The tour begins with a drive to the upper part of Tallinn's Old Town. Along the way, you will pass the 13th century town walls, punctuated with several medieval towers, the main railway station, and the National Library before arriving on Toompea Hill, which is better known as Tallinn's Upper Town or Dome Hill. Toompea Castle, which is now the home of the Estonian parliament, is a large complex that consists of three major parts. The pink three story building you can see from the street, dates from the Czarist era in Estonia.(circa 1773) On the west side, is the medieval castle which was constantly added on to from 1220 A. D. onward. It's Tall Hermann Tower being the only major portion visible from the street. In the middle is a third section built in the 1920s which houses the Riigikogu (Parliament). None of the 9th century Estonian wooden castle remains.
Across from the castle is the Russian Orthodox Church of St Alexander Nevski which was finished in 1900. The churches eleven bells were cast in St. Petersburg. The largest bell required 500 soldiers to pull it by rope into its lofty location.
The Lutheran Cathedral of St Mary (Dome Church) was originally established by the Danes in the 13th century making it the oldest church on the mainland of Estonia. It was originally a Roman Catholic cathedral, but became Lutheran in 1561. Here, you can admire old coat-of-arms of Tallinn's noble families that date back more than 300 years. Then a short walk will take you to a panoramic viewpoint where you can enjoy the view over the Lower Town with its red-tiled roofs, towers and steeples, and have a short opportunity for shopping.
You will walk back to your transportation and continue on to the seaside district of Kadriorg, a tree-lined neighborhood that surrounds the Kadriorg Park and Palace that was built by Peter the Great. The design of Kadriorg was strongly influenced by the high society of the Tsar's empire and the Palace was built in honor of Peter's empress wife, Catherine I. You will visit the palace, which now serves as the Museum of European Art, and then the upper garden behind the palace. Across the garden from the palace is the residence of the President of Estonia.
Near the President's residence is a tiny stone house. Peter used this humble summer estate for himself even before the building of the Palace had begun and called it his 'cottage in the woods'. Peter's cottage is now a museum exhibiting items belonging to him. Free time will be taken to explore the small museum.
Before returning to the cruise pier, a photo stop will be made at the Song Festival Grounds, home of the famous Estonian song festivals held since 1869. From here a picturesque view opens to the sea and the Old Town of Tallinn.