Tallinn has an Old Town, an almost perfectly preserved piece of history. It’s like stepping into a medieval theme park – just without the rides. The streets are cobblestoned, and traffic is limited.
A walker’s paradise
You can wander the streets of the Old Town and not get lost. Mostly the streets are flat or gently sloping and there are not too many stairs. The streets all join up and the only dead ends are when you reach the walls that still remain around the Old Town.
If you keep away from the Town Square, the restaurant meals are cheap and delicious. Many restaurants are located underground with arched ceilings and are filled with a warm ambience. If you want to save even more money, shop at Rimi supermarket and cook your own meals. The most expensive item is the iced coffee.
Because Australia is so far away and they meet so few Australians, they are always interested in talking about Australian life especially the food and animals.
Tallinn lies off the beaten touristic routes so you can enjoy strolling at your own pace and take as many photos as you like without being knocked down. Even when a cruise docks, there’s plenty of room for everyone.
Some of the most beautiful objects I have seen anywhere can be bought in the Old Town – linen, woollen clothes, beautiful fabric and handmade tableware and toys. If you need warm hats, scarves or gloves, you’ll get quality here.
If you like museums, Tallinn has many and varied. In Kiek in de Kök Fortification Museum, you can explore historical weapons and try out a shooting simulator, and access the underground bastion passages – a great place to visit on a rainy day.
Tallinn boasts some very unusual museums. The KGB Prison Cells, the Estonian Health Care Museum and “Raeapteek” a pharmaceutical museum, as well as being the oldest continuously running pharmacy in Europe open since 1422!
You will find out some interesting facts or maybe legends about Tallinn. Strong medieval fortification tower Kiek in de Kök (German for ‘peek in the kitchen’) got its name from a story about some soldiers in the tower who liked to peek from the top of the tower into the kitchens in the town below.
Tallinn was called Reval for 700 years. The name Reval is said to have come from the story when the Danish king saw a deer in the forest, the deer chose to jump off a cliff where it had a chance of survival rather than offer itself up to the feasting table of the king (certain death). So ‘re’ means “deer” and ‘val’ means “fall” hence Reval, the falling of the deer. Who knows if these legends are true? https://talesofreval.ee/
Gateway to Russia
You can travel onwards to Saint Petersburg by ferry or join a Baltic cruise, or join the Trans-Siberian Railway in Moscow.
How do you get to Tallinn?
The quickest way is to fly with Qantas, British Airways, or Cathay Pacific and Finnair via Hong Kong or Singapore to Helsinki, www.skycanner.com and then catch the ferry across to Tallinn.