Baltic brilliance: arty openings in Tallinn

A photography showcase and new arts centre are among the latest cultural attractions in the Estonian capital.

By Helen Warwick
Published 6 Sept 2019, 08:00 BST
Exhibition at Fotografiska.
Exhibition at Fotografiska.
Photograph by Fotografiska Avemine

A former industrial estate turned hip arty enclave, Telliskivi Creative City is a magnet for all things cool, with over 200 independent businesses housed in its revamped warehouses. 

A new string to its cultural bow this summer is the pop-up photographic art centre, Fotografiska, complete with a gallery, restaurant, gift shop, bar,event space and club. Among the works on display are stunning shots of the Siberian tundra and Pacific islands by British photographer Jimmy Nelson, and a series of images of the Serra Pelada gold mine by Brazil’s Sebastião Salgado. Estonian chef Peeter Pihel heads up the restaurant, where the focus is on sustainability. Not only does a zero-waste policy operate in the kitchen but a ‘from leaf to root, from nose to tail’ philosophy underpins the short, inventive menu with dishes such as river crab bisque with trout croquettes, and local onions baked in compost, served with chantarelles and artichoke crisps. 

Also on Tallinn’s arty agenda this autumn is the PROTO Invention Factory — a multisensory, science-meets-fantasy experience at former submarine shipyard Noblessner opening in October, that brings prototype inventions from previous centuries to life using modern technology. And for another culture fix in the Estonian capital, the Kai Art Center opens on 20 September as a showcase for local and international art, set within a revamped warehouse.

Telliskivi Creative City.
Photograph by Riina Varol


Set to reopen this autumn after a revamp, Tallinn’s Estonian Maritime Museum shines a light on the city’s maritime history. Set in the medieval tower of a naval fortress built by Peter the Great, the museum now includes a rooftop deck and cafe.


Located to the north west of Tallinn Old Town, the cavernous Balti Jaama Turg (‘Baltic Station Market’) has reopened with a host of fresh-faced stores touting homewares, antiques and art, and kitchens serving up everything from baked treats to buffalo wings.


JUUR has been flying the flag for new Nordic cuisine since it opened in 2017, bolstering the city’s burgeoning foodie reputation. The decor includes plenty of exposed brickwork and Scandi-style furnishings. Nab a table and a three-course menu from €37 (£34).

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Published in the September 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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