Gay Guide • TALLINN | What to See, Where to Stay, Best Gay Bars and Restaurants | LGBT Guide
Discover this City with our Quick and Practical Guide to Visit the Best Attractions, Savor Typical Dishes and Have Fun in the Best Gay Bars. All this through the Rainbow Eyes of the World Mappers
What to See, Best Places to Sleep, Where to Eat and to Have Fun in TALLINN ?
Find it out with the World Mappers !
WHAT TO SEE in TALLINN?
10 THINGS TO SEE in TALLINN
Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats)
The heart of the Old Town, surrounded by buildings with colorful facades and pointed roofs. The Gothic-style Town Hall and its tower dominate the square. Climbing its 115 steps you can admire Tallinn from above and get close to the Vana Toomas, the protector of the city who stands on top of the tower. The Christmas markets are held in this square in winter, making the atmosphere even more magical than it already is. Head to number 11 and take a look at Raeapteek, one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe.
Ancient Walls (Laminaüür)
Tallinn was surrounded by more than 2 kilometers of walls with towers with a characteristic red pointed roof. A section of the wall can now be visited and you can walk along the wooden walkway that connects the Kuldjala, Sauna and Nunna towers, offering a fantastic view over the roofs of the city. From the Kiek in de Kok Tower, on Toompea Hill, visits to the city's underground start. An experience that we recommend!
Toompea & Viewing Terraces
Climb Toompea Hill for one of the best views over the red roofs of the Lower Town. We advise you to reach the top by walking along the Pikk Jalg pedestrian street. The viewpoints on the hill are essentially two: the terrace of Kohtuotsa and that of Patkuli, certainly our favorite. The glimpse of the wall with the inscription "The Times We Had" and the red roofs of the city in the background left us speechless. On the hill there are also the Lutheran Cathedral of Santa Maria Vergine, the Toompea Castle but what fascinated us the most is the beautiful Orthodox Cathedral of Alexander Nevski.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
A magnificent example of Orthodox art and architecture, located on top of Toompea Hill in the Castle Square. Today it is a World Heritage Site and its construction dates back to the time when Tallinn and the rest of Estonia were part of the Russian Empire. Initially they wanted to tear it down to forget the Russian domination. Fortunately, however, not only has it been preserved, but thanks to the restoration it has acquired an unprecedented beauty.
This alley is really unmissable - one of the most beautiful places to see in Tallinn. Vene and Müürivahe streets are connected by this small cobbled street that runs alongside the wall of an old Dominican convent. In summer and spring you can see shops and workshops with artisans intent on working glass, ceramics or jewellery. Next to this passage is another of the most beautiful corners of Tallinn, the Meistrite Hoov or Courtyard of the Masters, a splendid courtyard dedicated to the workers of the past.
Pikk Tänav, Ancient Guilds & The Three Sisters
The medieval buildings and historic streets of the old town will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale. One of the most representative places is the Pikk Tänav, the Long Street, which runs through this part of Tallinn. Here are some of the most important buildings in the capital, such as the Headquarters of the Ancient Guilds, whose task was to gather representatives of various professions and the House of the Blackheads (Mustpeade Maja), which had the task of defending Tallinn from attacks of enemies. Among the most beautiful Guilds to see: at n° 17 the Guild Maggiore, at n° 20 the Guild of San Canuto and Luther and at n° 24 the Guild of S. Olaf. Still in this street at number 71, it is a must to stop and observe the three buildings known as the Three Sisters.
Definitely one of the symbolic places of the old city of Tallinn, a typical medieval gate characterized by two large towers with the inevitable red roof. From here you enter Via Viru, full of souvenir shops and typical restaurants, which leads to Piazza del Municipio.
St. Olaf's Church
One of the most beautiful churches in the city, elected as the tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625. It is possible to climb the tower to enjoy a 360 degree view of Tallinn.
Kadriorg Palace & Park
Just outside the old city, starting from the Narva Maantee avenue with tram line No. 1 or No. 3, you can reach the Kadriorg Palace and Park in about ten minutes, not to be missed if you are visiting Tallinn. The large park frames the Baroque palace, the summer residence of Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. Inside you can visit various museums and art galleries.
Outside the historic center, the tower was built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics and then renovated in 2012. At 314 meters tall, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. In addition to the spectacular view from the panoramic terrace, visitors can visit the TV studio and an interactive exhibition. If you have the Tallin Card, the entrance to the TV Tower is free.
Visiting this city at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Ancient Tallinn - Google Maps
Day 2 - Alternative Tallinn - Google Maps
Extra - Kadriorg & Torre Televisione (from Viru Door - by Tramway/Taxi) - Google Maps
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)
5 BEST EXCURSIONS from TALLINN
Lahemaa National Park
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WHERE TO SLEEP in TALLINN?
5 BEST GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS in TALLINN
Olevi Hotel *** ® Tested by World Mappers
WHERE TO EAT in TALINN?
5 BEST RESTAURANTS in TALINN Quality / Price
€€ - Olde Hansa (Typical Estonian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Manna La Roosa (Typical Estonian)
€€ - Golden Piglet Inn (Typical Estonian)
€€ - Restaurant Ö (Typical Estonian) ® Tested by World Mappers
€€ - Peppersack Restaurant (Typical Estonian) ® Tested by World Mappers
GAY NIGHTLIFE in TALLINNN
3 BEST GAY PLACES, BARS & CLUBS in TALLIN
X-Bar (Gay Bar) ® Tested by World Mappers
MaleSecrets (Gay Cruise Club)
Club 69 (Gay Sauna)
TRAVEL TIPS about TALLINN by World Mappers
If yours is not a quick trip to the capital, we recommend the Tallinn Card, a tourist pass that offers free admission to over 40 attractions and museums, the possibility of using local transport and discounts on guided tours, activities, shops and restaurants. If you choose the PLUS version you can also use the hop-on hop-off bus. You can buy it on this site.
You can't say you've been to Tallinn if you haven't eaten at the city's most famous restaurant, the Olde Hansa. Do you want to travel back in time? This ancient tavern lit only by candles and where the waiters are in period costume will catapult you into the Middle Ages. Although it is a very touristic place and the prices higher than the Estonian standard, it is worth it. No doubt here you can try the local specialties.
The medieval tavern III Draakon is located just under the arches of the Town Hall building. Even in this restaurant (mainly touristic) the staff is in period costume and you eat in a very dark environment lit only by a few candles, with coarse crockery, exactly like in the Middle Ages. Usually we don't particularly like "tourist places" but this time we wanted to try and we only went in for a beer, but it is possible to have lunch and dinner (with a very spartan menu). The honey and herb beers are exquisite. We have read quite a few reviews complaining about the rude and unfriendly attitude of the staff...we thought it was part of the 'setting'!
In this city you cannot fail to try Vana Tallinn, the typical Estonian rum-based liqueur with a sweetish taste... watch out for the alcohol content!
The most alternative neighborhood in Tallinn? Definitely Kalamaja. Born as a fishing village, which later became an industrial area, today it is a redeveloped area home to many businesses and the center of the city's nightlife with many pubs and particular places. One of these is Peatus, a restaurant/bar between two old railway carriages. In this lively neighborhood there is also the Patarei Marine Fortress which, having become a prison in the 1990s, is today the most gruesome symbol of repression during the years of Soviet occupation of Estonia. Without a doubt, the place deserves to be discovered through a guided tour.
Just outside the city of Tallinn is one of Estonia's most treasured museums - the Estonian Open Air Museum of Ethnography. Here you can get an idea of the agricultural traditions and lifestyle and feel the essence of this wonderful country on your skin.
There is an old saying that Prangli Island lies behind God. Situated between Finland and Estonia, the island today has kept its local dialect, traditions and culture of the coastal population. Prangli is quite a small place, but it has a surprisingly distinctive and untouched nature. Every year the mysterious and timeless aura of Prangli fishing villages delight more and more Estonians and tourists who visit the city Tallinn. To reach the island you must first go to Leppneeme Port, 30 minutes by taxi from Tallinn (€10-15 one way) or with Buses 1A and V2, and then board a ferry to the island.
If you still have free time to enjoy Estonia, a trip to Glehn Castle is for you. It is located in the hills of Nõmme and is surrounded by a park with several buildings such as the palm house, the observatory tower and sculptures designed by Glehn himself. In 1918, after Glehn's emigration to Germany, the castle was looted and fell into disrepair.
Unusual and Particular Places to See in Tallinn
Outside the classic places to visit of the city, there is a "Secret Tallinn" that has simply bewitched us. Here are the 8 Things and Places to See in Secret Tallinn:
Lennusadam - Today the disused part of the port of Tallinn has a second life and has become the Lennusadam, the museum of the sea. Built inside an old seaplane hangar (Vesilennukite Hangaarid), it offers the possibility of entering a real Estonian submarine, simulating the flight of airplanes and many other interactive activities. Here sounds and lights will give you the feeling of being underwater. Very suitable for those traveling with children.
Raeapteek - Right in front of the Tallinn Town Hall, at number 11, there is one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe still in operation. Really worth a visit to admire typical porcelain vases, medicinal herbs, old books and a splendid view of the main square. Entry is also free!
Linnahall - During the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, all sailing events were held in Estonia. Linnahall is a ziggurat-like complex designed to host the Olympic regatta and to demonstrate the might of Soviet construction. Almost abandoned it is mostly visited by graffiti artists and curious tourists. The arena is still used when a major event is held in the country. From the roof of the hall (reached by a staircase) you can enjoy a stunning view of Tallinn.
Street Art & Cultural Kilometer - Even here in Tallinn, our advice on Street Art could not be missing. Some of the most beautiful works of art are hidden in "secret" corners of the city. Without a doubt, the Kultuurikilomeeter is worth a visit, a path near the sea that connects the Linnahall area with that of Kalamaja, inaugurated in 2011 when Tallinn was elected European Capital of Culture. These two kilometers tell the story of Tallinn's transformation into a bohemian city full of street art. Among abandoned factories and old chimneys there are in fact many graffiti and murals. The Contemporary Art Museum Estonia was also opened in the area, a really interesting museum in our opinion.
Lounge 24 by Radisson Blu Sky Bar - The bar offers stunning views across the city. This is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
Whisper Sister - Here is our favorite bar! Why? It is a secret bar, without a sign and hidden behind a locked door. To enter, you must call the number engraved on the door. Although his search is part of the fun and experience, here is the address for the less adventurous: Pärnu maantee 12. Then we have to tell you Terviseks (Cin Cin in Estonian)! P.S. We advise you to book a table (call around 19:30) or you will not find a place.
Japanese Garden - Within the Kadriorg park area, you can find this fantastic Japanese garden, a real hidden corner of paradise. Better to visit it in the morning when the crowds of onlookers still don't spoil this Zen environment.
NoKu Bar - It's a bar with a long history behind it. Created during the Soviet period by artists as a reaction to another artist's venue, Kuku, which had a strict admissions policy. This then became the place where artists and other people of culture would gather for a drink. At the time NoKu was closed to the public and you needed a card to enter. Today it is open to all but to enter you have to type the code 2580 at the door. It is located on the second floor and consists of two large rooms with heavy vintage furniture and wooden benches.
The Most BEAUTIFUL MARKETS in TALLINN
If you are in Tallinn at a different time than the Christmas Markets, but you still want to enjoy the air of the Estonian markets, no problem: here are the best Tallinn Markets you can find throughout the year:
If you want to step back in time to Tallinn's Soviet times, you can't miss a visit to the Balti Jaam market, opposite the main railway station. Here you'll find everything from Russian toys and vintage photographs to fresh fruit and modern clothing.
Every weekend you can drop by this fantastic market, a unique opportunity for bargain hunters, hipsters and fashion designers. It offers the possibility to buy all kinds of second-hand goods, antiques, vintage items and handicrafts.
Tallinn is famous for its knitwear and there's no better place to shop than the Knit Market. Open every day, it is located in front of the medieval city walls, on the corner of Viru and Müürivahe. Get ready for the largest selection of handmade socks, hats and sweaters decorated with cheerful reindeer, snowflakes and traditional motifs. Always look for the "Eesti Käsitöö" (certificate of authenticity - "Estonian Handicraft") mark.
Just a 25-minute bus ride outside the city centre, you can pop into this farmers' market, choosing from a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, fresh herbs, local jams, dark chocolates and Estonian sweet and sour sweets.
GAY FRIENDLY TOURS
Do you want to discover the city more deeply through Tallinn's Best Gay Tours? We recommend the following local operators:
Gaily Tour - Tour Operator offering tours and excursions dedicated to the LGBT + community throughout Europe. Special Tours and Gay & Lesbian Friendly Guides ready to make you discover the beauties of this destination. Info & Booking: info@GailyTour.com
Tallinn • Gay Friendly Tour & Bastion's Secrets
Be ready to discover together with our LGBT Friendly Tour Guide the special Old Town of Tallinn, one of Europe's best preserved medieval towns. With plenty of narrow lanes and hidden courtyards, you will be soaked in a mix of medieval and modern sightseeings The city of Tallinn hides many historical secrets. One of these is the story of the local LGBT community. The tour will introduce this story through local city streets and landmarks. Take a look to the City Hall Square, the churches of St. Nicholas and of the Holy Ghost, Catherine's Passage & Courtyard of the Masters. Enjoy a special underground tour of Tallinn, the mysterious passages in the city's earthwork fortifications In the bastion passages, a train to the future takes you to the year 2219 and back to the 17th century. After the incredible tour, reach Toompea Hill and Castle, Nevski Cathedral and enjoy a breathtaking view of Tallinn from one of the many observation decks. Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for City Tour (3 hours) * Entrance Fee – Bastion Passages
Tallinn by Night • Gay Tour
Enjoy an enlightened Tallinn and an amazing walking tour through Tallinn's gay & lesbian bars and clubs to live on your skin the magic atmosphere and LGBT scene of the city. Enjoy your included drink (also alcohol free drink available) and own the night ! Included: * Gay or Lesbian Friendly Tour Guide for Night Tour (2 hours) * Drink in Gay Bar (1 Drink)
Waht to See near Tallinn ?