In terms of area and population, Estonia is the smallest of the three Baltic States. With an area of 43.465 square kilometers, the state is slightly smaller than the German state of Lower Saxony. Estonia's population is estimated at 1,33 million (as of January 2021). More than 438.000 people live in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The past and the present meet in the center of the city. The result: In 1997, UNESCO put Tallinn on the World Heritage List.
History in a nutshell
The Baltic coastal region has been shown to have been inhabited by humans between 8000 and 3000 BC. Already in the High Middle Ages, more precisely in 1154, the Arab cartographer Muhammad Al-Adrisi published a map of the world that mentioned the then fortress city of Tallinn. The region lost its independence in 1219 when Danish troops took control of the city. In the 750 or so years that followed, ownership changed several times. German knights, the kingdom of Denmark and Russia claimed supremacy. In between there were periods of independence. Until 1991, Estonia was part of the Soviet Union. The country and the city gained independence in 1991.
Tallinn - city walls
Tallinn - Politics and Economy
Tallinn is home to the President, the Estonian Government and Parliament. Numerous states have diplomatic missions in Tallinn. The Estonian State Court, the highest court in the country, meets in Tartu, the second largest city in the country.
Tallinn - Parliament building
Tallinn is the country's most important port city and the city with the highest economic output. After achieving political independence, politics relied on free economic activity and low tax burdens. The companies based themselves on their Scandinavian role models. Major international corporations and many Northern European banks settled in Tallinn. Well-trained workers and modern telecommunications structures encouraged the influx of companies. The main export revenues are generated in the areas of electrical appliances, wood and wood products as well as agricultural products.
Tallinn - science and culture
In addition to its economic success, the city stands for Estonia's science and culture. Tallinn is home to more than a dozen public and private universities, colleges and academies.
Tallinn - Estonian Academy of Sciences
Tallinn's cultural scene is very pronounced. In 2011, Tallinn was one of the two European capitals of culture alongside the Finnish Turku. The most important musical theater is the Estonia National Opera. Well-known spoken theaters are the Tallinna Linnateater, the Estonian Russian Theater and the Estonian Drama Theater. The city and the country maintain a large number of museums. The Kumu kunstimuuseum is very well-known and is dedicated to Estonian painting from the 18th century to the present day as well as especially modern art movements.
Tallinn - Song Festival Meadow
Tallinn - exhibits of the Katariina kirik cultural center
The Estonian Song Festival takes place every five years. Thousands of artists and dancers from Estonia and abroad meet for this mass event. The song festival is one of the largest events for amateur choirs in the world. The Estonian dance festival takes place at the same time. The next major event is planned for July 2024.
Tallinn for cruise ship guests
Tallinn ranks fifth among Europe's ferry ports. There are ferry connections to Finland, Russia and Sweden. The port administration speaks of more than ten million passengers annually. In addition to the ferries, many cruise ships call at Estonia's capital. In 2018 there were a total of 339 cruise ships. The number of passengers passed the 635.000 mark. The port recently acquired a multifunctional terminal building with a roof terrace. A promenade leads directly from the terminal to the old town.
Tallinn - cruise terminal
Tallinn - Passenger Terminal A
Under Tallinn sightseeing we explain the top attractions of the Estonian metropolis.