Tallinn TV Tower (Tallinna Teletorn) is a magnificent building, which can be seen from almost anywhere in Tallinn or nearby areas, and it’s also one of the most significant symbols of Estonia’s restoration of independence and separation from the Soviet Union in 1991. From 2007 to 2012 the tower was closed to the public due to safety regulations, but WOW, after the full renovation this building has become, as promised, a true experience! If you have time, and are not afraid of heights, we definitely think it’s worth paying a visit at least once.
In 1980 Moscow hosted the summer Olympics and the sailing competitions were held in Tallinn. The tower was built to provide better telecommunication services for the event, and it had a viewing platform to the Baltic Sea. Construction started in 1975, the first signal was sent in ’79 and after few issues the TV Tower was officially opened on July 1980, only 10 days before the Sailing Regatta.
As mentioned, the TV Tower has played also an important role in Estonia’s independence. When, in 1991 the Soviet Army rolled their tanks towards Tallinn and attempted to seize the TV Tower, people from all over Estonia came to defend it. They surrounded the tower with trucks, formed human shields and several armed Estonians barricaded themselves at the top. When Soviet soldiers made it through the crowd, two brave Estonian police officers, who were at the top, threatened to kill everyone in the tower with Freon gas. The soldiers didn’t know whether to proceed and during that same evening, on August 20th 1991, Estonia officially declared itself to be an independent republic, which no longer belonged to the USSR. At Boris Yeltsin’s command, the troops left the broadcasting tower and the Soviet Union continued falling apart. The two young policemen became national heroes. Even today, the bullet holes from the Soviet coup are visible at the base. Though to be honest, we didn’t pay attention and missed them.
The tower is altogether 314 metres high, making it the tallest building in Estonia and Northern Europe. The viewing platform and restaurant are at the 170 metres mark. One of the most interesting things are the glass holes in the floor; it’s exciting, even a bit scary, to stand on them whilst looking down. The fall could be loooong… 😉 The view is breathtaking and photographic. You can see the whole city from a new perspective- the Old Town, Lasnamae, Baltic Sea, Muuga forests etc. It is said, that on clear nights, one can see the lights of Helsinki from the TV tower. Whether this is true or not, it’s still a great place to visit.
The visit starts from the bottom floor with a funny 3D movie and historical facts, the 21st floor is equipped with multimedia screens, informative boards, glass ‘holes’ in the floor, and from the 22nd floor you can access the viewing platform and restaurant. By the way, if you want to add an adrenalin rush to this visit, for 20€/pp you can even walk on the edge of the tower (depending on the weather)! Wearing helmets and a special harness attached to a strong wire, people can test their mental strength. On the bottom floor visitors can make their own news broadcasts in a staged studio, and later watch them on a TV screen. So, there’s something for everyone.
The TV Tower is located about nine kilometers from the city centre and is quite easily accessible by bus lines 34A, 38 and 49. Also, City Tour and City Sightseeing buses drive to Muuga, and all of the aforementioned buses stop at the ‘Teletorn’ bus stop.
The TV Tower is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm (top floor cafe/restaurant is open from 10am to 11pm). If you want a guided group tour, then we recommend booking it in advance either by phone (+372 686 3000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bear in mind that you may have to wait for a while before getting to the top, because the maximum limit is 100 visitors at a time.
Priority Admission 11€
Discount ticket (over 5 y.o., children, students, pensioners) 5€
Family ticket (2 adults + children up to 16 y.o.) 17€
Joint ticket to the TV Tower & Botanical Garden 11€ *
Joint ticket for families to the TV Tower and Botanical Garden 22€ *
Evening admission to the Brasserie & Restaurant 3€
Guide 55€ / hour
Introduction to the tower 35€ / 30 min
For more information and prices, take a look at the TV Tower’s website.
** The Botanical Garden is within a few minutes walking distance from the tower. If you’re interested, here’s a link to our post about it.
The location of Tallinn TV Tower and Botanical Garden can be found on our Tallinn Map (below).
Text edited and proofread by WiseWords