Tallinn is definitely one of the most photogenic cities throughout the former Soviet Union. Miniature Old Town, well-preserved ancient walls and towers, the proximity of the sea - all this makes the capital of Estonia very attractive for travelers and photographers from around the world. The best place to admire the beauty of this city is its viewpoints. I've been in Tallinn for six times and thought I knew it well. I was wrong!
This time I saw Tallinn from six different locations and each of them deserves a special attention. I'd like to share this information important for every traveler. Let's take a look at the city from six different viewpoints and find out where they are situated and how inexperienced city explorers can get there.
We'll start our review from a very unusual lighthouse. This building with a height of 42 meters is part of the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluväljak) and, at the same time, it really serves as the lighthouse.
We got here during the beer Ollesummer festival. There are 208 steps leading on the high tower built in 1960. Its top offers excellent views of the Gulf and surrounding districts of the city - Pirita and Kadriorg.
Tallinna Lauluväljak also looks impressive from here. One can only imagine the picture when up to 300 thousand people gather here during important city events and concerts.
Visiting this lighthouse will cost you just 2 Euro (as of 2016), and you'll get a bonus - free Nikon's high-powered binoculars set in the base of the observation deck.
Now let's move to the eastern outskirts of the city - in the green district called Pirita. Here, at a distance of eight kilometers from the capital's center, you'll find one of the most important constructions of Tallinn - its tower (Tallinna Teletorn).
It was built for five years to the beginning of the XXII Olympic Games in Moscow. Regatta included in its program was held in Tallinn. The design of this tower was the typical one. Similar TV towers were built in Vilnius and Baku.
This building with a height of 314 meters has remained the highest one in Estonia for almost 40 years. There is the observation deck, a modern interactive museum and a small restaurant at an altitude of 170 meters.
Views from here are stunning, but it's better to go outside, because thick glasses are a bit interfering.
You can do this during a thrilling amusement called the "Walk on the edge". During it you can walk on the edge of the TV tower top at a height of 175 meters accompanied by an instructor and being tied with safety rope. That feeling when you sit on the edge of the tower and admire the Tallinn scenery was really unforgettable.
It is worth noting that you can get to the tower by bus and visit it absolutely for free with Tallinncard. Walk on the edge will cost 20 Euro and it must be agreed in advance.
Now let's move to the center of the Tallinn's Old Town. Here, with the help of the card mentioned above, you can climb three important towers for free - towers of the Town Hall, St. Olaf’s Church and of the Dome Cathedral. We managed to visit only two of these points.
Town Hall (Tallinna raekoda) is one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn and is a very interesting tourist landmark. However, many visitors forget about its tower, and it's worth climbing on it.
By the way, it's not easy to climb medieval crooked stairs, but this tiny observation deck offers beautiful views.
I must note that windows here are narrow and there's a very small room. It's better to climb it with a small company.
We did not stay here for long, let's free the space for other lovers of views from above.
The upper part of the city has several observation decks, which are always full of tourists. Most of Tallinn's pictures from above were taken here.
Next to these crowded places, there is another deck, which is not so popular despite of its prime location. I am talking about the tower of the Dome Cathedral (Tallina Toomkirik). TallinnCard gives the opportunity to visit this interesting construction and, at the same time, to climb its tower.
There's enough space and the lack of tourist crowds allows you to plunge into a meditative state. There are even chairs for this.
Nevertheless, none of these viewpoints provides a complete impression of this city. This unique opportunity can be provided by helicopter trips with the Nordik Aviation Academy company. A 10-minute long flight will cost you about 50 Euros, but it's worth it.
Helipad is located near the Paldiski highway in the residential neighborhood called Mustjõe. Only three passengers can participate in the flight simultaneously. There were exactly three of us.
During this short flight, we managed see and admire the views of the Old Town, of the coast and of the city port.
Tallinn from above is beautiful and very miniature. Seeing it in this way is the unique opportunity and you should definitely take advantage of it.
I should finish our review with the visit to the roof of Radisson Blu Hotel.
A few know this place, except fro the hotel guests. This roof with a restaurant offers amazing views of modern Tallinn. Here you can see the city as a metropolis with wide roads and skyscrapers of glass and concrete.
Next to this business center, there is the Old Town already familiar to us. You can get on the roof of the hotel absolutely for free, and you don't necessary have to order something in the restaurant. You can enjoy the views of Tallinn even with a completely empty purse. You should come here at sunset. This if the time when the city is filled with subdued light of the setting sun.
Here, on the border of two worlds of light and darkness, we'll finish our review of the most important viewpoints of the city, views of which can impress even a sophisticated traveler and complete skeptic...
Perhaps someone knows other places for panoramic shots in Tallinn. Feel free to write about them in the comments.