Tallinn Weekend City Break - Attractions - Tours & day trips


Tallinn
Tallinn

It’s embarrassing to admit, but most of Europe hadn’t heard of Tallinn before the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. However, since the Estonian capital hosted the annual croonathon it has fast become on of Europe’s most talked about city break destinations.

Tallinn’s got all the right ingredients for city break success and is more than capable of standing up to its billing as a ‘pocket- sized Prague’. Tallinn’s medieval core is extremely well preserved and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s compact enough so that most sights can be seen on foot without getting lost. However, it’s Tallinn’s nightlife that’s really put it on the map; certainly as far as stags and hens are concerned.

http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng - Official tourist site for Tallinn.

Tallinn’s jumbled skyline of needle-thin church spires and plump onion domes may be the archetypal fairytale backdrop, but scratch the surface and you see a very different side to the capital. After dark the city’s cobbled streets fill with neon-lit revellers as slick beats pound from clubs hidden by thick monastery walls.

Today Tallinn has got a reputation for knowing how to party, but history hasn’t always been so kind to the Estonian capital. Tallinn spent much of its thousand-year history as the prize in a political game of pass the parcel between neighbouring Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Fifty years of Russian domination only ended as recently as 1991, although the smallest of the three Baltic States has been quick to shake off any communist torpor. In fact, by the turn of the millennium Estonia was receiving more than three and a half million visitors a year; not bad for a country with a population half the size.

Contrary to popular belief Tallinn city breaks aren’t all about Bacchic excesses and the city has plenty to satisfy more cultured appetites. For an overview of the medieval city it’s difficult to beat the views from Toompea Castle, built by the Danes in the 12th century. From the summit of Toompea Hill it’s a short walk to one of the city’s best-loved landmarks; Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral. Once you’ve had your fill of architecture, or alcohol, there’s no better place to unwind than in the serene and immaculately manicured Botanical Gardens.

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