Now that you’ve had a chance to take a look at all the things to do in Estonia, it’s time to drill down into a night (or two) in the capital city of Tallinn.
Let’s start with the understanding that Tallinn is just about equal to Riga in terms of nightlife. The biggest difference is fewer stag/hen parties/tourists in general. Tallinn is flush with tourists during the day because of the cruise ships but those numbers dwindle significantly as the sun goes down. In Tallinn I prefer to hop around a bit more than Riga where I go to less places but stay longer at each.
As with the other Baltic capitals there’s no need really to take a cab anywhere. You can walk from any of the hotels/hostels to where you want to be in no time.
Places to Avoid: Not many I can think of. I tend to stay away from burlesque and strip bars just because its a drain on resources.
As we did with a night out in Riga, lets start with where you’re gonna start your night out with dinner.
Night 1: I’m a big fan of Goodwin The Steak House. It’s a little bit more expensive than your average resto but it is worth every penny (euro cent). The steaks are great and the service is phenomenal. It’s also one of the first places you see when you pass through the old city wall/gate, just past the #1 thing you’ll see which is a #McDonalds.
Hell Hunt: Hell Hunt claims to be the “first Estonian pub”. While that statement is unconfirmed, the place has been around for a long time and they’ve got friendly service and an extensive beer selection. If it’s not that cold, a remarkable amount of Estonia’s youth is always hanging out on the terrace, especially at night time.
This is a great place to head on to after dinner. It’s not far from Goodwin’s. It’s got a good selection of beers and plenty of seating both inside and out. I always make it a point to visit Hell Hunt when I’m in Tallinn, usually more than once.
Molly Malone’s (this may be renamed but I’m gonna confirm for you when I travel there soon): Here you’ve got your typical Irish pub and all the accompanying drinks/food. This bar is in a great location in the Old Town Square though so it’s great to stop in for a drink or two as you progress thru your night on the town.
I like this place mostly because of the location. They’ve got a karaoke night which is also fun to hang out and observe while knocking back a Guinness.
Butterfly Lounge: This cocktail lounge is chock full of beautiful people. For a Friday or Saturday night you will want/need to make a reservation. The drinks are reasonably priced and the staff is courteous. All your typical drinks are available here.
It’s a mostly male wait staff if I recall correctly but that’s ok because from what I’ve seen the clientele are mostly women. And if you recall from my profile here, Estonia is the world leader in producing supermodels.
Chicago 1933: This place is straight out of 20s/30s Chicago. The feel on the inside is completely authentic and feels like you’ve stepped back into a mobster era bar. On the weekends they have live music and the place gets pretty busy although you shouldn’t have a hard time getting some real estate inside.
Venus: Most of these places I’ve listed for the first night are fairly close together in one part of Old Town. I usually end my night at a place like this though so I can dance (very loosely defined as such) some of the alcohol out of my system and not feel rough the next day. This is a small club and will be chock full of people until the wee hours of the morning. Not that nights last very long in the Baltics but go in late at night and come out when the sun is up again.
Night 2: Start out at Beer House for some great food and drinks. Beer house is a German/Bavarian themed restaurant that brews their own beer. The menu selection is good and the beer is great. It’s located maybe 20m north of the Old Town Square on a side street. Ask anyone for directions and you’ll be there in no time.
Depeche Mode: For normal humans, this is just a friendly dive bar stuffed with fan memorabilia. But if you’re a true DM fan, this is all you ever wanted, all you ever needed. Everyone that ever visits Tallinn seems to love this place. I mean, it’s ok but I dont get the big deal. I include it here because it’s popular.
Nimeta (No Name) Bar: This one and the next one are right next to each other and are on a row of worthwhile bars. Really hitting any or all of them is fun. Nimeta is the quintessential expat bar. At times it looks like something between a British stag party hangout and an expat boys’ club, but a good number of locals and backpacker types make it more interesting, especially on weekends when DJs get people into the dancing mood. A good place to watch sports and/or eat pub food.
Shooters Shot Bar: One of few Old Town bars that specializes in shots, Shooters takes on a raucous, party atmosphere on busy weekends. The long list of available shots is written in chalk on the bar’s back wall. These are priced to come in sets of five, so it’s best to work through the shots slowly or get help from friends. You can literally walk out the door of Nimeta and take 4 steps to be inside this bar.
Honorable Mention: Labor Baar on the other side of Nimeta is a kool laboratory themed bar where you can drink from beakers and test tubes.
Scotland Yard: This one is a bit of an outlier on my theme of keeping you in one area on a given night but it’s good nonetheless. An absolute monster of a pub just outside Old Town, Scotland Yard earns praise for its quaint Victorian-library/police-department interior, which even includes toilets done up like electric chairs! On busy nights, sadly, people have died of old age waiting to get a drink at the bar but the table service is a lot better, so just grab a seat and slam a few back before heading out to one of the numerous clubs in the area. Live music every Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10pm.
**Millimallikas or Jellyfish Shot: I think you can get this shot at a few places but the best place to get it is a tiny little dive bar just outside of Hollywood Club. All Tallinn first timers have to try it…..Call it, a right of passage.
Hollywood: Hollywood club is closer to Nimeta than Scotland Yard. This club is huge. It’s got multiple levels and lots of dance floor space. On the weekends that space fills up though. It caters to a slightly younger crowd but it is definitely worth it if you’re someone who likes clubs.
If “clubbin” is your thing, this one and Venus are the spots for you. This plan covers 2 nights but if you’re a hard charger and can handle your alcohol you may be able to hit all 11 in one night. You’d probably need to start early and expect to be out late (or early depending on how you look at it). I’ve hit a lot of these myself in one night but never all 11. If one spot or the other is particularly fun I may decide to stay a bit longer.
I’ve done my best here to give some great ideas for a night out in Tallinn but if you feel I’ve missed something let me know! I love going out in Tallinn with my local friends as it’s a truly great town.