Image taken from http://www.citypictures.org/Tallinn | Estonia
The capital of Estonia, Tallinn nestles on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland. Claimed to be one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the Old Town which is said to take on an especially magical feel in winter, with a fresh powdering of snow covering gabled rooftops and cobbled streets.
It’s not all enchanting 14th century architecture and cosy cafes hidden in the Old Town Walls though. Tradition really does meet modernity in Tallinn, where the evolved digital culture means Tallinn’s cityscape is also teeming with invisible information. Ranked as one of the most digitally accessible cities in the world, free wifi spots abound and internet access is considered a human right. Tallinn is a hotbed of technological and design innovation as well as the birthplace of the free Internet phone service, Skype.
Crossing the boundaries between old and new is Tallinn’s thriving art scene that ranges from traditional, folk handicraft to modern designs and edgy, digital installation works. The city has benefitted from being European Capital of Culture 2011 with a whole host of events going on, and a growing gallery scene showcasing Estonia’s most creative 21st century artists.
The old continues to inform the new. Kultuurikatel, an old power station with a dramatic 290-foot-high chimney along the 28-mile-long former industrial waterfront, is being transformed into a cultural centre. The waterfront, an off-limits military border zone during Soviet times, is the centrepiece of development for Tallinn’s European Cultural Capital 2011.
The Capital of Culture crew are also very keen on promoting cycling, which of course gets a thumbs up from us. A recent workshop at Kultuurikatel looked at monitoring the City’s bicycle tracks.
The workshop studied digital recordings of forms of movement and speeds around the various obstructions and trajectories which any cyclist knows are inherent in urban space (this guy knows particularly well: Caseyneistat - New York Cyclist)
All very interesting stuff (if you like bikes and geography), but now back to the task in hand. What did we get up to in Tallinn...
Tallinn | Our VerdictTallinn is where our journey started on January 11th 2012. With St. Petersburg just over the border a mere night bus away, Tallinn provided the perfect stop-off and a cheap way of getting to Russia.
For a relatively small city Tallinn had an abundance of things on offer. We had just 48 hours in the city, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The snow was falling and the Christmas tree was still in the town square giving the place a magical feel.
Tallinn Free tour gets rave reviews on trip advisor and the website has a nice little video too, and it didn’t disappoint. It gets the thumbs up from us, and we’d thoroughly recommend the Tallinn Free Tour.
We also stumbled across the rather quirky Depeche Mode Bar. A tribute to the band, and a bar that seems to have take on a rather legendry status. Worth checking out if you're in the area!
If you're feeling hungry in Tallinn and want to save the pennies there's no where better than Kompressor. A 'pub' and pancake house that serves cheap pancakes stuffed to bursting point with delicious fillings.
Accommodation in TallinnWe stayed at the Oldhouse Hostel. The place was cosy, clean and comfortable, with a homely feel. The free tea and coffee went down well to help warm those hands after strolling around in the snow. The location was great too. Just watch out for the snorers (or take earplugs).
Tallinn Blog PostFor more details on what we got up to in Tallinn, view our Tallin blog post.
Further Resources:dwell | Tallinn Free tour
Written by Hattie Parke
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