Early settlers were in the region surrounding Tallinn more than 3,500 years ago, and in 1154, an Arabian geographer marked Tallinn on the world map. A member of the Hanseatic League from 1285, Tallinn was among the most important Hanseatic trading towns, along with Lübeck, Visby and Riga.
Luxury furs, wax and honey from Russia were delivered westward through Tallinn’s port, while salt from Portugal and woolen fabrics from England and Flanders came through Tallinn on their eastward route.
Cruise ships approach Tallinn passing the town wall, church spires and the red-tiled rooftops of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The same basic cityscape was seen by seafarers centuries ago. Ships typically dock within walking distance of the city center.