Estonia Travel Guides for Backpackers

Viljandi – perfect place for a half-day trip in Estonia

Estonia isn’t the most popular tourist destination. Mostly it’s associated only with its capital – Tallinn, treated as a short gateway destination from Finland, or just skipped as not worth visiting (too small? too expensive?). As someone who loves such small, charming countries, not overwhelmed with tourists, I’ve never understood why people are surprised finding them on someones bucketlist. My visit to Estonia was connected with a short student exchange – summer internship, taking place in of the pharmacies in Tartu in 2016. Although it was a short trip (only 2 weeks), thanks to the country’s small size, I had an opportunity not only to finish it with three extra days in Tallinn but also to visit some less popular cities. One of them was Viljandi – a very small, yet adorable “cultural capital of Estonia”, a perfect place for a short half-day trip. Cultural capital of Estonia Among the locals and interested audience, Viljandi is mostly popular as the stage of the most visited music festival in Estonia and one of the biggest folk music festivals in Europe – Viljandi Folk Music Festival, held during the last weekend of July.  The event takes place in the Viljandi Castle Hills and the city center, where it gathers over 25 thousand people every year pouring life and music into this rather sleepy town. Unfortunately, visiting the city in late June, I didn’t get a chance to take part in this famous event. Besides the famous festival, Viljandi has also more connections with music and culture. The Estonian Traditional Music Centre, Kondas Centre – the museum dedicated to naive and outsider art, and finally the Viljandi Culture Academy – the part of the University of Tartu, focused on fields such as art, theater, dance, music, native crafts. Viljandi Castle If not for the summer festival, why would anyone visit Viljandi? One of the reasons may be the Viljandi Castle. Actually, the ruins of the castle, as not much is left from the original building. Built in 1224, it became one of the main strongholds of the Livonian Order in the 14th century and after getting its final shape in the 16th century it turned to one of the most distinguished fortresses in Estonia and Latvia. Unfortunately, due to the following wars between Sweden, Poland and Russia, what we can visit now are only its remainings – a few stone walls. Nevertheless, while still being a very interesting and atmospheric place, they offer also something for tourists less interested in history and medieval ruins. The part which would be appreciated by everyone is definitely the beautiful view over the lake of Viljandi, which together with the ruins and park around them makes a perfect recreational area. Viljandi Lake Nature lovers won’t be disappointed with their visit to Viljandi. The Viljandi Lake offers not only amazing views from the castle hill, but for visitors who have more time also hiking trails around the whole lake, which isn’t especially big (4600 m long and 450 […]

Tallinn’s Top 5 Instagram Hotspots

It is midday on a Thursday. I should be wolfing down a quick lunch while scrolling through my friends’ Instagram posts, with a heavy sigh of holiday envy. Not today. Today I am in the fairy-tale land that is Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn. When I told my friends of my latest travel plans, they all looked at me blankly and asked “Where’s that?”, so naturally I have made it my mission to show them what they are missing out on. Do you go for the quirky angle? The artsy filter? Whatever your style, you are sure to find something worth snapping in Tallinn. Here are my top five photo-worthy spots. St Catherine’s Passage (Katariina käik). Finding this snug alleyway between Vene Street and Müürivahe street is a bit like being part of a secret club. Trust me, it is worth hunting around for. Running behind what used to be St Catherine’s Church, this narrow street is full of history. Take a moment to simply stand at one end of the passage looking through the many terracotta-tiled archways. You would be forgiven for feeling that you have stepped onto a fantasy film set or a time long since forgotten. At one end of the walkway there are enormous tombstones, remnants from St Catherine’s church, and at the other end is St Catherine’s guild where you will find artists and craftspeople at work in their open studios. This secret passageway has a very special ambience to it that can’t be captured on camera, so be sure to allow yourself time to soak it up. Continue along St Catherine’s Passage to Master’s Courtyard, where you will find a delightful Chocolate café with an enormous stuffed bear in a straw hat sitting outside. The Town Walls Tallinn has the cosy feeling of being enveloped by its remaining 1.9km of town walls, and they are a sight to behold from whatever your vantage point. From the inside, they are the sturdy walls that protect the bubble of otherworldliness within. From the outside, they are a force to be reckoned with, with 20 defensive towers still standing, most of which are probably inhabited by damsels in distress and guarded by dragons. Alright, I haven’t checked my facts on that one, but I could easily believe it. In the section of the wall connecting Nunna, Sauna and Kuldjala towers, to the North West of the town hall square, you can climb up and explore the towers and the wall. Pause for a moment here to take in the view over the picturesque Old Town, and of course, snap the perfect shot of it. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Originally built in 1900 as a symbol of the Russian Empire’s dominance over Tallinn, this onion-domed cathedral is instantly recognisable as Russian design. Being placed so close to Toompea Castle really highlights the differences in architectural style. Since Tallinn’s independence in 1991, the controversy has faded, leaving behind a building that can be appreciated for the architectural masterpiece that it is. […]

Hiiumaa: A hidden paradise in the Baltic sea

When talking about Estonia then most people instantly think of Tallinn the capital city with its medieval old town and funky vibes. But Estonia is known to have more than 1500 islands. Yes, that’s right! And even though most of these islands are small and no one lives there, we can find ones which are in fact inhabited but still offer peace, quiet and wilderness. One paradise island amongst the others is Hiiumaa with its 11000 habitants. Most of them live in the capital Kärdla which has schools, small shopping centres and supermarkets, as well as libraries and cinema that airs movies 3 days a week. A land which was not allowed to be visited even by fellow Estonians during the Soviet times because of the Russian military base was situated there welcomes its guests warmly these days. Today at least six ferries a day take people from Western Estonia’s ferry station to Hiiumaa (more info about the timetables and ticket prices is shown here: www.praamid.ee , it is also possible to fly there with the smallest plane on Earth from the capital city Tallinn and during cold winters you can actually drive your car from mainland to the island on an ice road. I mean how cool is that? Where to go and what to do in Hiiumaa? First of all, this is a paradise for nature lovers! It has beautiful uncrowded beaches, many national parks where you are probably the only one walking around, a lot of forests which are safe to visit since no bears live there, bird watching towers, tall lighthouses which kids adore to visit and some authentic Estonian pubs, cosy small restaurants in different harbours and even a nightclub!   Biking in the magical Hiiumaa forests   Best beaches to visit in Hiiumaa Tõrvanina A beautiful long beach only 10 kilometres away from the capital Kärdla that you can visit  for free like all the rest of the beaches. So why not rent a bike from the city and go there without a car? And the best part is, in Hiiumaa you do not even have to lock up your bike, no one steals it anyway since everyone knows everyone on the island. Tõrvanina beach is perfect for a privacy seeking backpacker or for a group that wants to be loud and not disturb others with it. The area is clean and the sand is singing. If you have a good imagination you could feel that you are in the Northern Maldives, instead of the palm trees though, Hiiumaa has pine trees. Tõrvanina beach Ristna Located on the western side of the island, this beach is called a surf paradise. It is a little windier so water sports lovers will definitely enjoy it even though Estonia is not known for the best surfing conditions. Still worth a try! A short drive or a long walk from the surfers’ beach will introduce you another beautiful and peaceful beach called Kalana which is rocky and offers […]

A short roadtrip through Estonia: Viljandi, Taagepera and Pärnu

Most tourists who visit Estonia, usually stay in or around Tallinn, and even though Tallinn is a beautiful city, they miss the chance of seeing our small towns, villages and beautiful nature. So, when we had to drive someone to Taagepera on the other side of Estonia, I saw it as a great opportunity for a short road-trip through my country. Because the distances between towns in Estonia aren't long, I did the whole trip in a day and was back in Tallinn the same night. But of course, you can choose to spend a night (or few) in any of those places and take as long as you want. I started my trip in the morning from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and started driving towards our first stop, Viljandi. The drive to Viljandi takes about 2 hours or a bit less, depending on the road you choose to take. If you have some extra time and you wish to see more of Estonia, you can also make a stop in Paide or Türi, which are both towns situated in the center of Estonia. The drive itself is very scenic too – the nature varies a lot from season to season. In summer you can see a lot of beautiful green forests and yellow rapeseed fields. In winter all the trees and fields are white and covered with snow. On your way, you will also pass through plenty of cute small villages and if you have more time, you can explore, look around and discover some old churches and manors. Viljandi Viljandi is an adorable little town in southern Estonia. It is also the heart of Estonian folk music and Viljandi Folk festival is held there every year in July. One of the best times to visit Viljandi is during this festival. In Viljandi, you can also find the ruins of Viljandi castle, scenic views over the lake and a large lake beach and Viljandi’s famous suspension bridge. Viljandi also has a large student population from the Viljandi Culture Academy and many musicians live in the city. The Viljandi castle was built in the 13th century and is, therefore, one of the oldest stone fortresses in Estonia. Nowadays you can only see the ruins of the castle, but either way, it's a nice sight. You can walk around among the ruins of the castle, step into an old cellar and enjoy the beautiful view over the Viljandi lake. The suspension bridge is also right next to the castle. The whole park with the ruins and the bridge is a beautiful place and you'll most definitely get a lot of great photos there. After a walk to the ruins, we decided to grab lunch in a place called Rohelise Maja Pood ja Kohvik. It's a lovely small cafe which serves delicious organic foods and also has a small shop, where you can buy all kinds of organic goods. The interior of the cafe is very cozy and adorable and in the summertime, there's also […]

Tartu: guide from a former student

I spent three and a half years living in Tartu during my studies at the University of Tartu and found countless places that I still like to visit every time I manage to make my way back there. This article gives a brief overview and some useful links regarding my favorite spots and activities. How to get around? Walk, walk, walk! The first thing you should probably know about Tartu is that it is very pedestrian friendly. Most places of interest are at your arm's length and in fact, a lot of the streets are one-way, making it not the easiest city to navigate by car (I still struggle sometimes). Renting a bike makes sense only if you need to go to the edge or out of the city as the center has quite many hills and you would probably end up pushing the bike, not riding it. One day is quite enough to walk all around town and see most of the sites worth seeing. What to do? The joys of river Emajõgi The city is divided into two by one of the biggest rivers in Estonia – Emajõgi. There are seven bridges crossing it and some of them are for pedestrians only. You may come across fishermen and boats offering a little trip on the river for a small fee. The most famous vessel in Tartu is a barge called “Jõmmu” and it takes people on different types of trips such as stargazing, sailing or trips for listening to bird songs. The schedule can be found on their website and the season lasts from April to November. The river is usually frozen during the rest of the year. If you follow the river in the opposite direction of which it is running, you will quickly find yourself walking out of town and straight into nature. You will find beaches, picnic tables, benches, volleyball fields, running tracks and more. Botanical Gardens I would also suggest walking through the Botanical Gardens of the University of Tartu. The outside area is free for all visitors and if you are lucky, you may even find a concert happening there. You can walk on many small paths, sit down to read a book in the beautiful surroundings or stop on the little bridge to watch fish, ducks, and swans. The greenhouses can be visited for a small entrance fee. Shop 'til you drop If you are interested in going on a shopping spree, I would recommend going to Lõunakeskus. It has shops for clothes, accessories, toys, gifts, electronics, home decor, many restaurants, grocery stores and even an ice-skating rink. As it is located at the very edge of the city, there is a free bus going every 30 minutes from the city center. You can find the bus schedule here. If you do not want to wander that far, there are also three malls right in the city center – Kaubamaja, Tasku, and the newly opened Kvartal.

5 things you can not miss while in Tallinn

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 […]

Tallinn: A Medieval Journey

Walking into medieval times Spend your time within the old town walls and go back to medieval times. When walking into Tallin, through it's old old town walls, you truly feel like you are walking straight into the Middle Ages. There are a lot of small streets and alleys that look really magical. On the town square, there is a pharmacy which dates back from 1422. I believe that this pharmacy is still in the same family as it was back then. In here, you get to see what kind of medicine they have sold over time. The pharmacy is still in business but now selling present day medicine. Cuisine Also at this town square, there is a restaurant that is all about giving you the medieval experience. The bowls you get your soup in, the cups you drink your drink from, the clothing of the staff, it’s all in the medieval theme. If you would like to experience this while eating, make sure to visit Olde Hansa. When you sit somewhere and want to eat a small dish, be careful when ordering the garlic bread. It could be that this is not the garlic bread that you think it is. We made this mistake when we were there. It is some sort of deep-fried rye bread. This is also the case in Latvia and Lithuania. There is this really cute café where you can chill and read a book or just relax and listen to music. It’s in one of the town square’s side streets near the old pharmacy. You go down a few steps when you enter and they have nice furniture to chill on. You can choose from a lot of different flavours of tea if you’re into that, there also are a lot of chocolaty treats to choose from. The café is called KehrWieder. At some places in town, there are stands with people selling Estonian nuts. They have about three flavours to choose from. Personally, I really like them. They let you taste them before buying, so definitely do this when you come across one. I bought 3 packs and back home already regretted that I didn’t buy more than that. [caption id="attachment_42077" align="alignnone" width="190"] Medieval dish

Nutstand   What to do in Tallinn Kiek in de Kök Make sure to visit the Kiek in de Kök when you are in Tallinn. You can go on a tour through the underground Bastion tunnels that will take you further and further back in time. It will show you how people lived in the tunnels in different times. For instance during the Second World War and during the time of the hippies. Some people over time have said that parts of the tunnel are haunted and they have seen ghosts there. The tour-guide, however, said that she never encountered a ghost whenever she was there alone. The tour also has a trip to the future. This wasn’t really spectacular but it is part of the tour. It only last for […]

Tallinn – a gem on the Baltic shore

However you arrive to Tallinn, whether it is a ferry from Helsinki or Stockholm or a plane from somewhere Central or Western Europe, you will find surprises everywhere in here. Firstly – the capital of Estonia – Tallinn – is small. Well, compared to many other metropolitan areas in the world. The port is just 10 minute walk from the city center and the airport is not further either – only 15 minutes by bus. But it's smallness doesn't mean it is an uninteresting place. Tallinn, I have found, is a perfect blend of the old and the new. As I have understood from the brief glimpse of history, there has always been someone living in Tallinn ever since the glaciers melted away. The oldest proof of settlement goes back around 5000 years. It has been said that the first “town” such appeared around 10th century and the first mention of Tallinn was in 1154. by a map maker Al-Idrisi. Tallinn Old Town You can see the history of Tallinn in the Old town. To my knowledge, the whole old town is under the protection of UNESCO as the biggest fully preserved Middle-Age city. And it shows. When you walk down (or up in many cases) the cobblestone roads, you can look around and feel the medieval vibe around you. And of course, the Estonians fully embrace it buy adding tourist snares everywhere – people dressed in medieval garb who are inviting you into their Medieval restaurants. Even though in some cases, you might not want to do that. But in Tallinn, you should. Some of the restaurants are pretty good at mimicking the olden times (like Olde Hansa and Peppersack). One could just stay there and enjoy the weird and wonderful food and medieval music. Of course, as a main tourist spot, the Old Town is full of souvenir shops and every kind of restaurants you can imagine. I wouldn't recommend to but souvenirs from random big-signed shops you can find everywhere. I would more suggest you go to handicraft shops like “Hää Eesti Asi” which allows you to buy real hand made souvenirs and it supports the Estonian handicraft society as well.   Away from the centre to Kadriorg If you have time, you really should wander further than Old Town. The City Center is full of “new” buildings – which means glass and metal towers. Some of them hide a shopping centre in them, others hide restaurants and hotels. I would certainly recommend to peek into one of the oldest parts of the city (except the Old Town) – to Kadriorg. It's full of small wooden houses built a century ago.  From Kadriorg, you can walk to the Kadriorg Park – which is one of the oldest and prettiest parks in Tallinn. And probably one of the largest parks as well. Kadriorg Manor and the park was created by Tzar Peter I to his wife Catherine the Great as a gift, since Catherine was in love with Estonia […]

Estonia- The Northernmost Balkan State

If you want to start traveling in Europe but don't want to deal with the expensive prices of Western Europe, why not take a trip to the Baltics? Estonia has some great history, party spots, eateries, and points of interest. Your money will really go a long way once you get to Eastern Europe, especially for Americans. Estonia is the most northern of the Baltic States with great views for all. You can spend the day on the rocky beaches or hike into the old-growth forests. Not a popular destination for many Americans, but it should be! I arrived there in January with this as my first European experience, don't let everyone's dark attire put you off, all of the locals are friendly. Black just seems to be the popular jacket color for the winter. Knowing just a few words can go a long way but have no fear if you aren’t fluent in Eesti (Estonia’s official language) majority of the younger crowd speaks fluent English or can at least point you in the right direction. If you want to just wander around a bit walking around the city, you’ll notice instantly that you start to feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. You may have seen photos of their iconic red roof tops but to experience it during the winter months is a whole other thing. The Monk's Bunk Hostel If you're looking for an unforgettable experience The Monk's Bunk Hostel in Tallinn is the place for you. It's located in one of the best areas in Tallinn and the staff is warm and friendly. This was the first hostel I experienced in Europe after coming off of an international flight from Seattle, Washington. On the initial check in, you get a welcome shot of an Estonian liquor (for those over 18). From that point on, it's up to you. You can take free walking tours, paid adventures, or you can stay in the hostel and enjoy endless drinking games with their full bar. The running joke we all had at the hostel is that it’s a black hole. It’s so great that no matter what plans you make you’ll probably end up canceling, just so you can spend another day there. III Drakos (3 Dragons) If you're looking for a great place to eat and enjoy a medieval style atmosphere, this is one place you can't miss. It's located a short walk from the hostel and in Tallinn's famous town hall. It's right on the corner of the building and looks like it might be a dungeon, so keep an eye out for it or you might miss it. Even the workers there are dressed in the classic attire. It’s a great place to grab a soup, pastry or a pint of ‘mead’. All drinks are €2-3, food is €1-3 and brine pickles in the barrel are FREE! Don't worry even though they don't have any modern lighting they do have electricity to accept credit cards if you forget to bring cash. If you […]

Overview of Tallinn

      Estonia is a small country which is located in Northern Europe in the Baltic Region. It has borders with Latvia from the South, Russia from the East, Finland from the North and Sweden from the West (Finland and Sweden are across the Gulf of Finland and Baltic Sea). Capital of Estonia is Tallinn, it is also the biggest city. The population in Tallinn is  around 441000. (Yeah it is a small city compared to most of the cities in the world). Population of Estonia is just over 1,3 million. 🙂 Official language is Estonian, which is very similar to Finnish (or Finnish is similar to Estonian).  Luckily most of people speak English, so you shouldn’t get stuck when you need to ask someone advice from the street and people are usually helpful. You can drink tap water here, its safe! I have been drinking tap water here all my life and never had any problems. Everyone I know here drinks tap water and they are all healthy and alive. Time zone is UTC+02:00 with daylight saving time. Estonia uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type C and Type F. (I use my hairdryer from England, which is 240 V and it has been working fine past 2 years. It will blow up probably when you use USA devices what are 110V). Plugs used in Estonia. How to get to Tallinn. The best way to get Estonia is to come by a plane. You can fly direct to Tallinn. Airport is very close to city centre. You can take a bus number 2 outside of the airport and it will take you right to the city centre and it costs about €2. Or you can take a taxi, it should cost around  €10 to the city centre (€10 is the maximum amount what you should pay to get to the town, anything over that is too much). Check momondo.com for the cheap flights. I personally think that’s the best site for cheapest deals. Sometimes it bit pricy to fly to Estonia so there are few alternative ways to get here. You could also fly to Riga (Latvia) and take a bus from there to Tallinn. Its 4.5 hours ride, but buses are very comfortable (Free WiFi, free water and hot drinks, Individual Media Devices to watch movies or play games, Power supply under each seat) and quite cheap. You can book the tickets on this website https://www.luxexpress.eu/en/tallinn-riga The average price is around 16€. The other way to come to Tallinn is to fly to Finland and come by a ferry. From the airport you can take Finnair City Buses, they cost around 6 Euros to the city centre Rail Station and takes around 40- 45 minutes. You can choose from 3 different ferry companies: http://www.sales.vikingline.com https://www.eckeroline.ee/en/Route-trips/ http://www.tallink.com Normally ferry takes around 2.5 hours to get to Tallinn (depends on what ferry you get). If you decide to take a Viking Line Ferry  which leaves from Katajanokka Terminal then you could easily walk there from […]

Tallin – the medieval pearl of Baltics

Baltic states consists of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Tallin, the capital city of Estonia, lays on the North of the country, near the Gulf of Finland. Filled with testimonies from middle ages, alluring parks and great shopping and business centres, Tallin is a mixture of a little bit of everything, that makes this place suitable for all kinds of travellers and various types of holidays.  Tallin Old City – nuts, munks and Fat Margaret Right – with nuts I mean nuts, almonds with different tastes  -chilli, cinnamon, orange, cherry… Those are traditional nuts for Tallin, which were made of monks and they are incredibly tasty. You can taste and buy them from merchants in Old City, these nuts make perfect souvenir and gift, costs about 5 euros per 100 grams, and it is definitely worth it. Monks are very popular in Tallin – or were, once upon a time. In nowadays there are actors, which are trying to brighten up medieval culture in Old City, also they are trying to sell some crafts for tourists or shouting out adverts for restaurants, museums or events. Do not avoid these people, they are actually very friendly and willing to take photos with travellers. You can recognize them from brown robes and medieval look. Famous Walls Of Tallin As in general,  Old City is famous of Walls of Tallin – group of medieval towers constructed to defence the city. Most popular are Pikk Herman (the highest one), Viru Gate – two towers, which marks the start of Old City and lines of souvenir shops, Kiek in the Kok with photography gallery inside and Fat Margaret, which is really wide and that is where the name comes from, now there is Maritime museum inside this tower. Take a look at Tallin's Fortifications through centuries and find out more about Walls of Tallin in this video: [vc_video link=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpDGpSP0lH0] The best viewing points in Tallin While wandering around Old City, try to find good viewing points, such as Patkuli and Kohtuotsa viewing platforms on the Toompea hill. You will see quite picturesque city landscape with red rooftops, medieval towers and churches. Take a deep breath – Tallin is at your feet. Of course, it is better to enjoy these sights without the crowds of other tourists, so the Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer won't be good choice to go sightseeing Tallin. However, most of museums and other attractions are closed on official holidays like Christmas or Easter, but there will be more tourists in Summer, although the Tallin is never crowded like New York or other big city. There will always be places to get away and find your perfect vantage point, bench in the park or lovely cafe with excellent cupcakes. Other objects in Old City which are worth visiting: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – spectacular building with a touch of Russian culture in Tallin Town Hall Square – popular venue of national events, markets and parades. There are a lot of cafes and […]

Tallinn: A Virtual Tour of the Old Town

Why Tallinn? Most people these days are so obsessed with cities like Paris, London or New York, that traditional and beautiful cities are often forgotten. Tallinn is the capital of Estonia – a country in the European Union, located to the south of Finland and to the north of Latvia. I was in Tallinn only for 1.5 days and I honestly wish I could spend much more time there. To be absolutely honest, when my roommate suggested Tallinn as one of the 8 cities on our Euro-trip list, I wasn’t too excited. Not only did I not know of this city- but I thought I would be better off visiting another city like Stockholm or London, for instance. But all my insecurities disappeared from the moment I set foot into this gorgeous city and not even a 30 min long walk from the port of Tallinn till our Airbnb apartment with my heavy suitcase could dampen my spirit! Tallinn, is a city like no other. Its rustic beauty lies in its old town. When I say old town – I mean a really OLDTOWN. Even most Estonian men and women are dressed in traditional Estonian attire and carry themselves like people did in the Medieval ages. It’s an absolute treat and I have never seen anything like it before. Tallinn also happens to be a much cheaper European city as compared to its European counterparts. After keeping a strict limit on my expenditures in cities like Copenhagen and Oslo, I decided to splurge in this lovely city (and it was the best decision ever). The view before entering the Old Town of Tallinn  Virtual tour through Tallinn’s Old Town: The path leading to the Old Town was under construction when I was there (Second to last week of March), but it is filled with vendors selling beautiful bouquets of flowers. There are so many shops – it just filled me with unprecedented joy. It makes the start so much more beautiful as you get an exciting image of the blooming of flowers during Spring-time. A Close Up of the Flowers The Path to the Old Town of Tallinn                   The entry to the Old Town: One can see the clear differences between the Old Town and the amazingly lit city centre a behind it – in the backdrop. The entry itself was extremely grand and we were greeted by 2 bands – one all-girl band that was playing the soundtrack of The Game of Thrones with their drums and pipers. It was absolutely surreal! The other one included boys playing popular songs such as Maroon Five’s ‘Sugar’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ Entry to the Old Town The streets: have some magic in them. They are cobbled of course, with no cars on them. There aren’t that many tourists because Tallinn doesn’t attract too many! I really wonder WHY because it’s so gorgeous. The first street inside the Old Town has souvenir shops […]
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