We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Laia, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Laia lives in Spain, and submitted the following report about Tallinn. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Estonian, Russian, English
Reasons to Visit Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, the largest and by far the most visited. Most travelers go to Tallinn attracted by its Old Town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the city has much more to offer and the other areas are hardly known.
This means that, from one side, you will find a great tourism infrastructure with plenty of hostels, restaurants, and opportunities to meet people while traveling alone. On the other hand, if you are an independent traveler who likes to go off the beaten path, you can explore other areas of the city that receive few or even no tourists at all.
The Old Town is where most people stay and it is indeed beautiful and charming with its cobbled streets, ramparts, arcs, and old walls. It is quite small so it can all be seen in one day. It is really worth the visit.
That said, if you have an extra day or two I would recommend visiting other areas of the city.
Kadriorg is a residential area and its main highlight is the Kadriorg Palace. It is a baroque palace which has a French style garden in the rear part. The building is now part of the Estonian Art Museum.
Kalamaja is a district located next to the seafront. The Seaplane Harbor is a museum but some boats and war ships on the rear side can be seen without a ticket. The Patarei Prison Museum is considered “shock tourism” and I understood why. Little has changed inside since the prison was closed in 2002. It is cold, humid, dark, and deteriorated. My heart sank.
Linnahall is an old soviet building: big, grey, ugly, abandoned. It is situated next to the harbor and offers some views over the sea and the city. The most impressive, in my opinion, was the contrast between the huge concrete building and the colors of the modern buildings.
Nõmme is located in the South of Tallinn, so far from the city center that it does not appear in most tourist maps. It is a forested district where there is a big park with bog trails. Inside the park you completely forget that you are in a city, and from the viewpoints you can see how immense that park is.
In summary, I think Tallinn is a great destination for solo travel because it offers attractions for all interests, has a good infrastructure, and it is very easy to meet other travelers.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)