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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Tallinn

Tallinn was one of the Baltic cities I visited along with Riga and Vilnius. This Estonian city quickly became one of my favorite destinations with its old world charm and chill vibe.


Tallinn The Wandering Juan

Tallinn is a compact destination to explore with many places of interest within the historic center.

Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia. The city has a long and storied past dating to a settlement in the 1st millenium BC. The city has been under the rule of different empires and governments such as the Hanseatic League, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and the Soviet Union. Tallinn became the capital of the independent state of Estonia in 1991.  

Tallinn is a lovely and laid back Baltic city worth adding to your itinerary while exploring the region.

Getting a Visa

Estonia is part of the Schengen group of countries. Once you have a visa from any of the Schengen countries, you can enter Estonia. I got my visas from Austria, Poland, and Czechia. 

You can read my post here: how to get a Schengen visa

How to get to Tallinn

Tallinn is an accessible city from other cities in the Baltics or Poland or you could book a flight from other cities in Europe.

By Land

I took the bus from Riga to Tallinn. The trip was uneventful and took around 4 hours. 

My go-to bus company is Flixbus, you can buy tickets here: www.flixbus.com

By Sea

If you're in Helsinki, you can take the ferry to Tallinn. Many Finns and Estonians take this route (sometimes just as a day trip). There are comfortable dining and viewing areas. There's a restaurant and some forms of entertainment while onboard. 

Here are some companies to buy tickets from:

By Air

Tallinn has its own airport outside the city. It's convenient to get to the city from there. You can take bus #15 to the city center from the terminal. Book tickets in advance to get the lowest possible prices.

Getting around Tallinn

When planning your budget and itinerary for Tallinn, you're better of just walking. Most of the attractions are within the walls of the old town or just outside of it. I walked the whole time when I explored Tallinn. I only used Bolt (a ride hailing app) whenever I went to the bus station. There are buses and trams that can take you to different parts of the city. You can use a transportation card (top it up) whenever you take the bus or tram. 

Things to do in Tallinn

Tallinn is a compact city that's easy to explore on foot. These are some of the places to visit and things to do when you plan your budget and itinerary for Tallinn.

Old Town

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

The old town is the city's main attraction. Within its walls are quaint sections, cobblestone streets, and buildings that have been around since the 15th century. A walk around the old town takes you back in time. There are many shops, cafes, and restaurants scattered all over. There are some churches and museums visitors can explore during their visit. Exploring the old town is free which is ideal when you go for Tallinn on a budget.

Town Hall

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

The Tallinn Town Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in the historic center. The structure has a history dating to 1404. The Town Hall's gothic design makes it an eye-catching piece of architecture the moment you enter the square. 

Town Hall Square

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

This bustling square is centuries old and is a popular place to get a drink, a meal, and buy souvenirs (the prices here are definitely for tourists). There are plenty of medieval epoch buildings surrounding the square, making it feel like you traveled back in time.

Viru Gate

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

This 14th century gate serves as the main entrance to the old town. The towers you see now used to be part of an extensive fortification.

St. Olaf's Church

St. Olaf's Church The Wandering Juan

This towering church was named after Norway's King Olaf II. This church is a noticeable part of the old town's skyline. Its history dates to the 12th century and it has undergone many renovations over the centuries. During Soviet times, the church's spire served as a radio tower. 

City Walls

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

The wall enveloping the old town is both imposing and impressive. It dates to the 13th century and has been reinforced and enlarged by many rulers over time. There are sections you can climb up to and get overlooking views of the old town.

St. Catherine's Passage

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

This passageway provides you with a glimpse of what life was like centuries ago. The medieval era buildings and structures used to be the home of guilds. 

Toompea Hill

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

Many of the city's recognizable buildings such as the Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral and the Toompea Castle are perched on Toompea Hill. The latter has viewing platforms where you can get overlooking views of the old town.

Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

This cathedral is a remnant of the Russian Empire. When I first saw this, my immediate impression was that it looked like it was taken from Moscow or St. Petersburg. It's prominently perched on Toompea Hill and looms over the city. Construction of the cathedral finished in 1900. 

Telliskivi Creative City

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

A short walk from the old town is a much more modern part of Tallinn, the Telliskivi Creative City. This is where you'll see many shops, restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. There's also a photography museum and a dance theater among other other cultural places.

Get Overlooking Views of the City

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

Tallinn The Wandering Juan

When planning your budget and itinerary for Tallinn, include spots that provide overlooking views of the city. I got good views from St. Olaf's tower and up the walls around the old town. The entrance fees for these are minimal so for me they're worth the expense.

Day trip to Helsinki

Helsinki The Wandering Juan

If you want to visit another country while in Tallinn, a day trip to Helsinki is possible. Take the earliest ferry and the latest one back to see some of the main attractions in Helsinki. This Finnish city is compact with many places to visit within walking distance of each other or a short tram ride away. Some of the attractions you can visit include the Central Library Oodi, Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki Central Railway Station, Old Market Hall, Esplanadi Park, Kamppi Chapel, Helsinki Cathedral, Church of the Rock, and the Senaatintori. There are also museums and art galleries you can add to your itinerary. It's impossible to see everything in one day. Choose places you'd want to see to maximize your visit.

Budget for Tallinn

Tallinn is an affordable city to visit and stay a few days in. Estonia uses the euro €. Tallinn on a budget costs €65 a day covers a bed in a dorm room, budget meals, the occasional nice meal, a few paid attractions, and public transportation. You could definitely spend less than that amount. I found myself eating at nice cafes and restaurants a few times during my stay. 

You might want to read my other posts:

Itinerary for Tallinn

Day 1

Explore the old town and its attractions

Day 2

Day trip to Helsinki

Tallinn is easy enough to explore in just one day since many of its attractions are within or just outside the old town. However, the city is chill and a great place to relax and unwind in. You could easily add a few extra days here.

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