Alternative Tallinn

(Last Updated On: 17/02/2023)
Even if I loved the Old Town in Tallinn big time I kind of felt that there’s more in the Estonian capital than just the beautiful medieval houses and churches. And I was right! Not far from the city walls I found couple of places that were a totally different world from the Old Town yet still very interesting and fun to explore! This wonderful mix of historic sites with nearby alternative spots made me enjoy Tallinn so very much! So here’s a short guide to the cool, alternative Tallinn just outside the city walls!

Alternative Tallinn: Rotermann Quarter

This historical area is located between the Old Town, the harbour and the Viru Square. It’s full of old XIX and XX centuries factories and industrial vibe that mixes with the young creativity. The buildings now are houses to fancy shops, art galleries or hip restaurant . Half of the factories are still abandoned and in ruin which creates a perfect contrast. Rotermann Quarter is definitely an interesting place to visit and wander around! However when I was there, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it was surprisingly empty…





Alternative Tallinn: Linnahall

These days it’s possible only to walk on the huge roof but the building itself has a very interesting history too. Built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics Linnahall is a great example of Soviet enormous architecture. It served not only as a sport venue but also a concert hall with 5.000 seats – the last event took place there in 2008. Now the local teenagers and those braver tourists gather there to admire the skyline of Tallinn or to stare at the waters of Gulf of Finland and ferries approaching / departing the harbour




Alternative Tallinn: Kalamaja

Another area that is located very close to the Old Town yet is so much different. Kalamaja is a hipster heaven, where old wooden houses stand next to the post Soviet architecture, where life passes slowly and where all the young and cool people hang out. The neighbourhood was firstly known as the working class area who inhabited the beautiful houses built right before the II World War. These days there’s a laid back, bohemian vibe in the place, supported by numerous cafes. Definitely a perfect place to explore to get the impression of the real Tallinn.



Alternative Tallinn: Telliskivi Complex

This old power plant, located in Kalamaja district, has been recently transformed into the art factory. Now it’s the venue where hip restaurants and pubs, little funky shops and the Contemporary Art Museum can be found. There’s also a lot of outdoor art as well as local band rehearsal studios, and all of that in the industrial surrounding. I spent quite a lot of time exploring this complex and enjoyed every single corner of it. The creative, artsy vibe is just bustling there!







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And here is more classical yet still cool list of things to do in Tallinn.

Do you like visiting alternative attractions or you just stick to the main sights?

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If you think of visiting Estonia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

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    I Heart Riga! But... Tallinn? - Heart My Backpack
    03/04/2015 at 22:22

    […] even read through my friend Kami’s excellent tips for seeing the alternative side of Tallinn, but I couldn’t muster up the energy to go and discover it for myself. It’s definitely […]

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