Sleeping in Airports

Tallinn Airport Layover Sightseeing

This article includes links to our travel partners at Tripadvisor, where you can read traveller reviews, book tours and plan your visit to Tallinn.

tallinn layover sightseeing
(photo credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock)

Tallinn is the quaint capital of Estonia that is often overlooked as a place to visit. The city has much to offer, and it is less than seven kilometres away from the centre, making it an excellent layover location! Packed with medieval history, cobbled streets and beautiful viewpoints, the small city is easily explored on foot during a stopover. Continue reading for a few of the sightseeing highlights.

Airport Overview

Tallinn Airport (TLL) has pay-per-use lounges, free WiFi, luggage storage, and sleep pods. For more details on how to spend your layover if you aren’t leaving the airport, check out our Tallinn Airport Guide.

Tallinn Sightseeing Attractions

Below are a few of the top things to do in Tallinn:

Old town

tallinn old town sightseeing
(photo credit: kavalenkava / Shutterstock)

Tallinn’s old town is a medieval gem, and it’s no surprise that the whole area is a protected UNESCO site. Depending on the available time, you can walk around the old town on foot, by bicycle or with a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. Be sure to visit all the key landmarks, including St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Kohtuotsa viewing platform, the Danish King’s Garden, Town Hall Square and Toompea Hill.

  • Time required: Spend anything from a couple of hours to a whole day, depending on how many sites you visit and whether you’re walking or taking the bus.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the required time.
  • Plan your visit: Visit TripAdvisor to see some sightseeing suggestions and read traveller reviews.

Lahemaa National Park

Lahemaa National park layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock)

Estonia is a country filled with nature, and Lahemaa National Park can be visited as a day trip from Tallinn. If you have a longer layover, this is a great way to experience a forest hike and maybe even see some wildlife. It’s recognized as a sustainable destination and is one of Europe’s most important conservation areas.

  • Time required: An entire day.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options from TLL to the tour start point.
  • Plan your visit: Visit Tripadvisor for more information on booking a day trip to the national park.

Tallinn City Wall

tallinn city walls layover sightseeing
(photo credit: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock)

The walls surrounding the historical town date back to the 13th century, so these mustn’t be missed on your Tallinn layover. It’s possible to walk on a small section of the wall, and three towers are open for tours, too, including the haunted Short Leg Tower. This attraction provides a beautiful view of the old town below as well.

  • Time required: A few hours.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the required time.
  • Plan your visit: Visit Tripadvisor for more details and to read traveller reviews.

KGB Museum

This secretive museum is based on the top floor of the Viru Hotel, and you must take a guided tour. In the 1970s, the Soviets operated ‘technical rooms’ on the top floor of this hotel, famously answering, “There’s nothing here” when asked what lay behind the doors. When the KGB left Estonia in the 1990s, elaborate listening equipment was found in these rooms, and the new owners of the hotel preserved everything left there. Look around to learn more about living in Estonia’s surveillance state.

  • Time required: Around one hour.
  • How to get there: Check out this Google Map for details on public and private transit options and the required time.
  • Plan your visit: Visit Tripadvisor to read traveller reviews or book a tour.

Airport Transportation

TLL is close to the city centre with many quick public and private transport options.

  • Bus: Both buses no.2 and no. 15 run from the airport to the city centre. Visit the Tallinn Airport website for more details on where to catch the bus and timetables.
  • Tram: Line no. 4 takes just 17 minutes from the airport to the city centre and costs only 2€.
  • Taxi: Using only the approved Airport Taxi providers is recommended to avoid high charges.

Before You Go: Layover Tips

Now that you are motivated and excited about your mini layover vacation, check a few final logistical concerns off your list before you fully commit.

  • Do you need to organize a visa to leave the airport? Requirements change frequently and for each nationality, so be sure to seek out current details on the availability, cost, and procedures of obtaining a transit visa.
  • When is your next flight’s check-in time? Double-check with your airline exactly when you need to be at the airport – and plan your layover accordingly.
  • What are security wait times like at the airport? Some airports are notorious for extended security wait times, so be sure to research in advance and factor that into your overall time budget.
  • What’s happening with your luggage? When you check in to your first flight, confirm whether your luggage is checked through or needs to be picked up between your connecting flights. Visit our Tallinn Airport Guide for information about luggage storage.
  • Consider purchasing a Tallinn Card online in advance. You can choose a 24, 48 or 72-hour card, which gives you free access to over 50 museums and attractions, free public transport, and discounts on specific tours and restaurants. Get more details and buy your card here.

Other Useful Resources

Finally, here are a few handy resources to help you plan your layover even more thoroughly: