ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What To Do On Your Cruise Excursion in Tallinn, Estonia

Updated on October 25, 2014

Cruising to Tallinn? Consider A Private Walking Tour

In the summer of 2009, my family had the privilege of travelling to Europe and taking a Baltic cruise. Our very first stop was Tallinn, Estonia where we enjoyed a private tour and a medieval meal.

Tallinn is easily accessible by foot, particulary if you are a walker. We walked from the ship to the city walls and up the hill to the departure point for our walking tour which, interestingly, was with a company that is run by students and operates as an alternative tourist information center in a tent.

This page will fill you in a bit on OUR choices when it came to visiting Tallin for a single day. Hopefully, this information will help you as you weigh your options for your Tallinn shore excursion.

Visit Beautiful Tallinn, Estonia With Us...

Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Turret Postcard

Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Turret Postcard
Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Turret Postcard | Source

Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Village Postcard

Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Village Postcard
Tallinn, Estonia Medieval Village Postcard | Source

Quick Facts About Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, is located on the northern coast of the country on the Gulf of Finland 80 kms (50 mi) south of Helsinki, Finland. It is a small country with an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) and a population of just 410,050.

Interesting Facts About Tallinn, Estonia

  • Tallinn has a beautiful, medieval old town.
  • Tallinn has the only surviving original Gothic style town hall.
  • Every year on December 24th the president of Estonia proclaims Christmas peace.
  • The official language is Estonian but Russian is spoken frequently. Our guide spoke very good English as did our waitress at the restaurant.
  • The country of Estonia has the most meteorite craters per land area of any country in the world.
  • It also has one of the lowest population of all of the countries in Europe.
  • Apparently, a mouse robbed a bank...by living in an ATM.

type=text
type=text

The Tallinn Traveller Information Tent

Provides information and student-run tours.

There are plenty of choices when your cruise ship docks in Tallin. You can, of course, take a cruise ship excursion. You could also choose to tour Tallinn on your own armed with information you find online and a good guide book. However, I prefer to have a guide or tour of some sort and find that when we do, we learn more about a destination. Since the city of Tallinn is easily accessed by foot from the dock, we decided to hire a student run company called Tallinn Traveller Info.

Tours are available as part of a group or privately. Tallinn Traveller even offers a free tour for which, I presume, they accept donations. We chose to spend a bit of money and book online a private tour so that we could choose the timing. In order to maximize the short day we had in Tallinn, we wanted to have our tour first thing in the morning and be free to wander as we wished in the afternoon.

The Tallinn Traveller Information company assigned us a young guide named Karoli. Karoli did a great job of leading us around the city, explaining the history of the city and of what we were seeing as we went. She spent longer than the alotted time and, when we passed the huge crowds from the bus excursions, we were glad we had opted to make our own arrangements for a private tour. Karoli was even, of course, able to make lunch recommendations. (More on those later.)

In case you are wondering, our private student-run tour was actually quite inexpensive.

TALLINN TRAVELLER INFO.

"Tallinn Traveller Info tent is an alternative tourist information center that provides you with best insider tips about Tallinn. Run by local young people, it is the best place to start any stay in Tallinn, no matter the length. We know all the best restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, cool secret places and phone numbers of every hostel in Tallinn."

Cruise Ship Excursions Versus Your Own Excursions

Cruise Ship Excursions are definitely an important part of cruising for most people. However, taking the excursions offered by the ship is not the only way to see your ports of call. If you are planning a cruise in the near future, I know you are trying to determine what to do. Will you take the cruise ship excursions offered by the ship or will you make your own arrangements for the ports of call? Read more about the pros and cons of cruise ship excursions by clicking right here.

The Bradt City Mini Guide Guide to Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is a medieval city with beautiful cobbled streets in the old section. This book covers Old Tallinn including architectural details, museums and shops. It also includes information on excursions out of the city, which may not be required for cruise ship travellers as they do not usually have more than a single day in Tallinn. It includes a walking tour; restaurant, cafe and bar lists; museums and short excursions; and, city maps.

A Medieval Feast at Olde Hansa - A genuine medieval meal, fit for royalty...

Medieval Feast at Olde Hansa
Medieval Feast at Olde Hansa | Source


To say we 'enjoyed' our midday meal at Olde Hansa might be stretching it a bit. However, I can say in all honesty that we were totally amazed at the setting. The experience may have been worth what we spent just to soak up the atmosphere, but be aware that our Canadian palates were, ahh, surprised and not necessarily delighted with the offerings. Most of the food was foreign to us and, therefore, not particularly enjoyed. However, if you are seeking a genuine medieval feast, you ought to seek out Olde Hansa but be warned that it is not inexpensive fare and that it is authentic...

If you go but are unsure of the food choices, we would recommend ordering something simple and inexpensive, like the soup. That way, if you get something you are not crazy about, you will not have spent a lot for it and you will have had the opportunity to try some medieval food and to check out this amazing medieval-themed restaurant.

The 'Fine Almond Chicken of Mild Taste' was the most successful of our four choices; my son Douglas (who also took the photographs of the postcards on this page) chose the chicken and ate every morsel of the meat but not the accompaniments.

The choice is yours. If you want to seek out something authentic and you are brave and/or have more adventurous palates than we do, we say give Olde Hansa a try. The setting is magnificent, the service very helpful, friendly and efficent and the food, well, it will take you back a few hundred years.

Alternatively, our tour guide recommended a restaurant where she eats, which probably would have meant a more pleasing (in terms of food) and less expensive.

The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black - Interested in learning more about medieval cooking? Check out this overview of medieval food practices.

Beautiful Antique Yellow and Blue Tallinn, Estonia Doorways

Beautiful Antique Yellow and Blue Tallinn, Estonia Doorways
Beautiful Antique Yellow and Blue Tallinn, Estonia Doorways
Beautiful Antique Yellow and Blue Tallinn, Estonia Doorways
Beautiful Antique Yellow and Blue Tallinn, Estonia Doorways | Source

Cruise Ship Excursions Versus Your Own Excursions - More information on whether to book cruise ship excursions or to plan your own. We did a bit of both.

holland-america-rotterdam-norway
holland-america-rotterdam-norway

Estonian Cobblestone - These feet were made for walking and that's just what they did...

Tallinn, Estonia Cobblestone
Tallinn, Estonia Cobblestone

Are you planning a visit to Tallinn, Estonia on a cruise ship or otherwise?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      seegreen 7 years ago

      I've enjoyed this lens before and I have come back to give it a blessing.

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 7 years ago

      Tallinn Estonia is a beautiful town! I love the architecture and character. The medieval feast looks interesting. I only recognized the chicken and rice. The green vegetable; are they olives? :)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Lovely work, Brenda -- congratulations on the award!

    • kohuether lm profile image

      kohuether lm 7 years ago

      I heard Tallinn was simply gorgeous! I was across the water in Helsinki and came very close to doing a Ferry ride there - but the Ferry pickings were pretty slim.

    • NickOng profile image

      NickOng 7 years ago

      hey ! wonderful selection of pictures! especially your meal at Olde Hansa! looks yummy! Keep up the good work!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Many congrats on your Sunshine Award for this wonderful lens on Tallinn, Estonia. Beautiful images.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Great lens....love the postcards and the up-close shot of the door. I've been to lots of places in Europe, but haven't made it to Estonia yet so it was fun taking a tour with you:) Congrats on winning the Sunshine Award!!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image
      Author

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Thank you all for your kind comments! We did not have long in Tallinn but what we saw and experienced, we enjoyed.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image
      Author

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      @ulla_hennig: Yes, I think that you may have put your finger on the difference, Ulla.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Congratulations for our win for the wonderful Tallinn, Estonia lens!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your award. Believe it or not I worked with some Estonian lads here in Cork and got on very well with them.

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      To tell you the truth, I have never heard of this country before. It looks like a cool place to visit. Congrats on winning the sunshine award contest with this great lens.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens, Brenda! Congratulations on your award. =)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations to you and to Young Inventors International

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What a wonderful trip you must have had in Estonia! Lovely pictures. Congratulations on your Sunshine Award! Very well deserved!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your Squidoo Sunshine Award -- you and Young Inventors!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Hooray! Congratulations to you, Brenda, and to your charity, Young Inventors International, for your win in the Squidoo Summer Sunshine contest!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your Sunshine Award! http://blogs.squidoo.com/squidblog/2010/06/17/suns... Thanks for donating your lens royalties to Young Inventors International.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens on this great country. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also added to my awards lens charity-lenses-for-summer-sunshine-giveaway

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 7 years ago

      I've never even heard of Tallinn before; I have never been to Estonia. The food actually looks good though. I wasn't fond of most authentic Italian food, but that food looks fairly normal. Perhaps looks can be deceiving.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      Interesting, but this may be one of those trips I can only do in my imagination or through pictures, nicely done. ~claudia

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Never been, hadn't really thought about taking an European cruise. I do have more information on Estonia and sounds like fun. Your zazzle postcards came out great too.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      What a great trip! I am a little afraid of the ocean and I have never been on a cruise, but I would love to visit Estonia. Beautiful pictures!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, they ought to put you on their Tourism payroll for this great lens filled with information on Tallinn, Estonia. Good luck on the contest. I have nominated this lens and featured it with your charity on my Summer Sunshine Award Nominees lens.

    • momto4 lm profile image

      momto4 lm 7 years ago

      This looks like an interesting place to visit! I love all your pictures! Great lens!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 7 years ago

      You took some gorgeous photos and they make lovely postcards!

    • profile image

      ulla_hennig 7 years ago

      I have been to Tallinn in June 2009 during my tour through the three Baltic states, and your lens brought up very pleasant memories. Our group had a meal in the Olde Hanse as well, and maybe our European palates are a bit different from your Canadian ones - we liked the meal!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Haven't made plans to go there, but this looks like fun.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I'm not planning a visit, but I would love to be able to go! This is excellent information about Tallinn tourism and the pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Best of success with the Summer Sunshine award!

    working