Tallinn favorites

Tallinn favorites

One of the reasons I wanted to start my blog again was to share longer stories and dig into subjects that interest me in more depth than a 10-photo carousel and whatever the word limit is for captions on Instagram. I also wanted the things I share to be easier to find and revisit when the topics feel current to the reader -  or who else has seen a good tip about something on Instagram or Pinterest but have found finding it a mission impossible when you actually need the information? My dream has been to share not only my knitting projects but also my other favorites like yarn shops I have visited and the best cafes for a cozy knitting session with a good cup of coffee.

Last weekend we went to Tallinn in Estonia for a few nights. It’s a few hours by ferry from Helsinki. It was already our second trip there this fall. My son won ferry tickets at his football tournament in the summer so a month ago we decided to take advantage of the still warm autumn days (although it happened to be quite rainy on that Saturday) and spend the weekend exploring the medieval old town of Tallinn. I had managed to mix up the dates though, and had booked our hotel for October and not September, so when we arrived at the hotel, there was no room waiting for us! So we had to book another room (luckily the hotel wasn’t full) and decided to make lemonade for the situation by taking another trip in October.


I decided that this would also be a good opportunity for me to share some of my favorites with you, as Tallinn has such an amazing restaurant scene and a lot of lovely coffee shops. The photos in this post are from the two weekend trips and also from our previous trip almost exactly a year ago.


Let’s start with my craft store recommendations! There are some little souvenir shops in the old town selling local yarns, but unfortunately I haven’t found any really good yarn shops in Tallinn. (If you know any, drop a recommendation in the comments, so I can visit them next time!) However there is the famous Karnaluks store situated a bit outside the old town. It is not your ordinary craft store but more like a warehouse with shelves packed with anything you could ever think of. The place might be a bit hard to find unless you know where you are going, as it looks more like you are entering an office building with just a little sign next to the door rather than a grand entrance. I actually first thought I had looked up the address to their HQ instead of the shop, but once you go through the doors into the building, you see the shop door at the top of a short flight of stairs. The yarns they sell are mostly acrylic, but if you need buttons, zippers, lace trims, knitting needles or any other haberdashery you can think of, this is your place!

Karnaluks, K.A. Hermanni 1, Tallinn

On the other side of the road on the corner is a little yarn shop called Wool & Woollen. They carry mostly Drops yarns as well as some Malabrigo, but all the other brands were unknown to me. I had hoped to find Estonian artisan or hand dyed yarns, but couldn’t find any.

Wool & Woollen, Tartu maantee 65, Tallinn 



There is a beautiful park by the Kadriorg palace, about half an hour walk from the Old town. The palace has an art museum and the little garden behind it is also worth visiting. There is a nice little cafe on the ground floor of the palace. Another good cafe called Katharinenthal (A. Weizenbergi 22) is situated at the entrance of Kadriorg park. The cafe has huge cake pieces but is very popular and often crowded.


Our favorite restaurant in Tallinn must be Mon Repos, which is situated at the edge of the Kadriorg park in a beautiful wooden villa with colored glass windows. The restaurant also has a beautiful garden terrace that is open in the summer. We especially love the house bread which is served with truffle butter, I could live on just that alone! Everything else is really good too!


Rukis cafe is often very crowded but if you don’t mind waiting for a bit, it is a cozy place when you need a break from exploring the Old town. In addition to really good cakes and specialty coffees, they also have the option to eat larger meals. I love the goat cheese salad and the boys really enjoyed their burgers too. They also have a good selection of gluten free options for cakes. My favorite is the Mango mooni kook, so good! 


Lore Bistroo is a French inspired restaurant in the new, trendy Noblessner neighborhood. It is a bit outside the Old town, but easily reached by bus or tram. If you are traveling with kids, the Proto avastustehas and the Lennusadam museum are right next to it! We especially love the green fireplace inside the restaurant creating a warm and cozy atmosphere. 


Art Priori is a bit pricier and more fine dining, but if you love art and want to eat out in style, this place is a must. The walls are decorated with art, and if you ask, they will bring you a little booklet with information on all the pieces displayed at the restaurant. Make sure you try the french fries with truffle, but remember to make room for it because it is a very generous portion! 


Two really good gelaterias in the Old town. Cortile has the better gelato in our opinion, but if you want to sit outside the Gelato ladies also has a lovely little terrace. Make sure you also try the gelato filled macarons at Gelato ladies! 



The Fotografiska museum is a must for me every time we visit Tallinn. It has exhibitions of contemporary photography accompanied often with music selected especially for the exhibitions, so the visits are much more than your normal quiet stroll around a gallery. The museum also has a good cafe and the whole Telliskivi neighborhood around it is worth visiting, with artistic graffitis and cool vintage shops and restaurants. We especially love a cafe called Fika, it serves really good coffee and freshly made pastries such as focaccia.

If you love gin, visit also Juniperium which is a local gin distillery and is situated very close to Fotografiska. We love their products, and you can try out their selection as well as shop bottles to take home.

Another nice place near Fotografiska is Time to Wine Bar and Shop (Kopli 6, Tallinn), where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine and some little servings of tapas, or buy a bottle to go.


And last but not least, if you love Christmas and Christmas decorations Shishi in the Noblessner area (near Lore bistroo) must definitely be on your list of places to visit! It is the heaven for Christmas enthusiasts with the most beautiful but very fragile (!) glass ornaments. You can get pretty much any kind of ornament you can dream of, from classic balls to more whimsical colibries and insects, and from Santa Clauses to ballerinas. If the ornaments are too pricey for your budget, there is also a Shishi outlet at the other end of the building with significantly lower prices!

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