The Tallinn Card is a smart, all-in-one sightseeing pass that gives you access to free public transport and more than 40 of the best museums and attractions in the city. But which of them are the most popular? Below, you will find our list of sights most visited with the Tallinn Card in 2019. Are they your favourites too?
The towers and the town wall were an integral part of medieval Tallinn. In tenth place, we find the 15th-century Hellemann Tower, which today houses an art gallery and a tavern, while the sixth-floor viewing platform offers a beautiful view of the city. You should also walk the nearly 200-meter (656 ft) defence passage that connects Helleman to the Munkadetagune Tower. There, you can feel like a real medieval city warden!
Top tip: you can also access parts of Tallinn’s city wall from the Nunne Tower, Kiek in de Kök, and the Maiden’s Tower (all free of charge with the Tallinn Card).
9. Church of the Holy Spirit
Located next to the Town Hall Square, the 14th-century Church of the Holy Spiritis the smallest medieval church in Tallinn. The seemingly modest building, however, hides a number of architectural treasures, including an interior decorated with paintings, wood carvings and an altar by the renowned master Bernt Notke. Christian Ackermann’s 17th-century clock, a symbol of Tallinn and the city’s oldest timepiece, is also located on the front side of the church.
For Estonians, the Church of the Holy Spirit is also important for other reasons: this is where the first sermons in Estonian were held after the Reformation.
8. Kadriorg Palace – Kadriorg Art Museum
Kadriorg Palace (in German: Katharninenthal) was founded by Peter I in the 18th century and named in honour of his wife, Catherine I. The richly decorated main hall of the palace is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Northern Europe. Today, it houses the Art Museum of Estonia’s foreign collection including paintings, sculptures, prints and applied art.
Photo by: Kadi-Liis Koppel
Top tip: Kadriorg Park also houses Kumu, the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia, which exhibits Estonian art from the 18th century to the present (free of charge with the Tallinn Card).
7. Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin (Dome Church´s) and the Tower
The 69-meter tower of St. Mary’s Cathedral on Toompea overlooks almost the entire city! The 13th-century church itself is also definitely worth a visit: the beautiful interior features highly detailed coats of arms and tombstones. It is also worth noting that the altar wall is the work of Christian Ackermann, one of the most renowned craftsmen of the 17th century.
6. Estonian History Museum – Great Guild Hall
In the Middle Ages, the Great Guild Hall was a place of celebration and entertainment for the city’s richest merchants. Today, it houses a museum where you can get a brief overview of Estonian history and culture under its 15th-century arched ceilings. In addition, there are exhibits on the history of the Great Guild and means of payment used throughout the territory. The museum’s Weapons Chamber and Collection of Exotic and Rare Things also add intrigue.
Photo by: Kadi-Liis Koppel
Top tip: for a more in-depth overview of Estonian history, also visit Maarjamäe Palace (free of charge with the Tallinn Card).
5. Niguliste Museum
The former sanctuary, the 13th-century Niguliste Church, features medieval and early modern church art, including altar reredos, sculptures, tombstones and other masterpieces of sacral art. This is also where Bernt Notke’s famous painting Dance Macabre is located. When you visit the museum, be sure to stop by the Silver Chamber, where the silverware of the Tallinn Guilds is on display.
4. KGB Prison Cells
The beautiful facade of one of the most prominent Art Nouveau buildings in Tallinn conceals a dark history: in 1940, the headquarters of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the ESSR, or NKVD (later KGB), was established here. The basements of the building were used as detention cells, creating the most feared prison in the area. Today, the building serves its original purpose as a residential building, but in the basement, the museum commemorates the crimes against humanity which were committed here.
Top tip: Vabamu, the Museum of Occupations and Freedom, also gives an overview of occupations and resistance movements from recent history (free of charge with the Tallinn Card).
3. Tallinn TV Tower
The Tallinn TV Tower is the tallest building and adventure centre in Estonia. The 170-meter high platform offers wonderful views of the city, the sea and nature. It is said that in good weather, you can even see Finland! While at the tower, you can also explore an interactive exhibit on genetic engineering, have a refreshing lunch in the sky, and check out a host of other attractions. For example, have you wondered what it's like to look through the floor into a nearly 200-meter void?
Top tip: if you want your feet to be firmly on the ground after experiencing such great heights, be sure to visit the Tallinn Botanic Garden next door (free with the Tallinn Card.)
2. Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum
You can spend almost an entire day at the Kiek in de Kök Fortifications Museum. The complex includes four medieval city wall towers, underground bastion passages, and the Carved Stone Museum. The museum’s permanent exhibition introduces the history of the formation of Tallinn and its fortifications. In addition, different temporary exhibitions and events are held regularly in each tower. You can also take a take a break at the legendary Maiden’s Tower café.
1. Seaplane Harbour
The most popular attraction among Tallinn Card holders is the Seaplane Harbour. It’s no wonder, as it is one of the most magnificent maritime museums in Northern Europe. The exhibit is impressive: you can step into a genuine submarine from the 1930s, explore a variety of other life-size craft, mines, and cannons, and test different simulators. The exposition continues around the exterior of the Seaplane Harbour, where you will meet Suur Tõll, the most powerful steam-powered icebreaker of its time. There is plenty to discover for the entire family!
Photo by: Aron Urb / EAS
Top tip: Fat Margaret, another branch of the Estonian Maritime Museum, is located in one of the Old Town’s medieval artillery towers and is also wheelchair accessible (free of charge with the Tallinn Card).