Monday, 22 September 2014

Visiting Tallinn - Estonia

When it comes to travelling and exploring new corners of the world, I can admit that Tallinn was never a place that appeared at the top of my list. Heck, I hadn't even heard of it until I moved to Finland; although I do fall into the category of those who are geographically challenged so it's probably not a huge shock to some. For those that aren't sure, Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, and at around two hours by ferry from Helsinki, it's a popular destination for touring Finns - or so I'm told! 

Scott and I decided to head over early Saturday morning and explore the beautiful old town of Tallinn. Neither of us had much idea of what to expect but we sure weren't disappointed. This is going to be a very picture heavy post, you have been warned! 

The streets of the old town are paved with cobbles and steeped in history and culture. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, Tallinn's old town is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and it's easy to see why. The architecture is simply stunning. The minute Scott and I stepped foot in the old town, we were literally blown away by its beauty. There's so much to take in and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. 

Tallinn's old town houses a number of differing market stalls, selling products ranging from hand-made shawls and jumpers to a variety of souvenirs. The fresh flower stalls were my favourite. The smell was incredible and Scott had to hold me back from snapping up a tonne of the little pots. I was amazed at how cheap they were seeing as they were some of the prettiest flowers I've seen - Around 6-8 Euros a pop, Bargain!

Finding a good spot to eat and drink is a doddle in the old town. The streets are lined with little terraces and outdoor seating areas that belong to various cafes and restaurants. We discovered a place called Al Bastione, set back from the main streets in a courtyard nestled between buildings. We took a pit stop and filled up on pizza and french fries. Compared to Finland, the price for food and drink in Estonia is as cheap as chips - quite literally. We paid around 16 Euros for lunch and a couple of soft drinks. Not bad. 

Enormous pizza!
After stuffing our faces we headed back into the bustling streets to explore and ended up at The Highlander. A typically Scottish pub tucked away almost out of sight. Being the true Scotsman that he is, Scott wasted no time in locating it and pulling up a bar stool to chat with the owner, (a Glaswegian chap) over a cold pint of Tennent's. 

And yes, we did return the next day so that Scott could have a can of Irn Bru and a Scotch egg. No stereotyping here folks! 

As well as the old town, there's plenty to do elsewhere in Tallinn. We spotted a shopping centre just a stone's throw from the old town and decided to have a quick browse. Low and behold - There's a River Island!! Now, it's probably quite difficult to put into words how Scott and I felt at the very moment that we clapped eyes on the huge, glowing sign, but put it this way, we were pleased. The shopping in Finland leaves a lot to be desired and I haven't stepped foot in the likes of Topshop or River Island since April, which for a girl who likes her shopping, is a very, very long time! So naturally, we picked up a few bits and pieces which I will stick in a haul post soon. 

Unfortunately, we were short on time and never had the chance to explore as much as we would have hoped to but we have already spoken about returning soon to cast a wider net and see what else lies beyond the old town walls. 

Tomorrow I will be posting about where we stayed in Tallinn, the incredible Hotel Telegraaf located right in the old town. There will be pictures of food. Need I say more? 

Finally, I shall leave you with this:

This is not in Tallinn, we actually spotted it in the port in Helsinki. I swear it's new as neither Scott nor I have ever seen it before and well, it's not exactly one you'd miss in a hurry. Please do correct me if I'm wrong though. Amazing!

Thank you again to the incredible city of Tallinn for completely exceeding my expectations and blowing me away with your medieval charm. Until next time...


  1. I love a good 'picture heavy post' on a Monday! My brain is kinda slow to get started with all that reading and whatnot.

    That pizza!!!

    Lol, that fountain?!!


    1. I hear you.. The pizza was incredible and I'm hoping that I can get a replica of that fountain for my garden! Amazing xxx

  2. Ahh I love seeing people love Tallinn as that is my hometown. I got married an a viewing platform of Tallinn Old Town and I wholeheartedly believe the place is magic. I hope you will get a chance to return as Tallinn as soo many cool areas to explore.

    Such pretty pictures also! x

    1. Oh wow, what a beautiful place to call your hometown! You're very lucky. It's such a wonderful city and I can't wait to go back. Your wedding venue sounds incredible - bet the views were breath taking! Thanks for commenting xxx

  3. Oh my i am SO jealous! I was booked to visit Tallin but decided to visit the uk for my holiday instead, wish i hadnt! The town is sooo pretty, i love the old buildings. I have heard how incredibly cheap the alcohol is in Tallin which is always a plus as Finnish prices are ridic!! Can't belueve there was a river island too that is so random haha amazing for you both though! H&M and bikbok are the best you get in some of the Finnish cities! xxx

    1. Oh no, I guess Tallinn isn't going anywhere though and I'm sure you can find another time to visit. It's an absolutely stunning place. It completely outweighed my expectations. Anyway, what is this Bikbok you speak of!?!? I've not spied this place yet! I'm going to have to try and locate it! The place I live has H&M, Vero Moda and Vila.. with a few other random places chucked in. It's dire for shopping so finding a River Island made my whole week! xxx

  4. I loved all the amber jewellery there too. It's a stunning place. I know what you mean about Helsinki being poor for shopping. I bet it was nice to be able to do a bit of River Island shopping!

    1. The UK is spoilt for choice when it comes to clothes shops. It's a struggle living with the bare minimum here. Finding a River Island was great though. Home away from home! Haha xx

  5. I went to Helsinki a few years ago but didn't get the ferry to Tallinn because we kind of ran out of money, so I went to Tallinn this May. One of the nicest, cleanest and cheapest places I've ever been. I like that it's unspoilt by tourism but I think it will pick up in a few years. I would like to return to Finland, but it's the most expensive place I've been in the world!

    1. It's seriously beautiful. I bet you're glad you made a trip back to see Tallinn. Finland is crazy expensive... When you live here and you know how much cheaper you can get things in the UK, it drives you mad! Thanks for commenting Amy xxx


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