Old Town, Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and the main attraction here is a charming medieval, walled city.
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock in Old City Harbour at dedicated piers close to the old city and beside the ferry terminal. Shuttle service is usually provided to the main gate (Viru) but it is an easy half mile walk to the old city through the Pikk gate. There typically is a small market setup on the pier to buy handicrafts or have a beer. Tallinn Port website with cruise schedules here http://www.portoftallinn.com/cruise
Old City Harbour
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Money and Tipping
||Estonia converted to the Euro (EUR) in Jan 2011. As in the rest of Europe, a small (5-10%) tip is appreciated when dining at restaurants.
The only way to get around the cobblestone streets of the old town is by walking. To head from the pier to old town, head west towards the old city looking for a big round tower (Fat Margaret's Tower). The Pikka gate is here. You will need to cross a couple of busy streets and a tram line.
There are only two main attractions outside of the old city, the song festival grounds and Kadriorg Palace which now houses an art museum.
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Most of Tallinn's sights are within the walled city.
- Toompea Hill - To get to upper town, you can either take a wide road or a set of stairs. Upper town has some nice viewpoints and Alexander Nevsky Church (free entry)
- Town Hall - located by Raekoja Plats (town square) and now the city museum. Entry €4, tower €3 (Nov 2011).
- Dominican Monastery Museum - one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn restored as a museum
- City Walls - you can climb sections of the city wall. One location is just south of Viru gate.
- Churches - Old town has lots of churches. Most have been converted to museums and may charge a small entry fee. The main ones are St Nicholas church in Toompea, St Olaf's church by the Pikka Gate and St. Mary's Church (Toomkirik)
- Kiek in de Kok Tower - This defensive tower in Toompea has also been converted to a museum. Entry €4.50 (Nov 2011)
- Viru Gate - this is the main gate for Tallin. If you entered the old town from Pikku gate, you can exit here and walk outside the gate back to the pier.
Sights further out include
- Song Festival Grounds - This sight holds historical significance as a gathering spot to protest communism. Not really worth the time to go out there but if you do want to, here are the instructions. From the bus terminal in Viru Centre to the Song Festival Grounds take buses 1, 1A, 8, 34A, 38. Bus ticket can be purchased from the driver (€1.6) or from R-Kiosks (€0.80). Bus stop Lauluvljak the nearest entrance to the Song Festival Grounds is through the Sea gates, situated approximately 200 m from the bus stop towards the city center.
- Kadriorg Palace - The tsar's summer residence now houses an art museum. Entry €4.20 The Kadriorg Park covers a big territory near the sea in the northern part of Tallinn. The Kadriorg Palace, the central building of the park ensemble, is located in Weizenbergi Street. From the city center it is the best to take the tram 1 or 3 to the final stop where it is a few minutes walk to the palace. After passing the Swan Pond on the right, the beautiful Baroque palace can be seen on the other side of the street. Several buses going to Pirita or Lasname stop at the Kadriorg center (bus stop J. Poska). http://www.ekm.ee/en/
- If you plan on visiting lots of sites, you can get a Tallin Card. http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee/
Shopping & Restaurants
There are cafes and restaurants throughout old town but they are concentrated in town square and by the Viru gate. There is a small market by Viru Gate and along the wall. Walking from the pier to old town you will pass Sadamarket with liquor stores and a small indoor market. An outdoor market usually sets up on the cruise pier when ships are in.
If you head south from the pier past the ferry terminal, there is a mall with a supermarket inside.
Restaurants, cafes and McDonalds may have free wifi for customers. There may also be free wifi at the cruise pier.
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