It’s amazing how many assumptions we have about places we’ve never been to before, all thanks to TV, media and where we were raised. Tallinn in Estonia was for me one of those places…
Because of this silly movie I used to think that was what Tallinn was about, but I realized very quickly how wrong I was, and actually felt a little embarrassed by my judgments.
Although Tallinn indeed had many gentlemen cafes and bars tucked into the backstreets, the UNESCO world heritage city had so much more to offer.
The Medieval Town
The Old Town was one of the most beautiful and well preserved medieval towns I’ve seen – and believe me, during the Europe Train Challenge we’ve seen A LOT of old towns..!
Founded in the 12th century, the city with its ancient city walls, high church spires and red roof tops was an irresistible sight.
Walking around on the cobble stoned streets and alleyways lined with medieval houses in mixes of German, Russian, Swedish and Danish architecture, you felt as though you had taken a step back in time.
To add to the experience, shop keepers and restaurant waiters were all dressed up in medieval outfits. Some people might have found it a bit tacky, but personally I think it enhanced the feeling and made it easy to imagine what life would have been like a few hundred years ago.
Why take everything so seriously? Play around a little, let go and have some fun!
Amazing History & Wonderful Food!
There was history around every corner, even many of the doors you would find walking around town had a quirky story behind them.
We also had some pretty memorable food experiences:
… eating the biggest pancakes I have ever seen at Kompressor, stuffing ourselves full with big plates of Estonian marzipan and buying several kilos of black bread – we almost felt stupid to be leaving this place which seemed to have everything.
I wasn’t the only one enjoying Tallinn so much so that we gave it a thought of perhaps settling down. Everyone I talked to was here for the second, third or fourth time, and we were all staying several days longer than planned.
Best Christmas Market In Europe
Tallinn is the Europe Capital of Culture 2011, and there were (and still are) tons of things going on every single day, from folk music dances to concerts to work shops.
But even if though there is only one month left, you can be sure that the final month will be one of the best, with a Christmas market ranked as one of the very best in the whole of Europe.
I must say that I found the people in Tallinn being the friendliest out of the Baltic countries – even those who you could tell were in a bad mood couldn’t help but to help you out anyway!
Have you been to Tallinn, if so what did you think?