Kalamaja, which got its name from the fishing port a long time ago, is a quiet area known for old-fashioned, colorful, working class houses. From the 14th century, fishermen, fish merchants and boat builders lived in Kalamaja, but after completion of the Tallin - St Petersburg railway in 1870, big factories began to emerge, leading to an influx of thousands of new workers.
Two to three-storey houses with symmetrical wooden wings and stone stairs in the middle, built for the workers in the 1920's and 1930's have become Kalamaja's heritage. There are about 500 of them in Tallinn.
A big part of the old industrial infrastructure has also been preserved, such as the Estonian Piano Factory at Kungla 41, which is one of the world's best piano manufacturers, and a mall opened in the old military factory Arsenal, which is modern but quintessentially reminiscent of old times.
A good way to experience the phenomenon of Kalamaja is to visit Telliskivi Loomelinnak (Telleskivi Street 60 a), where the old factory buildings are gradually being modified into a popular meeting place for those who enjoy quaint restaurants, art exhibits, draught beers, flea markets, alternative theater and club visits.
In the Creative City, you are going to find a unique choice of shops offering design, interior design and natural products, various cafés and restaurants and different services. In the halls and yards of Telliskivi, over 400 cultural events take place in a year. Each Saturday, they host a flea market. The Creative City is also a home to Vaba Lava Theater and Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava.
Lennusadam (Seaplane Harbor)
The unforgettable Seaplane Harbor is home to a super-modern maritime and military museum, complete with historic ships to tour.
Located in Tallinn's famed, wooden-house district of Kalamaja, the harbor is best known for its architecturally unique Seaplane Hangars. Built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress, these hangars are the world’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in the 1930's.
Now the vast hangars house an extensive, high-tech museum telling exciting stories of Estonia's maritime and military history and promising a 'sea full of excitement' for the whole family. The museum comprises more than 200 large exhibits in an area equal to nearly 2 million A4 paper sheets laid down side by side.
The British-built Lembit submarine, weighing 600 tones, is the centerpiece of the museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years and was the oldest submarine in the world still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in excellent condition, and climbing inside offers an interesting glimpse of 1930's technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of a Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane that was also used by the Estonian armed forces. The Short Type 184 earned its place in military history by being the first plane ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. None of the originals have survived. The replica in the Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the plane in the entire world.
More excitement for adults and kids alike is provided by the museum's simulators, which mimic a flight above Tallinn, an around-the-world journey in a yellow submarine and navigating on Tallinn Bay.
In the museum's outdoor area, visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.