What to See and Do
History-seekers should check out the main draws here, which include Toompea Castle (Toompea Hill) whose 1773 provenance is actually pretty modern for this part of town; Alexander Nevski Cathedral (Palace Square, 8am - 6pm daily) was built in the late 19th century in the style of Russia's 17th-century Orthodox churches; and Toomkirk Cathedral (Palace Square, 9am - 4pm Tuesday - Saturday). Kiek in de Kok (1 Komandiandi Tee, 10:30am - 4:30 p.m. except Monday), a tall cannon tower, offers a visual perspective.
Otherwise, use Town Hall Square as a central meeting place; it is lined by numerous cafes and winding streets, full of boutique-style shops, peel off from there. Town Square was developed in the 14th century and its near perfect preservation is almost eerie--yet incredibly beautiful.
For shopping, aim for Viru Street, which has the city's best collection of boutiques.
Where to Eat and Drink
Casual fare abounds; there are plenty of pubs and cafes in the old town. For local atmosphere there's Von Krahli Baar (Rataskaevu 10-12, open daily from 11am) and Kloostri Ait (Vene 14, from noon - midnight). Kuldse Notsu Korts (The Little Piggy Inn, Dunkri 8, from noon - midnight) has tons of atmosphere--not to mention a roaring fireplace--and funky food, like beer soup with ice cream and sauna-smoked lamb leg. For an upscale lunch featuring Estonian cuisine go to Vanaema Juures (Rataskaevu 10, noon - 10pm Monday - Saturday, noon - six Sunday).
Staying in Touch
Kohvik Grill (Vana-Viru) offers cafe food and Internet-tapped computers.
To Town: Cruise ships typically offer a shuttle between the ship and the edge of the Old City; taxis also line up at the terminal.
Most streets in town are pedestrian-only. Wear comfortable shoes because they're mainly cobbled and quite uneven. Plus, there are lots of steep hills--often stair steps have been carved out of sidewalks to make it easier to climb. p>
Where You're Docked
Cruise ships dock at the commercial port which is about a 1205-minute taxi or shuttle ride to the heart of Tallinn's Old City.
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