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Tallinn Cruise Port Guide

On a Scandinavian cruise, Tallinn offers the perfect introduction to Estonia. After decades of occupation by the Soviet Union in the late 20th century, Tallinn is a little like a teenager in rebellion. The thriving nightlife and dance hall scene breathe life into the city, while colorful new districts like Creative City give residents and visitors alike a contemporary perspective of Tallinn. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Town is a visitor favorite, with its quaintly cobblestoned streets teeming with history.

Tallinn is a laidback city with an adventurous heart. On an Estonia cruise, you’ll be surprised by the versatile, chameleon nature of the city, whether you’re strolling the grounds at Kadriorg Park or capturing that ideal Instagrammable shot from the lookout point at Kohtuotsa. Preserved towers and baroque churches offer a visual mix of cultures and aesthetics. Animal lovers will find plenty to see at the Tallinn Zoo, and art enthusiasts will enjoy an afternoon at the Kumu Art Museum.

Cruises to Tallinn, Estonia

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Top Sights & Attractions for Cruises to Tallinn

Creative City

On a Tallinn cruise, don’t miss the chance to tour Creative City, a revitalized stretch of cultural attractions, restaurants, cafes, shops, and art studios. Spend an afternoon exploring this industrial park turned artsy neighborhood and leave feeling inspired.

Kadriorg Park

What used to be an 18th-century palace is now a stunning, well-kept garden with nearly 200 acres of grounds that any nature and history buff will appreciate during their adventures in Tallinn.

Old Town Tallinn

You can’t come to Tallinn and not see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Town, with its tunnels and buildings that date back to the 17th century. A walk through Old Town is an essential thing to do during your visit to Tallinn.

Kumu Art Museum

Head to Kumu Art Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe, for a comprehensive look at Estonian art. It’s open from 10am to 6pm every day except Monday. Art lovers can’t miss the chance to see Kumu in person.

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Top Things to Do in Tallinn

See St. Olaf’s Church

St. Olaf’s Church is one of Tallinn’s most recognizable and enduring sights. This site of deep religious significance has been built and rebuilt several times over the centuries. Enjoy a guided tour or walk the church grounds.

Catch Great Views from Kohtuotsa

The best view of the Tallinn skyline and Old Town is from the top of Toompea Hill. You’ll see the port and the glittering water in the background. Don’t forget to snap a photo.

Visit the Open Air Museum

The Estonian Open Air Museum is your solution to learning about all things Estonia. Tour the 14 preserved and recreated farms that depict what life was like for local farmers and citizens across the centuries. You’ll learn about the social classes and how people from all walks of life lived, worked, and enjoyed Tallinn. 

Top Food and Drink Spots Near the Tallinn Cruise Port

Estonian food is unique, and there are plenty of rituals surrounding food here. Bread recipes are passed down over generations, making it a sentimental and culturally important practice. Be sure to try locally made rye bread while you’re here. Estonian cuisine is very fish-centered, and smoked fish is a staple on all summertime menus. If you have a sweet tooth, tour a chocolate-making facility like Kalev. Microbreweries and local beer are a big part of the culture, and Estonians pride themselves on having a wide selection of locally brewed beers and liqueurs.

Culture & History of Tallinn Cruise Port

Tallinn is one of the oldest cities in the region and has a storied and rich history. Throughout the last 500 years, Tallinn has changed hands many times and been occupied by Germans, Russians, Swedish, and Danish forces. Before it was called Tallinn, Danish settlers called the city Revel until around the time of World War I. Estonia didn’t gain independence from the Soviet Union until 1991, so the country we know now as Estonia is a relatively young one. Today, the city is in the midst of a renaissance of sorts, as new bars, restaurants, and cultural institutions come together to make the city young, approachable, and fun.

Tallinn Port Facilities & Location

The Tallinn cruise port is a key connector of the Baltic Sea with the rest of Europe. Your Tallinn cruise ship will dock in the Old City Harbor, which is a short walk or shuttle bus from the city center. It’ll take you about 20 minutes to walk to the center of town.

Transportation in Tallinn

Walking around the center of the city is a fairly easy way to see the major sights in Tallinn. Bicycling is a popular mode of transportation in this part of Estonia, and it’s easy to find your way around via car, too. Buses and shuttles run frequently.

Shopping Near the Tallinn Cruise Port

The quaint Old Harbor is home to a market, several local artisan shops selling Estonian items and handmade goods, and gifts to commemorate your time in Tallinn. There’s also a food court where you can grab a quick bite and try some traditional Estonian dishes as soon as you arrive. Walk 15 minutes into the city for more shopping. 

Local Currency & Tipping Customs

During an Estonia cruise, you’ll use the euro as the official currency like other destinations in Europe. Many restaurants will include a service charge in your bill, in which case tipping isn’t necessary. However, if there isn’t a service charge, leaving behind 10% to 15% is customary. When taking a taxi, round up the fare. Credit cards are generally accepted in Estonia, but it’s recommended you carry extra euros with you just in case you need to make small purchases here and there.

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Tallinn, Estonia- Tallinn has remained remarkably unchanged since its founding in 1154 A.D. The preservation of this city’s old world charm enables visitors to enjoy architectural marvels of centuries past, such as the soaring towers of Toompea Castle and the exquisite Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The exception is the delightfully modern pink Parliament building, visible from Palace Square.  With a boisterous nightlife, Tallinn stands as one of the most exciting cities of the former Soviet Union. Here, ancient church spires and baroque architecture intermingle with modern glass buildings that echo the many influences and cultures that have left their imprint throughout the centuries. There are so many amazing sites to explore on your Tallinn cruise.  Visit the imaginative Estonian Open-Air Museum, where ancient structures are arranged among the trees complete with actors in period garb. People watching doesn’t get much better than what you’ll find in Town Hall Square and if it’s animals you’d rather observe, visit the Tallinn Zoo where over 350 different species are housed. 


Tip from Travel + Leisure

Ice Bar

Stop by this tiny watering hole at the Merchant’s House Hotel for “ice shots,” or vodka served in a frozen glass. A 14th-century fresco adorns the ceiling; stained-glass windows frame the handsome bar.

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