Free Things to do in Tallinn

Estonia’s capital Tallinn is one of the very few places in the world that effortlessly combines living history with modern living. Its amazingly well preserved Old Town and its wonderfully modern infrastructure are sure to capture your heart. As if that wasn’t enough to make you fall in love, there is also a plethora of free things to do in Tallinn. Read on to discover what they are!

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Churches

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be religious for this one. In fact, less than 20% of the Estonian population identifies as religious. So you may find it surprising that the city has so many churches and cathedrals. These churches and cathedrals cover several religious denominations. Some of them have even switched between denominations at different periods in time.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. St Simeon and St Anna the Prophets Church K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Church of Bishop St Nicholas the Miracle-Maker

Religion aside, these buildings cover many different architectural styles and all have immaculate interiors. Some may look rather small and unassuming from the outside but inside are ridiculously ornate. Some, like St Olaf’s and St Mary’s have an entrance fee, whereas others like St John’s are free to enter. Either way, it’s still free to admire and take photos from the outside. The Visit Tallinn website has more information about entry fees and opening hours for churches in Tallinn.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. St Paul and St Peter's Cathedral K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Old Town

The Tallinn Old town is one of the world’s most well preserved medieval towns, which makes it an absolute treat for the senses. As soon as you step onto its cobbled streets, you really do feel like you’ve walked into another century.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Old City Stone Wall K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Old Town Street

While wandering around the town, there are many things to discover. Like St Catherine’s Passage, Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square) and the Danish King’s Garden, just to name a few. The town also contains Europe’s oldest pharmacy, Raeapteek (Town Hall Pharmacy). It was run by the same family for 330 years!

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Vabaduse väljak/Freedom Square

At the south end of the Old Town is a public square with monuments to Estonian independence struggles and victories. The open-air Freedom Square is a local gathering place and has been the site for celebrations and demonstrations.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Independence War Victory Column at Freedom Square K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. St John's Church at Freedom Square

It’s a great place to visit during the day but at night it comes alive. Flashing lights have been installed on poles in the square and the victory monument gets lit up as well.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Harjumägi/Harju Gate Hill and Toompea Hill

Harjumägi/Harju Gate Hill lies right behind the victory monument of Freedom Square and offers a great view over modern Tallinn.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Harjumägi/Harju Gate Hill at night

If you continue walking away from the square, you’ll hit Toompea Hill. It forms the northern border of the Old Town and is home to the Toompea Castle. The Castle is now used by the Estonian parliament.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – City Parks and Gardens

Although Tallinn is a fairly small city, it is packed with green spaces! A lot of them are small sculptured gardens, like Tammsaare Park, where people mainly sit around admiring trees. Others however are important gathering places with monuments and historical remnants. There are also walking trails and lookouts. Probably the most interesting part of some of these parks is how they came to be.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Commandant’s Garden (Komandandi Aed) and Governor’s Garden (Kuberneri Aed)

In between Harjumägi/Harju Gate Hill and Toompea Hill are two small gardens. Commandant’s Garden was named for the house on its corner where the Commander-in-chief used to live.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Komadandi/Commandant's Garden

The Governer’s Garden is beside Toompea Castle and used to be joined with the Castle Gardens until they were destroyed.

Two Parks in One: Linda’s Hill (Lindamäe Park) and Deer’s Park (Hirvepark)

These two parks are historical heavyweights in Tallinn. They are located within the same city block on the embankment of the former Rootsi/Swedish bastion. Linda’s Hill gets its name from A Weizenberg’s sculpture, called Linda, in the north of the park. Memorial ceremonies for Soviet repression victims have historically always taken place near the sculpture. It also has 250 year old trees.

Deer’s Park was the site of the first organised demonstrations against the communist party in 1987. Those demonstrations sparked anti-soviet sentiment and independence protests. A chain of events that eventually led to Estonian independence is 1991.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Police Garden Park (Politseiaia)

The Police Garden Park was previously known as the Military Vegetable Garden. As you can guess, it was used to grow vegetables for the police. It now contains walkways, fountains, a skate park and giant, people-size clay pots.

Photo by Madis Veltman
Children’s Park (Falgi Park)

This park was created in the mid-nineteenth century by filling in a pond with sand and planting some trees. It was bombed then refurbished in the mid-twentieth century as a garden with the ‘Circle For the Flowing Water’ fountain and children’s playgrounds.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Sneli Park/Toompark

The biggest of Tallinn’s inner-city parks, known as Sneli Park or Toompark, creates the northern border of the old town. It was once a fortification for the city and the park’s Sneli Pond is all that remains of the moat that used to protect the city. This park also contains the Kohtuosta, Patkuli and Piiskapi viewing platforms. These platforms offer great views over the city and the Baltic Sea.

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Kadrioru Park

The Kadrioru Park was constructed by orders from a Russian Tsar in the 18th century. It’s design elements span three centuries. Aside from cultural monuments, canals, fountains and ponds, it is home to not just one, but three museums. KUMU (the Estonian Art Museum), Mikkeli Museum and the Kadriorg Art Museum. The later is housed within the Kadriorg Palace, a centerpiece of the park.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Free Things to do in Tallinn. Kadrioru Park

Free Things to do in Tallinn – Kalamaja Park

This park can be found in the historical, yet hip Kalamaja area. It used to be the Kalamaja Cemetery but it got a make-over in the 60s. That’s when it became the park that it is today, a tree-lined, relaxing area with children’s playgrounds and an historic bell tower.

Free things to do in Tallinn – Kalamaja

Kalamaja means ‘Fish House’ in Estonian, so can you guess where this area is, right? On the waterfront of course! The former working-class area is now pretty much hipster-ville. The old factories now house museums, cafes and bakeries. So many bakeries. Kalamaja is known for its pastries.

Aside from food, the Kalamaja district is known for its cute and colourful wooden houses which were originally built to house factory workers in the 19th century. It’s also known for its lively culture and nightlife. The area contains bars, restaurants and even a brewery that attracts locals and visitors from around the city.

The Port of Tallinn or Tallinna Sadam is part of the Kalamaja district. One of Tallinn’s premier fresh produce markets, Sadama Turg, is located there. Kalamaja is also home to the neo-gothic Kalju Baptist Church and its own park, Kalamaja Park (mentioned above).

Tallinn Card

So this one isn’t free, but purchasing it gives you free entry to many attractions, like churches and museums that normally charge entry fees. It also lets you use all public transport in the city for free. If you are staying for more than a few days and really really want to see some museums, it may be worth it. If you’re thinking of getting it for free transport, it may not be worth it. Tallinn is a small and very walkable city. You can explore everything mentioned above easily on foot. Tallinn is a very pleasant city to walk around.

Related Post – Tallinn

Check out our other Northern European guides –
Free Things to do in Vilnius
Free Things to do in Riga
Free Things to do in Tallinn
How to Prepare for Finland in the Winter


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63 Replies to “Free Things to do in Tallinn”

  1. I’d love to visit Tallinn in the future. This place is awesome lots of instagrammable places. Will definitely put this on one of my trips after this pandemic.

  2. I always try ro check things we can do for free when we travel somewhere. And I’m always surprised how amazing things can be for free

        1. Oh wow. I’d like to be able to do a roadtrip in Europe but unfortunately I have to fly from the other side of the world!

  3. Tallinn is a place that I would love to be in. I enjoy watching medieval movies because I actually enjoy looking at detailed structures. You have such great photos of it! I also enjoy learning about the history of buildings.

    1. There’s so much history in Tallinn and walking through the old city makes you feel like you’re a part of that history.

    1. It’s okay, they have food too! You can even have it served to you by people wearing medieval clothes.

  4. Wow! There are so many things to do at Tallinn. I already feel that I need to visit this place soonest once things get back to normal after the pandemic is over.

  5. I always think that the best things in life are free and that includes tourist attractions. I think that free tourist attractions are very similar to local experience that’s why I love them so much.

  6. What a beautiful place Tallinn is! I love the architecture, so many cute buildings. Those massive plant pots would be a fun photo op!

    1. That’s exactly right. I think you can find out a lot about a place by just wandering around!

  7. As a budget traveller, this is so useful! I love the Police Garden that you spoke about, that’s super interesting and I would love to learn to history behind it

    1. I think you can find out so much about a place without spending a heap of money. The less money I spend in one place, the more places I can go! :o)

  8. So I still remember when the Baltic states got their freedom back in the early 90s and it was a cool thing to suddenly learn about the 3 “new” countries of Latvia, Estonia, & Lithuania.
    I guess though it never made my bucket list because I really had no idea what there was to do in these 3 countries. However, with that said, it looks like Tallinn in Estonia has a ton of historical and wonderful free outdoor things to do there!
    Out of curiousity, you said that Kalamaja Park was the former cemetery. Does this mean that everyone that us buried in that area is lost beneath the park or is there still a cemetery there?

    1. The cemetery was destroyed by occupying forces back in the 60s. I presume they just destroyed everything above ground.

  9. I love to visit historical and cultural travel destinations and have already heard so many great things about Tallinn so thanks for these extra tips and motivation ? It really looks so picturesque there with the romantic buildings and cobbles streets!

  10. How gorgeous does Tallinn look! I’d love to live in a town that is still constructed out of stone, takes me back to the medieval days. I also enjoy checking out beautiful churches, although I’m not religious. The Tallinn card sounds like good value.

    1. I’m not religious either, but those churches are stunning! It’s also interesting that the least religious country in the world has so many churches.

  11. Cobbled streets and churches – the typical European street! I have been hearing so much about Tallinn lately. Would love to consider visiting here sometime. Nice post.

  12. I didn’t know Tallinn has so many great places to see! I would visit the parks and churches if I ever visit.

  13. One of my best friends visited Tallinn a few years and loved it sooo much that she convinced me that I need t visit…now I feel bad that I didn’t already get around to it. I knew there was lots of cool architecture and interesting food, but I didn’t realize that there were soooo many gorgeous outdoor spaces.

    I especially love the look of the people-sized pots in the police veggy garden!

    1. It’s a beautiful city for sure! All of the Baltic capitals seem to have an abundance of green spaces as well as their beautiful architecture. They’re definitely worth visiting. :o)

  14. Great guide here and totally agree with your list. I been to Tallinn several times (as I have a home in Riga) and love going to this city, anytime of year. Plenty to do here for a long weekend and one of the cheaper places to hit up which uses the Euro currency. Cant wait for a return soon.

    1. You have a home in Riga? Wow! That’s also a lovely city. Tallinn is one of my favourite European cities because even though it’s small, there’s so much to do and see.

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