Looking for street art is one of my favorite things to do on a city trip. Sometimes I’ll be looking for gigantic murals just like the ones we know from London or Berlin, and sometimes I search for the small intimate pieces. Tallinn is a city of the later. At first you won’t see much street art in this city, especially if you limit your time to the old city center. But if you move a little further down Tallinn you will see there’s plenty of street art around. In this article I tell where to look and how to find some great works.
Walk the Cultural Kilometer
One of the easiest places where you can spot street art is along the Cultural Kilometer. The name itself is a bit confusing, because its length is not one kilometer but two kilometers. This pedestrian and bike path was constructed to connect the harbor of Tallinn with the sights of Kalamaja and the old city center. Along this path you’ll find a lot of graffiti. Mostly tags and ugly stuff, but some pieces are pretty good. The route start at the old Olympic venue Linnahall and runs across the Museum for Contemporary Art EKKM. This is a small provocative museum with some striking outdoor art pieces like the army of ghosts in the snow and the two giant heads on the roof. Yeah, it’s not really my cup of tea. Across the museum there is the Kultuurikatel, easy to recognize by the letters ‘UN’ on the tower. This old electricity plant is transformed into a music and arts venue. It might be cool to visit this place in summer. If you continue the path you’ll see the old fishers harbor. Café Klaus Kohvik is also situated here and is the perfect place for coffee or lunch. And if you follow the path untill the end you will see the Patarei Prison. I’ve written an article about it last week. It’s a pretty cool and creepy place. Also not far from the prison is the modern Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum. This used to be a hangar for seaplanes, but now it is a European awarded maritime museum.
All the graffiti and art I found along the Cultural Kilometer
Telliskivi, the creative city
A little bit further down the Kalamaja neighbourhood is the Telliskivi complex. This used to be electricity complex of the Baltic Railway, but now it’s transformed into the Telliskivi Loomelinnak (Telliskivi Creative City). Everything that is hip and innovative you’ll find here and of course that also includes street art. The annual JJ-Street Baltic Street Art Jam has also contributed to this. During this creative week national and international artists show their best works throughout the city and everything can stay (nothing is erased). I especially liked the mural at the entrance of the complex, the purple paint is so vivid!
Telliskivi, the creative part of Tallinn
And there is more!
You can find most of the street art in the area of Kalamaja and the Telliskivi complex, but there are also some good pieces in other parts of Tallinn. For instance, I saw a huge mural on the Tartu Maantee made by the Australian artist Guido van Helten (sounds Dutch, but he is not Dutch). This piece is called Saarepiiga, a character from the famous Estonian epic poem Kalevipoeg. Because of the vintage feel it looks so classy and it really blends in with the environment. To see this mural you have to walk two kilometers outside the city center. Yes, that is pretty far. But lucky for us, there is also a tram (nr. 2 and 4, ticket is 2 euros) available that covers a great deal of the route.
How great is that mural? Totally worth the effort.
Do you like street art?