Monday, 15 May 2017

Tallinn, Estonia - Small city, weird language

Cityscape of Tallinn

By Brett Goulston 

Arriving on the ferry from Helsinki, there are two things that grabbed my immediate attention about this small, sophisticated, medieval capital city. First, it is one of the most charming and beautiful cities in Europe. Its cobble-stoned streets, gorgeous terracotta roofs and church steeples provide for fantastic photos! Secondly, when speaking the native tongue, the locals are impossible to understand!  Estonia is a small country - smaller than Tassie - and with a population of just over 1 million who speak Estonian. Thankfully many also speak English. Our guide, who was Latvian, was unable to help me with the Estonian instructions for my mobile phone sim card. “Surely you guys understand each other” I ask in hope? “Nope”, was the answer.  


There are lots of things to do in Tallinn, so you’ll need a few days. If you like to stroll at leisure and take photos, you have arrived at the right place. The streets wind their way through the old town in no particular order or direction so getting lost is not hard. However don’t despair, given its relatively small size and that fact that it is a walled city, you’re sure to eventually find your way back to where you started. Most streets lead to the beautiful town hall square in the middle of the old town. Everywhere you look is another photo opportunity. 


Of particular interest for travellers is the 19th century Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built when the country was part of the Russian Empire. Kadriord Palace (translating to Catherine’s Valley) is another example of Russian architecture and well worth the visit. Today is stands as a museum. Toompea, the hillock in the old town, houses most of the government buildings. It is well worth the visit for the architecture alone.  You can see it from most vantage points in town. If you are into art, then the Kumu is another place you need to see. A fantastic museum with a decent cafĂ©.  


Blue Dot Travel
small group tours visit Tallinn and other places in Estonia, along with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland on our Baltic Tour. Click here for more information… 


Where is Tallinn Estonia on the map
Tall hall square of Tallinn

Inside Kumu Museum

Tallinn old town square

Riga Central Market located in old German Zeppelin hangars

Oldest town hall in the whole of the Baltic region and Scandinavia

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