Endless cobbled streets surrounded by greatly preserved defensive walls at the heart of Estonia. Old town that brings you back to the Middle Ages, while this area is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. And vigorous schedule on our visit to Tallinn.
When you are traveling with a photographer, you are always try to catch the correct light on the sites. What I mean by saying that, that we get up early before the sunrise and went back to bed after the sunset during our voyages. But it gives a special flavor to our journeys too. We get to see the most beautiful parts of the city, while all it’s inhabitants are still sleeping and they are empty.
Empty streets are the best. Every traveler knows that. Like who wouldn’t prefer buying their groceries without standing at the queue. Then you have to be there early in the morning or right before the closing. And that’s the kind of traveling I am talking about. When your only companions at the old town are your shadows.
Old town is super cozy. Every little street has something particular in architectural exterior details. It even feels like a little Italy there: Streets are bright, colorful and narrow.
Our first day in Tallinn was magnificent. We started our morning at 6 am with intention to see the sunrise above the city. The old town is pretty small, you can get to any part of the town within 10-15 minutes. Well, it was our assumption while we were staying right at the city center (Sauna 1) at Kohver hostel for a very affordable price and a view of a down town roof tops.
So we got to the Toompea hill Kohtuotsa viewing platform just on the right time for the uprising sun watch. If you are an utter hopeless romantic, this place is definitely for you. It offers the view of the old town rooftops with modern skyline on the background. Of course, you won’t be there the only one, while it’s one of the most famous photo spot.
Within few minutes you’ll find another lesser known Patkuli viewing platform. The significant scenery of harbour and Tallinn Town Wall (not the Great Wall of China, but still really impressive). Any time of the day (morning, midday, night & evening) both view platforms offers a great view of the city.
Add more height
But if you are a fan of heights, there are selective towers with bird’s-eye view of the city. We highly recommend you to climb 115 stairs in the Town Hall tower to reach the clock balcony, which is 34 m above the ground. The higher you get, the steeper and higher the stairs become. Believe me, it’s a great morning exercise for your thighs, glutes and abdominal muscles!
To get more excitement in your tummy, you can climb to the St. Olaf Church tower and reach 60 m height base of the steeple. You need to walk up 258 m stairs through narrow tunnel carved from stone. Once you reach it you can walk around the platform and enjoy a 360 degree view of Tallinn. There, I was invited for the most romantic lunch I’ve ever had.
The most unasual tourist attraction is Linnahall. The building complex Linnahall supposed to be the Palace of Sports and Culture. It was built in connection with the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and the sailing events took place in Tallinn. Linnahall has its own harbor and helicopter landing pad, and it has no windows which is quite unusual. At the first glance you would probably think that it’s some kind of a military fortification, but the minute you walk the stairs to the top of it a very special feeling overcome to stand on the top of this enormous complex and look over to the sea and the old town of Tallinn.
Talin’s healthy habits
When we got to the grandest square widely known as a Freedom Sqare it was crowded with people. SEB Tallinn Marathon was taking over the place. People from age to 10 till 60 were attending the biggest run event in the country and it was a finish line in this square.
On a peaceful day it is likely to visit this place for the monument to the War of Independence and take a stroll. And it also shines brightly during the night time.
Spectacular night scenery
The best way to end your long walking day by relaxing at the skybar lounge with a great view of Tallinn. Few minutes from the city center at the Radisson Blu Sky Hotel terrace you can enjoy a cocklail or a cup of tea while watching the sun going down. It is one of the great experiences in Tallinn, because the bar terrace is at the top of the building on 24th floor and you can see how the light starts to fade over the old town and it suddenly becomes illuminated. This view will leave you absolutely stunned, while people were taking photographs every minute up there.
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.