See medieval buildings, a replica 18th-century village and traditional industries such as glass-blowing in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, in northern Europe.
Tallinn’s heart is its Old Town, which is a great place to start your visit. A World Heritage Site, this area was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. Here you’ll find major Tallinn attractions, including Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Danish King’s Gardens. Go to St. Catherine’s Passage to watch glass-blowers and pottery workers in the St. Catherine’s Guild workshops. Enjoy views of the city from the castle on Toompea Hill.
The Old Town’s narrow, cobblestone streets are ideal for walking and some have become fashionable shopping areas. Among these is the street of Viru, where you can buy Vana Tallinn, a rum-based liqueur.
Tallinn’s culture is celebrated in a collection of museums. Learn about the fight for independence at the Museum of Occupations. Find Estonian classics at the KUMU Art Museum. Kids will enjoy exploring the Open Air Museum. This 197-acre (80-hectare) complex is a life-size portrayal of an 18th-century rural village.
While history and culture abound in Tallinn, the city also entertains with its cafés and nightlife. You can sample hand-crafted chocolate at Chocolats de Pierre, in the city’s oldest courtyard, or people-watch from the outdoor terraces on Town Hall Square. Beer is Tallinn’s drink of choice. Try local brews at the lively Hell Hunt pub.
To explore beyond the city center, rent a bike and take advantage of over 93 miles (150 kilometers) of bicycle lanes. The woodland park of Kadriorg is just a short ride away from the center. Check out the galleries of the Baroque palace. Peter the Great commissioned the palace for his wife. Nearby, don’t miss out on a day at Pirita, the city’s favorite beach.
Come to Tallinn in winter to experience the city’s magical Christmas markets. They offer a great opportunity to sample local food, including sauerkraut and blood sausage, and buy local arts and crafts.