Estonia

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Moving south from Finland, made a quick stop in Estonia for a couple of days. Tallinn, the capital, presents an interesting combination of modern and middle age architecture and infrastructure, giving it a unique display. I reached Tallinn by ferry from Helsinki, a trip that took about 2 hours and cost roughly €20.

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Tallinn

Just like many other capitals in Europe, Tallinn is home to one of the most preserved ‘old towns’. A walk in old town takes you back to the medieval era, with narrow brick roads, walls, watch towers etc. Old town is built on varying altitude, so climbing up and down some stairs should be expected. Nothing strenuous, though.

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Several old churches with incredible architecture are scattered around old town, all within a 15-minute walk radius. St. Mary’s cathedral, Holy Spirit, St. Nicholas’ cathedral, and Alexander Nevsky are to name a few, with the latter two built on a hill overlooking the entire city. The view is breathtaking.

 

Some remains from the 14th century defensive wall built around old town can be seen around the city. The wall accompanied by watch towers served as a defensive system to the old city of Tallinn around that era.

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Viru Gate, entrance and gateway to Tallinn’s old town
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Parliament of Estonia

Tallinn’s most popular hotels/hostels are located in old town, which is home to most backpackers that visit the area. The city’s nightlife is pretty vibrant, however most action happens on the weekend. Kultuuriklubi Kelm is a very popular pub in old town, surrounded by other hot spots, which are all pretty close to each other.

 

I was specifically impressed by the trendy looking coffee shops and restaurants, serving unique dishes and great coffee. Most of these places were old looking houses that underwent an extreme makeover and got re-designed. Adds a flavor to the experience, no doubt.

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I was surprised to find out that Estonia contains 2,222 islands in the Baltic sea, in addition to several beach towns. Requires another visit for sure!

 


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