Tallinn was a late-comer to the European tourist scene, but the 21st century has been kind to this beguiling city. Booking accommodation in Tallinn old puts visitors in prime position to visit medieval churches and peruse trendy boutiques. Tallinn’s centuries-long succession of foreign rulers – the Danes, Swedes, Germans and Russians – left behind a dynamic medieval quarter that’s easily one of the finest in Northern Europe.
One of the oldest structures in the quarter is the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin, built in the 13th century and renovated repeatedly over the years. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is much more recent, displaying Russian influence with a trio of onion domes. The cathedral is directly across from Toompea Hill, where the city’s castle
and Danish King’s Courtyard are found.
Tallinn is divided into upper and lower towns. The lower town is announced by Viru Gate, looming over the shopping street by the same name. Some of the trendiest hotels in Tallinn lie on Viru Street, within easy walking distance of the city’s most popular sightseeing and commercial attractions. The lower town fans out around the base of Toompea Hill, includes a few attractive parks and is hemmed in by the city’s medieval walls.
Getting into Tallinn is easier than ever before. Tourists regularly arrive from Stockholm and Helsinki, usually aboard hydrofoils. It’s also possible to fly direct into Tallinn Airport
from cities across Europe.