On a Baltic and Northern Europe cruise itinerary, many ships stop off for the day in the walled city of Tallinn, Estonia. This city has remained almost identical to how it was when it was first recorded on a map in 1154. A great source of medieval artefacts are found throughout the city and will gratify any history buff.
The best place to get the flavour of its past and present is to visit the Old Town, which is the pride and joy of the city. Passengers from arriving ships in the Old City Harbour can take taxis, buses, trolleys and trams that regularly operate while in port.
Purchase a Tallinn Card for unlimited public transportation use while in port. The tourist information office sells them in the passenger terminal A.
If you are a walker, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the Old Town on foot. The terminal is modern and contains free public WiFi areas.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin
Also known as The Dome Church, the church was first constructed around 1233. It has been rebuilt several times since, leading to the structure showing a wide variety of architectural style. Many notable figures were buried here, including Adam Johann von Krusenstern, the man who led the first Russian expedition around the world and Admiral Samuel Greig of Fife, one of Catherine The Great’s lovers.
Other points of interest in this area include sights such as the Danish King’s Garden, the Estonian History Museum and the Great Coastal Gate.
Museum of Estonian Architecture
Located in the city centre, this museum is perfectly placed and its exterior is one of the greatest limestone structures in the city. The museum boasts exhibitions detailing the unique Estonian architecture through the years as well as a small scale model of the entire Tallinn city. There are also touring exhibits that focus on different building styles and themes.
Other magnetisms in this area include St. Charles Church, the KGB Museum and Hotel Vera and the Rothmann Quarter.
Kadriorg Palace – Kadriorg Art Museum
This stunning palace is designed in a Baroque architecture style and was completed in the year 1718. This opulent manor was originally a gift from Peter The Great to his wife, Catherine I. This is another good example of history and a perfect feature of the hedonism of the Tsars. There is also an art museum located on the premises that features artwork from the 16th century to today, from Russian classics to contemporary pieces.
Attractions to see in the area include the A. H. Tammsaare Museum, dedicated to a great Estonian author, the Japanese Garden in Kadriog Park, due to open next year and the Kumu Art Museum.
Estonian Film Museum
This site is recommended to anyone who is a fan of the cinematic arts. Located in the Pirita region, this museum is dedicated to the long lasting film industry of Estonia, which has recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary.
A behind the scenes look at the industry can be found here, delving into topics such as the work of the screenplay writers, the set designs and the editors amongst other positions. Classics of Estonian film are also featured such as the comedy “Here We Are” as well as the first film ever screened and the first marionette film.
Other draws are Estonian History Museum in the Maarjamäe Palace, the Pirita Adventure Park, Pirita Beach and the Tallinn Botanical Garden.
Spending a day in Tallinn will make you wish for at least another day in port or maybe you will be enticed back to this wonderful city sometime in the future.
Written by Veronica Shine