The vast majority of travelers come to Estonia through Tallinn, the capital city, either by plane, train, bus or driving, making it the most international city in Estonia.
With half a million citizens, Tallinn is hardly a world metropolis. However: short distances and low traffic are advantages to cherish. Whether you have only few hours or few days, you get to experience a lot. Medieval Tallinn Old Town, one of the best preserved Hanseatic town centres in the world, is just a short walk away from the city business centre with its skyscrapers, modern hotels, luxurious restaurants and shopping malls.
Tallinn’s medieval Old Town is known around the world for it’s authentic Hanseatic architecture. Enjoy the cobblestone streets and houses dating back as far as to 11th century, visit few of the local galleries and museums, indulge in small cosy cafés or restaurants and buy travel memorabilia from summer or Christmas open air Hanseatic fairs.
Just a 5 minute walk from the medieval Old Town is the thriving business centre of Tallinn: modern glass and steel skyscrapers, high-tech hotels and conference centres, hundreds of restaurants and bars, banks and shopping. Here is everything you would expect from a modern European capital, within an easy reach and for a friendlier price.
Background information about Tallinn
Officially, there are a bit less than 500 000 people living in Tallinn, most of whom are Estonians. Russians (about a third) are the biggestnational minority, followed by Belorussians, Ukrainians and Finns making a total of 6% when combined. Estonian and Russian are the most common languages, though you won’t have any trouble with English (especially in the service sector) and German and Finnish are quite widely spoken, too.
Geographically, Tallinn is situated in the northern coast of Estonia, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland. It is the closest capital city to capitals of Finland (Helsinki, 80km); Latvia (Riga, 315km) and Sweden (Stockholm, 380km).
Length of the coastline is about 50km and renovated beach promenade close to city centre, running by the Pirita bay, is a popular place among morning runners, walkers and cyclists.
Local population density is quite low – only about 2551 people per square kilometre. It is about 5 times lower than London and 2 times lower than Moscow.
Biggest district is Lasnamägi with it’s 100 000 people, while city centre (Kesklinn) has about 35 000 people living there.
Public transportation system is quite good and operates from around 5:30 in the morning until the midnight. During midnight hours, you can take advantage of the short distances and walk or take a taxi. More information is available in the “travel around in Estonia” section.