What to Do in Tallinn: 5 Unusual Places to Visit
Located at the very top of the Baltics, Tallinn makes you wonder. A captivating mixture of Medieval fairy-tale charm, contemporary New Nordic dining and hidden hipster spots – there is something for everyone in Estonia’s capital. But you surely want to discover some out-of-the-ordinary places. That’s why we prepared this list of 5 unusual places to visit in Tallinn. And we are going to make sure you love it just as much as we did!
1. Telliskivi Creative City
Telliskivi is an old factory in the past, but Estonia’s largest creative city is a vibrant bohemian hub now. You don’t have to go to Telliskivi to do something particular—it’s a lovely spot just to kill some free time. It’s a perfect place for hanging out and meeting locals. There are many restaurants, cafes, and shops for different budgets and tastes. There’s also a yoga studio, a concert hall, and even a massage studio.
It’s also the place where many events are held. On Saturdays, Telliskivi hosts the biggest flea market in Tallinn, where you can spend hours browsing through selections of artwork, antiques, and oddities. Moreover, there’s also a massive annual food festival that draws in thousands of people.
Come to feel bohemian vibe!
2. Ichthus Art Gallery
Visit the inner chambers of Tallinn’s 13th-century Dominican Monastery for a glimpse into the lives of medieval monks. These chambers once included three wings, together called the Claustrum, of which the east wing still remains. It consists of a monks’ dormitory, library, refectory, prior’s living quarters and other rooms. Visitors shouldn’t miss the mysterious ‘Energy Pillar’ in the cellar, thought to be a source of physical and spiritual health.
These ancient underground rooms hold original works of art for sale by the the man who currently rents the space, an artist named Aleksandr Savchenkov. The artist is usually in the small gallery, called Ichthus Art Gallery, constructing new pieces while the occasional visitor mills among the watercolor paintings and Savchenkov’s for-sale work.
Check the page of gallery here.
3. Kalma sauna
Kalma sauna is one of the oldest public saunas in Tallinn, dating back to 1928. Although the building has been renovated several times, it’s still a place of history and tradition.
As a foreigner you might find it odd to sit in a small, hot room with other naked people. Dont’ worry, there are separate saunas for men and women. But for an Estonian it’s a completely normal and enjoyable pastime. So another unusual thing to do in Tallinn to truly experience Estonian culture is to spend some time in sauna.
As an added bonus, the Kalma sauna is located in Kalamaja. It’s a historic neighbourhood with unique wooden houses. So it’s an ideal place for an afternoon stroll.
4. Viru Hotel and Museum
History lesson time: Estonia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940. And suffered a full 50 years of occupation. During that time, tourism in Estonia was heavily controlled. There was only one hotel where tourists in Soviet-occupied Estonia could go – Hotel Viru. Soviet travel agency Intourist control it.
The hotel was essentially run by the Soviet secret police, with a KGB outpost occupying the entire 23rd floor. When the Soviet Union began to crumble, the 6-person KGB team fled in the middle of the night, taking what they could and destroying whatever they couldn’t.
Now, the Viru Hotel houses the KGB Museum. It has a selection of propaganda, uniforms, surveillance devices (including microphones in dinner plates – they really did think of everything), documents, and artifacts from the Soviet period. Led by a knowledgeable guide, the hotel-museum offers a peek into the Soviet past — and a stunning view of Tallinn to boot.
5. NoKu Klubi
What is unusual place to visit in the evening? NoKu is not just a regular drinking spot, but a bar with history. It was created during the Soviet times by artists as a reaction to another artist’s bar Kuku with a strict admission policy.
This was the place where artists and other culture related people gathered for a drink. Earlier people had to have a card to get in or sneak in with people who went out for a smoke. Now everybody can visit it but with a 2580 code at the door (use it wisely and with respect). You cannot miss the beautiful blue-red door on Pikk street. Go straight to the second floor, and you’ll find two spacious rooms with heavy vintage furniture and wooden benches. Locals like it for the ’70s vibe and warm dusky light. The food is regular, but we recommend you just having a drink with your friends in the calm atmosphere more.
To sum up, Tallinn is a perfect holiday destination if you want to combine the comforts of modern world, versatile nightlife and funny adventures with rich cultural scene in the local historical setting. And here is more classical yet still cool tour! Be sure our professional guides will tell you interesting and unusual stories about Tallinn! You can also check our Baltic Trilogy Tour. Find more information about Estonia here. Happy discovering this beautiful country!