Here I present you an extraordinary guide that’s going to make your stay in Tallinn the best trip you’ve ever had in your life entire life. Here we go!
STEP 1: GETTING AROUND WITH THE VERY SPECIAL GUIDED TOUR
I’ve never been much of a sightseeing lover even despite my interest in history and arts and I believe the big part of you isn’t one as well. We all though feel quite ashamed not doing a proper sightseeing, especially when in Europe where in each city there’s probably more museums than grocery shops including those located in a room on the top floor of some suspiciously looking tenement house, offering the temporary exhibition of the tea set of princess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
I bet it’s been more than one time when any of you travelling in a couple or a group agreed for a guided tour which costed you an arm and a leg and later on you’ve found yourself doing your best to try to raise at least a scant interest for what the guy is talking about and even if it didn’t work you still pretended in front of your friends you had a pretty great and illuminating time.
At least that’s the scenario that works for me every time and first, it didn’t happen was in Tallinn.
Tallinn Free Tour is an amazing and literally priceless experience you can have totally for free and, surprisingly for some, conveniently late in the morning as it starts every day at noon (May-September also at 10 am and 3 pm) in front of the city tourist information at Niguliste 2.
There are two extremely joyful, communicative and knowledgeable students from the local University who’ll walk you around and provide you the real local experience.
STEP 2: DISCOVER THE LOCAL ESTONIAN TRADITION
If you think your Estonian trip is going to be part of your Easter European experience there’s just one word that will change your point of view and it’s „sauna”. The tradition of sauna sounds Scandinavian and so it is but nowhere in Scandinavia sauna experience reaches the roots of the local culture as deeply as in this little baltic land.
First of all sauna in Estonia (never mind if it’s the public one we all have open access too or a private sauna most Estonians have in their houses) is not only a little ersatz of southern temperatures all the northern people feel such temptation for – it’s also a place where people take health issues pretty seriously. Like the flagellation of your bench neighbor with a birch twig. It’s good for your skin, they say. I also think lots of you heard about the traditional sauna procedure according to which you should cold shower every 15-20 min. I rather doubt that showers are very common in sauna buildings in Estonia. Not to spoil the fun too much though – all you need to know is that there’s a reason for sauna buildings to be situated right at the seaside.
To figure out why all you need to do is visit one of the sauna resorts in Tallinn such as the most famous one – Kalma Saun located at Vana-Kalamaja street and the entrance costs only 7,5 euro for women and 9 euro for men.
STEP 3: THE STREET ART OF TALLINN
Even if you’re not much of a street art lover or rather, you don’t understand how this crap can be allowed in the public space, Tallinn is the place for you to challenge your current vision. I guess it’s not necessary to mention for all those who are, in a contrary, fans of street art Tallinn is also a perfect fit.
Did you ever imagine a city to have an own street artist who is actually employed by the government and whose identity is not yet public? Sounds like the new Agatha Christie novel but it’s actually not.
The city of Tallinn is an open book carrying thousands of life-changing and brain-challenging quotes of all issues, mind teasers and brain stimulating pictures. It’s a city of the street art for artists, philosophers, classic literature freaks and all those who think street art is nothing but an act of vandalism on the public space. Who knows if the short phrase you’ll find on a hidden floor drain wouldn’t change your life at some point?
STEP 4: LINNAHALL – THE SPECIAL PLACE YOU’LL FIND NOWHERE ELSE
Have you ever wondered how was it like to live in the communist country? Like we’ve all seen these crazy American movies like Rockie and we feel like it’s enough to say we’ve actually experienced the spirit.
But the truth is, and I say it from the very deep of my heart, you all know strictly nothing about it and neither do I, even if I was born in one of the countries which were communist too. One day, in the past, let’s don’t get back to this.
But what’s the point is that if you want to have a real priceless and life-changing experience there’s one very place you can’t miss while in Tallinn and by that I mean the Linnahall.
Once upon a time, or in 1980 to be exact, the 22nd edition of The Olympic Games was organized in the Forbidden City of Moscow, USSR. For this event, the giant concrete amphitheater was built in Tallinn (also within borders of USSR at that time) to host the sailing event as the inland city of Moscow wasn’t suitable for that. The tiny budget of the onetime Soviet republic couldn’t afford to keep such an object in good condition so only 20 years later there was nothing but a pretty scary crumble of stones left.
Linnahall is an extraordinary ruin, not like the ones you’ve seen left after some European medieval castles. Is the unique residue of an enormous, Soviet investment which keeps its’ electrifying spirit in every little concrete slab that’s left.
Moreover, not only you can experience how is to walk the real post-soviet ghost town but you don’t even have to spend a penny on it – the entrance is completely free!
STEP 5: ONE-DAY TRIP DESTINATIONS IN THE AREA
Estonia doesn’t really seem tropical but believe me, this country is a real European Oceania. Imagine this little country with only 1240 km long shoreline has more than 2000 islands within its’ borders!
Certainly, who cares about numbers? But what everyone actually does care about is that almost every each of these magical, tiny, northern islands are perfectly reachable from the harbors of Tallinn and all that for surprisingly cheap – for example traveling to Saaremaa Island costs only 15-17 euro one way!
Visiting such unique places like Saaremaa, Muhu or Hiiumaa Islands not only will provide you unforgettable touch of the local culture but all the real wanderers can be sure there’s no other area where you can go wandering or swimming in some lost, little bay as some of the islands are only inhibited by up to 10 people in total!