In this Destination Guide you will find information for : Tallinn
♦Currency: Euro €
♦Zone: +2 GMT
♦Phone Code: +372
♦Best time to visit: April-September
♦Must eat: Verivorst
♦Must drink: Eesti Kali
♦Don't miss: Kohtuotsa viewing platform
♦Number of times visited: 1
Getting there and transportation: Located north of the Baltic Sea and with most of its boarders surrounded by sea to the north and west, getting to Estonia is convenient by air or sea. The national airline went bankrupt in 2015, Air Estonia, so reaching Estonia has been made accessible now by low cost airlines such as Ryanair. Other airlines fly there from most European cities and in particular many cities in Finland and Scandinavia. The main airport is located in Tallinn, the capital.
If you are travelling either from Sweden or Finland then a popular option is to travel by sea with frequent ferry services leaving many times a day. For more information check at Tallinn Ferry.Travelling in the country is easy by public transport, most of the major towns are small enough to get around on foot but all main cities in Estonia have an established public transport system served by bus, trolleybus and tram.By rail, its convinient to travel from Tallin by train to Pärnu, Viljandi, Valga, Narva, Tapa and Tartu. Lastly travelling within Estonia is also popular by Bus, LuxExpress offers good prices when booked in advance and you can travel domestically or to international destinations.
Weather and temperature: The climate of Estonia is European continental with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters. January is the coldest month with daytime temperatures usually around -5°C, but in some cases winter months can be quite colder with temperatures far below zero, about -20°C and strong, cold winds. Heavy snowfall is also quite common. The weather is often breezy and humid due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea.
In summer temperatures reach 20-25°C, but sometimes higher at, 30°C or more. July is the warmest month with an average Temperature of 22°C.
Generally, the best time to visit is April-September, when days are warm and the nights are cool, although it rains more in Spring than in summer. Autumn and Winter are usually a little chilly and wet, sometimes snowy and often foggy.
Food and drink: Estonian food can seem very fatty and starchy to some. There is influence from the Scandinavian cuisine and the use of fish and meat is very common in many dishes. However there is a wide range of international dishes available, especially in larger towns.
Specialities include: Sült (jellied veal). Täidetud vasikarind (roast stuffed shoulder of veal). Rosolje (vinaigrette with herring and beets). Braised goose stuffed with apples and plums. Verivorst (blood sausage).
Regional drinks include: Saku beer, Eesti Kali (local form of kvas, a Slavic fermented drink made from bread) Vana Tallinn (a local liqueur that's probably best left to the locals to sip).
Transportation: Central Tallinn is very compact and easy to get around by foot, but reaching farther out destinations is simple thanks to the city's network of buses, trolleys and trams. The public transport network operates from 6:00 to 23:00 (some lines until 24:00). You can buy single tickets from kiosks or use a smart card if you plan to use the transport often. The green, plastic Smartcard (Ühiskaart), can be bought at any R-Kiosk, post office or the Tallinn City Government customer service desk for a €2 deposit and then load it with enough credit. There are tickets valid for 1 , 3 , 5 or 30 days to be loaded onto the card. You will need to tap in each time you use the transport and activate the ride, on the smart reader from the entrance.
Tip: Use a Tallinn Card if you plan to visit museums, galleries and use puplic transport. The Tallinn Card acts as a ticket, entitling the holder to unlimited free public transport for the period the card is active. It also gives you free admission to museums and signts, a free sightseeing tour of your choice and other discounts. Each time you board a vehicle, you must validate the ride using your Tallinn Card the same way you would with a Smartcard. For more check Tallin Card
What to see and do: Tallinn was born at a crossroads of medieval trade and is now more than ever a treasure of the Baltic. Estonia's capital combines ease of travel with cultural richness, resulting in a destination to delight travellers of all tastes. Experience traditional 18th century Estonian life, sample handmade chocolates or jump into the contemporary art scene, these activities and sights showcase the city's best.You will find the following highlights:
- Kohtuotsa viewing platform, a great vantage point located on the northern side of Toompea hill. It provides excellent views over the red roofs and towering spires of the Old Town as well as of the gleaming highrise buildings in the new part of the city. In the background is the Gulf of Finland, the port and the Pirita district.
- Kalev Chocolate Shop and Sweets Mastery, located in Rotermann Quarter, here you can make a sweet surprise with your own hands! You can observe masters at work, become a master yourself, and learn how to make sweets. An interesting exhibition of old packagings is displayed in the Sweets Mastery; in addition, everyone has an opportunity to participate in a marzipan workshop.To get there you can go by bus or tram, stop is Hobujaama.
- Kadriorg Park, covering around 70 hectares. Its construction began in 1718 on the orders of Russian tsar Peter I.There are a number of museums in the park, including KUMU (the Estonian Art Museum), Kadriorg Art Museum and the Mikkeli Museum.
- Bastion passages in the Old Town: The mysterious passages in Tallinn’s earthwork fortifications were built along with the bastions in the 17th and 18th centuries in order to conceal the movement of soldiers, ammunition and other equipment from the enemy. In the bastion's passages, a train to the future takes you to the year 2219, another one takes you back to the 17th century. Passages are only accessible with a guide; the size of the group is a maximum of 20 people.
- Kumu Art Museum, inside can be found both Estonian art classics as well as the works of artists that cultivate modern trends are on display at Estonia's largest museum.
- Tallinn Television Tower, at 314 metres, the Tower is a great tourist, culture and leisure centre. You will have a panoramic view from 170 metres, brasserie/restaurant and terrace on the 22nd floor; interactive multimedia solutions that introduce Estonia and Tallinn; view of the ground through the glass floor of the platform and other amusements including the gift shop.
- Estonian Open Air Museum, just 15 minutes from the city centre, showcasing the country's rural architecture and way of life. The 14 farms in the museum provide an overview of how families from different strata of society lived in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. As you might expect to find in any proper village, here there is a church, a tavern, a school house, mills, a fire station, a shop and fishing sheds by the sea. You can buy handicrafts, ride horses and try traditional Estonian dishes at the tavern.
- In addition there are plenty of other attractions worth visiting in the city like: St Olaf's Church,(the biggest medieval structure in the city), Hellemann Tower and Town Wall, Estonian Health Care Museum, Niguliste Museum (St. Nicholas' Church), Museum of Estonian Architecture, Estonian Museum of Natural History, Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin (Dome Church's) Tower, Epping Tower, St. Bridget's Convent ruins, Estonian History Museum - Great Guild Hall, Tallinn City Museum, Holy Spirit Church, Tallinn Town Hall, Maiden's Tower, Tallinn Town Wall and the Museum of Occupations amongst the best recommended. (All these attractions included on the Tallinn Card).
Accommodation: Tallin is very popular for budget traveller's who transit in the capital as they make their way to other Baltic states or Scandinavian countries. Therefore hotels and hostels are very accessible and very conveniently located within the city centre and close to public transport. It's not hard to find decent hostels in the city centre, close to the old town, which is the ideal place visit and hang out at night in the popular near by open restaurants and cafes. Prices start from €25 per room.
Recommended duration: This city is easy to visit within a few days and does not require that much time to even walk around its main old town in even one afternoon. However it's worth to explore every corner of the medieval old town, visit some museums or open buildings and enjoy some down time in nice restaurants with nice setting like if you were in the truly medieval era. The city definitely has a nice appeal and a suggested 2 to 3 nights would be ideal.