Tallinn, Estonia cruises
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, the country’s cultural hub, and biggest seaport. Surrounded by medieval walls peppered with cobblestone streets, gourmet restaurants, and small shops, Tallinn boasts vibrant culture, authentic atmosphere, and historical architecture.
Famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, this city showcases local unique history alongside modern comforts and bustling nightlife.
Tallinn port guide
For over 20 years, the Old City Harbour in Tallinn has welcomed guests to the city close with nature. Despite its lively city status, you will quickly learn Tallinn’s calm pace of life and appreciate the abundant parks, promenades, and beaches on offer.
With over 800 years of history, this port city is recognized for its gothic buildings and historic landmarks. While it may be one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, Tallinn combines an impressive historic past with modern conveniences.
As your cruise ship docks just a short walk from the city center, you are immediately immersed into city delights passing a renowned brewery and harbor market on your travels.
Here is our guide on everything you need to know about exploring the port city of Tallinn.
Top landmarks and sights in Tallinn
Tallinn Town Hall
Tallinn Town Hall lies at the center of the town square. Built in the 13th century, it is the oldest surviving town hall in Northern Europe. Today the town hall hosts small festivals and concerts. Standing seven storeys high, this building is over 64 meters tall.
St Nicholas Church
Erected in the 13th century, the St Nicholas Church in Tallinn is hundreds of years old. Dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron of fishermen and sailors, this building was originally used as a shrine and secure fortress where Westphalian merchants stored high-value goods.
The Viru Gate can be seen as you enter the Old Town on Viru Street. These two ivy-covered watchtowers once served as part of the Tallinn city defense system. Built in the 14th century, this historical landmark protected the city and today provides the city with medieval charm.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Built when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an eastern orthodox cathedral in Tallinn named after a Russian prince. It is the largest cupola church in the city and showcases impressive Russian Revival architecture.
Things to do in Tallinn
Kadriorg Park is an urban park in Tallinn covering over 70 hectares. Established over 300 years ago, today this park features a number of museums and monuments among the formal gardens. This park is open all year round and offers food, drink, and wheelchair facilities.
At the top of Toompea Hill you will find Tommpea Castle where it today houses the Parliament of Estonia. This 9th century castle is open to the public and guided tours are available free of charge where you can observe parliament work from the balcony.
Tallinn TV Tower
Standing 314 meters tall, the Tallinn TV Tower is a communications tower with a viewing platform on the 21st floor. It is the tallest non-building structure in the city and is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. You can buy your ticket for attractions and restaurants online in advance to avoid standing in line.
Kohtuotsa viewing platform
Looking over the notable Old Town, the Kohtuotsa viewing platform offers incredible views of church spires, red rooftops, and the cruise terminal. Open 24 hours a day and free to enter, you can admire the city at sunrise and sunset.
Cunard Shore Experience
In Tallinn, there are many exciting Cunard Shore experiences and Land Tours to choose from. For the active and adventurous, ‘Tallinn by Bike’ and ‘Kayak Adventure’ are sure to please. To discover the best viewing points in the city, choose from the ‘Accessible Panoramic Tallinn tour’, ‘Accessible Upper Old Town & Rocca-al-Mare tour’, and ‘Picturesque Views & Palace’ trips.
Additional shore experiences in Tallinn include ‘Best of Tallinn with Local Lunch’, ‘Upper Town & Highlights’, and ‘Nordic Walking’ tours.
Eating and drinking in Tallinn
Estonian food has been founded on ancient cooking techniques and fresh local produce and until recently, Tallinn has been far from famous for its food offerings. However, blending traditional tastes with Eastern and Western influence, today Tallinn offers a range of rich culinary delights.
Typical foods that can be found in Estonia include rye bread, pork, potatoes, and dairy products. The cuisine the country is best known for includes a blend of century-old recipes and cooking traditions. Black bread, blood sausage, and Estonian cheese are just a few staples in the Estonian diet.
Among authentic flavors, you will also find a wide variety of Michelin star and fine dining restaurants offering Italian, Asian, French, and international dishes.
Nightlife is also an important part of modern culture in Tallinn. Cocktail and wine bars are abundant to come by where you can savor the finest tastes in the city.
Getting around, Tallinn transport
Tallinn is compact and easy to navigate on foot. However, comfortable footwear is recommended as the terrain is hilly and streets are typically cobblestone.
The cruise ship terminal is just a short walk away from the city center along a cobblestone path. Alternatively, cruise passengers can choose to ride a shuttle bus to the city center for approximately five euros per person.
A reliable bus network runs throughout the city allowing you to easily reach farther out destinations. Trams also provide a straightforward way to get around downtown locations.
Taxis and car hire are widely available from the city center and port.
Tallinn port facilities
The port facilities at Tallinn port include an information stand, free Wi-Fi, taxi rank, public transport links, and a harbor market.
Tallinn quick tips
The Euro is the local currency in Tallinn, Estonia. Card payments are widely accepted however there may be a foreign transaction fee.
However, some small shops and bars may not accept card payments, so it is recommended you carry some cash during your visit.
Tipping is not required in Tallinn but a small bonus for exceptional service is greatly appreciated.
Tallinn has a humid continental climate with cold winters and comfortable summers. Tallinn experiences significant rainfall and is typically windy all year round.
Temperatures are expected to reach highs of 22°C during the summer in Tallinn while the winter months reach lows of -8°C.