From early dawn till late night in the capital of Estonia. Why it is worth freezing in Tallinn.

In the capital of Estonia you can feel like Will Smith in “I Am Legend” movie. Just arrive there around 4 in the morning and there’s a big chance that for a long time you won’t meet a living soul (a dead one either I hope :)) and you will have the city for yourself only.

At such a pleasant time of the day I arrived to Tallinna Bussijaam bus station (I love these omnipresent Estonian double or sometimes even triple letters :)). Even though it was the end of April, it was cold like in winter and dark like in… nevermind. Together with my friends we wanted to wait these unpleasant conditions out in some warm place. We might have been unlucky and chosen a wrong way but we ended up having a hard start of our daytrip to Tallinn. The only opened places were night clubs with paid entrance (10 euro) or strip tease clubs. McDonald’s was closed, all shops were closed, buildings of bus and railway station were closed. Even the underpass was closed! It’s the deepest sleeping capital I have ever seen, city of the dead!
It turned out that no matter if we wanted it or not, at the very beginning of our stay in Tallin we walked around almost whole Old Town during this early morning. Totally frozen we found a viewing platform Kohtuotsa just on time to see a sunrise from there. And you know what? Some views are worth freezing for… 🙂

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One day in Tallinn: sunrise on Kohtuotsa viewing platform

Our group of four as the only living souls in the city:
 
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One day in Tallinn: early dawn on the Main Square

And a proof – an underpass closed from 9 p.m. till 6 a.m.
 
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McDonald’s came for a belated rescue, it opened around 7 a.m. if I remember correctly… The best coffee and breakfast ever 🙂

Well fed, warmed up and definitely happier we could continue our sightseeing!

What to do for one day in Tallinn?

 

1. Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum

Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour is Estonian Maritime Museum. Normally I’m not very much into such places, but this one is really interesting. You can touch the exhibits, you can pretend to be shooting each other or dress up and take a lovely picture with a corresponding background. There’s also a flight simulator!! If it hadn’t been for a queue of kids behind me, I would probably spend there much more than just one flight… Great fun 🙂 Except for this you can get to know a bit of Estonian history. I really recommend this place, you won’t be bored.

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One day in Tallinn: Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum

 

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One day in Tallinn: Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum

 

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One day in Tallinn: Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum

In my opinion, you shouldn’t focus on specific touristic attractions in Tallinn, just feel its calm medieval atmosphere as a whole. Old Town is very small, you don’t need a map to move around. We were slowly walking around and saw the below lovely views and places:

 

2. Main square

More “crowded” in full daylight

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One day in Tallinn: The Main Square

 

3. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

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One day in Tallinn: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

4. St. Mary’s Cathedral

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One day in Tallinn: St. Mary’s Cathedral

5. City walls

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One day in Tallinn: City walls

6. St. John’s Church

(by the way, I really like Estonian flag :))

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One day in Tallinn: St. John’s Church

7. Kohtuotsa viewing platform

The one from which we’ve been admiring the sunrise. You can compare 🙂

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One day in Tallinn: Kohtuotsa viewing platform

8. Town Hall Pharmacy Raeapteek

…which is one of the oldest continuously running pharmacies in Europe. It has been operating in the same place since early XVth century. Inside except for the fact that modern medicine is being sold, there is a small exhibition of “medicine” back from the time when the pharmacy started operating, for example dried toads or hedgehogs. It’s so good that medicine developed…

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One day in Tallinn: Town Hall Pharmacy Raeapteek

 

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One day in Tallinn: Town Hall Pharmacy Raeapteek

9. Monument of Rusalka (Russalka mälestussammas)

In the late afternoon we left the Old Town, we crossed a beautiful Kadrioru park and we reached the sea shore, where we could see a monument of rusalka (Russalka mälestussammas). It commemorates sinking of a Russian warship called Rusalka.

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One day in Tallinn: Monument of Rusalka (Russalka mälestussammas)
 

Tallinn is a beautiful place. It’s the calmest European capital that I have seen until now. And it’s one of the most atmospheric and simultaneously, the least crowded ones (I’ve heard other people say it’s very crowded though, so I might have been lucky). I would love to come back to Tallinn for a longer time in order to fully enjoy it. I would also love to come back to the medieval restaurant Olde Hansa, it deserves particular attention 🙂 Just like Labor bar, where we were drinking our drinks from chemical test-tubes…

And you, have you ever been to Tallinn or would you like to go? If you haven’t been there yet, don’t wait anymore! 🙂

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