I think that within two years we’ve been to Tallinn around 15 times. And not a single time did we have a thought like “oh nooo, Tallinn again”, even if it was 209 km from Narva, the town we lived in. Because Tallinn is a real pearl, which is too charming to be bored of. What do we love it for? Very simple!
Cosy Medieval Old Town
Very compact, very neat, full of traditional cafés, cute shops, markets and museums. The best-preserved medieval capital of the Baltics.
There ARE locals.
Often, the old towns are criticized to be just full of tourists and have no hint on the existing of the locals. Tallinn is not the case – just walk there Friday night to make sure of it.
Tasty and affordable food.
Even in the Old Town, the numerous restaurants and pretty cafés offer tasty and relatively cheap food. Don’t leave Tallinn without trying the traditional elk soup in the Town hall building!
Almost every weekend, there is a market where you can find the best hand-made souvenirs, which are, as a rule, made in Estonia (and not in China!) Authentic and sometimes even useful :)
On foot to the airport.
Not every European capital can claim to have an international airport so close to the city centre. I loved all my morning walks there before taking the plane to Ukraine. The airport is so cute, by the way, that it would even deserve a separate aspect.
Rich and interactive museums full of humour.
Historical and not only museums of Tallinn are never a loss of time. They are interesting, interactive and very original. If you happen to be there, don’t miss the Bastion passages tour (in English with the best Estonian accent!)
Lots of hidden passways and streets.
Tallinn is so rich on secret passways and backyards, that every time we were there, we managed to discover a street that we hadn’t seen before. No chance for boredom!
Visible historical layers.
Estonia had a long way towards its independence. Denmark, Sweden, Russia, then Russia again masked as the Soviet Union, Germany – it was occupied by every powerful “neighbour” possible. These periods are very clearly reflected in the general architecture of Tallinn, where the old medieval town is surrounded by a soviet belt, which is followed by modern architecture. And, honestly, it’s beautiful.
2 hours from Helsinki.
Just like Paris is listed among “the day-trips” from London, Helsinki can be definitely recommended to be visited from Tallinn (and vice versa). It takes no more than 2 hours by ferry or 35 minutes by plane to get to Finland!
We got married!
Yes, that’s why we are binded with Tallinn forever. :)