For the best VisitTallinn web experience please use Google Chrome.


Close
TODAY 7..12
TOMORROW 7..12
DAY AFTER TOMORROW 5..11
 

Photo by: Kaupo Kalda

By Terhi Pääskylä-Malmström  •  02.04.2018

Tallinn is a place to enjoy greenery and green lifestyle in various ways. 

The Estonian capital belongs to the world’s top 10 cities with the cleanest air. There are about 40 km2 of public green spaces in Tallinn, which is more than 25% of its total acreage and 90 m2 per resident. Among these green spaces you can find dozens of beautiful parks and historical gardens. As a Nordic capital, Tallinn’s summers are full of light. During the 19-hour dose of daylight you have plenty of time to explore the city’s green treasures.

Moving around

Tallinn’s city centre is very compact: practically everything is within a short walking distance.  

Tallinn is also the first European capital offering free public transport to its inhabitants. For them, riding buses, trams, trolleys and trains has been free of charge since 2013, and it’s not expensive for tourists either. You can buy your public transport ticket at the nearest kiosk or supermarket. Tallinn Card, granting free access to many museums, serves also as a free pass to all public transport within the city limits.

If you prefer biking, you’ll be happy to know there are many cycle paths, bike rental shops, and a mobile bike rental system available.

Photo by: Toomas Volmer    

Green sightseeing and outdoor sports

Tallinn is filled with charming parks and other outdoor attractions. Why not visit Tallinn Botanic Garden, or the famous Kadriorg Park with its exquisite Japanese Garden! The Estonian Open Air Museum, with its thatched farm buildings and historic windmills, takes you back to the olden days in rural Estonia, offering a perfect getaway from the hectic city life. Another open-air museum can be found in Viimsi, a short ride to the east of Tallinn.

Take a stroll by the sea on Pirita Promenade, enjoy the majestic views on Towers’ Square hosting an annual flower festival, or take a 15-minute train ride to the city’s greenest residential area, Nõmme. This district, filled with forests and houses from the 1920–30s, has the feel of a small country town. Visit Nõmme Market, filled with local delicacies, or take a walk in Glehn Park, home of Glehn’s Castle and some eye-catching sculptures. In Nõmme, you can also find one of Tallinn’s adventure parks. Apart from Nõmme, you’ll find others in Pirita and at Tallinn Zoo. 

More sporty adventures can be found all around the city and its surroundings: there are numerous paths for jogging, skiing and Nordic walking, while boats and SUP boards can be rented out… Just name it and you’ll find it! There are also three golf courses near Tallinn, as well as many horse riding centres such as Veskimetsa, Rebala, Ruila and Kivisaare.

Photo by: Estonian Golf & Country Club

Birds, bats and hundreds of other animals

If you’re into bird watching, you’ll be amazed by the Paljassaare Special Conservation Area, just a 15-minute ride from the city’s skyscrapers. More than 230 different birds have been observed there and every year a few new species are added to the list. Recently, a duckboard was built to keep visitors’ feet dry, to provide people with useful information on their way and, of course, to protect the environment from stomping feet. 

In autumn, when it’s dark, but not yet too cold, the Estonian Museum of Natural History organises bat adventures at Kadriorg Park. The park is known to be populated by at least seven different bat species.   
 
Even more animals can be found at Tallinn Zoo, home to more than 7 700 animals representing nearly 600 species and sub-species from Australia to Alaska.  

Photo by: Sven Zacek  

Beaches, bogs and beautiful islands

Tallinn is situated by the Baltic Sea, with a coastline of 46 kilometres. There are four sandy beaches by the coast, attracting swimmers during the warm summer months: Stroomi, Kakumäe, Pirita and Pikakari. The latter two have flown a Blue Flag since 2014, which means clean waters and quality service. The fifth official beach, Harku Beach, is situated on the shores of the Harku Lake next to the Õismäe residential area. 

For wildlife lovers there are many bogs in and around Tallinn, such as those of Pääsküla and Viru, and three nature reserves Pirita jõeoru, Nõmme-Mustamäe and Aegna.

The latter is actually an island, one of the many that are known for their beautiful beaches and pine forests. Aegna, Naissaar and Prangli Islands are truly worth visiting, so take a ferry and make a day trip to enjoy their peace and quiet. Passenger ferries operate regularly during the summer season. 

Photo by: Sven Zacek

Eating green

Quenching your thirst after all the adventures is easy: Tallinn tap water is clean and ready-to-drink. 
Estonian food is also fresh and healthy. There are many local food suppliers, whose produce ranges from fresh vegetables to tasty meat and fish, and is sold in marketplaces, supermarkets and prepared in restaurants. Come autumn, everyone it's a tradition to pick berries and mushrooms in the forest.

Estonia’s vegan movement has taken a big leap during the past few years. A fair number of restaurants offer vegan dishes around the city, and there are also a few 100% vegan restaurants around. 

Photo by: Remo Savisaar

E-Estonia – the paperless society

Estonia is one of the most advanced e-societies in the world, making the country very online-based. Instead of papers and folders, all important information can be found on the internet. Card payments are also accepted all around the country. 

In e-Estonia, Wi-Fi is widespread, and nearly everything can be done digitally, whether it’s starting your own business, filing personal taxes, signing documents or voting in elections. A whopping 99% of state services as well as 99% of all medical prescriptions, are online. Tallinn alone offers more than 560 public services paper-free, via the internet and ID-solutions. There are only a few things that require a personal visit to a public office, such as getting married or divorced, naming your child and opening a bank account. 

Estonia ranks third in Europe regarding the highest number of startups per capita. Many of these companies concentrate on green thinking, such as Click & Grow indoor gardening kits and ReLaDe recyclable laundry detergent. Estonia is also known for its worldwide community activities day “Teeme ära!” (Let’s do it!). Having started as a local litter clean-up day, it has now become international, with 150 countries participating in 2018.

Photo by: EV100

Recycling and upcycling

Smart disposal of waste is nothing new in clean and tidy Tallinn; paper, cardboard, glass, metal, biodegradable waste, used home appliances – everything is sorted and recycled accordingly. Second-hand shops filled with vintage clothing and furniture are also popular and highly fashionable.  

As we all know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One of the best-known “treasure hunters” is fashion designer Reet Aus, whose upcycled clothing collections are entirely made from post-production leftovers. Stella Soomlais uses leftover leather to produce bags, purses and wallets, while Uitpuit is a jewellery brand producing earrings and cufflinks from upcycled precious timber, Brazilian Rosewood.

Just visit any local design shop and you’ll see that upcycling is one of the strongest trends in Estonian design.
 
Photo by: Jelena Rudi 

Spas and green accommodation

Tallinn has been a popular destination for relaxation since 1813. It was the first seaside resort for the Russian Tsar's family, and today it is home to countless beauty salons and several spas. Enjoy their beautiful surroundings and let nature’s best ingredients work wonders on your body and soul.

Sleeping green is also an option. Green Key is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 2 600 hotels and other establishments in 56 countries. In Tallinn, there are eight hotels adhering to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education: Nordic Hotel Forum, Radisson Blu Sky Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia, Park Inn by Radisson Meriton Conference & Spa Hotel, Solo Sokos Hotel Estoria, von Stackelberg Hotel, Tähetorni Hotel and Economy Hotel.


Have a green and happy stay in Tallinn!

You might also like