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Photo by: Toomas Tuul

Photo by: Toomas Tuul

TOP 5 towers to visit in Tallinn

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By Noora Karppi  •  30.07.2019

Tallinn is called the city of towers. Towers have been an essential part of Tallinn skyline for centuries and the first thing you will see when arriving in Tallinn by land, sea or air.

The medieval towers of Old Town have greeted people entering Tallinn for centuries. Today there are 21 defence towers standing tall, few of them operate as museums and are open to the public.

The Old Town hosts several churches with steeples, some of what seems to be so high that they reach the sky. The tall churches are designed to impress and it is definitely, what they do.

Standing almost next to famous medieval towers, are the modern high-rises, creating a unique atmosphere of past and present in one space. More towers are rising in Tallinn almost yearly basis affirming Tallinn’s status as the city of towers.

Here’s our TOP-list of towers open to visitors in Tallinn.

St. Olav’s Church Tower

St. Olav’s Church is the iconic landmark of Tallinn. With its 124-metre spire, it is the tallest building in the Old Town. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was even taller (159 meters) and probably the highest building in the whole world.

The tower is usually open for visitors during summer season every day from 10:00 until 20:00. Tickets cost 3 euros. The viewing platform of the tower is at 60 meters (258 steps, no lift) and offers amazing 360° panoramic views over Tallinn. The church tower is currently under renovation and the viewing platform closed.  

St. Olav's Church

View from St. Olav's Church

Tallinn TV Tower

Reaching as high as 314-meters, the needle-shaped TV Tower is the highest building in Estonia and one of the most popular attractions in Tallinn. Tallinn TV Tower is located in Pirita and is open daily 10:00-19:00. Regular ticket costs 13 euros.

From the viewing platform at 170 meters, you can see Tallinn, with planes and ferries arriving and departing. If you are looking for an extra rush of adrenaline, take a walk on the edge of the tower (available from April until October). The tower also hosts interesting exhibitions and a restaurant so you can stay here for hours.

Tallinn TV Tower

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View from the TV Tower

Maiden’s Tower and Kiek in de Kök

Maiden’s Tower was built in the 14th century together with the medieval town walls on Toompea Hill. Unlike other towers in Tallinn, Maiden’s Tower has a square floor plan and one side open. Next to Maiden’s Tower is the famous Kiek in de Kök, “Peek into the Kitchen”, that dates back to the 15th century. Kiek in de Kök used to be the most powerful defence tower of medieval Tallinn.

Both towers belong to the Tallinn City Museum. Maiden’s Tower serves as a museum café (the café has brilliant views over Old Town) and Kiek in de Kök exhibits the history of Tallinn through its fortifications and military history. Visit these towers with a joint ticket (7 euros).

Maiden's Tower in the front and Kiek in de Kök at the back

View from Kiek in de Kök

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View from Maiden's Tower

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Dome Church Tower

Standing tall on Toompea Hill is the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin aka Tallinn Dome Church. The Dome Church is the oldest church in Estonia (built in the 13th century) and throughout centuries, it has been the Mother Church of Estonia (matrix ecclesia).

With a ticket, you can visit the 69-meter high Baroque bell-tower and admire picture-perfect city views. Check the times and prices from the church’s website.

Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin

View from the tower

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Town Hall Tower

Tallinn Town Hall Tower is the best place to be right in the middle of everything, but further from the madding crowd. Climb the 64-meter high tower for a bird’s-eye view of buzzing Town Hall Square and medieval streets of Old Town.

To reach the belfry balcony, you’ll need a ticket (3 euros) and will to climb 115 steps. The tower is open for visitors from May until September.

Tallinn Town Hall

View from the Town Hall Tower