As I found while strolling Tallinn’s old town, Estonia’s capital became one of my favorite walled cities in Europe. What was more surprising, especially after reading a blogger’s less than favorable opinion of the city (more on that later), were the great things I found beyond Tallinn’s city walls. Yes, the stone-walled city shouldn’t be missed. Those visitors that don’t venture beyond Tallinn’s city walls, however, are truly missing out on seeing Tallinn.
So, armed with only a Tallinn Card, limited daylight, and a positive attitude I set out to discover life beyond Tallinn’s city walls.
Explore the Kalamaja Neighborhood
My time beyond Tallinn’s city walls started with a stroll through the city’s public market. Although small in comparison to its neighbour in Riga, there are some great gems to be found here. Not in the mood for bargain hunting I continued down the railway tracks and headed to the wonderfully hip Kalamaja neighbourhood. It was here, thanks to my Marta Guesthouse hosts, that I found the city’s trendiest shops and restaurants – my favourite being F-Hoone which is worth the stroll beyond Tallinn’s city walls alone. Try the mutton dumplings and the furgur!
From F-Hoon I made my way through the old character wooden houses of Kalamaja and onto the Estonia Maritime Museum at Seaplane Harbour. This former float base turned museum is one of the best in the Baltics. Inside you will find displays on ice boats, airplanes, and a pre-WWII sub suspended from the ceiling!
Access to this modern and crazy interactive museum is included in the Tallinn Card. How interactive? Upon entry, you are given a card that you can tap to save information on displays for later. What a country.
From the time suck that is the Seaplane Harbour Estonia Maritime Museum (I spent 3+ hours there!) I made my way back to my Marta Guesthouse via the convenient city tram (also included in the Tallinn Card). On the way I trasnferd at the core Tallinn’s city center. Although this is not something I seek out when visiting a new city, it’s nice to know it’s there. With brand-name shops, restaurants, and a huge movie theater, Tallinn’s city center has something for everyone…even those complaining that Tallinn is boring or only has the old town to offer visitors.
Again, more to come on that.
Of course, there’s plenty more to see and do beyond Tallinn’s city walls then what I saw, especially armed with a Tallinn Card. This great tourist option gives you free access to city transportation, museums, and sights. To the north-east you will find a beach that is popular in the summer months (not so much when I visited) as well as Kadrioru Park. The latter is known for its museums, presidential palace, and swan pond. For dominating views of Tallinn and beyond, visitors can heads up the Tallinn TV Tower. It’s observation deck sits 170 meters above the ground, the highest in the country. Again, free with the Tallinn Card.
So if you are lucky enough to visit this great city, be sure to wander beyond Tallinn’s city walls. If you don’t you are cheating yourself of some of the best the city has to offer. Don’t be a cheater.
What say you?
Thoughts on going Beyond Tallinn’s City Walls?
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