If you’re still contemplating your next citytrip, you might want to add the Estonian capital to your bucketlist. How so? I’ll tell you what I did there in a little more than 48h!
I was lucky enough to go on a work trip to Tallinn, since I work for an online travel agency called CheapTickets.be. That doesn’t make this a sponsored post, since this is my personal blog 🙂 But I was seriously impressed by Tallinn!
Friday – arrival and recovery
My colleague and me flew in on a Friday afternoon from Amsterdam. The flight duration was 2 hours, but taken into account the time difference, it was 3 hours later when we arrived. The first big advantage of Tallinn is the proximity from the city centre to the airport. 5 km. I kid you not. We took a tram to the city center and € 1,60 and 15 min later we arrived!
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Olümpia hotel in Sibukula which was actually build for the Olympic games of 1980! We learned it is actually one of the oldest hotels in Tallinn. This beautiful hotel has a pool and sauna on the 24th floor, providing a really nice view over Tallinn. Since we arrived in the evening on Friday, we went to bed early and full of excitement for the next day!
Saturday – adventure is out there!
Saturday morning we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast in our hotel (they even had porridge and American pancakes!). After we fueled up with energy, we went out to discover the town! We saw on a map that Tallinn is actually so small that you can walk from the city centre to the border of the town in only 25 minutes! Challenge accepted 😉
First, we went to Telliskivi Creative City, a former industrial area that is now known for the (graffiti) art and little (food) shops. You could really feel the alternative vibe there, but we liked it!
From there, we walked to Toompea which is the higher district of the old town part called Vanallin. We climbed the Patkuli stairs and enjoyed the beautiful view over the city for a few minutes, before diving into the little gift shops on top.
Walking down into the old city district, we quickly stumbled upon the great Alexander Nevski cathedral – a beautiful, Russian church that had a little fairytale vibe thanks to the snow! We didn’t go inside, because there was a church service going on at that time. It is also forbidden to take pictures or film inside, so it’s really a “see for yourself” type of place!
After a quick pitstop for a drink and toilet break, we continued our walk and went to Raekoja Platz – the central market square. Fun fact: on the corner of the square you can find the oldest, still functioning pharmacy since 1422! It is also a mini museum with nice artefacts.
We bought a Tallinn Card for that day (25 euro for the 24h version) so every museum and public transport was included. I strongly recommend buying one as well if you decide to go there. You can just buy them at the Touristic Center. Like this you can quickly hop in and out of museums and churches without feeling guilty that you should stay longer because you paid the entrance price 🙂
We skipped lunch because we were too busy exploring the city, so around 16.30 we were pretty much starving! Strolling down the streets looking for a place to eat, we discovered Catherine’s Alley, which really gave us a Medieval feeling!
At the end, we were near the city walls but it was already too late to still go up (and we were hungry). My colleague pointed to this restaurant called FARM, because it looked so cosy and we decided to give it a go.
We were not dissapointed! The service was very friendly, the restaurant looked amazing on the inside (open kitchen) and on the Menu we found the Estonian Modern cuisine. My colleague ordered the creamy roasted celeriac soup zith wild mushrooms and farm’s crisp bread. I was triggered by the Järveotsa quail pate with cherry jelly, roasted nuts, quince sauce and rosemary thyme bread.
Oh. My. God. My taste buds were really in heaven during this meal. It looked like we were in a star restaurant, so beautifully served! Keep in mind that this was only a starter. Also the price/quality balance was amazing since this this was only € 11. The most expensive main dish they serve is deer fillet (€ 25) so really a recommended place! Don’t order the Estonian wine though (it was quite bad).
After our early dinner we went to the shopping centre of Viru, just to have a look. This is a big, multiple storages centre with international and local shops. I bought a souvenir for my grandmother (Estonian indoor slippers with wool) and after this shopping stop, we decided to go to Manna La Roosa – which was recommended to us by a wonderful employee of our hotel.
A VERY kitchy interior greeted us, and we were appointed a table near the bar. I mostly enjoyed the freshly made, yummy cocktails made by the goodlooking bar tenders. Not only your tastebuds are being spoiled here 😉 I had some tomato bruschetta to go along with my Manna La Roosa house cocktail. Also this place is a must-go if you are there!
Since we still wanted to enjoy our hotel’s sauna and pool, we made sure to be back in our room at 9PM for 1 more hour of relaxing before crashing in our beds..
The perfect end of a very enjoyable day… We both were asleep before you could say “welcometotallinn”.
Sunday – outside the centre
On sunday, after again filling our tummies at breakfast and checking out of our hotel – we decided to take a little field trip to a museum outside the city centre. It was the Lennusadam seaplane harbour museum – also recommended to us by the hotel staff. I am not really a museum type of person, but I gladly spent over 2 hours in this one!
Because: there is a REAL Kalev-class submarine in the museum that you can explore from the inside as well. So impressive to see how it looks!
Reason number 2: it is an interactive museum. Not just looking, but also taking action! In a playful way, you can learn more about war devices and ships, planes and heavy artillery. My favourite was the dressing up and taking pictures in front of a green screen 😀
After the museum visit, we took a bus back to the city centre and enjoyed our last lunch in a really peculiar place… Olde Hansa – for the Medieval experience and delicious food. This is the slogan on their website. We can confirm this is true! We walked in there and immediately felt warped back into time. The room was only lighted with candles, and the staff was completely dressed in medieval outfits. “Miladies, can I bring you to your table?”
My colleague went for the Game fillet of the Burgermeister (wild boar meat). I went for the Divine leg of porc. We barely could see what was in our plate but again we were pleasantly surprised with the flavours! Accompanied with a huge glass of wine, we were truly satisfied.
After this, it was unfortunately time to catch our plane.. I truly enjoyed Tallinn and will for sure come back one day! We were also given the tip to visit Helsinki from here (since they are both coast cities). So who knows, maybe next time!
Did my blog tweak your interest in Tallinn or not at all?