The Baltic Sea was a center of various events, cultures, and civilizations throughout ages. That is why countries placed along its coast are quite interesting and attractive for visitors from all over the world. Estonia is one of such countries and it will surprise you in the most positive manner once you visit. Clinched between Baltic Sea on one side, and by the larger neighbors such as Russia and Latvia on the other, Estonia is still a terra incognita for most of the people. This is rather unfortunate since it is truly a beautiful country. Its capital, Tallinn, is an absolute pearl of medieval architecture. Altogether, Estonia is a remarkable land of amazing past and very kind people that should be on your traveling radar. Tallinn, Estonia – A Pleasant Tourist Surprise From Baltic.
A Few Details About Estonia
Estonia is completely oriented towards the Baltic Sea, which shaped its past, present and will influence its faith in the future, too. You might be surprised to hear that Estonia has amazing beaches. They are one of the top attractions in Estonia, although the swimming season is rather short. But such a fact did not prevent Estonians to make some of the best spa resorts in the world.
Estonia has quite a pleasant climate with mild winters and relatively warm summers. It has vast areas of untouched nature and dense forests with a rich wildlife that includes wolves, deer, bears, elks and so on.
There is a modern airport located near the country’s capital, Tallinn. It connects Estonia to almost all the countries in Europe and other continents, too. Train lines are also quite developed and this means transportation is quite popular in Estonia. There are also regular ferry lines with Sweden and Finland as well as with Rostock in Germany.
Estonian Rich Past
Estonian lands have been settled by humans more than 15,000 years ago. Ever since people have kept living in this beautiful country. During the Middle Ages, various nations and tribes wondered throughout these lands. Vikings, Russians, and various Baltic tribes were just some of them. From the 13th century, Estonia was under control of Teutonic Knights who have erected an entire web of castles and fortifications that can still be seen today. Estonia is very proud of its rich and well preserved Medieval heritage.
In the dawn of modern age, Estonia was under Swedish and then Russian domination. The country managed to gain independence after the World War I which lasted for just two decades. In 1939, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and it remained within this country until 1991. In that year Estonia regained its independence once again. In 2004 it joined the European Union and continued to develop, together with other member states. Today, Estonia is a modern country that keeps developing and attracting visitors from all corners of the Earth.
What to See in Tallinn
Tallinn is the largest city in Estonia and its major tourist hub. There are many awesome places one can visit and witness the unique beauty of this city and country as well. Your first checkpoint in Tallinn should definitively be its incredible Old City. It is one of the best preserved medieval city centers in Europe with many impressive buildings. The main city square is where most of these buildings are concentrated including the adorable City Hall. Estonia’s Parliament building is easy to be recognized due to its distinctive pink color. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral will leave you breathless and so will the Toomkirik – the oldest church in Tallinn.
There are other cool sites outside of the Tallinn’s Old City. For example, Kadriorg is an amazing sea resort where you can see amazing buildings dating back from 18th to 20th century. They are designed in various styles and they are the best witnesses of Estonia’s rich architectural heritage. Kadriorg Palace is most notable of these buildings but there are many other equally impressive.
Tallinn’s socialist heritage is becoming quite popular among the tourists in the last few years. Entire housing blocks with huge cement skyscrapers are included in many tours around Tallinn. Museums and galleries are also good places for learning a bit more about the colorful past of Estonia. Also, check Top 10 Reasons which will make you travel.
Find the Best Lodging Option
Despite the fact that accommodation in Tallinn is not so cheap, tourists still visit this marvelous Baltic capital. When compared to other Baltic capital cities, like Riga and Vilnius, Tallinn is more expensive. Nevertheless, guests continue to arrive, and whenever you decide to pay a visit to Tallinn, you will surely see hundreds of tourists roaming around the city, taking pictures and visiting popular sightseeings.
And no matter the prices are somewhat higher, you can still find some favorable options. In other words, there are choices for all the visitors regardless of their preferences, wishes, demands, and budget.
The best parts of the city you can choose when it comes to booking a hotel is either a city center or the old town. These two will not only leave you breathless as well as speechless, but they will also offer you a tremendous range of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Also, check how to travel the world on budget
Hence, if your first choice is a luxury hotel, you may first want to check out Schlossle Hotel. It is placed in the heart of the old town. The fact that it was renovated a couple of years ago may be enough for you to conclude that Schlossle Hotel is among the best accommodation options Tallinn has to offer. Not only does the hotel disposes of a great variety of different rooms and services, but it also provides you with the finest experience you can get when traveling to a foreign country. With Schlossle Hotel, you will simply feel like at home.
Those tourists who would like to stay in a reasonably priced hotel have also many possibilities. There are numerous such hotels in the center or in the old town, but before checking them out all, you should consider two of them. One is The von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn. The hotel will provide you with the opportunity to experience the real Tallinn, and you will undoubtedly like it. It is also renovated in recent times, and its rooms are situated in a magnificent 19th-century building. The second hotel you should pay attention to is Hotel Ulemiste. Its advantage is the proximity to the city’s airport, so all those who are visiting Tallinn for a short period of time or on business purposes can contact the polite staff for more information on booking the room.
And as in any other capital city, there are accommodation options for budget travelers. Such tourists, who rather decide to spend their money on excursions and sightseeing instead of giving huge sums of money for luxury accommodation, can find their own, budget hotels and hostels all around the city. But the best are the hotels with a great location. One such hotel is Economy Hotel. Not only is it affordable, but it is also placed near the station, which is a great advantage for those who travel by bus or train. If you plan to visit Tallinn by the port of Tallinn, then booking a room at Tallink Express Hotel is highly recommended. It is located only a short walk from the port’s terminal, offers clean and comfy rooms, and it has its own restaurant. A great accommodation option for budget travelers, don’t you think so?
Cuisine Influenced by the Four Seasons
Having in mind that more than half the country is covered with forests and farmland, it is no wonder that its cuisine is full of agricultural and horticultural products. It is often said that the traditional cuisine in Estonia is influenced by the four seasons, each of which brings an abundance of various ingredients found in nature. So, we will just make a list of several very popular dishes one should eat while in Estonia.
Kiluvoileib is a meal that does not look nice, but that tastes like nothing you have tried before. It consists of a greyish fish and a slice of dark bread, served with a boiled egg and some kind of a salad, usually cucumbers. You can find it on the street stalks, as well as in restaurants.
Mulgipuder is also known as the most peasanty food in Estonia. It is a kind of porridge served with bacon. You cannot find it in all restaurants, but chasing for a restaurant with traditional Estonian food will be a great chance to taste this potato and groats porridge.
Homemade black bread is one of the crucial elements of Estonian cuisine. People have started making it at home in recent years, and they always make it with black powder. If you want to taste the black bread, you can find it in any supermarket. Also, restaurants serve it on a regular basis.
There are many other traditional Estonian meals you can try. Some of them are smoked fish, semla, and smoked sprats. Don’t hesitate to feel the whiff of Estonia through its cuisine. It will surely be fun and tasty.
Tallinn – Interesting Things To Do Wherever You Go
Like many other capital cities around the world, Tallinn is also a vibrant place where many events take place every day. Visitors are especially busy in Tallinn, given that the city not only has many tourist destinations worth seeing, but it also offers various other things to do and see. If you are tired from sightseeing and just want to feel the soul of the city, you can take a day off and set aside your excursions and tours, and head to Pirita. It is an ideal place for an easy day out – a long promenade that will allow you to see the magnificent views of the city’s harbor and skyline. You can fish in this region, so if you are a fan of fishing, don’t forget your fishing rod.
You should not miss the opportunity to visit Telliskivi Loomelinnak or the so-called ‘creative city’. It is located in the former industrial complex and it consists of ateliers, creative companies, studios, offices where some of the most creative companies work, and much more. You are well on the road to witness some kind of a cultural event in the hall of the complex since more than 400 cultural events per year are held in this place.
Of course, nightlife in Tallinn is great, and those who come to the party will surely not be disappointed. There are countless nightclubs that readily wait for their guests, and should you decide to have a crazy night out, don’t miss to check out the clubs and pubs such as Tallinn Monk’s Bunk Pub Crawl and The Epic Bar Crawl Tallinn.
Kevin Hodgon is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips. On his travels, he likes to explore at a fast pace cramming as much as possible into his day, but not overdoing it to miss the beauty around him. Kevin loves to talk about his experiences and share his travel knowledge via guides and articles on his blog. More of Kevin’s work can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or his Blog.