Day 1 in Tallinn
Perhaps it is difficult to believe, but once the tallest building in the world was on the territory of Estonia. We recommend you to begin your trip right from this attraction because it offers an overall panoramic view over almost all other important landmarks. The Burj Khalifa of the Middle Ages was St. Olaf’s Church. With its almost 159 meters, the church was the world record holder for about two hundred years. This beautiful sea mark for sailors was at the same time a good target for lightning: the church was hit eight times, thus the building burned 3 times. After admiring the exterior and the interior of the Gothic church, climb to the observation deck, which offers a wonderful view over the cozy houses and winding streets of the old Tallinn.
Today, the Town Hall is the only existing medieval building in Gothic style in the Northern Europe. At the beginning of the XVth century, a tower was built on which, in 1530, a weather vane called Old Thomas was raised. It has become the symbol of Old Town and of Tallinn, in general. Nowadays, the original Thomas is kept in the Museum of the city, and it was replaced with a copy. It is possible to explore the interior of the Town Hall. In addition, you can climb up the tower and admire the town.
The Town Hall Square represents the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town. It has changed a little over the past 300-400 years. Cobbled streets, peaked roofs, inscriptions in Gothic letters – old is felt at each and every corner. Most trips throughout the city start here, from the “zero kilometer” stone, and the majority of them end here, because it is surrounded by dozens of restaurants and pubs.
Another building which is located on the Square and is worth our attention is the Raeapteek, or the Town Hall Pharmacy. It is believed that namely in this pharmacy the famous Estonian marzipan was once invented, as an effective means for headache. Moreover, you can buy it even now, along with other modern medicine. Another interesting thing about this Pharmacy is that it is considered to be the oldest pharmacy in Europe. The Pharmacy building comprises an exhibition of medical instruments and medicines like powder made out from hedgehogs, bees, bats and… unicorn horns!
The second half of your day spend outside the Old Town, and namely in the Kadriorg district. First of all, head to the Kadriorg Palace – a gift of the emperor Peter I to his wife Catherine the Great. The construction of the Palace started in 1718 under the guidance of the Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, who later participated at the inauguration of the famous Peterhof. In the restored palace of Baroque style, a collection of works of the Estonian Art Museum is displayed. There are paintings, sculptures, but also things made of silver and porcelain that originate from Western Europe and Russia.
After a walk in the Kadriorg Park, visit one of the numerous cafes, pubs, terraces and restaurants found in the district. All of them are very different, with international and local menus. The Kadriorg district is the most popular among youth, as it is the most active during nighttime.