We hadn’t planned to visit Tallinn by foot but as the van had run into some major mechanical issues we ended up being in Helsinki for 10 days. After seeing all the sights and the van still not being ready, it seemed like something was luring us to Estonia, especially when we saw that the Eckero Line ferry were offering a special sale to spend a day in Tallinn.
Cobbled streets of Old Town Tallinn
After booking the crossing, we woke up early the next day for our mini holiday adventure and headed to Helsinki West Terminal to make the two hour fifteen minute crossing to Tallinn. The ferry is known as a booze cruise and we could see why. People were going crazy for the cheaper drink prices and every beer came with a shot!
Arriving into the Port of Tallinn at 9.30am, we set off to the Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site only a 10 minute walk away. We entered past Fat Margaret’s tower (we aren’t sure why it’s nicknamed this!) and the cobbled streets. Instantly we could feel a difference from the Scandinavian countries, there were lots of muted orange and yellow tone buildings and a real buzz in the atmosphere. We later found out that Real Madrid were playing Atheltico Madrid that evening in Tallinn which could explain just why it was so busy.
Beautiful coloured buildings
As we had limited time, we decided to see as many sights as possible. After a quick panini and coffee off Town Hall Square we meandered to the Tallinn City Museum, which was informative. Mooching towards St Olav’s Church we stumbled across a free medieval walking tour #talesoftallinn which we decided to join. It was the best walking tour we’ve been on, the two guides were so enthusiastic and full of interesting facts about the gothic architecture and what happened during medieval times in this area. We laughed a lot and followed the tour round to the end, the sites we visited after St Olav included the House of the Blackheads and the figure of Old Thomas, placed on top of the Town Hall spire.
Fat Margaret’s Tower
St Olav’s Church
Lunch consisted of a dish called “Grandma’s Stew” and a couple of beers, we were disappointed by our lunch choice, we really wanted to experience typical Estonian food, whilst the food was tasty, it was a tiny portion and the service wasn’t great.
Once refuelled, we decided we wanted to see more of the Old Town and there definitely isn’t a lack of sights to see! We ventured up the hill to the church of Alexander Nevsky which is a grand church that has a different style to the rest of the sights here. A trip to a city for us wouldn’t have been complete without us climbing to a nice view and we had read that the best one was from the top of St Olav’s. It was with the €2 and 232 steps to the observation area, we were rewarded with a beautiful view over The Old Town and the terracotta roofs and colourful buildings. It was interesting to see the Kuldjala tower and walls that were built in the medieval times to protect the town.
The best viewpoint from the top of St Olav’s
With time drawing on it was time for us to make our way back to the ferry, in all we rather enjoyed our day in Tallinn, it had a lovely charm and fabulous sights to see.