Hôtel de Ville, Tower hall Market Square

Like any typical European city, Tallinn is centred around its main square; and in the Estonian capital, it is known locally as Raekoja Plats or to the tourists as Town Hall Square. The main building on the Town Hall Square is obviously Town Hall, or Tallinna Raekoda. Although the building was built over 600 years ago, it has kept to its original use and externally looks much the same as it did during its completion. The Town Hall Tower rises about 40 metres (about 130 feet) over the Square, and affords an amazing view over the Old Town and towards Toompea Hill. Although there are only a little over a hundred steps to reach the top of the tower, the higher you get, the larger the steps become, with some steps near the top approaching 18 inches (almost half a metre). The climb up is quite narrow, though there were occasional alcoves along the way in case you needed to catch your breath, or wanted to see what the Estonians used for a toilet over 500 years ago! The climb didn't seem like it was too high on the other Tallinn visitors' lists as we encountered no-one during the climb or at the top; which was probably all the better since there was only room for about four people at the top anyway. The view from the top was well worth the climb, and since we had a pristine day, you could see for miles. The tower is open from June through August, 11am to 6pm, and costs 30EEK (though half-price for students, children, and senior citizens). On a clear day it is well worth the effort! The same price is charged for entrance into the Town Hall itself, though if you want to take a tour, be ready to fork out another 300EEK on top of the entrance fee. During the summer the town hall is open daily, but visits from September through May require a prior appointment.

FinnGirl
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