Overview of Tallinn
January 1, 1970
by Pauline He
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:
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 the Railway Station (takes about 20 minutes).
Ekerö Line and Silja Line will go from West Terminal harbour. You can take a tram number 9 from the Railway Station and will drop you off right at the harbour (about 15 minute ride).
Check out this site for more information about Helsinki’s harbours and how to get there.
Tallink ferries at the Tallinn Harbour.
More information about Estonia and Tallinn.
Estonia uses Euros. There are many exchange places across the Tallinn.All the banks and usually all the shopping centres have an exchange place. These places might have different exchange rates and different service fees, so it could be useful to check the rates before you want to change your money.
These are the main places to change your money.
PS! If you come from India then you should exchange your money there. In Estonia you can’t find a place where will change Indian Rupees.
(When I came back from India I didn’t have time to exchange Rupees to Euros, so I tried to do it in Estonia. Then I got told from all of the exchange places that no one will change them here and it can be done only in India. But that is in Estonia, when I flew to India from Finland then I was able to change money there at the airport).
You can always pay by card. I have’t come across a place in Tallinn where you can’t pay by the card and I don’t think we have the spending limits as well. There might be a service charge from the bank, but that will depend on the terms and conditions of your bank.
One great thing about Estonia is that we have free WiFi all most anywhere. In Tallinn you get “WiFi Tallinn” when you walk around in city centre. All the bars, coffee shops and restaurant have to provide free WiFi to their customers (also some of the parks and public areas out side of the old town provide free WiFi).
Check out this site for all the free WiFi spots.
Main things to do as a tourist in Tallinn.
The main attraction in Tallinn is the old town (it is under the UNESCO world heritage), some parts of old town date back to the 13th century. It is something worth seeing. It is a small but very cute place to wonder around and take some great pictures of a medieval town.
Old town offers a lot to visitors besides great views and history there are a great variety of restaurants, bars and cafes where you could sit down and enjoy a lovely meal or a drink. (I will write a more detailed reviews about places to go on my following posts about Estonia and Tallinn)
ONe of the most popular places to visit and take pictures in old town. You are able to see the sea, harbour and the old town. It does get crowded durning the day time, but get there early in the morning you can get some pictures without tourists.
Aleksander Nevski Cathedrat at Toompea
Some pictures of old town.
Besides visiting old town, you can find some interesting museums. Good museum to visit is KUMU Estonian art museum.
KUMU is located in Kadriorg. Which is another great place to go to. It is a huge park. And its just few tram stops away from the city centre. You can get there by tram number 1 and 3. The park itself is around 70 hectares. On a nice warm sunny day it is the perfect place to have a picking or just wonder around and take some lovely pictures.
Summers day by the swan pond.
The most famous attraction there is the Kadriorg Palace. Russian Tsar Peter the I build it for his wife Catherine (1719-1725) . Now there is a Estonian Art Museum collection of foreign art.
Besides the palace, museums and parks Kadriorg has many nice cafes and restaurants. Its a great place to go for a romantic walks.
For someone who is interested in theatres, then Tallinn has a good variety of places to see good performances. From modern plays to the operas. Summer time there are also quite a few open air plays, which is a good experience.
Even if Tallinn is tiny city, there are still plenty of good museums, theatres, bars, restaurants, spas, hotels, hostels, coffee shops, tours etc.
No matter what type of traveller your are, you will find something interesting to do for sure.
<h2 style="text-align: center">Clubs and pubs.</h2>
Old town is full of pubs and restaurants. You can find many different cuisines Estonian, Mexican, German, Japanese, Indian etc.
It is same with he pubs, I will write another post about Tallinn's pubs with more detailed description. One of my favourite pub in old town on HELL HUNT
(it means gentle wolf in Estonian). They have good selection of drinks and good food and the prices are affordable.
The most popular club is "Hollywood" its is located right at the centre of the old town and at the weekends it gets quite busy, usually you can find a lot of tourists there and most of the pub crawls end up there. If you want a good night out with your friends then Hollywood is good place to go.
<h2 style="text-align: center">Safety.</h2>
Tallinn is a very safe place to visit (still need to watch out for pickpockets) but other than that there isn't anything to be afraid of.
I never had any problems walking home at 3 or 4 am (or even later) and I don't know that any of my friends been in some sort of danger or trouble.
<h2 style="text-align: center"><strong>Taking the photos tip.</strong></h2>
At the moment in the summer time, we have white nights, this means that it never really gets dark durning the night time. If you are an early bird or you get back to your hotel after a night out you can go around town and get some great photos when the streets are empty (remember its still light outside so it looks like a day time).