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The Best Things to do on a Rainy Day in Tallinn

Find out about things to do in Tallinn, Estonia when it rains. Explore what to do in Tallinn on a rainy day. Discover Tallinn in the rain.
As my regular readers know, "Everyplace is worth visiting at least once" is our travel mantra.  When we found Ryanair flights from Dublin to Tallinn, Estonia for less than 50 euro each, we jumped on them!

Where is Tallinn? Tallinn is in Estonia which is one of the countries in the Baltics. Tallinn is a peer of other cities that we've visited like Riga, Latvia and Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania. Did you know that you can get from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn by ferry?

Unfortunately, our arrival in Tallinn was greeted by rain but we made the most of our weekend city break in Estonia anyway despite the inclement weather.  

Read on to find out about things to do in Tallinn when it rains. Don't let the weather spoil your fun in Tallinn. 

Bring an umbrella so you can explore outdoors despite the rainy weather. You can build in plenty of time to dry off in Tallinn's WiFi connected cafes like we did. 

1. Walk Around Tallinn's 'Fat Margaret'

Here's our first glimpse of 'Fat Margaret', a sentry tower at the entrance to the medieval city. Open an umbrella and walk around the perimeter.

What (or who!) is 'Fat Margaret'? Located in Tallinn's Old Town, 'Fat Margaret' is a tower that was constructed in the 16th century during the time when Tallinn was a bustling trade center as part of the Hanseatic League. 

The tower was erected to protect the city from attack and was a key part of Tallinn's Medieval defensive wall. The tower's nickname was inspired by its massive size and rotund shape. 

Over the course of centuries, Fat Margaret has been used for varied purposes including as a prison, a storehouse, and even a maritime museum.
Tallinn's Fat Margaret Tower in the Rain
'Fat Margaret' really dwarfs her counterpart on the right.
Tallinn's Fat Margaret Tower in the Rain

2. Tallinn's Old Churches

Ducking inside a church is a great way to dry off on a rainy day in Tallinn. We walked past an old church with stained glass in Tallinn that had darkened over time. 

Tallinn's most popular churches include: 12th century St. Olaf's Church. Did you know that this church was once the tallest building in he world? 

St. Mary's Cathedral is a gothic gem that dates back to the 13th century and is known for its impressive stained-glass windows. Holy Spirit Church is popular because of its clock tower and stunning interior.
Old Church in Tallinn, Estonia on a rainy day

3. Run from Awning to Awning and Explore the Shops Along Tallinn's Cobbled Streets

We continued along the cobbled streets of Old Town Tallinn, exploring various storefronts in the rain. Run from awning to awning to stay as dry as you can despite the bad weather.
Rainy cobbled street in Tallinn, Estonia

4. Cheer up from the Rain by Checking Out Tallinn's Colorful Doors and Dramatic Architecture

You won't mind getting a little wet for the opportunity to photograph Tallinn's colorful architecture. This colorful door in Tallinn's old town was particularly impressive.
Bright Green Door in Tallinn's Old Town
Tallinn's architecture was amazing and incorporated dramatic accents.
Architecture in Tallinn, EstoniaArchitecture in Tallinn, Estonia

Architecture in Tallinn, Estonia

5. Tallinn's Market Square and Old Town Hall in the Rain

We approached Tallinn's Market Square with the Old Town Hall towering above.  The Town Hall features imaginative gargoyle rain gutters. The rain gutters were definitely put to good use during our visit.
Tallinn's Old Town Hall on a rainy afternoon
Gargoyle rain gutters in Tallinn, Estonia
A Walk in the Rain in Old Town Tallinn

6. Take Refuge from the Rain at Tallinn's Reval Cafe

We went inside out of the rain and tucked into some lunch at Tallinn's Reval Cafe.  The savory dumplings with sour cream, garlic, and parsley toppings metered out to taste and ham and pesto omelet were delicious.  

We stopped at Reval Cafe at random, but we'd highly recommend making it a purposeful stop on your visit, especially if you need a break from the rain.
Savory Dumplings at Reval Cafe in Tallinn, Estonia
Omelette at Reval Cafe in Tallinn, Estonia

7. Escape the Rain by Shopping for Arts and Crafts

Estonian arts and crafts shops abounded in Tallinn and were another good excuse to step in and out of the rain.  Many shops were tucked into the basements of Tallinn's medieval buildings.
Basement Estonian Arts and Crafts shop in Tallinn

8. Don't Miss the Details Because of the Rain

The little touches in Tallinn really impressed us...like these boots sprouting fragrant greenery.
Flower pot boots in Tallinn, Estonia
...or this old fashioned and highly ornamented clock near Tallinn's town square.
Clock on Tallinn's old town square

9. Stop and Smell Tallinn's Flowers

Flowers in the park offered a pop of color on an otherwise dreary and rainy day.
Flowers on a rainy day in Tallinn, EstoniaFlowers on a rainy day in Tallinn, Estonia

10. Run Between the Raindrops Toward Tallinn's Kadriorg Palace

We walked toward the palace in Tallinn which was up a considerable hill.  En route, we passed some historical Estonian houses.
Historical Estonian houses in Tallinn
Pink door wreath in Tallinn, Estonia

11. Ducking out of the Rain, Who Did We Spot? Steve Ballmer! 

We were in Tallinn just at the time that Microsoft bought Skype and the infamous Steve Ballmer was visiting Estonia! We caught a surprise glimpse of him (standing in the horizontal striped shirt) through the window of a local cafe in Tallinn.
Steve Ballmer in a Cafe in Tallinn, Estonia

12. Tallinn's Kiek in de Kök

Onward to the palace!  We passed the Kiek in de Kök, a major fortification in Tallinn.
Kiek in de Kök fortification in Tallinn, Estonia

13. Take Shelter from the Rain Near Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Cresting the hill, we glimpsed the magnificent Russian Orthodox church in Tallinn. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a site to behold in Tallinn, even on a rainy day.
Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn
Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn

14. Admire the Bright Colors of Tallinn's Kadriorg Palace

There is a small park near the Kadriorg Palace shaded by eerie trees.
Tree-lined path near the palace in Tallinn, Estonia
The bright pink palace in Tallinn helped substitute for the rain and general lack of sunshine and lifted our spirits.
Pink palace in Tallinn, Estonia

15. Tallinn's Memorials in Unlikely Places

We noticed that Tallinn likes to surprise visitors with memorials in unlikely places.  We saw a number of three dimensional plaques around the city.  

This one commemorates the life of Voldemar Panso who laid a foundation for theatre education in Estonia.
Plaque celebrating Voldemar Panso in Tallinn, Estonia

16. Take The Low Road from the Kadriorg Palace to Old Town Tallinn

We continued our rainy walk back towards the center of Old Town Tallinn and I smiled when I saw this serious-faced planter sprouting white flowers.
Planter and white flowers in Tallinn, Estonia
The path diverged and we decided to take the low road.
Path in Tallinn, Estonia
Path in Tallinn, Estonia

17. Escape the Rain by Shopping for Shawls and Sweaters

We noticed that a variety of stores in Tallinn had plush models outside to showcase shawls and sweaters. They make great souvenirs for friends and family back home. You may even want to pick up one for yourself if you get a bit chilled walking around in the rain.
Plush model showcasing a shawl in Tallinn, Estonia

18. Stop for a Fat Plate in Tallinn

We walked past Olevi, a restaurant that we'd return to the following night.  We were intrigued by one item on the Estonian menu (pekvalik napsuga): 'fat plate with a shot of vodka'.  Yikes!
Menu featuring a  'fat plate with a shot of vodka' in Tallinn, Estonia

19. Hide Out from the Rain by Relaxing in the Hotel

We finally returned to our hotel, the Hestia Hotel Ilmarine which is located just a short distance outside Tallinn's old town wall.
Domina Ilmarine Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia

20. Warm Up with Estonia Food for Dinner

After a brief rest, we ventured out for dinner. We were in the mood for comforting and warming Estonian food given the weather and stopped at a family-run place that caught our eye.

We particularly liked the broad beans with bacon and Estonian sweet rye bread.
Broad beans, bacon, and Esonian sweet rye bread in Tallinn

21. Get Out of the Rain with a Nightcap and Eurovision

We finished the night with a couple drinks at Hell Hunt.  It was Eurovision time!
Hells Hunt Bar in Tallinn, Estonia
Unfortunately, our home country favorites, didn't do as well as hoped but we were excited to cheer them on nonetheless.  Sadly, the Estonian entrants came in last place in the Eurovision finals.
Watching Jedward on Eurovision in Tallinn, Estonia
Exhausted from a very full day, we headed back to our hotel in Tallinn to rest up for another (hopefully rain-free) day of exploration.

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Things to do in Tallinn in the RainThings to do in Tallinn in the Rain

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: The Best Things to do on a Rainy Day in Tallinn
The Best Things to do on a Rainy Day in Tallinn
Find out about things to do in Tallinn, Estonia when it rains. Explore what to do in Tallinn on a rainy day. Discover Tallinn in the rain.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog