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Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Dubai, United Arab...
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Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Just returned from Tallinn and what can I say? I have a new favourite city. I have travelled quite a bit and I don’t give this opinion lightly. Tallinn has to be the most beautiful city I have ever laid eyes on. I absolutely loved it! I am telling everyone I know to go. It was like stepping back into another time and I just couldn’t believe how much of the old city there was. My old favourite was Prague but Tallinn has knocked the competition to the floor. I cannot believe more people don’t know about Tallinn. In fact it was only because Ryanair had cheap flights I went and I am so glad that I did. I ll give my review of Tallinn under a few sub headings.

The Old Town

This has to be one of the most fantastic places I have ever visited in my life. The free copy of The Old Tallinn map and guide was brilliant. I explored the old city in one day. Also it is possible to hire a bike when you are there. I personally think it’s a city much more suited to walking. I wouldn’t have liked to have done a hop on/hop off tour as I feel you’d be missing out on the great sites you see when you are walking.Plus nothing is that far away. I pretty much walked non stop and quite fast as well (an excellent calorie burner especially with the cobble stones :-). I reckon you could do it more casually over two days and if you take lots of breaks. I however was determined to see everything I wanted before Helsinki and have time left over to revisit anything I wanted to. I will write a separate review for tips for the Helsinki trip You can take it as slowly or as quickly as you want to. Churches, museums, restaurant, cafes, great sites the old town has it all

Outside the Old town.

On my last day I did a bit of exploring outside the old town. The focus was more on the old town rather than the new one but still I was curious. I went to the Estonian museum where to my amusement statues of old soviet leaders such as Stalin and Lenin were dumped out the back. Lenin was at least standing though poor Stalin was on his side much to the amusement of the woman running the museum. I think they are planning on making behind the museum into a park but it was rather ironic to see how these mighty figures had fallen (literally) :-) I also went to Pirita beach and harbour. That was beautiful. I attempted to go to Bocca Al Mare open air museum but at this stage I was exhausted having walked all day Wednesday in Tallinn and all day Thursday in Helsinki. I ended up paying the shopping centre a visit instead as I didn’t trust my legs to take me back to get the bus. I also took a tram out to see the suburbs as by that stage my feet were giving up the ghost. I ll be back to do what I missed.

Restaurants and eating out

Some lovely places to eat out absolutely no excuse for a Mac Donolds.Tallinn isn’t a particularly cheap place to eat and drink I hadn’t realised this before I came but if you search well you can find some bargains in really nice places. Obviously if you eat in the square it will cost you more. Still cheaper than Ireland. Here are some of the few we visited starting with the best,

Kumanets

Ukrainian restaurant located on Vene road. Food was absolutely delicious and not too expensive. Blink and you’d miss it unfortunately so it was rather quiet. They need to make it more obvious they are there. That was until the dancing started. Amazing Ukrainian dancing. Really fantastic atmosphere, lovely and quaint. The staff were excellent and I loved hearing the Ukranian music. Their website is www.kumanets.ee. It was my absolute favourite place by a mile and I must write a separate review for it.

Reval Cafes

I know they are a chain but everything I had there was lovely. Great cakes, coffees. A good place for lunches as well. Quite good value as well.

Fish and Wine.

I liked this place. This recommended to me by a business man on the plane. The Estonians seem to very in to their wine (and so are we). I am not really into fish but there are alternatives on the menu. Wines were beautiful. The food (I had the steak) was beautifully presented. A touch on the small side portion-wise but that was fine.

Molly Malones

Normally I wouldn’t dream of going into an Irish bar abroad but my travelling companion had me in a corner. Plus we compromised with sitting outdoors so I did get a good view of the square. The menu was not the same as the one indoors a bit more expensive (understandably) and not as much variety which was a little disappointing. I had the Irish stew which had barely more than a small mouthful of meat in it and lots of potato. It was ok but I got my way about going to the Ukrainian place the next night so I was happy.

Café Amore

Like Molly Malones beautiful location. The food was ok. I ordered pork chops and mash and got wedges instead of mash. The cakes looked nice. It was one of our more expensive meals plus they didn’t have many of the wines in stock.

Transport

Any where accessed on the hop on/hop off tour can be easily accessed by public transport so don’t feel you are missing out. The bus/tram system is efficient and easy to use.

Hotel

We stayed in the St Barbara. Fantastic location and staff super helpful. Rave review to follow from this.

Overall a fantastic break away and I will be raving about Tallinn to everyone I meet for years to come. Go there and see for yourself!

Edited: 21 August 2011, 21:28
Tallinn, Estonia
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1. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Glad to hear you enjoyed the trip! Sorry I forgot to warn you that the prices on Town Hall Square are outrageous and much better value can be found just a few hundred steps away.

Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Oh its fine I figured that out pretty much when I got there. The square is like the equivalent to the piazza Navona in Rome where you know you'll pay to eat there. I did find some nice eateries away from there as well.

cheshire
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3. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Is it possible to get on the HOHO bus in Tallin with a folding wheelchair or are there too many steps to climb up?

Huddersfield...
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4. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Thanks for your review luckyangel looking forward to our trip going Sunday for 4nts will try your recommendations!!!

Dubai, United Arab...
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5. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

I don't recall there being any steps on the buses though maybe I am wrong? They looked pretty wheelchair accessible to me.

Tallinn, Estonia
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6. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Scorpio, you can check some pictures from their official homepage http://www.citytour.ee or write an e-mail and ask.

Manchester
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7. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Hi Lucky Angel,

I see you've been to Krakow,we went there a couple of years ago & absolutely loved it,were going to Tallinn in 4 weeks,so I wondered what makes Tallinn better then Krakow in your opinion ?

england
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8. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Hi ,Having been to Krakow as well ,I would say Krakow just about wins,but only just. [because of outlying attractions]Depending how long you have in Tallin, as well as the old town do try to visit the Prison and the Open air museum.The Prison should not be missed ,and if fine, the Open air museum is a good trip.[See reviews on prison].Read reviews on transport,journey from the airport and where to eat to get the best out of you trip. You will have a great time.

Dubai, United Arab...
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9. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Hi there,

I did love Krakow and it was very sweet. There is loads of history to it. I am very interested in Jewish history as well as WWII so there is loads to see if you are into history. The people are just lovely and eating out is very good value.

I guess what made me fall head over heels with Tallinn is that it looks like something straight out of a medieval fairy tale whereas only parts of Krakow and other cities like Prague are like that. I could just walk around it for hours on end imagining I was in a different era. I can see why its UNESCO protected. Its also spotlessly clean. The people are polite and helpful. I just wasn't expecting it to be so lovely. The only thing I could say if we are comparing is it is more expensive than Krakow as I had thought prices would be similar in Tallinn. Still cheaper than Ireland so can't complain.

I also visited Krakow in the winter and Tallinn in the summer. I don't know if that affects my opinion?

Krakow and Tallinn are great but for different reasons in my opinion and both very much worth a visit. I would love to see Krakow in the summer and Tallinn in the winter :-)

Edited: 28 August 2011, 17:27
Manchester
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10. Re: Tallinn is the best city I have ever visited and some tips

Thanks Lucky Angel.....we visited Krakow in June so we mainly had good weather......can't wait to see how Tallinn compares,will let you know when we get back in approx 4 weeks !