Located on Estonia’s north-central coast along the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn is the country’s capital and most populous city.
With a population of just shy of 450,000 residents, it’s not big by European city standards, but therein lies much of its quaint and historic charm.
It’s also Estonia’s economic, educational, and cultural center and is full of a variety of attractions that range from historic sites and museums to art galleries, chic eateries, and some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the area.
Below are 15 of the best tours of Tallinn that may deserve a top spot on your Estonian itinerary.
1. Best of Tallinn 2-Hour Bike Tour
After a lengthy international flight, it might be wise to hit the ground in Tallinn running, or in the case of this 2-hour bike tour—peddling.
It’s a great way for first-time visitors to get a quick intro into the city’s history, culture, and layout with the help of a local guide.
A surprising amount of ground is covered on each tour, but there’s nothing that most moderately fit travelers won’t be able to handle.
You’ll see many of the city’s highlights, like the Second World War Memorial and the Olympic Stadium, and discover things to check out on your own once the tour is over.
2. Tallinn 3-Hour Estonian Food Tour
Foodies from all over the world tend to agree that Estonia’s food culture is surprisingly vibrant, and it includes a number of regional influences.
On this 3-hour tour, guests will literally eat their way through many of Tallinn’s ethnic neighborhoods, while stopping at eateries that range from street food stalls and trendy coffee shops to chocolatiers and cool taverns decked out in medieval appointments.
Along the way, guests will sample both traditional and contemporary Estonian cuisine and learn a lot about what makes the city and its residents tick.
Tours are small, so expect an engaging and intimate experience.
3. 1 ½ -Hour Old Town Walking Tour
Much of downtown Tallinn is pedestrian-friendly, making it a worthwhile destination for those who want to see things up close while working off excess calories from the hotel’s breakfast buffet.
Though it’s only 90 minutes, this Old Town walking tour packs a big punch and includes attractions like the Town Hall Square and Pharmacy, medieval churches, and the Estonian Parliament Building.
En route and at each location, guests will receive interesting historical insights from their local guide and get a better understanding of the country’s culture as well.
The tour’s last stop is at the Dominican Monastery built in the mid-13th century.
4. Old Town Pub Crawl
Pub crawls. There’s just something that makes them totally alluring when visiting exotic locations in far-flung corners of the globe.
They’re great ways to meet locals and like-minded international travelers, experience the city after dark, and generally have an all-around blast.
This five-hour crawl begins in Tallinn’s Old Town, is held on multiple days during the week, and includes stops at several watering holes.
Singing, drinking games, teary hugs, and telling your counterparts how much you love them are all included in the tour’s cost, as are lots of free drinks along the way.
Club entry fees are also included.
5. 4-Hour Shore Tallinn Highlights Excursion with Return Transfer to the Port
Your cruise ship has docked in Tallinn and you’re wondering how to kill four hours without spending gobs of dough and getting lost in the strange city.
Luckily, this tour of Tallinn’s key attractions was made just for you.
This whirlwind tour includes stops at Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Toompea Castle, and the Pirita Convent, as well as the Old Town area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason.
Size is limited to 15 people, and the cost includes the services of a local guide and return transportation to the port when the tour comes to an end.
6. Behind Tallinn’s Iron Curtain—Secrets of the Soviets
Thankfully, the Soviet’s stranglehold on Estonia is a thing of the past, but many remnants of the Iron Curtain-era still remain. For history-minded travelers, they’re must-visit attractions.
This tour includes both historical and cultural narration and takes guests to interesting sites like the Olympic Center, the Coastal Folk Museum, the Pirita Yacht Port, and an abandoned air-defense battery that once guarded the skies against foreign aircraft.
Perhaps most interesting are the tales of life under the Soviet regime and how the Estonian people have transformed into new ways of living that include freedom, self-determination, and countless economic opportunities.
7. Private ‘Welcome to Tallinn’ Walking Tour with Local Guide
Tallinn is one of those cities that’s relatively easy to explore on your own, but for a truly in-depth and personal experience, it’s probably wise to hook up with at least one guided tour when in the area.
This tour is like a crash-course into Estonian culture. As such, your guide is a great resource that should be taken advantage of to the fullest.
Tours usually start at your Tallinn Hotel, and before heading out, you’ll learn about nearby historical sites, restaurants, and other things worth exploring in the vicinity.
It’s also possible to customize the tour based on the interests of the guests.
8. Tallinn Walking Tour with Free Time and Port Transfers
Many travelers agree that the best tours include both guided and free time portions, and this convenient three-hour tour of Tallinn does just that.
Not only will tour guests get tons of unique insight into the city and its residents, but they’ll have time to explore many attractions on their own.
Much of the tour takes place in the Old Town area, which is full of historic landmarks, restaurants, and shops.
From beginning to end, the tour lasts five hours and includes pickup and drop-off from the port.
Generally, there are three hours of guided time and between one and a half and two for self-exploration.
9. Half-Day City Tour
This half-day city tour of Tallinn includes driving and walking portions, making it a good fit for those who want to stretch their legs without overdoing it.
Pickup from your hotel or the port are included, and tour highlights include Old Town, Kadriorg Park and Palace, the Song Festival Grounds, the quaint coastal village of Pirita, and the sprawling Olympic village that was built in the ‘80s at the height of Soviet influence.
This tour is particularly popular with amateur photographers, history lovers, and those who prefer to cram lots of activities into a short time.
Click the link below for more specific details.
10. 3-Hour Private Tour of Tallinn
Tallinn’s Old Town area is probably the city’s most popular tourist destination, and for those with limited time, it’s generally where they explore the most.
This 3-hour Tallinn tour starts off in Old Town but takes visitors to city attractions like Pirita, the Kadriorg Palace, and Toompea Hill, which offers some of the most scenic and unobstructed views of the city.
The tour includes portions in an air-conditioned vehicle as well as on foot, so it’s wise to wear comfy shoes and dress in layers as the weather by the sea can change on a dime.
Hotel or cruise ship pickup is included, and tours can be customized based on participant’s interests and schedules.
11. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Sightseeing Tours
Hop-on-hop-off tours are great for guests who’d rather not spend countless hours chained to a large group on a rigid schedule.
These tours come in three distinct routes—red, blue, and green.
Each line visits attractions in different parts of the city, and depending on which option you choose, tickets can be valid for one, two, or three days from the date of purchase.
In a nutshell, that means flexibility and the ability to spend time exploring only the things that interest you.
With a little pre-tour research, you can plan a whole day, and do it on the cheap.
12. 5-Hour Jägala Waterfall and Harju County Tour from Tallinn
Visitors could spend several days in Tallinn and never experience all there is to see and do.
That being said, getting out into the country is a great day-trip option for those who get claustrophobic in urban settings.
Harju County is home to the Jägala Waterfall, and though it’s just a short drive from the city, it seems like worlds away.
Guests will have ample time to appreciate the fall’s majesty before heading off to an ancient history museum in Rabala and a medieval chapel in Saha.
Tours include site entrance fees, but not food, drink, and impulse buys.
13. Tallinn Brewery Fiesta
Need more be said?
These days, no matter where they find themselves, diehard beer lovers are never far away from a trendy microbrewery or a big factory-style beer plant.
This brewery fiesta tour is a great fit for those interested in not only tasting a variety of local beers, but learning about how it’s produced as well.
Beers on-hand include both traditional, centuries-old recipes and relatively unorthodox concoctions that use new techniques and ingredients.
Tours last two hours, and the Old Town area is chockfull of bars, restaurants, shops, and historical sites worth checking out afterward—if you’re still able to walk.
14. Tallinn’s Medieval Banquet
Back in medieval times, eating like an Estonian often meant gnawing on semi-cooked turkey legs, slurping stale beer from wooden mugs, and keeping an eye out for marauding barbarians sweeping in from the forest.
Yes, they were swell times, and luckily there’s still a way to experience them in our so-called age of modernity.
Medieval banquet tours are fun for the whole family and include lots of interesting characters like knights, wenches, kings, and damsels dressed in era-specific garb.
In many ways, an evening at a medieval banquet is like taking a trip into the dark past, so don’t pass it up.
15. Tallinn Sightseeing Tour by Coach and Foot
Short tours in the 2 ½ to 3-hour range are perfect for travelers who’d rather not dedicate a whole day to one tour exclusively.
This 2 ½ -hour tour whisks guests to many of the city’s most visited attractions, like the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Toompea Castle, Kadriorg Palace, and the ever-popular seaside village of Pirita.
Previous guests appreciated the tour’s mix of exploration by van and on foot, and the fact that they saw way more things than they ever thought possible, all while leaving a huge chunk of the day free for other adventures.
Bring a camera, because you’ll want to capture the sights for posterity.