With its Old Town of medieval buildings and cobbled squares and a rich culinary, cultural, and social scene, Tallinn will delight foodies and party lovers, as well as history, art, and architecture buffs. Here are our tips for how best to fill two days in Estonia’s capital.
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluvӓljak)
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While still a part of the Russian Empire, 300,000 people (roughly more than a quarter of Estonia’s population) gathered at the Song Festival Grounds in 1988 in protest of their Soviet rule. The massive gathering known as the Singing Revolution, is touted as the event that kickstarted Estonia’s national awakening on their journey to independence. In honor of this event, the Song Festival is held at the amphitheatre-style grounds, and is one of the largest amateur choral events featuring nearly 25,000 singers.
If you are visiting during a non-festival year, travelers to the grounds are still invited to explore the area, watch a concert, or climb the 137-foot (42-meter) Song Ground Light Tower, which is set alight before every single Song Festival.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Look for a bronze monument to Gustav Ernesaks, an Estonian composer and widely regarded as the country’s “Father of Song.”
- Entrance to the park is free.
- The park is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The grounds are roughly 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) east of Tallinn’s Old Town center. It is a 13-minute drive by car, or you can take bus lines 51 or 60 to the Oru stop, passing Kadriorg Park.
When to Get There
Since the concert venue is outside, visit the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds in warmer weather (May through September). And if you are looking to participate in the Estonian Song Festival, go online to research when the next festival will occur. (The music festival usually takes place during June or July.)
KGB Museum To learn even more about life in Estonia before the Iron Curtain fell check out the KGB Museum. Located inside the Hotel Vitu, this museum is a perfectly preserved Soviet radio station, where members of the Communist party spied on hotel guests.
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- Kadriorg Palace
- Kadriorg Park
- Kumu Art Museum (Kumu Kunstimuuseum)
- Tallinn Cruise Port (Tallinna Sadam)
- Tallinn Old Town (Vanalinn)
- Tallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda)
- Tallinn Legends
- Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak)
- Dome Church
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Toompea Castle (Toompea Loss)
- Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom
- Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam)
- Tallinn Botanic Gardens (Tallinna Botaanikaaed)