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Difference: Lower Old Town Tallin and Upper Old Town Tallin

Other than the obvious difference of one being higher in elevation (I assume), what is the difference between Lower Old Town and Upper Old Town?

If faced with the decision of taking a tour of EITHER the Upper or Lower Old Town, which would you recommend (and why)?

I'd always head just the term Old Town, so I'm surprised to see the more descriptive references (and the choice of one or the other as cruise ship excursions).

Thank you.

Posted by
23431 posts

I am not sure exactly how to describe the difference other than one is above the other. Lower old town is when the city walls are, the town square, and probably the oldest section of town. And IMO probably the more interesting part. The upper part is when the church is and more residents. But it is equally easy to get between the two parts on narrow steep streets. If that is the choice, I would be lower.

Posted by
2122 posts

Frank, thank you.

And, I'm also carefully considering if we even need to sign up for a formal shore excursion vs. just touring on our own.

My "National Geographic 500 Journeys of a Lifetime" just specifies the Old Town as not to be missed, so likely the lower part.

Plenty of time for me to research the guide vs. unguided approach, but you have helped me to get bit more focused. That said, though, I would value input on that, too.

Posted by
27 posts

Hi, Margaret,
The Lower Old Town is a larger area and is more commercial than the Upper. But the gorgeous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
and the profound Museum of Occupation are in the Upper area and it would be a shame to miss them.

Catch Rick's guide to Northern European Cruise Ports. He has a walking tour of both Upper and Lower which we followed and
enjoyed when we were there in November. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
2122 posts

Thank you. That distinction is very helpful. Will also check out the RS info.

Posted by
2619 posts

I spent an entire week in Tallinn and that included day trips to other parts of Estonia and also Helsinki, but every day I happily explored the lower area, spending only a couple of hours in the upper, though of course the cathedral is lovely and there are great views.