When planning a trip through Europe, popular destinations typically include cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, or Rome. But off the coast of the Baltic sea lies one little city, which despite its size, deserves some serious recognition. Estonia’s capital Tallinn, is a medieval city that looks like it was taken straight out of a fairy tale scene. It’s not the most reviewed travel destination. Which is a shame because this city is packed with hidden gems that should be discovered. So without further adieu here’s the lowdown on the magical city of Tallinn, and why it should your next travel destination!
Arriving in Tallinn
The cab from the airport is a hop skip and a leap of only 10 minutes to the city center. Once in Tallinn, you will immediately notice its impeccably clean streets, tech savvy vibes, and lack of traffic. Tallinn is among the top 10 cities in the world with the cleanest air, and is among the 10 cleanest cities on earth. And upon arriving there it can definitely be felt – talk about a ‘breath of fresh air.’ Jokes aside, the weather may be cold, but the people are very pleasant. And everything is extremely relaxed. Even if travelling through Tallinn during the winter, cold temperatures become easily forgettable while exploring what the city has to offer.
Tallinn is a smaller city. But despite its compact size, the city pulls it’s weight with an abundance of things to do during a visit. An added bonus of being a smaller city, is that inner city travel expenses aren’t too much of a concern. As it’s possible to get just about anywhere in the city by foot. Whether you choose to visit the old town or stay inside the city, the streets are lined with cafes, pubs and shops each offering their own unique vibe. Here are a few highlights to check out:
Skyline of the Old Town in Tallinn
Tallinn’s Old Town has managed to preserve its medieval structure since the 13th century. The streets are made of cobblestone, with all the modern day shops and pubs built in.
Kohtuotsa viewing platform ( with Steven the Seagull)
This scenic spot is where you can view the entire city. And as an added bonus you can catch Steven the Seagull, the most photographed seagull in all of Europe. In 2016 he even got his own Instagram account.
It’s hard to believe that the old town and the city are within minutes walking distance of each other. If you’re in the mood to do some main brand shopping be sure to check out Viru Shopping Center. An enormous mall and home to a hefty amount of fashion brands.
This themed pub is right in the center. It’s the perfect place for any time of day and any occasion. It’s atmosphere can easily range anywhere from live music during a night out to a business brunch. Highly recommend visiting even more than once!
*The nightlife in Tallinn is also excellent but one important tip to keep in mind is that while the bars are open until 2 am, all restaurants and shops that sell food close at exactly 22:00. Just make sure you eat before!
While on the topic of nightlife, be sure to taste the national drink “Vana Tallinn.” A sweet rum based liquor that can be ordered in just about every cafe, bar, or restaurant. And there are millions of ways to drink it. So many in fact, that it could be discussed in a blog post of its own. But one of the most recommended is with a coffee based drink with lots of whipped cream on top!
Finally, while discovering Tallinn, keep your eyes peeled for the unique statues throughout the city. In 2006 Tallinn appointed local artist Seaküla Simson to create the original ninety-seven birds, that have been strategically placed through out the city to reinforce the importance of nature which is a huge part of the cities culture.
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