48 Hours In Tallinn

View of the Toompea hill. Tallinn, Estonia (Photo: Andrei Nekrassov/Shutterstock)

Tallinn, the Estonian capital and heart of the Baltics has been freed from Communism and is now a hub for history dating back Millennia, culture combining Russian, local and Finnish traditions, and a calm and collected political landscape. History is visible all across the city and foodies will be more than happy with the many local and international dishes on offer.

 What to see

There is a lot to see in the Estonian capital, with medieval history being the major factor in sites. The legendary Kiek in de Kök, literally translated as ‘peep into the kitchen’ is a 15th century artillery tower which is linked to the towering medieval city walls. The 38 meter tall tower still has cannon balls embedded into its’ thick walls and is open to tourists for a small fee. Tallinn Old Town is not easy to miss, it is the dominant feature of the city, with numerous squares surrounded by old shops, amber museums and hanseatic architecture anywhere and everywhere that is accessible. The old town “medieval pearl of Europe” is a UNESCO listed site and is well worth a wander.

What to eat

Food is a big part of Estonian life, with cuisines from across Europe and the world found across Tallinn. To sample truly Estonian cuisine at the only Estonian restaurant in the world, MEKK restaurant is a home away from home at the Savoy Boutique Hotel. Simple Estonian recipes are combined with love and care by chef Rene Uusmees and his team. Rene is known for his traditional take on food, with recipes passed down throughout his family such as salted and roasted salmon or rhubarb with sparkling wine.

What to do

Climbing the domineering Toompea Hill is a must for any visitor to this awesome city. At the top of Toompea stands the pink and white Riigikogu (Parliament), Toompea Castle and Tall Hermann castle tower. A leisurely walk offers breath taking views out across the city and out to sea at the ferries and ships coming and going from the Port of Tallinn.

Where to shop

Prices are not too expensive in Tallinn, and with the Euro the city is a great shopping trip away from other European countries. Viru Street and Müürivahe Street are the heart of shopping, with a famous wool shop and numerous amber souvenir stores lining the streets. In St. Catherine’s Passage medieval workshops are still in use but now sell souvenirs instead of necessities for the locals.

For more information on Tallinn see www.tourism.tallinn.ee

Tags: Travel Guide

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