The capital of Estonia, Tallinn is an upwardly-mobile city which has become surer of its place in the world. Serving as the European Capital of Culture in 2011, old and new intertwine throughout the city, while visitors come here from across Europe, whether to visit the Old Town or look at some of the intriguing examples of Soviet architecture. In winter, much like neighbouring Helsinki across the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn looks amazing, especially if you visit the older parts or head towards the coast. The city is a good place to go explore nightlife with a difference, while many shoppers put off by the prices in Scandinavia or other parts of Western Europe head here in search of a bargain.
Although driving in Tallinn can be a little slow at times, a larger car will make it easier when going onto the motorways and for navigating older roads which may have the odd pothole.
Driving in Tallinn
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
As Estonia’s biggest city, traffic can be pretty heavy during rush hour. The motorways leading to the city centre can be especially clogged during weekday mornings.
Some ticket machines for car parks in Tallinn aren’t clearly signposted. You should try and look for one the moment you find a car park with ample space.
In most parts of the city, there is a confusing one-way system which seems to change almost on a whim. Be sure to learn about road signs here before you visit.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Old Town is a must for any visitor. Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, it’s where most of the interesting landmarks are, including Viru Gate, the entrance to Viru Street and Toompea Hill. You’re sure to find something that catches your eye in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Museum of Occupations, which was recently opened, documents the history of Estonia and Tallinn under the rule of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Anyone with a keen interest in the city’s history should make sure to visit.
The KUMU National Art Museum is one of the city’s more modern attractions. It has some amazing exhibitions including a cyclopic house partly made from limestone. Modern paintings and sculptures from Estonian artists are routinely displayed here.
Tallinn Winter Festival is the main annual music festival for classical artists. Visitors from all over the world flock to various music venues across the city to see top young artists from Estonia and beyond, many trained at the country’s Academy of Music and Theatre.
Tallinn Airport is 2.5 miles southeast of the centre of Tallinn. It has one main terminal which was recently renovated and serves destinations across Europe, most notably in Scandinavia and former Soviet Union countries.
The airport is located to the east of The 2 Motorway, which goes northwest towards the city centre. To the north, you‚Äôre able to get straight onto the 1 Motorway, which takes you to the eastern suburbs of Tallinn.