Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

Tallinn

City: Tallinn       State: N/A       Country: Estonia
The capital and largest city of Estonia, Tallinn lies on the northern coast along the Gulf of Finland. Throughout history the city has been repeatedly invaded, most recently by Soviet air forces during the latter stages of World War II, yet still much of the medieval old town remains and is today popular with tourists.The city has historically consisted of two parts. At the top of the hill is the Toompea (Domberg), the seat of power, inhabited first by Danish captains, then the komturs of the Teutonic Order, and finally by the Swedish and then Russian governors. It was, until 1877, a separate town occupying an easily defensible site overlooking the surrounding districts and divided off with a defensive wall. The best way to enter Toompea is through the Pikk Jalg gate tower, built in 1380. Another must-see is the Alexander Novsky Cathedral, its distinctive onion domes denoting its Russian Orthodoxy. Its beautiful icons and mosaics were imported from St Petersburg. The fourteenth-century Lutheran cathedral (Toomkirik), Estonia's oldest church, contains some magnificently carved tombs.Tallinn's old town, lower down the Ml, was not united with Toompea until the late nineteenth century. Inhabited by merchants and craftsmen, it was a member of the Hanseatie League, a trade alliance operating in the Baltic in medieval times, and grew prosperous and powerful through trade. This area is a well-preserved mass of winding, cobbled streets and arches, and pretty pastel houses, which is still undergoing renovation.The main sights of the old town include the Town Hall square, containing merchants' houses dating from the 15th century, and some splendid guildhalls such as the Croat Guild, now housing part of the State History Museum. The town walls and towers arc well worth exploring, as is St Olaf's church, which was the tallest building in medieval Europe. To the east is Kadriorg Palace which houses the national collection of foreign art.

Climate | When to Visit

Visit during: March to November

Directions | How to Reach

By Air:-Tallinn Airport about 5 km from the city center, Tallinn Airport  is increasingly becoming an airport hub of the Baltics. Estonian Air  provides good quality services to a series of European cities, including London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Riga, Vilnius, Kiev and Moscow. If you live in or near these cities, air travel is the best way to get to TallinnBy Train:-There are limited train services to Latvia, Lithuania and Russia (Moscow by Go Rail . Therefore, train is not a good option to get into Estonia. If you're visiting from Russia, take the plane; if you're in Latvia or Lithuania, consider the bus; if you're in Poland, fly to a European hub and transfer to Tallinn, or catch a bus. A good opportunity is flying to Helsinki and then taking the ferry to Tallinn. By Road:-There are a series of fairly frequent bus routes that radiate out from Tallinn and serve other countries. These particularly go to Riga in Latvia, Vilnius in Lithuania, and Saint Petersburg in the Russian Federation (about €20 for an eight hour ride) as well as other parts of Estonia. Even though not always the best of comfort, they are usually much better than the train if you live in one of Estonia's neighboring countries. Increasingly, the buses are also servicing Russia, Germany and Poland.

miscellaneous | Important Information

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