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Top things to do in Pirita

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By Noora Karppi  •  28.08.2019

Pirita is the Malibu of Tallinn - a seaside district with a resort-like vibe. Popular promenade and beach invite locals and visitors to enjoy sunny days and healthy sea air.

Pirita is easy to reach from the centre of Tallinn by local transport. You can also roller skate or bike to Pirita and take in the lovely sea views.

The name, Pirita, comes from a convent founded in Tallinn in the 15th century and dedicated to St. Brigitta (Bridget of Sweden, a mystic and saint). A small village formed quickly around the convent and created the centre of the Pirita we know today.

In 1980, the Moscow Olympic Games' sailing program was hosted here.

The area is mostly residential, with almost 20 000 inhabitants. Pirita is known as the green seaside neighbourhood with several cultural attractions and opportunities for an active holiday.

Here are the best attractions you should visit in Pirita. To learn more about the green seaside area of Pirita, read our Pirita neighbourhood guide.

Enjoy breath-taking views

Did you know that the highest tower in Tallinn is not located in the Old Town? The highest tower in Tallinn and Estonia is actually Tallinn TV Tower. The TV Tower Is standing tall in the woods of Pirita, right next to the Tallinn Botanic Garden, also worth a visit.

Tallinn TV Tower was built in the 1980s and offers excellent views along the coast of Tallinn. Count how many peninsulas Tallinn has and how many planes take off the Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport.

Daredevils can take a walk on the edge of the TV Tower. Don’t worry it’s perfectly safe.

How to get there? 

Take bus nr 34A or 38 from Viru Keskus (stop Teletorn for the TV Tower or Kloostrimetsa for the Botanic Garden).

Relax with sea, sun, sand, surf and SUP

The title of the biggest beach in Tallinn with the best views goes to Pirita beach. The 2km-long beach welcomes everyone who enjoys a day out in the sun.

Play beach volleyball, stroll, have a picnic, go swimming, surfing or stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

If you wish to enjoy beach life without getting sand in your shoes, head to Pirita Promenade. The promenade stretches from Kadriorg all the way to Pirita and is popular among bikers, skaters and people who just enjoy a good walk in the fresh air.

How to get to Pirita beach?

Buses nr 1A, 8 (stop: Pirita or Supluse Puiestee), 34A and 38 (stop: Pirita) take you from Viru Keskus to Pirita in about 20 minutes.

Learn Estonian history

Somewhat halfway through the Pirita Promenade, you’ll see a mansion up on a hill. The hill is called Maarjamäe, and the mansion complex is part of the Estonian History Museum and has recently gone under major renovation works.

You can visit three museums located on the hill; Estonian History Museum's Maarjamäe Palace and Stables, and Estonian Film Museum.

Outside there’s also plenty to see. There’s a modern playground for children and an outdoor exhibition of Soviet monuments.

How to get there?

Take bus nr 5 from Viru or buses nr 1A, 8, 34A or 38 from Viru Keskus (stop Maarjamägi).

Explore the Forest Cemetery

Pirita has large areas of forests. One of them is the final resting place of Estonian heroes, artists, scientists, politicians and diplomats.

Metsakalmistu (the Forest Cemetery) is a beautiful and serene cemetery with tall pine trees and narrow pathways. It still looks like a forest. You won’t find pompous altars and monuments here. The cemetery shows how down-to-earth Estonians really are and how much they appreciate and value the nature and nation’s luminaries.

While visiting the cemetery, please remember to be respectful. Stay on the pathways and avoid making loud noises and trashing.

How to get there?

Take bus nr 34A or 38 from Viru Keskus (stop Kloostrimetsa).

See where it all began

St. Bridget’s convent was founded in 1407, but it suffered greatly already during the next century. The Livonian War and a fire that broke out in the convent almost completely ruined the building.

What was left, were ruins and the large façade that can be seen from Toompea and Tallinn Bay.

The convent ruins are open for visitors. In August, one of the cultural highlights, Birgitta Festival, fills the ruins with opera and ballet performances.

Next to the ruins, there is the new smaller building of the St. Bridgettine Order, who re-established the convent.

How to get there?

Take bus nr 1A, 8, 34A or 38 from Viru Keskus (stop Pirita).

Eat in exotic surroundings

The restaurants in Pirita offer some of the best views for lunch and dinner. While in Pirita, you shouldn’t miss a chance to eat here.

There are restaurants on top of the TV Tower as well as in the Maarjamäe Palace. For sea views, head to the best restaurant in Estonia NOA or its sister restaurant Tuljak.

In the heart of Pirita, there are also several good restaurant between to choose from. Sardiinid is a romantic restaurant by the sea, close to the Pirita Harbour that was built for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Kalevi Jahtklubi Resto has a terrace by the Pirita river, where you can stretch in the sun and eat good food. During chiller weather, we suggest to pick a table by the cosy fireplace.

Read more

With these six pointers, you are ready to go and explore the green neighbourhood of Pirita in Tallinn. If you wish to find out more about Tallinn's favourite seaside area or read related blog posts, check out the links below.