The city of Tallinn often acts as a gateway to the Eastern European escape of Estonia. As the country's largest city, it has plenty to offer visitors. It’s well placed to springboard into the rest of the country. Served by the aptly named Tallinn Airport, which is just a 10 minute drive from the city centre, you can get your holiday off to a great start by renting a car as soon as you land.
Once you have wandered the cobbled streets of Tallinn town, hop in your car hire and hit the road to uncover more of this beautiful country.
What is There to See and Do Around Tallinn?
The fabulously well preserved medieval old town of Tallinn will be the primary focus of your trip to Estonia, there's no doubt about that. Boasting winding cobbled streets, excellent architectural examples and innumerable hidden treasures, this picturesque portion of the city will capture your appreciation. It dates from the 13th-16th Centuries and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site which should go some way to prove just how special it is. Uncover grand churches, hidden plazas and quirky stores, each topped with the classic red tiled roofs that characterise Eastern Europe.
Particular highlights you shouldn't miss include the Danish King's Garden, which is located on the slopes of Toompea Hill. It's a staple historical site, thought to have been used by King Valdemar II of Denmark in 1219. Aside from that however, it's an attractive area worth visiting. The Dominican Monastery Museum and Claustrum, Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform and Orthodox Church of St Nicholas are also worthy of a special mention!
Day Trips From Tallinn
Bog swimming may sound bizarre but it's a tried and tested pastime in Estonia and is an activity that is regularly enjoyed by the locals. Hop in your hire car and head out into the countryside in search of your own private swimming pool! The bogs here are clean and perfectly safe to swim in. Soomaa National Park or Laheema National Park are both a safe bet to track down swamps and bogs in a gorgeous setting!
Get off the mainland and start exploring the islands! There are a few located just off the west coast of Estonia. Saaremaa can be reached in just over 4 hours in a hire car. By planning a trip here, not only will you get to see lots of attractive countryside en route but also get to uncover an island of unique sights and natural beauty. Be sure to sample the local beer and bread, and keep an eye out for the windmills which are a symbol of the island. The slightly smaller island, Hiiumaa, is also worth a visit. From nightclubs to museums, beaches to boats, there is so much to see and do here.
Take a trip to the city of Tartu. Located 115 miles south east of Tallinn, it will take you just over 2 hours to drive with a rental car, making it an easy day trip. It always gets a mention and although considered to be Estonia's "student town" don't let that title put you off; it's a gorgeous city with plenty to be enjoyed. The shopping here is excellent for starters and there are also plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you entertained. For other attractions, why not try out the science centre, botanical gardens and variety of museums and art galleries.