I will be in Tallinn for 3 days next week and can't decide whether to spend all 3 days in Tallinn itself or to take a day trip to Lahemaa national park. Has anyone been to Lahemaa and would you recommend it? Would spending only 2 days in Tallinn mean missing lots of the highlights?
I went to Lahemaa in September 2012, and really enjoyed it. Nothing even coming close to being labeled as spectacular (don't even try to compare it to New Zealand), but just very nice (very gentle) forest hiking, and it was mushroom season, leading to a lot of amazing photo opportunities. I imagine this time of the year it'll be more flowery.
The burial mounds are completely uninteresting from the perspective of a casual visitor; give them a miss. None of the hikes I did stands out in memory as being particularly noteworthy, but looking back at my photos, I think the Oandu old-growth forest nature trail and Beaver trail were probably the most worthwhile. Other decent hikes we did were at Käsmu (good for bird watching), and the "Majakivi" nature trail (which has one of the largest erratic boulders) - I did get fed up with the boardwalk here after a while.
I remember most food options in the park being rather dismal; probably the best we tried was a German restaurant in Palmse.
The first time I visited Tallinn, I was convinced I'd seen everything there was to see in half a (admittedly rainy) day. The second time we spent two and a half days without being bored, going into lots of arts and crafts stores, and also doing the Arts museum. If that museum and Kadriorg Palace sound like your thing, then you might want the full three days in Tallinn, but otherwise two should still cover it all very well.
[ Edit: Edited on 31-May-2014, at 09:06 by Sander ]
Hi Sander, thank you, this is really useful. It sounds like 2 days would be enough for me in the city; I'm not particularly bothered about the Arts museum or the Palace. It's nice to read your report on the park and it sounds lovely so I think I'll go for it!