The stunningly beautiful capital of Estonia
Tallinn is the beautiful mediaeval capital of Estonia, situated on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, Tallinn grew as a prosperous centre of trade. The Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 due to its impressive cultural heritage and beautiful mediaeval buildings. Tallinn has bags of atmosphere and it is a genuine thrill simply to walk around the quaint cobbled streets to enjoy boutique shopping or choose from a wide range of international restaurants. Despite its olde-worlde feel, Tallinn is actually something of an information technology hub, with companies such as the Internet communications company Skype having been founded here. With airport expansion projects already completed and increasing investment in local transport infrastructure, holidays in Tallinn look set to take off!
Tallinn is a truly beautiful looking city, and there is much to be said for it as a cultural city break, but a significant proportion of visitors from the UK head to Tallinn for the nightlife and the cheap bar crawls that have made it a prime spot for stag parties and hen nights.
When to Go?
Tallinn is definitely not the place to go for hot weather, although the summer still tends to be the most popular time to visit. Daytime temperatures are warm enough for sight-seeing comfortably, but evenings can still feel chilly. January and February are very cold months in Tallinn, but as long as you bring the right clothing this beautiful city can be a magical (and much quieter) place in winter.
How to get there?
London Gatwick and London Stansted flights to Tallinn are the only two direct departure points from the UK. The Gatwick to Tallinn route is operated by Estonia’s national airline Estonian Air, but a cheaper option is the London Stansted to Tallinn flight operated by easyJet. KLM is the other main option for flights to Tallinn with indirect routes via Amsterdam from regional UK airports including Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Durham Tees Valley.
The Toompea Hill district contains some of the best examples of Tallinn's mediaeval buildings, including the beautiful Town Hall and several old churches such as the stunning St Olav's. Perhaps most impressive of all is the magnificent 19th-century Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Tallinn also boasts an impressive Botanical Garden with themed gardens, glasshouses and arboretums housing plant species from all over the world. For a completely unique experience visit the Estonian Open-Air Museum, where you can see exhibits such as traditional buildings and farm equipment representing Estonian rural life, and also enjoy folk music and dancing displays.