Medieval Tallinn Walking Tour

Discover the magic of the best preserved medieval town in Northern Europe. 

Within these fortified walls, centuries old buildings with their red tile roofs, hidden courtyards and winding cobblestone streets exhibit a unique charm that is hard to resist.

Step into our captivating world heritage site with its maze of cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. The heart of the city (indeed, when viewed from the air,Tallinn’s old town is shaped like a heart) is alive with activity and culture, influenced by centuries of tradition.

Your local tour guide will greet you on the cruise harbor and lead you to the Great Coastal Gate and Fat Margaret’s Tower, the coastal entrance to the lower part of the old town. Much of the fortified town wall and lookout towers still remain standing as witnesses to past sieges and battles, each having their own remarkable stories to tell.

As you proceed along the main trading street during the medieval period, you will be intrigued by the elaborate decorative elements carved into the facades of the great Guild Houses. See the tallest spire in the world at the time of it’s construction which belongs to St Olav’s church and Tallinn’s only fortress church, Niguliste, founded by German merchants in the 13th century.

The centrally located Town Hall Square, still a vibrant gathering place for many cultural events held throughout the year, is home to the only preserved medieval gothic Town Hall in the Baltic and Scandinavian region. Here you will also find one of the oldest continuously functioning pharmacies in the world. From the lower town, your ascent up Pikk Jalg street leads you to Toompea castle where past overlords once ruled the city and is now home to the Estonian Parliament and many foreign embassies. Toompea hill offers a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding lower city which unfolds like a fairytale picture book before your eyes.

In the upper Old Town you will also see Cathedral of St Mary’s (Dome church), which took over two centuries to complete resulting in an unusual mix of architectural styles. This church is known for its elaborate collection of funeral coats of arms and burial stones dating back to the 13th century. You will have an inside visit to the most opulent Orthodox church in Tallinn, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which was built as a symbol of Russian dominance over an unruly Baltic territory.

Returning to the lower town, your guide will show you a small charming street named Catherine’s Passage where many of the workshops of local artists and craftsmen are located. After the tour ends you may wish to return to this area to do some more browsing or shopping. We continue on to the vibrant Viru street, the main pedestrian artery into the Old Town and conclude our tour at the prominent Viru Gates, your time tunnel back to the 21st century.

At the end of the tour, your guide will leave you with simple directions back to the cruise port which is about a 20 minute walk from the old town as well as suggest the best places to experience local food and buy authentic handicrafts.

Enjoy the rest of your day to do more sightseeing, shopping and dining before returning to ship.

 

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Children’s Discounts: 3 year olds and under and free, 15% discount for ages 4-12.

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Reviews

  • by Joan Jarvis / June 2014
    If you can get Eva-Maria to show you Tallinn you with learn about the history of the city and the country, see the sights both in the city and outside and come away wishing you had more days to spend with her. She is an amazing guide.