Tallinn, a charmingly Medieval town, selected as one of Unesco World Heritage sites in 1997 is the birthplace of Skype. Modern technology meets historic Old town in Tallinn. Free wi-fi access is offered in major places from the airport to the beaches. For the Finns, Tallinn is 2.5-3 hours away for cheaper Finnish beer and more. For me, Tallinn is my choice for flying back to Milan instead of Tempere, Finland via Ryan air. Tallinn is also characterized as “Silicone Valley of Baltic Sea” by the New York Times. In 2011, I went to Tallinn in March to see the snow falling like in the fairy tales. I walked a lot and the longest route was from KUMU Art Museum to Tallinn’s Old town. If you are in Helsinki and don’t know what to do in a day or two, then taking a ferry to explore Tallinn’s Old Town is worth visiting. After all, Tallinn is not for only the drunk people..;-)
A glimpse of Tallinn
Tallinn is located on the northern coast of Estonia on the bank of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of St. Petersburg, Russia
Estonia was a former Soviet’s territory and Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language closely related to Finnish. The rest you have to find out yourself in Tallinn or else where. Talk to almond sellers or a bus driver in Tallinn. Then, you will know what I mean! Enjoy the world..
Estonian is Estonia’s official language. Russian, English and Finnish are also understood.
Young generation of Estonians have no problem communicating in English. If you jump on the bus, please don’t expect everybody to speak English. You may feel you are alone in the universe, but you just need to enjoy the bus ride. The bus will come back to where you start again. ( a recommended ride : Bus no. 2 from the port – city centre – the airport)
Visiting KUMU is a must. You can embrace with Estonian culture through arts at KUMU.
Sauna is also culture here so don’t miss it. Try Estonian beer in the pubs if it is your way.
In 2011, Tallinn as a European Capital of Culture showcases the best of its creative spirit to the rest of the world. I appreciated the creative art installation called “ Objekt 2011” at Freedom Square where 400 Estonian artists took turn in spending 1 hour in a room featuring summer when the outside was winter time. Everything is possible.
Check out for upcoming events and programs.
I chose Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel because its reasonable price (70 EURO) for its location in the Old town. Apart from complimentary breakfast and the upgraded room, the hotel offered the free access to spa and sauna center. I enjoyed my vast window seeing snow falling and generous breakfast.
I don’t consume honey beer and bear sausage in Tallinn or else where. I suggest Kohvik Maiasmokk, Tallinn’s oldest and most famous cafe. Maiasmokk has been operating since 1864 serving up a variety of tempting cakes and pastries.Tallinn card holders can get a free cup of coffee or tea.
For traditional Estonian fare, I went to ‘Kuldse Notsu Kõrts’ (translated as Golden Piglet Inn) for my light dinner. This restaurant is not far from the Town Hall square. The highlights of menu in this restaurant are blood sausages and homemade cheese. The interior decoration is rustic like a traditional farmhouse kitchen. Ask for the chef’s recommendation and you will enjoy warm and hearty meals.
Most cafes and pubs in downtown’s Tallinn have free wi-fi access.
KUMU Art Museum
KUMU is a national gallery displaying the classics of Estonian art, and a contemporary art museum,showing off the latest trends. KUMU attracts visitors interested in Estonia culture.
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
Located in the old town of Tallinn in a 17th century storehouse, Estonian Museum of Applied Art Design has a vast collection of over 13,000 articles includes works of textile art, ceramics, porcelain, leather, glass, jewelry, metalwork, furniture and product design.
Free entry with Tallinn card
How to get there
Sea travel is the most widely-used method of reaching Tallinn for Estonia’s neighbors. It took 2.5 hours by SUPERSTAR, a Tallink’s ferry from Helsinki, Finland. The bus no. 2 leaves the airport for city center and port every 20-30 minutes.