Weekend trip to Tallinn
I have planned to do this even before I arrived to Riga: a weekend trip to Tallinn. There are only around 300 kilometres separating the capitals of Latvia and Estonia, and a friend of mine strongly recommended me to go. So of course I couldn’t miss out on seeing it during my time studying up here in Riga. I spontaneously joined two other students from the language school which I just met a couple of days before. And last Saturday it was time for our weekend Trip. Let me take you along the journey. I’ll share some of my experiences and thoughts about the capital of the northernmost Baltic state. Let’s go on a weekend trip to Tallinn!
How to get to Tallinn?
Getting there is quite simple. Of course you can book a flight or rent a car, but the bus is not only the easiest but also the cheapest option. I’d advise to book a couple of days in advance as the prices can fluctuate a bit. One way can cost up to 20 euros, but if you plan ahead and don’t decide a day before (like I did) you can pay as little as 8 euros if you’re lucky. The bus station is located just to the south of Riga’s Old Town, you can buy tickets there or also online. We chose Flixbus and had a very good experience. The bus left on time and after a smooth and hassle free 4 1/2 hours drive we arrived in Estonia’s capital.
My first impressions
Well technically my first impressions of Tallinn was the bus stop, but let’s just skip that part. It took us a little time to walk to the centre, but when we arrived there we were not disappointed. Standing in between the two remaining towers of an old medieval gate we peeked into a beautiful old town full of life and people. Generally, it had a similar vibe to Riga, however it might be a bit more touristic. Also, what it lacks in Art Nouveau architecture it makes up for in terms of its city wall. Around half of Tallinn’s city wall is still standing, giving the city more of a medieval look. To get a first impression I would recommend to do is this walking tour. The guide was absolutely amazing and did a good job giving a historical overview of Tallinn while also being very entertaining. It works on a donation basis, so you can afford it no matter your budget. I was a lot of fun and I certainly learned a lot about the history of the town. For example, did you know that “Tallinn” means as much as “Danish Town”? The name was derived from the Estonian words “taani” and “linna” and points towards the Danish history of the city. The northern part of Estonia used to be a dominion of the Kingdom of Denmark with Tallinn being its capital since the Danish conquered it in the year 1219.
Other things to do in Tallinn
Tallinn looks back on a long and interesting history. And of course you can learn all about it its countless museums. The one that stuck out most to us was the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum. Housed in an old seaplane hangar it presents the history of Estonian seafaring. Unfortunately some of the interactive exhibits were not functional but anyways the true highlight was the “Lembit”. This is the name of a submarine used during WWII which has found its final rest in the hangar. Its still has most of its interior which we could explore as it is accessible to museum visitors.
But in Tallinn it’s not all about history. There are load of amazing restaurants, cafes and bars. Around the Old Town you can find a lot of great spots to fill your stomachs. However, they can get a bit more pricy. Another great place to go, which is also a bit cheaper, is the train station market. It is very close to the center, around ten minutes by foot. There you can find a decent selection of different kinds of food and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
The weekend went by so fast as I had so many great experiences seeing new places, hearing new stories and meeting new people. I could definitely have spent more time in Tallinn, but of course there is only so much you can do on a weekend. Nevertheless, I hope that I could give you a bit of an impression of what the capital of Estonia has to offer. If you liked this article you might also like my article about Riga, the city where I’m currently doing my language course. There I’m talking about my favourite sights in Riga’s Old Town.
Спасибо за чтение, thank you for reading.