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7 Wheelchair Accessible Things You Need to Do in Tallinn, Estonia

The beautiful historic city of Tallinn, Estonia is well worth a visit, though it does present a number of challenges to wheelchair users. While Estonian law requires all new buildings to be accessible, the city has a large number of old buildings that unfortunately are not accessible. The city also has many cobblestone streets, especially in the Old Town, as well as narrow, uneven streets and sidewalks.

 

 

By far, the best way to get around Tallinn as a wheelchair user is by booking an accessible tour. Saku Travel is a highly recommended company that offers private tours of Tallinn, with many positive reviews on TripAdvisor, and this is the company I chose to travel with during my past two visits to Tallinn. They offer private tours with customized itineraries and they are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about all the sights.

Best of all, they offer customized wheelchair accessible tours that let you take in the sights and even spend some time in the Old Town. To make getting around as easy as possible, Saku Travel has a wheelchair accessible van with a ramp. In addition to tours around Tallinn, you can also opt for a driving tour of Estonian coastal villages, or an excursion to the accessible Viru Bog for a truly one of a kind experience.

 

 

A visit to Tallinn is incredible, and traveling with a Saku tour is a great option for wheelchair users. Here are some of the best things to do on an accessible tour in Tallinn, Estonia –

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

Best Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

Song Festival Grounds

 

 

Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds and sound stage were completed in 1960, and are constructed in such a way that the seating area is built on the slope of a hill. It is a hugely popular event venue, and is known for hosting the famous Song Festival every five years. The festival features 25,000 singers and performers, and draws around 100,000 people. Next to the arena, there is the 138ft tall Song Grounds Light Tower, and at the beginning of each Song Festival, a lighting of the flame ceremony takes place atop the tower. The venue features an accessible entrance, though there is a single step outside the main door. There is also a restroom that is accessible for wheelchair users. The Festival Grounds are well worth a visit!

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Kumu Art Museum and Reval Cafe

 

 

Kumu boasts the largest art exhibition venue in Estonia, and is the prime contemporary art museum in the nation. The building features a round floor plan, an atrium, and seven floors. Artwork is displayed on three of the seven floors, and each floor can house 1,000 pieces of art. There is a wide range of artwork, dating from the middle ages up until the modern era. The museum’s Reval Cafe is located on the second floor and offers a range of drinks, pastries, breakfast options and a la carte items.

 

Salmon caesar salad at Reval Cafe

 

The museum is fully wheelchair accessible and you can also rent a wheelchair at the second floor information desk. There is handicapped parking on Mäekalda Street, and you can use the inclined plane to enter the museum from there. You can also access the museum from Valge Street by using the elevator, which will bring you to a pedestrian tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is an inclined plane that leads up to the main entrance. The museum has wheelchair accessible restrooms on the first, second, and fifth floors. There is also a courtyard that a wheelchair user can access by riding the museum’s handicapped visitor bus. The bus arrangement will need to be negotiated with the museum security. If you would like to set up a private tour, you will need to do so by contacting the museum in advance.

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

Kadriorg Park

 

 

Kadriorg features a Baroque palace built by Peter the Great of Russia in the 18th century, along with a banquet hall and winter garden that were built in the 1930s. The gardens are absolutely stunning, with the beautiful Swan Lake and plenty of paved pathways that make it ideal for wheelchair users. The palace also houses the Kadriorg Art Museum, which displays early foreign art from Russia and Western Europe.

 

 

Wheelchair users can enter via a ramp that is located near the main door, which leads into the foyer. A portable ramp is available for entry to the museum shop and cloak room. It is best to notify a security guard prior to your arrival. You can access the main floor of the palace, as well as the exhibit of Netherlandish art on the third floor. There is a lift that can accommodate a person in a wheelchair and an accessible bathroom.

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Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform

 

 

This wheelchair friendly viewing platform is located in Tallinn’s upper Old Town, on Toompea Hill.

 

 

It features a ramp that brings you to the top, where you can experience stunning views of the city. You can see the red roofs of the historic buildings, the Gulf of Finland, and various churches, among many other sights. A visit to the Kohtuotsa is by far the best way for visitors to really get a sense of the beauty and expansiveness of Tallinn.

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Lower Old Town and Town Hall Square

 

In the square with Sylvia of Spin the Globe

 

Tallinn’s Lower Old Town is the historic part of the city featuring cobblestone streets, old buildings with signature red roofs, and a variety of squares and churches. The Town Hall Square is located in the heart of Lower Old Town, and dates back to the 13th century. It contains restaurants and shops and also hosts many different events such as concerts and markets. There are a lot of great sights here, like the Town Hall with its impressive tower, dating back from 1404. Nowadays the Town Hall is home to a museum, and is often used as a venue for musical performances. There is also a museum in the former Great Guild Hall, and the Lower Old Town contains many churches, towers and the Danish King’s Garden.

 

 

There are so many amazing sights to take in, and it’s a great place for people-watching as well. Getting around the Old Town does present challenges for wheelchair users, unfortunately. This is mainly due to the narrow cobblestone streets and the sloping, uneven sidewalks. I would not recommend exploring the Old Town on your own, but a reputable tour company like Saku can help you to see some of the area. My tour guide, Maarja, was very familiar with the Old Town, and was able to arrange an expedition to the Old Town for me.

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

Shop at the Solaris Centre

 

 

Solaris Center is an expansive shopping center that features the Apollo bookstore, many shops and restaurants, a 3D cinema and a concert hall. On the bottom floor, there is a grocery store where you can buy some Estonian souvenirs. If you are ready for a meal or a coffee break, the Solaris center offers a nice variety of restaurants and cafes. The shopping center is fully accessible, with elevators large enough to accommodate a wheelchair reaching all four floors as well as the basement parking lot. There are no steps, and wide automatic entrance doors. The Center also features restrooms that are fully accessible and clearly marked with a wheelchair sign. Solaris Center is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon or to take a little break from all the sightseeing.

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Viru Bog

 

 

This bog is located about 45 minutes outside of Tallinn and has the distinction of being very wheelchair accessible. It features wooden boardwalks and platforms that extend for more than two miles, allowing you to have an extensive tour of the forest and marshy areas. There is also an accessible restroom at the beginning of the trail.

 

 

After a short distance on a forest path, you will come to the wooden boardwalk. If you travel the length of the boardwalk, you will eventually come to a viewing tower which is also partially wheelchair accessible. There is a ramp to the first level, which allows you a more extensive view of the bog. Visiting this bog is a unique experience that should not be missed!

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

Tallinn is an incredibly beautiful city with so much to offer. There is the medieval Old Town with its historic buildings, squares, churches, and beautiful coastline. In the modern part of town there are impressive museums, concert venues and viewing towers. If you can arrange a visit here, I’m sure you will also be struck by the beauty of Tallinn. That said, if you are a wheelchair user, I highly recommend visiting Tallinn on a guided tour. This is because it is pretty difficult to maneuver around the city without a tour guide, especially the Old City. A company like Saku Travel offers an ideal solution, as they can work with you to arrange a custom itinerary, and can figure out alternative ways for you to explore the less accessible parts of Tallinn.

 

wheelchair accessible things to do tallinn estonia

*Thank you to Saku Travel for the remarkable experiences in Estonia! While the tours were complimentary, all opinions are authentic and my own.

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The post 7 Wheelchair Accessible Things You Need to Do in Tallinn, Estonia appeared first on Curb Free with Cory Lee: A Wheelchair Travel Blog.

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