Tallinn's tiny Old Town, the most impressive in all of the Baltic states, has romantic towers, ankle-wrenching cobblestone streets, cozy nooks, city-wall cafés, and a dozen other attractions—all within 1 square km (½ square mile). In the 1990s, Vanalinn (the lower Old Town)—historically the domain of traders, artisans, and ordinary citizens—sprouted glitzy neon signs in otherwise charming alleys and sights. The stately, sedate Toompea (Upper Town), a hillock that was the site of the original Estonian settlement, is on the burial mound of Kalev, the epic hero of Estonia. Toompea Castle, crowning the hill, is now the seat of the country's parliament and is not open to visitors. Summer visitors can experience the unforgettable white nights, when the sun never completely sets.

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  • 1. Raekoja Plats


    Tallinn's Town Hall Square has a long history of intrigue, executions, and salt (Tallinn's main export in the Middle Ages). You can tour the...Read More

  • 2. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 19th-century Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with the country's largest bell, is a symbol of the centuries of Russification...Read More

  • 3. Dominiiklaste Kloostri Muuseum


    Wander through the ages in the ancient stone galleries and narrow hallways of the Dominican Monastery Museum, founded in 1246 and now displaying...Read More

  • 4. Estonian Maritime Museum

    Military Sight

    The stocky guardian of the northernmost point of the Old Town, Paks Margareeta (Fat Margaret), is a 16th-century fortification named for a...Read More

  • 5. Estonian Open Air Museum


    A 15-minute taxi ride from the center, the 207-acre Open-Air Ethnographic Museum provides a breath of fresh air and an informative look into...Read More

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  • 6. Kadriorg Palace Foreign Art Museum


    The baroque palace, built for Catherine I by her husband Peter the Great in 1721, merits a visit not just for its impressive and thorough exhibition...Read More

  • 7. Kiek-in-de-Kök

    Military Sight

    At the southern end of the Old Town looms this magnificent, six-story tower church (the name is Low German for "peep in the kitchen"), so called...Read More

  • 8. Niguliste Kirik

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The 15th-century Church of St. Nicholas, part of the Estonian Art Museum, is famed for its fragment of a treasured frieze, Bernt Notke's (1440...Read More

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