Tallinn Culture & history

Our most recommended Tallinn Culture & history

Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

1. Helsinki: Tallinn Guided Day Tour with Ferry Crossing

Cross the Gulf of Finland by ferry and join a guided city tour of Tallinn on a day tour from Helsinki. Step back to medieval times in Old Town, and see past Russian influences in the architecture of Aleksander Nevski Cathedral and Kadriog Park. After an easy 2-hour ferry crossing from Finland to Estonia, you will be met at the port by your guide. Your guided city tour will take in all the major sites of Tallinn, followed by some free time to explore at your own pace. The most popular destination in Tallinn is Old Town, an area which has maintained its medieval character and charm to this day. Stroll the cobblestone streets, walk through ivy-covered Viru Gate and explore the gothic Town Hall. On Toompea Hill discover the perfectly pink Toompea Castle, built in the 13th century, now home to Estonia's parliament. Directly across from the castle is Aleksander Nevski Cathedral. This striking Russian Orthodox-style cathedral with onion bulb domes will certainly capture your attention. For a dose of nature, the beautiful gardens at Kadriog Park beckon visitors to Tallinn. With geometric flower beds, Japanese garden and a lovely swan pond, there is plenty to delight the senses for all ages. At the end of the day you will return to the port for your ferry trip back to Helsinki where your tour ends but memories will remain.

Tallinn: Estonian Food, Drinks and History Tour

2. Tallinn: Estonian Food, Drinks and History Tour

Get acquainted with the cuisine of Hanseatic merchants, Estonian peasants, Soviet workers, and find out what Estonians eat today. On this 3-hour guided tour, try 3 dishes with dessert, and taste 3 local drinks. In addition, you’ll taste the famous Estonian green chocolate, berry chips, and much more. The cafés and restaurants chosen for this tour are famous for their special interiors and histories, and are, in a sense, museums themselves. Avoiding the more touristy places, you’ll only hit up places off the beaten path where locals like to go for a truly authentic Estonian experience. This tour is the perfect activity for bad weather, as Tallinn’s cozy restaurants will keep you warm and relaxed.

Tallinn: Coastal Cliffs and Rummu Suberged Quarry Day Tour

3. Tallinn: Coastal Cliffs and Rummu Suberged Quarry Day Tour

Begin your tour with a light hike along the forested coastline not far from Tallinn. Visit an abandoned naval fortress which is tucked away in the forest, where it is still possible to explore the dark underground tunnels and the massive concrete structures above the ground. From there your tour continues to the Keila Waterfall, located in a peaceful manor park with charming bridges and walking paths. Drive through the mostly Russian-speaking city of Paldiski, getting a feel of its industrial Soviet-era neighborhoods. Following that, visit the local Russian orthodox church to learn about the contrast between Estonian and local Russian cultures. A break for lunch at a local restaurant is then provided, during which you can order Estonian food for lunch. Continue the tour to the Pakri coastal cliffs where you can observe the red lighthouse looking over the vast Baltic Sea. Whilst there, it is optional to buy a ticket to the lighthouse to climb to the top, or walk all the way to the Pakri Waterfall. For the final stop on your tour, drive to the Rummu submerged quarry. Whilst there you can climb up the sandy hills for a view over the entire crystal clear lake and the submerged houses. As you return to Tallinn, you can reflect back on your day filled with nature, alternative off-the-beaten sights, and secret history.

Tallinn: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Tour

4. Tallinn: Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Tour

Get to know Tallinn at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts. After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device (via a link and login credentials received upon booking), use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Tallinn’s most important attractions on foot. At each stop, learn about the attraction and solve a location-based riddle that can only be solved if you reach the specific location. Use logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to unlock the correct code and reveal the next destination of the tour. Start the activity whenever you like and enjoy the flexibility to pause your game at any time to take a break, snap the perfect photos, stop for lunch, or visit a museum. Choose to continue the tour later or save the rest for another day. In the history-filled city of Tallinn you will first visit the beautiful Viru Gate. Then the unique Dominican St. Catherine's Monastery Claustrum and then the irreplaceable Tallinn Town Hall. This wonderful route continues to the Eduard Vilde Monument. As a fifth stop you will find the Freedom Square. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Of course, the Estonian History Museum - Great Guild Hall could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the House of the Blackheads. The penultimate destination is the enviable St Olaf's Church. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Estonian Maritime Museum. Download the ‘’World City Trail ‘’ app from the store. You will receive a serial key via SMS , What’s app and email in order to login. Then start your tour and enjoy!

Behind the Iron Curtain of Tallinn - Secrets of the Soviets

5. Behind the Iron Curtain of Tallinn - Secrets of the Soviets

Take this spectacular drive along Tallinn's coast to get a feel for the area's natural beauty and fascinating maritime and Soviet history! You'll visit the Olympic Center built in Tallinn for the Moscow Olympics and hear how the yachting competitions were organised during Soviet times. On the Viimsi peninsula, you'll visit the abandoned Soviet air-defence base and Coastal Folk Museum's exhibiton introducing stories about time behind the iron curtain. Picture-postcard views of the Old Town skyline can be admired from Tallinn TV tower. 

Helsinki: City and Porvoo Guided Day Shore Excursion

6. Helsinki: City and Porvoo Guided Day Shore Excursion

Discover the quaint town of Porvoo on a guided shore excursion, followed by a tour of the Finnish capital of Helsinki. Admire the traditional architecture of Porvoo and some of the main landmarks of Helsinki including Sibelius Park, the Olympic Stadium, and Uspensky Cathedral. Meet your guide at Helsinki Port. Then, take a scenic drive towards Porvoo, the second oldest town in Finnland. Upon arrival, marvel at the picturesque waterfront red-painted houses whilst your guide takes you on a walking tour. See the Old Church, Town Hall Square, as well as shops and workshops.  Following the visit to Porvoo, head back to Helsinki. Enjoy a sightseeing tour by bus as you discover Esplanadi Street and the Grand Mannerheim Boulevard. Admire the views of the Opera House, the Finlandia Concert Hall, the National Museum, the Parliament Building, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the famous Sibelius Park, named after the renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. See the Sibelius Monument, an abstract grouping of hundreds of steel pipes. After the park, continue the Olympic Stadium, the site of the 1952 Summer Olympics. Arrive at the Rock Church, carved directly out of the side of the mountain and topped by a magnificent copper dome. Admire the exterior of Uspensky Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe. See Helsinki Central train station with its famous clock tower as well as the beloved Havis Amanda fountain. The tour ends with free time by the seaside Market Square, where you can try some local delicacies. At the end of the tour, be returned to the port in time for your cruise ship's departure.

Naissaar: Soviet Military & Coastal Folk Heritage Day Trip

7. Naissaar: Soviet Military & Coastal Folk Heritage Day Trip

Naissaar Island was a popular outing destination prior to World War 2, and home to the Aibofolk (Swedish heritage islanders) who made their fortunes as pilots and seal hunters and enjoyed lucrative business with privateers. The Soviet army then turned the island into a secluded military base. Explore the sights from the Soviet military period and remnants of pre-war life. Depart for a 1-hour boat voyage from the historic Lennusadam, enjoying beautiful views while passing Katherina Keys, Bald Island, and Midshallows Lighthouse. You’ll have an amazing opportunity to visit an abandoned sea mine stockyard that was once a top-secret Soviet military base. The secrecy of the base was of utmost importance and is surrounded by double-wire fences guarded by bloodhounds. Afterwards, see the Fire Boulder, another of the island’s landmarks with a thrilling tale to tell. As a final stop, get a true contrast to the military history with a visit to a sanctuary for the native people of the island and learn about the exciting past of its former inhabitants. At the end of the tour, take some time to wander on the beach.

Tallinn: Highlights Shore Excursion with Return Transfer

8. Tallinn: Highlights Shore Excursion with Return Transfer

The Tallinn city tour is a combined bus and walking tour in Tallinn. During the bus part of the tour, which lasts for 2 hours, you drive around the famous Old Town, and see the towers of the wall, the most famous ones are called Stout Margaret and Tall Herman. You also see the mighty wall of Toompea Castle on the hill, drive through the district of high tech architecture – Tallinn’s City. Lastly, you visit the districts of wooden architecture which Tallinn is famous for. See and learn about the history of the baroque style of Kadriorg Palace and the park which Peter the Great of Russia presented to his wife. Next continue the way to Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, a very important place for the people of Estonia, where the Estonia Song Festival is held every 5 years. The Festival Grounds are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Following this, drive along the seaside and enjoy a picturesque view to the Gulf of Finland. Stop at Pirita Convent (St. Brigit's Convent) and discover the story behind the ruins of the monastery. There will also be a beautiful photo stop on the coast of the gulf with the best view of the Tallinn. The bus tour ends in the Old Town and you will continue on foot. Tallinn’s Old Town consists of two parts, the Upper Town and the Lower Town. During your walk you will first discover the Upper Town, which was a stronghold of the former Tallinn nobility. See two cathedrals, the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Lutheran St. Mary’s Cathedral. Lastly, view the Estonian Parliament building inside Toompea Castle and enjoy a panorama of the Tallinn from the viewing platforms. After seeing the Upper Town, continue to the Lower Town. Here you will see the medieval merchant’s houses and learn why Tallinn was founded at this particular place, how it developed, why there are so many churches and why they are so tall. Going down along the Long Leg Street see St. Olaf’s Church, the highest building in the world during the 16th and 17th centuries. Your tour ends at the Town Hall Square inside Lower Town. Here you will find the Gothic Town Hall and the oldest functioning pharmacy in the world, Town Hall Pharmacy. After the tour you are on your own, the guide will advise you about additional attractions, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The main square of Tallinn – Liberty Square is 5min away and the cruise harbour is just a 15 min walk.

Tallinn: Seaplane Harbour Maritime Museum Tour

9. Tallinn: Seaplane Harbour Maritime Museum Tour

Journey through the maritime history of Estonia with an entrance ticket to a stunning museum located in a World War I hangar for seaplanes in Tallinn. Get a short explanation about the building's exterior, and then go inside to explore the exhibitions over 3 floors. Discover the remains of the oldest ship found in Estonia, along with pine boats made by locals up to 5,000 years ago. Admire a collection of yachts from the 1980 Summer Olympics, and take a look at an icebreaker from 1917. Learn the history, legends and real life stories of sea sport along the way. Venture upstairs to see the Short 184 seaplane. Take a look at the World War II submarine EML Lembit, and jump inside this war hero to compare the cramped conditions of the crew with the rich interior of the captain's cabin. Venture down to the underwater level to investigate the different types of torpedoes and mines from the Baltic Sea. Get interactive on simulators to experience what it's like to fly a seaplane or shoot a machine gun. Suitable for any age, the museum also has a café where you can try the local fish soup at lunch.

Tallinn: City Introduction in-App Guide & Audio

10. Tallinn: City Introduction in-App Guide & Audio

Walk through a beautiful route of the city, discover hidden gems and visit 10+ of the most important attractions and spots. Learn some introductory information about each place and interesting stories about the city in general. Download the ‘World City Trail ‘app from the store and login. Read the instructions and head to the starting location. Unlock photos of the exterior and the interior of the location. Listen or read some information regarding the attraction and continue walking to the next checkpoint. Note what you liked and did not like and create your bucket list for the next days! Start your walk any time, without a schedule. Pause it for lunch, have a drink, visit an attraction of your choice, and continue later or even another day. With the maps feature, you will never get lost. In the history-filled city of Tallinn you will first visit the beautiful Viru Gate. Then the unique Dominican St. Catherine's Monastery Claustrum and then the irreplaceable Tallinn Town Hall. This wonderful route continues to the Eduard Vilde Monument. As a fifth stop you will find the Freedom Square. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Of course, the Estonian History Museum - Great Guild Hall could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the House of the Blackheads. The penultimate destination is the enviable St Olaf's Church. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Estonian Maritime Museum.

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What people are saying about Tallinn

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 283 reviews

I booked this tour for me and my daughter for our day in port at Tallinn. Though our tour bus got off to a slow start due to waiting for our bus, our tour was excellent. Our local guide, Annastassia, was friendly and knowledgeable. She had anecdotes and a plethora of facts about all of the sites. The first half of the tour was driving; second half walking. It was easy to hear her on the bus (microphone). It was great that we got to walk about old town on our own for over an hour at the end of the tour. The streets are cobblestone but with good walking shoes, you get around easily. One of the best tours on our cruise. Highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to know more about Estonian history, traditions, and enjoy the beautiful city of Tallinn. We fell in love with Estonia!

We spent a fascinating half day with Stanislav learning about recent Soviet history around Tallinn, and would recommend him in a heartbeat. To note: this tour is not an ordinary tour of Old Town or its surrounds. Stanislav takes you to parks, monuments, the bay and more, and explains what it was like for him growing up as a Russian-speaking Estonian. His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is easy to talk to—you can tell he genuinely enjoys meeting people from all over. Plus, he is quick to recommend local places to eat and visit. We would have loved to have spent more than a half day exploring with him. Thank you Stanislav!

Very informative guide. Bit of confusion about the meeting point but once we found them it was great. Even took time after the tour to help us find an ATM.

Pick up at cruise port was as promised. Tour was interesting and informative.

Great tour. Wonderful city. Tour guide was excellent.