Destination: Tallinn

It´s about time.

Source: Kaupo Kalda

Source: Kaupo Kalda

Destination: Tallinn

Estonia is a compact, small country with distinct regional differences, and our many perks include relatively short distances and very low population density. There is plenty of air and space – with a population of 1.3 million, the capital with 450 000 - keeping distance with this new normality is more than doable, which makes Tallinn your next ideal travel destination. Speaking of ideal. We have all been there - remote airports, expensive commuting to hubs, figuring out how to get to must-see-have-to-experience. So, forget it and enjoy Estonia!

We are all about time.




To start with, there is a convenient tramline from the Tallinn airport, voted the cosiest in Europe, to the city. It takes 15 minutes to the city centre. Most hotels, venues, restaurants and sights are within walking distance. You have a Nature Reserve within 30 min reach from any given location in Estonia. Really. You do.

Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced countries globally, with 99% of state services available online. Anything from simple public transport tickets, taxi, car rental, museum tickets, food delivery is just a click away. 4G is available even in the remote forest!

Did you know Tallinn was named The Best Destination for Remote Work by the Big7Travel in 2021, and the Lonely Planet nominated it among The Best Value Destinations in 2018?

As one can imagine, we have a bit of history, biodiversity, air that ranks one of the cleanest in the world, and food that is often put on par with top-notch New Nordic cuisine at a fraction of the price one would pay in Scandinavia. Let's see what else put Estonia on top of these lists.


Legendary Tallinn Old Town


Yes. Just - yes. Tallinn Old Town really is brag-worthy, and it will stand for all the rumours - it is a full-size UNESCO-listed town, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe, not a few instagrammable corners. The town will prove fairy tale cities are anything but fiction! Once home to wealthy merchants, it boasts medieval church spires, cobblestone streets. It´s not only architectural continuity, Old Town Tallinn has retained the traditional use as a living city with cosy corner-cafes, and quaint hidden courtyards serving cocktails, mock-tails, and music for all tastes.



Tallinn´s Alternative Neighbourhoods

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

When cobbled stones have worn out your feet, and your neck is sore from admiring St. Olaf´s church among other spires, there´s something else for you! After a day´s sightseeing, we recommend exploring old neighbourhoods that have now been brushed up. Kalamaja, for example, so well that Time Out magazine readers voted it among the TOP 40 coolest in the world. Design shops, craft beer makers, start-up companies and small-batch gin distilleries have made Telliskivi Creative City, Noblessner area and Kopli district their playground. Noblessner area is so new that you will probably see some locals doing their first discovering, too. Kopli is a newly re-emerged district, where you can still see the patina of the times gone past. That´s a true phoenix out of the ashes!


Soviet Tallinn


If you wish to extend your time travels from medieval Tallinn to closer history, we do have quite a bit to offer. The 50-year Soviet period has left Estonians with not only collective memory but also with more palpable landmarks. Some landmarks are so intact that the 2020 blockbuster film Tenet was filmed mainly in Tallinn. Districts like Lasnamäe, Mustamäe and Õismäe are almost entirely built during the Soviet era.




 

TALLINN – seaside, parks and sunsets that last a lifetime


The presence of the sea can really be felt in Tallinn. The city stretches along the coast of the Baltic Sea, and driving the East-West axis, you will see plenty of it. If you happen to be a sea-folly, there are three public beaches in Tallinn: Pirita, Stroomi and Kakumäe. Sand is soft and golden, and the seawater is clean, reaching temperatures up to 24c in July (for Estonians, 18 c is enough to get in). You can rent a stand-up paddleboard and enjoy the fresh sea air in all of them. Reidi tee, a relatively new promenade between the city centre and Pirita district, offers a lovely environment for a stroll. Kalaranna promenade connects the harbour area to the previously mentioned Kalamaja and Noblessner area.




Seaside is perfect for sunset romance. Estonian sunsets last and last. Golden hour and pink haze will bathe you in their glory for hours at a time. We do not have a full polar day or night, but there are almost 23 hours of daylight in the month of June.

There are many parks and inner-city park forests, which make Tallinn a very green city. They offer shade, a place where to have a bread roll and a take-away coffee, and ponder on your day´s experience. Perhaps a moment for meditation. If you have kids with you, most parks have a playground, too. Green areas are all well maintained and safe.


Festivals


PÖFF - The Black Nights Film Festival is the only A-category film festival in Northern Europe, sharing that status with some of the leading festivals in the world such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Locarno and San Sebastian.

If you plan to travel a little further from Tallinn, then plenty of entertainment is out there. For example, in the cosy town of Viljandi, there´s is the annual Viljandi Folk folk-music festival. Behold, it is not only our cherished ancient humming but also pretty funky tunes inspired by folk music. On Saaremaa island, also annually, Opera Days charm the audience in July. And for film friends - in every August, Tartuff, the Tartu Love Film Festival, brings together both hopeless and hopeful romantics in Tartu, the capital of Southern Estonia.

2021 Festivals
Tallinn for Culture Scouts - Museums and Galleries


Estonian National Museum (ERM)

One of the most important, if not the most important museum is situated in Southern Estonia, Tartu

The Estonian National Museum helps to interpret what it means to be an Estonian and preserves the fundamental values of the nation and its continuity. It opens both material and virtual world that invites visitors to discover and become part of it.
The museum has two permanent exhibitions. The Encounters exhibition is a journey that brings together people who have lived here at different times, allowing the visitors to participate in their daily activities. Also, the permanent exhibition includes 11 thematic exhibitions, including The Language Brew and Man and the Environment. The second one, The Echoes of Ural presents the traditional everyday culture of Finno-Ugric people.


Day trips from Tallinn


Toss a coin to decide which direction to take! East, South, West and North all offer interesting day trip opportunities. All of them are possible by public transportation, but it will definitely require careful planning. A rented car offers much more flexibility. There are big international car rental companies of course, but also app-controlled car rentals like Bolt Drive, CityBee or Elmo Rent. Estonian roads are well maintained and easy to drive. There are no cliffs nor mountains, in Estonia Earth really is relatively flat – the highest peak reaches 318 m above sea level. See ways of travelling around Estonia here

Some of our recommended day trips are actually doable in half a day. In most cases, you do not need to worry about any meals. Some places have a White Guide restaurant nearby; if not, then at least a gas station cafeteria or a supermarket.