Estonia’s capital features on many Baltic cruise itineraries and is hailed as a hidden gem by those who have been fortunate enough to visit this beautiful city. Whilst the top attractions include the zoo, Toompea Castle and the Kumu art museum, here are some activities you can enjoy without parting with a cent.
Survey The City From The Kohtu Viewing Platform
One of the best ways to get a feel for Tallinn as a city is to climb to a point where you can see most of it in one view. You can do this by reaching the top of the tower at St Olaf's Church, but if you want to avoid the admission fees and narrow stair cases, head towards the Kohtu Viewing Platform on Toompea hill in the Old Town. Once at the top, you will be able to see the red-roofed buildings of the medieval neighbourhoods give way to the modern towers in other parts of the city. This is a fantastic photo stop that shouldn’t be missed.
Relax In The Pirita River Valley
Although Tallinn has some great urban parks in which to take a romantic stroll, one of the best natural areas can be enjoyed by taking a simple ten-minute bus journey out of the city limits. The Pirita River Valley can be reached by taking either the 1A, 1PR, 5, 8, 34A or 38 bus from the main terminal until the stop called Pirita. When you arrive you’ll find a popular beach on which to relax (yes it is hot enough to sunbathe in Tallinn in the summer) and a beautiful riverside walk that is marked with a map.
If you are thinking of doing the latter, get off one stop before Pirita (a stop called Rummu) and follow the signs along the river. You’ll be able to enjoy fantastic views, local wildlife and a peaceful atmosphere that is perfect for picnics.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
This Russian Orthadox cathedral was originally built in 1900 to show the power and skill of the Russian Tsars that once ruled over Estonia. Now those days are in the past, the building can simply be admired for its beauty. The onion-domed exterior is reminiscent of so many structures in Moscow, whilst the interior is home to intricate mosaics and icons. The towers also hold both the largest and most powerful bells in Tallinn.
Bonus: Free Walking Tour
If you would like to hear all about the city’s history as you walk amongst its winding alleyways and confusing side streets, there is a free walking tour offered by young residents with a passion for their home town. During peak season (May-September) the tour runs each day at 10am, 12pm and 3pm from in front of the Tourist information office at Niguliste 2. You will learn all about Tallinn’s churches, cathedrals, Old Town and most interesting buildings.
Tallinn is sure to be a highlight on your Baltic cruise and with these free activities you can make the most of your visit and save your cash for a well-deserved spa treatment on your return to the ship. For more information on our itineraries that visit Estonia, call our friendly team today.