One of northern Europe's most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns, TALLINN never fails to make a positive first impression. Tallinn boasts myriad cultural attractions, historical sights and entertainment options, but retains an absorbing intimacy and is easy to explore on foot.
The largely pedestrianized Old Town (Vanalinn) is Tallinn's heart. An enjoyable, atmospheric and ultimately addictive jumble of medieval churches, striking cobblestone alleyways, slender steeples, barrel-shaped towers and gabled merchants' houses, it was once enclosed by medieval walls, of which significant stretches still survive. Its street plan is a confusion of curving streets and interconnecting passageways.
From the main square, the Raekoja plats, your best plan is to amble down any of the adjacent alleyways that take your fancy, emerging onto sinuous streets like Pikk, Lai and Vene – each lined with tall, quietly imperious medieval warehouses. Must-visit attractions include the entertaining history displays at the Tallinn City Museum and the show-stopping medieval artworks in St Nicholas's Church. Above the old town looms Toompea, hilltop stronghold of the German knights and bishops who nominally controlled the city during the Middle Ages.
Beyond the medieval core, much of Tallinn is bland and uninteresting, with notable exceptions, namely the park and palace at Kadriorg and the Botanical Gardens above the beach resort of Pirita – all located in the eastern suburbs. The Estonian Open-Air Museum is the one unmissable attraction in the west.
Despite being the capital of an independent Estonia from 1918 to 1940 and again from 1991, modern-day Tallinn is a hybrid creation. Its name, derived from the Estonian taani linnus, meaning "Danish Fort", is a reminder that the city was founded by the Danes in the thirteenth century, and since then political control has been for lengthy periods in the hands of foreigners – Swedes and particularly Germans have left lasting influences. Russians, meanwhile, continue to make up around 45 percent of the population, and the Russian language persists as an ever-present shadow culture.
June, July and August are the most popular times to visit Tallinn, but year-round cultural attractions and vibrant nightlife ensure that it's a rewarding weekend destination whenever you visit.
* The Hotel Is Located In The Centre Of The Historical Old Town. Businesses, Shops, Museums And Other Places Of Interest Are All Nearby. Tallinn*S International ...
The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the ...