Tallinn has everything runners could want or need. When you stand atop Toompea Hill, absorbing the vista of 14th-century spires and churches surrounding Raekoja Plats, you’ll sense a palpable energy that radiates from the city’s winding alleyways, quiet squares, and innovative, inspiring local scene. This en- ergy will invigorate you too, and encourage you to take on some of the most beautiful runs in the Baltic region.
The city’s best running lies beyond the old town walls. Toompark is just outside the ancient fortifications, and it leads to a garden ring that separates the old center from the newer parts of town. Alternatively, plan a longer workout further east along the coast. There you’ll find Kadrioru Park and Pirita Tee, two places to run your heart out.
- Cobblestones: Avoid running in the city center, as the Old Town terrain can be particularly brutal on tendons and joints.
- Tour Groups: Central Tallinn is small, compact, and often clogged by groups of large people in cabana-wear following petite women waving small orange flags. These groups are known as “tours”, and while largely harmless, they will slow down your run if you end up stuck behind them.
- Circularity: Despite its size, it sure is easy to get lost in Old Tallinn. This city was built not just in circles, but in spirals. Using a map to navigate the narrow alleys around Raekoja Plats is more likely to hurt you than help, so take some time to walk and get accustomed to the city center.
In the mood to rent a bike? See "Cutting Corners" (under More Information).
Did you know? Although small, Estonia’s quite the innovative country. Tallinn in particular has been called a “Silicon Valley of the Baltics”, and several successful startups have sprung from Tallinn’s streets – including one outfit called “Skype”.