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Tallinn is Estonia's capital and most important city. Bracing the country's northern coast, the city of 400,000 lies alongside the Gulf of Finland. Tallinn has a colourful Old Town which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name is said to derive from the Danish word for castle and it is still sometimes referred to as Reval, an old German name for the city.
You will find Tallinn is easily accessible by boat, plane and bus from many European destinations. Tallinn also boasts a number of low cost airlines that fly into the city airport. It has become a very popular destination in recent years for cruise ships to make stops here as well as weekend breakers, flying in to enjoy the great beers and food on offer around the Old town.
There is a really good information point operating in the summer months known as the Travelers Info Tent which is situated just next to the main tourist office. From here they run a number of really cool tours such as bike rides, pub crawls and even a free walking tour. They have information on events and local sites and it is run by young enthusiastic locals.
Tallinn's Old Town is a beautifully preserved medieval part of the city with fantastic buildings and elements of its original defensive city wall still in tact. One of the most enjoyable things to do in Tallinn is to take a stroll before the rest of the city wakes up. You can get a true feeling of a time past and gone when there is no traffic and few other pedestrians walking around the Old streets. The Old Town is placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and has numerous interesting buildings and squares. The centrepiece is the Raekoja Plats, with the Town Hall and numerous bars and terraces lining up next to it.
Head down towards the train station and you will find a great little city market. Here you can buy all kinds of things from food produce to second hand goods. This is a really good place if you are interested in finding some old Soviet memorabilia, such as badges, flags, coins etc. Prices of food are sometimes better than that of the supermarkets and in general the whole atmosphere here is a real gem in itself.
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The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Tallinn's old town. It is built in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 to 1900. After Estonia declared independence from the Russian Empire the government talked about destroying it but never did it. After separating from Russia the Estonia's faithfully restored the church. The church is located on the top of Toompea Hill.
Kumu, an abbreviation of the Estonian "Kunstimuuseum" (art museum), is located near the Kadriorg Park in Tallinn and is one of the best in the country and has even been chosen the European Museum of the Year in 2008. This art museum, the biggest of the 5 branches in the country and even the biggest of the entire Baltic region, presents both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The main collection covers Estonian art from the 18th century onwards, including works from the occupations period (1940–1991). Temporary exhibitions include both foreign and Estonian modern and contemporary art.
Yes! A trip to another city and country is easily possible, with numerous connections. If you find yourself spending too much time in Tallinn you can always jump on the boat to Helsinki. Tickets are priced quite fairly and boats run on a regular basis, especially in summer when fast boats make the trip in 1.5 hour one-way!
This jazz and blues festival kicks off many other musical events across Estonia, especially in Tallinn, Tartu and Viljandi. It is held early in the year, between January and February.
A celebration of classical music, this is one of the most highly anticipated festivals in the region, attracting orchestras and musicians from across Europe. The event tours the most prominent venues in Tallinn between January 28 and February 6.
Throughout the month of April, a number of music festivals are held all over Estonia, starting with the International Choir Festival, which heralds the arrival of the spring season with a choral competition. Estonian Music Days is another month-long celebration that recognizes the most prominent symphony composers and chamber music. Harpsichord Days Festival happens mid-month, and is celebrated in various towns like Tartu, Parnu and Viljandi, while the Jazzkaar Festival fills Tallinn Town Hall and Sakala Center with soothing sounds.
This annual Estonian holiday on May 15 commemorates the birth of one of the most beautiful and historic European capitals, Tallinn.
Held throughout the month of June, this festive is marked by medieval celebrations, parties, street entertainment, markets, and live folk music. It celebrates the rich old town Heritage of Tallinn’s downtown district.
This July beer festival is one of the most popular in Estonia and is held alongside many of the town’s musical events. Local groups perform, while beverages overflow on the Tallin Song Festival Grounds.
The Tallinn FoodFest is held throughout November, attracting all kinds of restaurateurs, bakers and wholesalers who show off their goods to hungry foodies and visitors.
Held from November to December, this festival eases long winter nights with good theater. The highlight is a competition recognizing the best of Estonia’s filmmaking industry.
Summers, though warm, are not particularly inviting. Although temperatures of over 30 °C are possible, they are around 20 degrees during the day on average. Winters are cold with snowfall. Average maximum temperatures are around -5 °C while nights average around -10 °C. Occasionally, when the winds blow east from Siberia, temperatures can plummit way below -20 °C. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, but winters and spring tend to be a bit drier. On average, there are between 10 and 15 wet days with around 50 mm of rain or snow a month.
|Avg Max||-2.1 °C||-2.3 °C||1.6 °C||8 °C||14.6 °C||19.2 °C||21 °C||19.8 °C||14.7 °C||9.3 °C||3.3 °C||-0.1 °C|
|Avg Min||-7.5 °C||-8.2 °C||-4.9 °C||0 °C||4.9 °C||9.8 °C||12 °C||11.5 °C||7.4 °C||3.5 °C||-1.3 °C||-5.2 °C|
|Rainfall||48.3 mm||32.4 mm||32 mm||36.5 mm||37.9 mm||56.9 mm||78.4 mm||82.2 mm||74 mm||72.7 mm||67.2 mm||56.6 mm|
Estonian Air is the national airline of Estonia and operates flights throughout Europe from Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (TLL), or Ülemiste Airport, with the main destinations being Amsterdam, London, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Oslo, Stockholm and Brussels. Other airlines serving Tallinn are Air Baltic, Lufthansa to Frankfurt and Munich, Ryanair to Bergamo, Bremen, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Girona, London Luton Airport, Oslo, Stockholm and Airport Weeze, and LOT to Warsaw. Low-cost airline easyJet flies from Liverpool and London Stansted Airport to Tallinn.
Both Estonian Air and Avies have a limited number of domestic flights, for example between Tallinn and Kuressaare and Tartu.
To/from the airport
Edelarautee is the national railway of Estonia. It has services between Tallinn and dozens of other cities and towns, including Pärnu, Viljandi, Valga, Narva, and Tartu. International trains serve Russia and it's possible to travel between Tallinn and Riga by train via Valga. The train leaves early morning (around 7:00am) from Tallinn and arrives around 11:30am in Valga, where you can catch the onward train at 11:42am to Riga. It takes over 8 hours though, compared to just 4.5 hours by bus.
Finland and Sweden
Tallinn has a well marked road system and Estonians are quite considerate drivers compared to their Baltic neighbours to the south.
If you are catching a cab, make sure that the taximeter is turned on when you start off. Usually it's a good idea to avoid black "taxi" cars with tinted car windows. Check the different taxi companies for options.
There are Electric trains in Tallinn to the suburbs. The city operates a system of bus (62 lines), tram (4 lines) and trolley-bus (8 lines) routes to all districts. A flat-fare system is used. Payment for single tickets is made either by pre-purchase of tickets at street-side kiosks or by a purchase from the transport vehicle. Monthly cards are available by registering through the national ID-card. Starting from January 2013 public transport for citizens registered to live in Tallinn is completely free. That includes buses, trams and trolleybuses.
Within the Old Town of Tallinn you will be more than fine just walking around on foot. Everything you could possibly need is within easy reach and despite the cobbles and hills it is really simple to get around.
Tallinn has bike lanes and in general Estonians are a lot more aware of cyclists than their Baltic neighbours. Bike rental is available from a number of rental services as well as bike tours around the city.
The Old Town is packed with restaurants claiming to offer authentic Estonian food, particularly on and around Raekoja plats. Prices at restaurants near the Raekoja Plats are generally more expensive, yet offer the same quality of food, as restaurants off this main square. Prices are steep by Estonian standards, but still much cheaper than neighbouring Helsinki, which explains why on weekends they're always packed with day tripping Finns.
Tallinn's crazy nightlife is out of proportion to the city's small size. The days of armed mafiosos are over and these days any drunken fights tend to involve stag parties. Exercise some caution in choosing your venue, as some strip clubs and regular clubs make their money by fleecing tourists who come in for a drink. In local places, beers cost €2.50-4.00.
|16EUR Hostel||Roseni 9||Hostel||76|
|Academic Hostel||Akadeemia Tee 11 12611 Tallinn||Hostel||76|
|Apartment.ee||Pilve 4 aasa 2||Apartment||84|
|Tabinoya -Tallinn's Travellers House||Nunne 1||HOSTEL||83|
|City Hotel Tallinn by Uniquestay||Paldiski Mount 3||Hotel||79|
|Estinn||Narva mnt 5||Apartment||-|
|EuropeHostel||Kroodi 6, Maardu Harjumaa||Hostel||-|
|GIDIC Backpackers||31 Tartu Maantee||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Nepi||Nepi 10||Hotel||-|
|Kaupmehe 8||Kaupmehe 8||Guesthouse||75|
|Mahtra Hostel||Mahtra 44 13812||Hostel||-|
|Marine Keskus||Paadi 14a - 63||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Metropol||Roseni 13||Hotel||-|
|Nord Hostel Tallin||Ristiku põik 8||Hostel||-|
|Old Town Alur Hostel||Lai 20 Tallinn||Hostel||81|
|Old Town Backpackers||Uus 14||Hostel||84|
|OldHouse||Uus Street 26||Hostel||77|
|Red Group Apartments - Your Home in Tallinn!||Jõe 5||Apartment||-|
|Romeo Family Apartments||18-38 Suur-Karja apt 38||Hotel||-|
|Summer Schoolhouse||Uus 26||Hostel||-|
|Tahetorni Hotel||Tahetorni 16||Hotel||-|
|Tallinn Backpackers||Olevimägi 11||Hostel||89|
|Tallinn School of Service Hostel||Lastekodu Street 13||Hostel||-|
|Tihase Bed&Breakfast||Tihase 6a 13426 Tallinn||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vabriku Hostel||Tallinn Vabriku 24||Hostel||-|
|Viru Backpackers||Viru 5||Hostel||83|
|Lillekula Hotel||Luha 18 B||Hotel||76|
|Dorell Hotel||Karu, 39||Hotel||71|
|Tina Residence||Tina 23||Apartment||-|
|Center Hotel Tallinn||Narva mnt 24||HOTEL||-|
|NovoStay Apartments||Jõe 5||Apartment||-|
|Olevi Residence||Olevimägi 4, 10123||Hotel||79|
|Briston Apartments||Harju 7||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Old Town Maestro's||10 Suur-Karja Street||Hotel||-|
|St.Olav Hotel||Lai 5||Hotel||77|
|Ecoland SPA Hotel||Randvere Tee 115||Hotel||-|
|The Dancing Eesti||1 Vaike Karja street building 5||Hostel||67|
|The Monk's Bunk||Tatari 1||HOSTEL||88|
|Gabriel||Kallasmaa 3 Maardu city||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Tallinn||Juhkentali 46||Hostel||74|
|The Sleeeping Maris Tallinn||1 Vaike Karja building 7 Tallinn||HOSTEL||72|
|Knight House||Rüütli 18||Hostel||84|
|Student Travelers Tallinn||13-1 Sauna St||Hostel||-|
|Fat Margaret's||Pohja puiestee 27||Hostel||81|
|Humala Guesthouse||Humala 4||Guesthouse||-|
|Red Emperor Hostel||Aia 10||Hostel||88|
|Baltic Budget Apartments||Uue Maailma 19-22||APARTMENT||-|
|Bunstel - Powered by X Hostel||Vaimu 1||HOSTEL||-|
|Skoone Old Town Studio||Pohja pst 23-219||APARTMENT||-|
|Johanna Hostel||Vaike-Karja 1||HOSTEL||-|
|Simple Apartment||Kopli Street 81||APARTMENT||-|
|The Purple Goblin||Parnu mnt 27 Apartment 5||HOSTEL||-|
|Kristiine Residence||Tedre 45||APARTMENT||-|
|Kallaste Talu Holiday Resort||Kallaste Talu, Padise vald Padise||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Baltic Downtown Apartments||Narva Mantee Street 16-25||APARTMENT||-|
|White Villa Ltd||Kannu 26/2||APARTMENT||-|
|FeelGood Hostel Tallinn||Kaarli Pst.11||HOSTEL||-|
|Kuke Holiday Center||Kose vald, Kata kula, Kuke talu||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hiie talu Holiday Village||Hiie talu Kuusalu||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Barons Hotel||Suur-Karja 7/ Väike-Karja 2||Hotel||-|
|Castle Lodge||Vaimu 2a||HOSTEL||-|
|Tulves Hostel||Tatari 10||Hostel||-|
|Gotthard Residence||Pikk 66||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Apartment Great Accommodation Tallinn||Juhkentali 17a - 29||APARTMENT||-|
|Apartments Marine Keskus||Paadi 15||APARTMENT||-|
|Apart near the old town and beach||Kopli 81||APARTMENT||-|
|Parkers Boutique Apartments||Parnu Maantee 27, Apartment 5||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Euroopa||Paadi 5||HOTEL||-|
|Polo Hostel||Rüütli 16||HOSTEL||-|
|Marta Guesthouse||Marta 8||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Tabinoya - Tallinn's Travellers House||Nunne 1||Hostel||-|
|Schlössle Hotel||Pühavaimu 13/15 Vanalinn||Hotel||-|
|Hotel St. Petersbourg||Rataskaevu 7||Hotel||-|
|Tallinn Old Town Apartment with huge terrace||Sulevimägi 6||APARTMENT||-|
|Beautiful 2-storey old town apartment in Tallinn||Rataskaevu 8||APARTMENT||-|
|Lai Street Lodge||Lai 32 Tallinn||APARTMENT||-|
|Villa LaFera||Masina 9||HOSTEL||-|
English language teachers with TEFL certificates or equivalent are in demand. Especially during periods of Summer School and/or TOEFL test times, teachers have good opportunities.
Jobs for non-Estonian speakers are less common in other fields, although several IT companies (e.g. Skype) have English based job openings. Compared to Finland or other Scandic countries salaries are lower, so it could make sense to utilize job opportunities in nearby areas. Estonia is part of the EU and Eurozone, so work permits are easy for EU member states and associated countries. All other will need to apply for work permits.
Estonia is one of the most connected nations on earth when it comes to internet, boasting 'Internet access is a basic human right'. You will find no shortage of Wi-Fi hot spots around the city, with most hotels and hostels offering high speed internet and Wi Fi included in their prices. Access to wireless, free internet is widespread in Tallinn and Tartu. As with most cities you will find the Wi-Fi spots in most good cafes, bars, pubs, libraries and public areas. Outside of the city you will even find Wi-Fi spots in petrol stations! You can also find internet cafes around town but with the advent of internet enabled phones and wireless connections all over the city many of these establishments may not be around for so long. On the open road you will often find petrol stations which offer wireless internet access too. Most hotels also have a computer with internet access available. The departure lounge at Tallinn airport has several free internet access points for passengers
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international phone code for Estonia is 372. The general emergency number is 112, but you can also use 110 for police only if you prefer.
For local calls, dial the 7 or 8 digit number given. There is no "0" dialled before local numbers
GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover the whole country. Main operators include AS EMT, Radiolinja Eesti and TELE2. Mobile access is available everywhere, even on the smaller islands and at sea. Prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards and their top up cards can be bought from R-kiosks (ask for a "kõnekaart" - calling card in English). Popular brands are Smart, Simpel, Diil and Zen. Start-up packages are in a range of €1.55-10.
If you use your own cell phone and don't buy a local SIM card, switch off data roaming to avoid high costs for internet. Only use wifi in that case.
Eesti Post is Estonia's national postal service with generally fast and reliable services for sending postcards, parcels and letters. It can take up to 4-5 days to send mail to Western Europe though, longer outside the continent. Domestic services are much faster though. Post offices are generally open from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:30am to 3:00pm on Saturday, though some variations might be possible depending on the post office. Some larger central ones might be open evenings and on Sundays. There is no need to buy stamps at the post offices though; just get your stamps at some shops or kiosks and drop your mail off in any of the small orange post boxes, which are abundant throughout the country. Within Estonia, the postage cost for a letter up to 50 grams is €0.45. To other EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine the cost is €1 and to the rest of the world €1.10.
If you want to send packages to other countries, it is best to use international courier companies like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx, as they offer fast, reliable and competitively priced services.
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