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Photo by: Jaak Nilson

Photo by: Kadi-Liis Koppel

Photo by: Kadi-Liis Koppel

Photo by: Gen Vagula

Best places with unforgettable views of Tallinn

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By visittallinn.ee  •  26.06.2018

Tallinn is a patchwork of architecturally diverse neighbourhoods, pristine coastline and pockets of nature. The best way to get a feel for the city and all its variety is to visit a place with sweeping views. 

Besides the most famous viewing platforms, there are many creative ways to get panoramas of the city skyline, charming views of the Old Town’s red rooftops and glimpses of Tallinn’s shoreline. Enjoy views while taking a stroll, relaxing at the beach, exploring a museum or sipping coffee in a restaurant.


Viewpoints at historical sights 

Some of the most prominent figures of Tallinn’s skyline are also the best places to get great views. Tallinn has more than 20 churches, most of them situated in the Old Town. True medieval pearls with magnificent views are St. Olav’s Church Tower and the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin’s Tower, also known as the Dome Church. Besides churches, Tallinn’s Old Town is most renowned for its city wall and towers. The limestone protective wall was originally nearly four kilometres long and had eight gates and 46 towers. Today, about half of the wall and towers are still standing. Must see towers for the best views are Kiek in de Kök and the Fat Margaret Tower, both of which operate as museums. 

The heart of the Old Town is the Town Hall Square, named for its Gothic Town Hall. In summer, visitors can ascend the tower’s 115-step spiral staircase to see beautiful view of Old Town. If narrow staircases aren’t your cup of tea, a much easier way to admire similar views is to visit one of Toompea Hill’s viewing platforms. There are three platforms overlooking the city: Kohtuotsa, Patkuli and Piiskopi. The most famous is Kohtuotsa, with its friendly resident seagull Steven and plenty of photo opportunities. 

If you’d like to climb even higher in the air, you should visit the Tallinn TV Tower, the tallest building in Estonia. Not only can you enjoy 360-degree views from the outside observation deck, but you can also walk suspended along the edge of the tower 175 metres above the ground! In addition to seeing all of Tallinn, it’s rumoured you can even see the coast of Finland on a clear day.

Beachside vistas

Though best-known for its historic Old Town, Tallinn is also a seaside city and quite a laid-back place for a beach holiday. There are four sandy beaches where you can dip your toes into the Baltic Sea, the most popular of which is Pirita Beach. This two-kilometre-long beach has an excellent view of the Old Town and the bustling ship traffic on the Gulf of Finland.
 
Pirita Promenade is a paved pathway stretching the length of the beach, perfect for bicycle riding, roller blading or simply walking. The promenade offers a spectacular panorama of Tallinn’s rocky shoreline with the church spires of the Old Town in the distance. 

Another promenade with even more greenery can be found in Rocca al Mare. This two and a half kilometre promenade runs through a peaceful, forested residential area in northern Tallinn. A wood and steel walkway connects two popular suburban beaches – Stroomi and Kakumäe – while passing by the famous Estonian Open Air Museum. The latest addition to the promenade is the Mustjõe birdwatching tower, which is the second best birdwatching spot in the city.

Dining with a view

Even the most avid gourmands will love Tallinn, as it offers a diverse array of culinary experiences. Whether you prefer a cafe in a private courtyard, an elegant, gourmet restaurant, a trendy lounge with a rooftop terrace or a bohemian foodie spot, there are places with views for every taste. 

The best places to have lunch with marvellous views of the city centre are five-star restaurant Horisont on the top floor of the Swissôtel, cosy cafe Komeet, which offers the best cakes in town, and Mademoiselle cafe on the rooftop of the Stockmann Shopping Centre. If you’re looking for a trendy place to have a nice evening cocktail with friends, head to Lounge 24 at Radisson Blu Sky Hotel. Their stunning rooftop bar is about 90 metres above street level, giving you a fantastic view of Tallinn and the Baltic Sea. 

More views to the sea can be found at restaurants in the Pirita and Viimsi suburbs. NOA has been rated one of the best restaurants in Tallinn for several consecutive years. The restaurant’s top of the line kitchen, beautiful interior and serene coastal backdrop have charmed locals as well visitors from all over the world. Another glistening, retro style restaurant in the area is Tuljak. Being a little sister to NOA, this restaurant continues to prove the high quality of the Estonian food scene.

If you prefer a nice sea view with more affordable prices, head to the Tallinn TV Tower Restaurant or restaurant Paat. The TV Tower has a casual cafe serving small bites to eat as well as a sit-down restaurant with birds-eye views. Paat is located next to the Viimsi Open Air Museum and offers dishes inspired by local coastal culture.  

Activities with waterfront views

More adventurous souls can take to the sea for the most unique views of the city. Go on a cruise aboard the Norwegian-built steamboat Katharina to see nautical sights and the Old Town skyline. Another way to admire the Old Town’s silhouette is on a kayak tour. A roughly nine-kilometre-long trip gives you a rare glimpse of the picturesque cityscape from water level, along with a slice of history.

In Pirita, there are many other possibilities to get your toes wet. Go for a romantic row up the winding Pirita river or take windsurfing or stand up paddleboard lessons with the city in the background. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can rent a yacht and have an unforgettable picnic on the bay with stunning panoramic views in the background.

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