Any advice on top things to see in Tallin, we are spending one and a half days. Restaurant and pub recommendations?
A very comprehensive recent trip report on Tallinn... https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/four-days-in-tallinn
Thanks so much Dave.
You're welcome. You're probably discovering the Estonia board is not visited as much as, oh... the Italy board. But it does have its enthusiasts. I'm sure you've looked at some of the older posts that have a lot of good info. I suspect you probably know this, too, but if not, doing a search for Tallinn in the search bar above yields a lot of RS content on Tallinn and Estonia, including a nice overview of Tallinn and its sites.
I'm headed there in about 3 weeks for my first visit (3.5 days). I'll pass along any pearls that I find...
I visited Tallinn for a week in 2013 and that allowed me to take a day trip by ferry to Helsinki and also go on 2 day trips to nearby areas--Haapsalu, a national park, a bog, etc--with a great company called EstAdventures. I also enjoyed visiting Rocca Al Mare, an outdoor living history museum (I have Estonian heritage, so particularly liked seeing it for that reason), the zoo that's near Rocca, the KUMU and Kadriorg Palace and the Nevsky Cathedral, as well as just exploring the charming streets of old town. There are a couple of museums I missed that I will see when I return. I really liked the atmosphere of Hell Hunt pub, but I don't recall the names of the restaurants I dined in--there are plenty with outdoor seating around the main square, never had a bad meal.
With just 1 1/2 days you might want to consult Trip Advisor, I find their breakdown of sights and things to do by city to be very helpful when making an itinerary. Not knowing your interests I would tentatively suggest exploring the Kadriorg area with the palace, park and KUMU, easy tram ride from old town. Allow plenty of time to see old town and possibly a couple of other museums.
The people are as helpful as you need them to be, but not especially outgoing. Enough English is spoken, but here's the catch--there are lots of Russians living there and they do not speak English, so a few times when I needed help or directions I floundered a bit, ended up asking at a nearby hotel.
Christa - Don't want to derail this thread (which is about Tallinn). I have a question about Haapsalu. PM sent.
I spent three nights in Tallinn a few years ago. One day I did a day trip to Haapsalu. Although I tried to get out of the old town and see more, there wasn't much else I really enjoyed outside of the charming old town (which is touristy but lovely - my favorite by far of Riga's, and Vilnius's old town). The view down from the upper town is amazing. But the out of center sites I trekked to weren't especially rewarding.
I ran across the documentary The Singing Revolution today while working on plans for my trip to Esontia and Latvia today. It chronicles Estonia's history from it's establishment as a republic in 1920 to its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, with most of the focus being on the occupation by Soviet forces. It was great and helped provide good scaffolding for things I will see while there. I watched it on Amazon. Thought you might be interested...
Yeah, I watched it last week. Very worthwhile viewing.