Tallinn Town Hall

Historic Building in Old Town

Image by Rachel Lewis Getty Images

Completed in 1404, this is the only surviving Gothic town hall in northern Europe. Inside, you can visit the Trade Hall (whose visitor book drips with royal signatures), the Council Chamber (featuring Estonia’s oldest woodcarvings, dating from 1374), the vaulted Citizens’ Hall, a yellow-and-black-tiled councillor’s office and a small kitchen. The steeply sloped attic has displays on the building and its restoration. Details such as brightly painted columns and intricately carved wooden friezes give some sense of the original splendour.

Occasionally the building is used to host prominent visiting art exhibitions, in which case the entry fee may be considerably higher.

If the kids are getting restive, draw their attention to the iron shackles still hanging on the exterior wall facing the square, or pay a little extra to climb the tower (between May and mid-September).