Perfect 2 Days In Tallinn Itinerary | 2023
The capital of Estonia, Tallinn is a charming city with a scenic Old Town designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Compact and perfect for a short visit, it combines medieval architecture and a strong cultural identity with an up-and-coming culinary scene and exciting nightlife.
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A visit here gives you the opportunity to explore the city’s history, relax in its beautiful parks, or even call into its lively market and experience a taste of local life.
If you’re planning a weekend in Tallinn then you might be wondering which of its many attractions you should include on your itinerary.
So we’ve put together this handy guide to spending 2 days in Tallinn, packed with recommendations for the very best things to see and do.
We’ve also suggested some great places to dine and listed some of the best hotels in which to stay, no matter what your budget.
If you’re spending two days in Tallinn we recommend buying the Tallinn Card. It gives you lots of benefits, including free travel on the city’s trams and buses, along with free or discounted entry to pretty much every attraction listed on this itinerary.
On the first of your two days in Tallinn, you’ll be exploring the quaint streets of the Old Town and visiting many of its fascinating historic buildings.
A great way to start your first day in Tallinn is by taking a walk along sections of the Town Wall, which originally formed part of the city’s fortifications.
They are well preserved and have been restored in some sections so you can walk in the footsteps of the city’s historic armies.
One of the most popular parts is the 14th-century Hellemann Tower. A short climb takes you to its first viewing level, where you can walk along the ancient wall.
But be sure to climb to the second level, too, as this gives you an exceptional view of the city landscape and takes in buildings you’ll be visiting throughout the day.
Next, head to Toompea Castle and Hill. The castle was built in the 18th century and features a beautiful Baroque façade. If you book in advance you can enjoy a free tour of the interior.
Otherwise, simply stop to admire the views across the city from the 170-foot hill.
Now it’s time to stroll to Tallinn Town Hall Square. Get your camera ready, as this is one of the most picturesque parts of the city, filled with soaring spires, colorful buildings, and attractive wrought iron details.
Depending on the time of year you visit, you may catch a concert or festival – and if you’re visiting in December you can shop at the Christmas Market and see the famous Tallinn Christmas tree.
On one side of the square sits the city’s Town Hall – one of Tallinn’s most famous buildings and the oldest town hall in Scandinavia.
The famous symbol of the city – a weather vane known as the Vana Toomas (Old Thomas) – sits atop the tower and if you are visiting in summer you can view the building’s interior. It is also open to visitors for a few days in January.
For your last stop before lunch, check out the Tallinn Town Hall Pharmacy. An old white building with medieval signage houses the pharmacy, which is one of the oldest in Europe and is believed to have been in operation since 1415!
It is fascinating to visit and features a room displaying old (and somewhat intimidating) medical remedies and surgical instruments.
All that sightseeing will have made you hungry, so for a delicious lunch take the 10-minute stroll to Balti Jaama Turg, Tallinn’s amazing street food market.
It’s open every day of the week and packed with stalls selling everything from bao buns and ramen to coffee and macarons!
Once pleasantly full, stroll back into the Old Town to visit St Olaf’s Church.
This imposing medieval building is quite remarkable, its tower is said to have survived more than 10 lightning strikes. Some of these led to damaging fires.
You can pay to climb to the top via a narrow winding staircase. The 360-degree views from the viewing platform are simply marvelous, making the church a ‘must visit’ when seeing Tallinn in 2 days.
From there it’s a short walk to the impressive Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin on Toompea Hill.
Believed to have originally been built sometime in the 13th century, the cathedral has undergone many additions and restorations in the ensuing years.
This is evident from the mixed architectural styles you will notice from the outside!
Inside, you can see gravestones of various dignitaries from the 13 to 18th centuries, along with more recent coats of arms.
You can also give a donation and climb the bell tower for views of the city, which we’d recommend if you didn’t climb the tower at St Olaf’s.
The last stop of the afternoon is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, probably the city’s most outstanding building.
It was built in a Russian Revival style between 1884 and 1900, at a time when the Russian Empire ruled the country.
The interior is quite beautiful and richly decorated with mosaics and icons. Its towers, meanwhile, contain 11 bells, including the largest in Tallinn.
The perfect end to your first day in Tallinn is with a medieval-style dinner at Olde Hansa!
This restaurant is well-known across the world as the ‘most authentic medieval dining experience ever’.
It serves food and drinks made with methods and recipes from the 15th century, with unusual dishes like dried elk meat and homemade nutty bread with herbs.
If you’re thirsty you can opt for a tankard of honey dark beer – a unique and unforgettable treat!
On the second of your 2 days in Tallinn, you’ll be visiting museums, an old prison, and a couple of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods.
Start your day with a stroll through the 250-acre Kadriorg Park, Estonia’s most spectacular green space.
After admiring the flower garden and symmetrical Swan Lake, walk along the promenade to the Kadriorg Art Museum, which is housed inside the Kadriorg Palace.
This Baroque Palace is simply beautiful and was built from 1718 to 1725 by Peter the Great for Catherine I of Russia. Indeed, its name translates to ‘Palace of Catherine’s Valley’.
It underwent a major renovation in 1825 on the orders of Nicholas I of Russia, resulting in the imposing building we see today.
Inside you’ll find elaborate decoration, breathtaking murals, and beautiful sculptures. The artworks are from Estonian and other European artists and the exhibitions change often.
Next, take the tram to the north of the city to visit the Patarei Prison and Sea Fortress exhibition area.
The fortress was built in the 19th century to defend Tallinn and has been used as an artillery battery, barracks, and – during the Soviet era – a prison.
It now stands as a memorial to the victims of communism and Nazism and is considered a symbol of resistance.
The exhibition area is named ‘Communism is prison’; you can learn about the ideology behind the doctrine and see the original interior and prison yard.
From there a short walk will take you to Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour.
This is Estonia’s most popular museum, full of exhibits the whole family will find interesting. These include the full-size Lembit submarine from the 1930s, which you can actually walk inside, plus the Suur Tõll icebreaker on the quay.
For lunch, head to the hip and happening Kalamaja district, where you’ll be spending the first part of your afternoon.
The neighborhood was established in the Middle Ages as a home for sailors and fishermen. Its name, in fact, translates to ‘fish house’ in Estonian.
Recently, however, it has become a hot spot for younger locals and is packed with flea markets, boutiques, bars, and cafes.
Yet it has a peaceful ambiance and it’s easy to while away a couple of hours here, strolling through the streets and admiring the iconic and colorful wooden houses.
Your final stop of the afternoon is at Telliskivi Creative City.
Once a factory complex, it now attracts the artistic community and hosts regular events, with lots of street art to admire, a market every Saturday, and plenty of designer stores.
You can try out local beer at the Purtse taproom, homemade gin at the Junimperium Distillery and Bar, or treat yourself to a glass of local wine at the Nudist Winery.
Alternatively, pop in for a coffee and a classic cinnamon bun at Fika, a cool cafe based on Sweden’s ‘fika’ concept – a coffee and cake break with friends!
For a special treat on your last evening, head to the elegant suburb of Nõmme for dinner at Paju Villa.
Housed in a beautiful art nouveau building, the restaurant has two floors and features a series of small, interconnecting rooms.
It serves both Estonian and international dishes, with lots of choices for children too.
Are 2 Days In Tallinn Enough?
A weekend in Tallinn is just the right amount of time to see all of its main attractions.
Thanks to its compact size, travel time is kept at a minimum. This makes it easy to see more of the sights in just a 2-day period.
Where To Stay In Tallinn
Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Tallinn, with a suggestion to suit every budget!
Best Budget Accommodation
Located between Kalamaja and the Old Town, Fat Margaret’s Hostel offers a range of dorms and private rooms. There is also a shared kitchen and lobby, plus a sauna and pool available to rent.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
Citybox Tallinn City Center is situated in the Porto Franco Harbour Complex close to the Old Town. The simple rooms are decorated in a modern Scandinavian style and each has its own bathroom.
There is a communal kitchen, plus a vending machine with drinks and snacks. Breakfast is available to buy from the hotel’s partner, the fantastic LouLou Café.
Best Luxury Accommodation
The Rixwell Collection Savoy Boutique Hotel is ideally located in the city’s Old Town. It features Art Deco interiors and carpeted floors, and even has an ‘Art floor’ designed by artists inspired by the incredible views.
The SAVOY Restaurant and Bar is located on-site and serves Estonian and international cuisine. A breakfast buffet is available every morning.
Final Thoughts On Two Days In Tallinn
With its captivating Old Town, interesting museums, and exceptional cuisine, Tallinn is a unique destination with something to offer every type of traveler.
If you had been wondering what to do in Tallinn in 2 days, we hope this itinerary has been helpful in planning your visit and that you have a wonderful time in Estonia’s capital.
Visiting Estonia soon? Read one of the following guides: