My last destination in the Baltic States was the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn. It is the largest town of Estonia and houses about the one third of her population. The city is an amazing blend of modern architecture and medieval remains. The whole of the old town is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it totally deserves to be so. A walk through the old lanes and one gets transported back to old times.
The city has an old history with first traces of the settlement dating back to about 3500 BC. It has had many names since then but have been described equally beautiful with all those different names in different eras. The city is in two parts, the upper town, Toompea and the lower town, All – linn. Geology tells us that Toompea first appeared as an island in Baltic Ice Lake about 10,000 years ago but for a more interesting version of the story read about it in the national epic – Kalevipoeg. It is said to be a mound build over the grave of Kalevi by his grieving wife, Linda.
On Toompea stands the old castle which now houses the parliament. The lower town is one of the best preserved medieval sites in the world. It houses the town hall, city walls, towers and churches. Toompea is a nice place to see the sunset if you are hanging around there about the time.
A little outside the old town and we can see the modern world spreading around the historical city. Tallinn has been for a long time an important port for the trade between Russia and Scandinavia. The city today is flourishing as an important center for business & IT.
If that all is not enough, Tallinn has pretty good nightlife and party scene. Baltic countries I realized beat all the rest of Europe when it comes to partying. These cities are the party capitals of Europe. Also, Tallinn has an amazing sense of recreation – this place offers you Kalashnikov target shooting for fun. They have some amazing local brewed drinks which is a must try.
A little tip for foodies, on Viru väljak, walking from city centre to the port side, there is a small food cart which sells Samosa – the options of fillings they have and taste, it’s amazing. Give it a shot!
9:15 PM – Riga (Latvia) – Simple Express Bus to Tallinn (Estonia) at 1:35 PM
The Monk’s Bunk Hostel Tallinn, Tatari 1, 10116 Tallinn, Estonia