Tallinn’s old town is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited on a city break, and, even though I’ve been there so many times before, it never ceases to amaze me with its beautiful colourful buildings and endless little cobbled streets. It’s not just me – UNESCO has chosen it as one of their world heritage sites and it’s also one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, dating back to the 13th century.
Many people visiting Tallinn never make it past the old town, which is a shame as the city has a lot to offer, but also very understandable because the old town is very charming and has enough shops, restaurants and bars to while away an entire day.
Tallinn is known to be quite an affordable place to visit (especially when coming from London!) but if you stick to the restaurants and bars in the centre of the town, you might find yourself paying extortionate prices for food that is not the best quality – essentially, of course, you’ll be paying for the location.
There are a few exceptions to the rule above, of course, but generally the best places in the Old Town, in my humble opinion, are the ones you’ll find on the little side streets or in the fringes of the area – not on the main market squares and the bigger roads leading up to it. Restaurants I would especially recommend are the Vegan Restoran V (they have a delicious and a 100 % vegan menu) and the eclectic and colourful Tai Boh (click the link to read my review of it!) serving super tasty Thai food.
You might already be aware that Tallinn is very popular as a stag do destination with the British (luckily we didn’t run into any..!) and you can definitely spot some bars around the old town where these groups would head to in search of cheap drinks. Take my advice instead and go to the side streets again and have a drink in the lovely garden of Must Puudel (‘The Black Poodle’). They have an extensive drinks list, lovely staff and just a wonderful atmosphere overall.
Also, If you’d like to make an exception to my rule about staying away from the main market square, you might want to do when it comes to al fresco drinks in the summer. The bars in the main square are by no means super individual or interesting when it comes to the drink options, but they do have the advantage of having the best people watching spots in the city. The medieval market square is also very beautiful, so if you don’t mind paying a bit more for your beer, this might be a nice spot to enjoy it in. Before the crowds get too much, anyway!
I haven’t done much shopping in the old town, but there is one shop I absolutely wanted to recommend: Helina Tilk. Tilk’s shop is full of crockery, tea towels and lots of other things from magnets to stuffed animals, all decorated with her quirky, signature style. Expect lots of cute animals, beautiful colours and lovely patterns. I’ve loved visiting her shop since I was a child and it’s still a joy whenever I go.
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