Tallinn is Estonia’s capital and biggest city, with a population of around 400,000. The country lies on the north-eastern edge of the European Union bordering Russia and Latvia and is a short 80 km ferry hop across the sea from Helsinki, Finland. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport, named after the late President, has direct flights all over Europe.
A mix of historical ambience and cutting-edge culture defines the city, with its twisting cobblestone lanes, Gothic spires and medieval markets sat next to contemporary Cappuccino shops, all with free Wi-Fi.
Must See Sight:
Tallinn’s Old Town is an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a medieval, northern European trading city and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. There’s also a citywall with exterior guards, giving it a very fairytale-ish quality.
Visit Townhall Square, St Olav’s Church and Tower (the tallest building in the world between 1549 and 1625), St Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Kiek in de Kök and Bastion Tunnels.
Estonian (a nightmare to learn!), however everyone generally speaks good English and often German, Finnish, Russian and Swedish too!
Most memorable experience:
In the summer, wandering around the Old Town and taking in the historic beauty whilst sipping a glass of bubbly on one of the many outdoor terraces. In the winter, enjoying a warm cup of mulled wine in a cosy café or winery.
Best places for a single girl or groups of girls to go out:
There are plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from in Tallinn. One can enjoy an authentic medieval feast in Olde Hansa (www.oldehansa.ee), have a very sophisticated experience in Tchaikovsky Restaurant (www.telegraafhotel.com/restaurant-tchaikovsky) or go all trendy in Number 9 (www.number9.ee) in the contemporary part of Tallinn’s centre, or “Mini-Manhattan” to the locals.
The selection of bars and clubs is also wide –
Déjà Vu (www.dejavu.ee) is one of the most happening late night bars in town with different events every week, also very popular for after parties.
Varblane Terrace (varblane means sparrow in Estonian, www.clubprive.ee/?varblane) is only open during summer but worth a visit for good music and shisha.
Wabadus Café (www.wabadus.ee) is a legendary meeting place recently revamped and houses a café, restaurant and lounge on Vabaduse Valjak (meaning Freedom Square). The same group also runs a popular night club Vabank (www.vabank.ee) right around the corner from the café.
Opposite Vabank one will find another good club, run by the same group as Varblase Terrace, that is famous for its excellent house music and hip-hop & r&b nights – Club Prive (www.clubprive.ee)
Another recently refurbished and very opulent club is BonBon (www.bonbon.ee) that attracts a slightly more mature but a very good-looking crowd.
Safety & Medical Tips
Walking alone and at night:
Safety Scale - 1: Generally safe, however remain cautious to your surroundings. Roads are traffic jam free. However, reflectors are mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists at all times.
- Popular over-the-counter drugs for cold/flu symptoms:
Coldrex for cold and flu symptoms, comes in capsules or sachets to be mixed with hot water.
Paracetamol for fever and headaches.
Ibumax (or any other ibuprofen) - painkiller for any kind of aches and pains.
- Over-the-counter drugs available for curing women’s infections:
Urogen tablets and Uroforte extract plus some other over the counter remedies are widely available for relieving first symptoms.
- Process to acquire birth control pills:
The morning-after pill is available at any pharmacy over the counter. For birth control a doctor’s appointment and prescription are necessary.
First Aid (Ambulances): 112 (24-hour), Tel: +372 697-1500 (24-hour)
Trauma center: at the Tallinn Central Hospital, Ravi 18, Tel: +372 620-7040
East-Tallinn Central Hospital, Ravi Street 18, Tallinn 10138
Info tel: (+372) 620-7015 (24 hours)(+372) 620-7010 (from 8a.m. to 6p.m.)