ADVERTORIAL • August 2017

Tallinn: a city break of two halves

Though proud of its medieval heritage, since throwing off the Soviet shackles in 1991 the Estonian capital has catapulted itself into the 21st-century with a thriving digital scene (there’s free public Wi-Fi everywhere), hipster neighbourhoods, and buzzing nightlife. Here are seven ways to make the most of both the old and new in Tallinn

01 Old-school charm

Old-school charm

Tallinn’s two-tiered walled city – which dates back to the 13th-century and is a Unesco World Heritage site – is a fairy-tale dream. In Toompea, the upper town, there’s the castle and onion-domed cathedral, while in the busier lower town you’ll find colourful gabled houses, Gothic spires, restaurants spilling onto sunny squares and winding cobbled lanes, perfect for that romantic evening stroll.

02 Neighbourhood watch

Neighbourhood watch

A short hop from the Balti jaam train station lies the district of Kalamaja, now a magnet for the bohemian and hip who wander its characterful streets, flea markets and architectural gems. Many make a beeline for Telliskivi, a collection of old railway buildings, now home to funky shops, artists’ studios, nightclubs, and offbeat eateries.

03 Food for thought

Food for thought

It’s not all jellied pork and boiled potatoes… Of course, if you’re looking for traditional local fare you won’t be disappointed and there’s a thriving street food scene. But for something different, Tallinn – with its wave of restaurants serving Estonian and Nordic cuisine with a twist – is the place to be. Leib Resto ja Aed offers stellar service and delicious food, while Umami from the same owners (pictured), does a splendid Sunday brunch. And there are microbreweries and drinking spots aplenty – head to Pudel Baar for its craft beers.

04 Prison break

Prison break

About 40km west of Tallinn, outside the town of Rummu, are the ruins of an abandoned prison. Built in the 1940s by the Soviet Union, the edifice is now surrounded by crystal clear waters and is a popular diving spot. Take a night-time raft ride to discover the secrets lurking in the deep.

05 A trip down memory lane

A trip down memory lane

The city’s history isn’t confined to the Old Town. Arm yourself with a Tallinn Card (for free access to museums, galleries and other attractions) and get exploring. A visit to the Estonia History Museum (pictured) is a must. Also fascinating are the Estonian Architecture Museum Seaplane Harbour and the Teletorn TV tower.

06 Get out of town

Get out of town

Like its capital, Estonia is small and compact. Within a matter of minutes you can be sunning yourself on the 3km-long, white sand beach at Pirata, exploring the historic village of Pringi at Viimsi Open Air Museum following a nature trail through Harku Forest, or, if you’re prepared to journey a little further, fishing or hiking on one of the pretty islands off the Baltic coast.

07 Bed down

Bed down

The boutique Hotel St Petersbourg – located in the Old Town – is steeped in history, with some of its features dating back to the 15th century. You can expect plenty of modern comforts, though: the 27-rooms all boast state-of-the-art facilities and en suites.

Words: Harriet Cooper

British Airways flies to Tallinn
 twice a week from London Heathrow. Find out more at

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