Tallinn is a coastal capital that is stretched out on 46 kilometres (29 miles) of coastline. That means plenty of opportunities for a beautiful shore excursion to see Tallinn coast, beaches and views. Here is a selection of 8 tours and experiences to choose from for taking the most out of the seaside when visiting the city.
1. Pirita promenade and the classic “fish can view”
The most classic seaside views in Tallinn could be enjoyed from the promenade connecting the central town with Pirita suburb. It is perfect for a walk, jog or a drive by the sea to enjoy the typical Tallinn’s “fish can view”. This name refers to the classical design of canned fish sold in Estonia. Historically, Estonia was one of the first places to start exporting fish in cans, typically to Russia, and to make sure everyone knew that the fish came from Tallinn, the cans were decorated with a silhouette of Tallinn – exactly like the one you can see from the promenade in Pirita. Hence the name.
Pirita also has one of the most popular beaches in Tallinn and a yacht club built for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Nearby are Kadriorg district with its beautiful Baroque palace and gardens, Tallinn Song Festival Grounds and Tallinn TV Tower. To cover all the main sights in Tallinn, check out the Tallinn Classic Tour or go a bit further along the coast to Viimsi suburb on this Tallinn Top Attractions Tour.
2. Island getaway – Prangli Island
If you are looking for a bit more off-the-beaten-path shore excursion, take a ferry from one of the suburbs of Tallinn, enjoy the one hour cruise across Tallinn Bay and find yourself in the idyll of a small island life in Prangli. Find the old boatshed that is turned into a relaxed surf-style cafe, walk along the coast to admire the calm sea or wonder through the pine forests for a peaceful hike. The island has a beautiful wooden church, a rare source of natural gas, and plenty of islanders’ history. If you want to discover it all in one go, why not book the Day Trip to Prangli Island, have a guided tour in a jeep or a Soviet-style truck and get to know the history and the local stories. On top of that, have a traditional fish dish for lunch, made by the locals.
3. Another island getaway- Naissaar Island
Naissaar Island is rich in history, having seen the British and the French troops in the 19th century and Russian militarisation in the 20th century, from which some of the military barracks and a short railway have remained on the island. Although the island was repopulated during Estonia’s first independence, it’s residents fled to Sweden after WWII and the island remained a militarized territory during the Soviet occupation. Nowadays, the island only has three permanent residents but has a lot to discover as most of it is covered by forest and sandy beaches which you can enjoy on hiking trails that also pass the remains of old military buildings and the railway. Book a Day Cruise to Naissaar to get to the island and go exploring!
4. Kalamaja hipster district
Kalamaja was one of the most dangerous districts in Tallinn in the 90s and early 2000s as the crime rates were high and most of the houses were in a bad shape. Thanks to its location near the Old Town and the cheap real estate prizes during that time, it was mainly students and artists who moved in and started to fix up the area. It is now considered one of the most desirable areas for real estate and some of the most popular pubs and restaurants in town are located here. To discover the sea side, have a walk starting from Linnahall – a concert hall built for the Moscow Olympic Games which is now mainly used by the locals for enjoying the view from its roof; and continue along the culture mile passing the Seaplane Habor and the Patarei prison.
5. Paljassaare Bird Watching
Right at the tip of Paljassaare peninsula in Tallinn, there is a protected area where 227 different bird species have been registered. You can learn a lot about the local wildlife in its relaxed greenery, be surrounded by the Baltic Sea from all three sides and look back towards Tallinn. Book the Birdwatching Tour from Tallinn for a shore excursion with a twist and go out with a local ornithologist to get your head around the tweets and hoots you can hear at Paljassaare.
6. Seal-watching Tour on Tallinn Bay
If you have followed our earlier blog posts you have probably understood that the seal-watching tour is quite a unique shore excursion here in Tallinn. It is not only the excitement of spotting the seals living in the Baltic Sea that should make you want to join this experience – the tour also allows you to see the beautiful Estonian coastline, sandy beaches, forests and spot Tallinn from the distance. Why not try and go out of the city to see the wilderness and enjoy the calm rocking of the boat – book the tour here.
7. Fishing villages on the Lahemaa Day Trip
It is the most popular day trip destination from Tallinn due to the variety of sights and activities available, from romantic manor houses to calming bog walks to unique fishing villages. The name Lahemaa in Estonian means the land of bays which is already an indication of its beautiful coastline. Apart from the beautiful nature of the natural park, there is also a long fishing and ship-building history in the area that s preserve in in Altja and Käsmu villages. Like mentioned before, it is hugely popular, therefore book your Day Trip to Lahemaa before the dates are sold out! Or, check out the combo tour of Old Town and Jägala Waterfalls to combine the city tour with nature exploration.
8. Dinner Cruise on Tallinn Bay
A real jewel at the end of this blog post. What would be nicer than enjoying the silhouette of Tallinn in the sunset while enjoying a nice meal on the sea? No need to go anywhere or do anything, just sit back and enjoy the shore excursion on the calm water of Tallinn Bay. If that sounds like your cup or tea then check out the Tallinn Bay Dinner Cruise and make sure you are hungry when you go.
Oh, and the last thing – bring a good windproof jacket for any of the tours and activities mentioned above.