Tallinn, Estonia has a fantastically preserved medieval old town, built in the 15-17th centuries—which is a pleasure to walk about. It’s got cobbled streets, cathedrals, bell towers, and now plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants, bars to appease the tourists. The old town feels devoid of local life, but the buildings are well kept and it’s still strikingly beautiful and atmospheric.
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Seeing Tallinn Estonia from Above
There are three great places to see Tallinn from above. The first is from the free viewpoints up on Toompea Hill. This is the upper part of the old city, surrounded by thick walls where the Danish aristocracy once lived. I snapped the first photo out over the old town from this viewpoint.
My other two favorite viewpoints are from towers, both costing only a couple Euros, but free if you’ve got the Tallinn Card. The Town Hall Tower, built in 1402-1404, is located in the main square. You can climb up the circular stone steps to 64 meters to peer down into the busy square below and out above the roofs.
The Tower of St. Olaf’s Church is another place to get a splendid view over old Tallinn and the new harbor. The church is thought to have been built in the 12th century. You can climb to 60 meters, and the spire continues up to 124 meters. Originally it was 159 meters and was the tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625.
Thanks to Tallinn Tourism for their wonderful hospitality while visiting the capital of Estonia.
Text and Photos by Stephen Bugno