Tallinn is an easy day trip from Helsinki, but be prepared for quite a lot of walking if you want to take it all in. From Helsinki it is just a two hour ferry ride and then a short walk from the dock into the Old Town of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The name Tallinn came from the Danes (Taani Linnus, “Danish stronghold”) but the city has been ruled by many, including Russians and Germans.
We kept our touring to the walled Old Town with cobblestone streets, entering on the northern side.
I immediately thought of Game Of Thrones as we passed the walls and towers. This feeling was intensified when a street band starting playing the theme song.
The Town Hall Square:
The Pikk Jalg Gate Tower:
This small street, Luhike, leads up to Toompea Hill from the lower part of Old Town:
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Toompea Hill:
We went into the Toompea Castle for a tour, but it is only open Wednesdays and Fridays for tours, so no luck there.
Back down in Old Town, the street named Katarina Kiak has a wall lined with tomb stones on one side, and the other side lined with shops and restaurants. The tomb stones are from the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria.
Opposite the wall of tomb stones I found this delightful artists’ gild with locally made ceramics.
At the far end of Katarina Kaik we hit the wall, and climbed the Helleman’s Tower to take in the view.
The cat walk along the wall:
The next photograph is looking south along the eastern wall. The top of part of Viru Gate is visible.
Following the wall south, we found one of the main gates to the Old Town, the Viru Gate.
We had walked for hours by this point so we headed to a late lunch. With a list of possible restaurants in hand, we settled on Rataskaevu 16. It was a great choice and we could not have been happier.
The fried mushrooms with herbed potatoes and sour cream:
The oven baked goat cheese with warm vegetables and berry sauce:
I had the chef’s white fish special which was cod with lentils:
It was all quite delicious and fresh. I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough. We were celebrating my friend Teresa’s birthday, and they brought out a dessert with a candle.
We made our way slowly back to the ferry docks and the two hour ride back to Helsinki. It was a great day, but long, with quite a bit of walking. We took the 0730 ferry out in the morning, and the 630 pm ferry back.
Great pictures. Looking forward to see you all Thursday.
Beautiful pictures, Laura – especially the food pix at Rataskaevu! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures when we are sitting around the table enjoying a nice meal!