the Kiek in de Kok fortification which now houses a history museum focused on old weapons & medieval-era life. A family ticket is 12€. Outside the entrance is what was once the Kings Garden. This garden is small in size but is very quaint & beautiful. There are some faceless monk statues around the garden & the area is known to be the most haunted place in Old Town. I think it’s worth it to stop by.
Travel tip: If you plan to visit multiple museums in Tallinn, I’d suggest using the Tallinn City card. To learn more about it – click here. In short, you pay for the card & have entrance fees covered for 40+ various attractions. It also includes public transportation or a hop-on/hop-off bus with the cost of the card. It is around 26 euro per adult for the 24 hour card (This option is best for cruise passengers). In our experience, it’s more economical to purchase the card rather than pay for each attraction & transportation separately. We’ve used this type of card in other cities, but opted for a less formal day in Estonia on this trip. I still highly recommend it if it makes sense for you – just be sure to check the attractions included beforehand. The site will also give you itinerary ideas which is really nice.
The Old Town square is beautiful. We decided to have lunch here. Our restaurant of choice was Tule Estonia. We had the special that included a pizza & beer. It was much more affordable than ordering the items separately – I’m not sure it would have been worth the money if we paid more. The pizza was large enough for Seth & I to share. I would say this restaurant is definitely for tourist. It wasn’t amazing, but wasn’t terrible. The service was slow and a bit unorganized. The staff dresses up to support the medieval theme. Travel tip: If you want a more authentic experience/option, get away from the popular areas. I had planned to visit Peppersack, but we weren’t in the area of the restaurant when we were all ready to eat. A couple of other places we didn’t make it to, but I had planned to visit were Pierre Chocolaterie & Rae Meierie – a cheese factory/restaurant.
My next post will take a while longer to complete since we spent two days in Russia instead of one. I hope to have it up next week! Thanks for reading + your support. Until next time…