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Photo by: Kadi-Liis Koppel

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TOP things to do in Kadriorg

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By Noora Karppi  •  15.07.2019

The majestic, peaceful, and relaxing Kadriorg is still a bit of a hidden jewel. When in Tallinn, you should definitely make time to discover all the beautiful sights this neighbourhood has to offer.

The name, Kadriorg, is a homage to Catherine I, Empress of Russia. She was the second wife of Peter the Great. Peter the Great ordered the construction of Kadriorg palace and surrounding park in 1718. This year Kadriorg Park celebrates its 300th birthday.

Kadriorg is a green oasis and has always been a popular place among locals, who love to have long walks on the endless pathways. It is one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in whole Estonia and location of the Presidential Palace. For centuries diplomats, politicians and artists have lived in the beautiful wooden villas in Kadriorg. Today, Kadriorg has 4500 residents.

Kadriorg is beautiful and serene. Here are the best attractions you should visit in Kadriorg. To learn more about the elegant Kadriorg, read our Kadriorg neighbourhood guide.

Kadriorg is a walk in a park

You can’t really say that you have seen Kadriorg without having had a walk in the enchanting Kadriorg Park. The wast park consists of four different parts: Regular Garden, Peoples Park, English Landscape Park and Japanese Garden.

Kadriorg Park is home to the best art museums in Estonia and the area includes several sights and attractions. The best way to get to know the park is by entering from Weizenberg street or Pirita tee.

The park hosts many events and concerts. One of the highlights is ‘Light walks in Kadriorg’, a lovely two-day event every September that fills Kadriorg with candles and light installations. In 2019, the event will take place from September 18 to 20. 

Romance and elegance

Kadriorg Palace and garden are just like from a fairytale. Designed by Italian architect Nicola Michetti, this beautiful Baroque palace was once the summer residence of Russian Emperors. Today it houses the Art Museum of Estonia's foreign collection.

Most people visit the stylish regular garden with fountains and flowerbeds, planned after Versailles. It is definitely a sight to see, but so is the interior of the magnificent palace. Inside, you can explore elaborately painted ceilings, exquisite details and artwork.

Modern art

A new, slightly odd but well-fitting building rose to the edge of Kadriorg Park in 2006. The KUMU art museum is partly constructer inside a limestone cliff, creating a seamless flow between the surrounding nature and the modern building. KUMU art museum is part of the Art Museum of Estonia and displays both pieces from Estonian artists' from the 18th-21st centuries as well as temporary exhibitions. 

Visiting KUMU is exciting. The building itself is a masterpiece, not to mention what it holds inside. Discovering four floors of exhibitions may take some time, but it’s definitely worth it.

Visit the hidden gems

It is easy to pass by these small museums in Kadriorg without even noticing them, but if you step inside, you might discover a real treasure trove. 

Peter the Great House Museum is a small cottage near KUMU. Peter I used this building as his residence on his visits to Tallinn, before the completion of Kadriorg Palace. Visit the museum to admire items that once belonged to Peter the Great and his wife Catherine I.

Next to Kadriorg Palace is the Mikkel Museum that houses an impressive collection of Chinese porcelain, Flemish and Dutch paintings and Italian engravings. Mikkel Museum is also part of the Art Museum of Estonia. The building used to be the kitchen of Kadriorg Palace.

On the edge of Kadriorg Park is Eduard Vilde museum, former home of a famous Estonian writer. The museum exhibits the life of Vilde. Vilde museum is a must see also because it is utterly romantic. The house was originally built for the Kadriorg castellan, who was the manager of the palace and park grounds.

A top tip: all of the museums mentioned above, both the major art centres and the hidden jewels, are free with the Tallinn Card

Have a happy meal

No, not the one served at a fast-food joint – a meal that makes you happy. Kadriorg is blooming with fine restaurants, where service is friendly and food delicious.

For a romantic, fin de siècle atmosphere visit the backyard and terrace of the Mon Repos restaurant next to the Kadriorg Park. The restaurant has two different concepts. On the first floor, people can enjoy à la carte meals and on the second floor, a special tasting menu.

Mantel & Korsten is hidden in a humble green wooden house near the park. It is the third restaurant of the Zaštšerinski family, the first two being Moon and Kolm Sibulat. Mantel & Korsten is pretty as a picture and the service is top-notch.

For an easygoing Mexican atmosphere, step inside the Cantina Carramba restaurant. Delicious food and proper portions are served at this cellar restaurant next to Kadriorg tram stop. With the Tallinn Card, you’ll get 10% discount from the menu. 

Right next door, the Old Boy Mary Jane offers simple and delicious food for sharing along with a selection of craft beers and wine. The restaurant is run by Andrey Lesment, a Michelin-starred chef with a fine-dining background from some of London's top restaurants.   

If you are just looking for a good breakfast or a decent cup of coffee, head to Katharinenthal or Gourmet Coffee, a few steps from the park.

With these five pointers, you are ready to go and explore the lovely, green, relaxing and calm Kadriorg neighbourhood in Tallinn. Have fun!

Read more about the different neighbourhoods in Tallinn