Programme Contact Participants Hotels Exploring Tartu
How to get there?
Live video
Phone numbers

Conference Dinner

TALLINN (, the capital of Estonia, is located in Northern Europe in the north-eastern part of the Baltic Sea region. Area of Tallinn - 159,2 km² (Estonia 45 227 km²).

The population of Tallinn is 429 359 (24.10.2013). Nationalities living in Estonia: Estonian 52.5%, Russian 38.5%, Ukrainian 3.7%, other 5,3%. Estonian's official language is Estonian. Russian, Finnish, English and German are also understood and widely spoken.

It is not easy to determine the beginning of Tallinn history. The location probably attracted attention as a suitable port area long before first written sources mention a settlement there in 1154. However the first fortress was built here almost a thousand years ago in 1050 (then known as Reval), the city started flourishing in the 14th century, when Tallinn was the home of well-off German merchants. Acting as the "gate" between the west and the east, this coastal town has been an attractive location throughout history.

The major part of the historic city centre, nowadays often referred to as the medieval pearl of Europe, was built at that time. Remarkably preserved and almost unchanged, the unique old town of Tallinn was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1997.

The places, where you will be spending your time in Tallinn, are mostly covered with Wifi, so when taking a break, or having a cup of coffee you can easily check your e-mails, or surf the net.

Tallinn m-version

How to get there? 

The Tallinn-Helsinki sea-line is one of the busiest international passenger routes in the world. Ferries cross the Gulf of Finland between Tallinn and Helsinki several times a day, covering the distance in roughly 2 to 3 hours. Ferries between Tallinn and Stockholm depart every evening, with the trip taking approximately 15 hours.

The harbour is located in the very heart of the city of Tallinn and therefore allows excellent access for passengers to the city centre. From the port´s A-terminal to the city centre departs bus no. 2 approximately every 30 minutes from 7 am until midnight. The price from the bus is 1,6EUR. A taxi from the terminal to the city centre costs about 5 up to 10 EUR. A walk from the port to the city centre takes about 20 minutes

Tallinn on the map

Tallinn  Like most cities with an eight-hundred-year-old past, Tallinn is a patchwork of historic areas. The city's pride and joy is without a doubt its Medieval Old Town, but equally enchanting is the Kadriorg district, a throwback to the time when Estonia was ruled by the Russian Tsars. Other areas of Tallinn are perfect for those who want to get a glimpse of Soviet-era life, or just want to spend time in the great outdoors.
Bastion tunnels  Bastion tunnels
Like any respectable Medieval town, Tallinn has its share of underground passageways, particularly the defensive tunnel systems built in the 1600s during the time of Swedish rule.
Back then attack was a constant worry, so city planners constructed high bastion walls around the outside of the fortified city. They also installed tunnels under the base of the walls so they could safely move soldiers and ammunition to where they were needed, not to mention spy on the enemy.
Some tunnels were forgotten. As late as 2003, workers digging a foundation near the Occupation Museum found a pentagonal system of limestone-lined tunnels dating to the end of the 17th century.
Fat Margaret´s Tower  Estonian Maritime Museum - Fat Margaret´s Tower
Standing guard at the north end of Pikk street are two of Tallinn's most impressive defensive structures, the Great Coastal Gate (Suur Rannavärav) and Fat Margaret tower (Paks Margareeta).
They were built not only to defend the city from the seaward side of town, but also to impress any visitors arriving via the harbour.
The museum focuses on the all-important sea-faring aspect of Estonia's history, displaying such things as Neolithic fishing gear, antique diving equipment, and even the entire wheelhouse from a 1950s-era trawler. The extensive museum covers four floors of the historic Fat Margaret's cannon tower.
The origins of Fat Margaret's name are a mystery. Some theories insist it was named for one of its larger cannons, while others hint at a cook called Margaret who once worked here.
In any case, the tower has served a number of different functions throughout its history. It has been used a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons, and used as a prison.
Now it's home to the Estonian Maritime Museum, which provides a detailed look at the nation's seafaring past.
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform  Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform
On the east corner of Toompea hill sits quite a spacious viewing platform with unforgettable views to the Medieval neighbourhood against the backdrop of its more modern district. From here you can see most of the Tallinn's spires, even the highest of them the Tallinn TV Tower at the distance. Beyond the modern building lies Lasnamäe suburb with examples of Soviet style block buildings. This platform is most famous picture point.
Town Hall Square  Town Hall Square
Surrounded by elaborate merchant houses and, in summer, packed with café tables, it's a natural magnet for tourists.
Historically it served as a market and meeting place, and was the site of at least one execution (resulting from a dispute over a bad omelette). Find the round stone marked with a compass rose in the middle of the square. From this spot, with a little stretching and bending, you can see the tops all five of Old Town's spires.
Today, the square remains the social heart of the city, a venue for open-air concerts, handicraft fairs and Medieval markets. Each winter it's home to the town's Christmas tree - a tradition that stretches back to 1441 - and a buzzing Christmas Market. In spring it hosts the Old Town Days festival, a modern version of a Medieval carnival, where traditions from the Middle Ages are kept alive.
Notable buildings around the square include the Town Hall and the Town Hall Pharmacy.
St. Olav´s Church and tower  St. Olav´s Church and tower
Once upon a time, from 1549 to 1625 to be precise, this 14th century Gothic church was the tallest building in the World. But it's gigantic, 159-metre spire, meant as a signpost for approaching ships, also turned out to be a very effective lightning rod. Throughout the church's history lightning hit the spire repeatedly, completely burning down the structure three times.
Nowadays its smaller, 124-metre spire still dwarfs most of Tallinn's buildings and remains an important symbol of the town. From April to October, visitors can make the vigorous climb to the top of the stone portion of the tower for magnificent and dizzying views of Old Town, Toompea hill and the port area.
The church itself dates back to at least 1267 when it is thought to have served a group of Scandinavian merchants who settled in the area. Various legends insist the church got its name from either the giant or the mysterious stranger who built it, however it was in fact dedicated to King Olaf II of Norway.
Its current shape and size were set in the 16th century. Inside are high, vaulted naves and a historicist interior design that dates to after the 1830 fire.
Kadriorg Art Museum  Kadriorg Palace - Kadriorg Art Museum
Trip to Tallinn isn't a trip to Tallinn without a visit to this magnificent northern Baroque palace, built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine I, in 1718. Designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti, the grandiose palace and surrounding manicured gardens are a humbling example of Tsarist extravagance, but just as important a reason to visit is that this is also home to the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia. The Kadriorg Art Museum displays hundreds of 16th- to 20th-century paintings by Western and Russian artists, as well as prints, sculptures and other works.
Tallinn TV Tower  Tallinn TV Tower
Visitors to the 314 metre tower will start the visit with a 3D film about the tower, get to enjoy an interactive exhibition on the greatest achievements of Estonians through the ages and a fascinating overview of the history of the tower itself before heading up to the viewing platform and café at the 170 metre level - the highest in the country. A special panorama programme magnifies the view by a factor of ten. Visitors can record video greetings in the tower's television studio and broadcast them globally.
The landmark building is host to concerts, performances, exhibitions and open air events at different times throughout the year. For an additional cost, visitors can try the "WalkingOnEdge" attraction.
Seaplane Harbour  Seaplane Harbour
With the help of modern multimedia, the Seaplane Harbour in the wooden architecture suburb Kalamaja tells exciting stories about the Estonian maritime and military history promising a "sea full of excitement" for the whole family on an area that would take nearly 2 million A4 paper sheets laid down side by side. The museum's display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World's first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s. In 2012 the hangars were rewarded with best concrete building of the year title.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.
   See more
See you in Tallinn!  High quality destination video introducing vibrant city of Tallinn

Freedom Square live camera
Weather  Weather can be windy and changeable with possible rainfall.
For the latest forecast please see the homepage
phone numbers
Area code for phone calls from abroad: +372
Emergency calls112
Customs info+372 880 0814
Bus station12550
City transport 12012
Airport+ 372 605 8888
Information of the city government+ 372 640 4141
Tallinn Tourist Information Centre+ 372 645 7777

Back to front page

Program Speakers Exploring Helsinki