Estonia: Quick Trips
Day 1 in Tallinn
Take a walk through Tallinn’s Old Town, and up the hill to Toompea. Toompea, located on the upper part of the Old Town has great views over the city and the Gulf of Finland. In the lower part of the centre, wander through narrow streets and get a true feeling for this medieval northern town.
Shopping: For some unique souvenirs, visit Oma Asi (Saiakang 4, Tallinn Old Town Map Code H2). Here you’ll find distinctive handicrafts including knitwear and jewellery. Nu Nordik (Vabaduse väljak 8, Tallinn Old Town Map Code J1) has modern Estonian designs, including clothing, jewellery and home décor items. A. Galerii (Hobusepea 2, Tallinn Old Town Map Code G2) features mostly modern Estonian jewellery.
Church: Visit the Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral (Lossi plats, Tallinn Map Code B1). Built between 1894-1900, this Orthodox cathedral was part of the Russification of the Baltic provinces in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Lunch: Enjoy a quick medieval lunch at the Town Hall (Reakoja plats 1, Tallinn Old Town Map Code H1). Elk soup and traditional ale are served in earthenware bowls and cups. Stuffed pastries (pirukad) are baked throughout the day, and are worth the wait, should they run out. Too nice to sit inside? As the weather warms up, patios pop up all over the Town Hall Square, a great place to people-watch.
Museum: The Estonian History Museum in the Great Guild Hall (Pikk 17, Tallinn Old Town Map Code G2) was recently renovated in 2011. This museum has wonderful exhibits to help you get acquainted with Estonia’s past. Free entry on the last Thursday of every month.
Dinner: Get a taste of the Russian side of Estonia with a meal at Troika (Raekoja plats 15, Tallinn Old Town Map Code H1). Try a selection of Russian dumplings (pelmeenid), roasted eel, or bear meat stew. Then wash it all down with a shot of vodka.
Day 2 in Tallinn:
Take a walk, or rather hop on the City Tour bus to see greater Tallinn. Get off at Kadriorg Park (Tallinn Map Code A4), and enjoy a stroll through the gardens. Or stay on the bus and visit the ruins of the Pirita Convent (Merivälja tee 18).
Museum: Visit the KUMU Art Museum (Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1 Tallinn Map Code B4) in Kadriorg. Admire Estonian art from the beginning of the 18th century to present. The gallery also has a café with a nice view over the park.
Lunch: Get a taste for modern inspired Estonian and Russian food at Kohvik Moon (Võrgu 3, Tallinn Map Code A2). Try the Siberian dumplings in mushroom stock, or the herring. Bookings recommended.
Church: Experience another great view over the city from the tower of the Oleviste Church (Lai 50, Tallinn Old Town Map Code F2). Once the tallest structure in Northern Europe, this church was dedicated to the 11th century Norwegian King Olaf II. During the Soviet period, it worked as a surveillance centre for the KGB.
Dinner: Restaurant Ö (Mere pst 6E, Tallinn Map Code B2) serves modern Estonian food, using fine local ingredients and experimenting with traditional flavours. Try the six-course degustation menu to get a taste of what modern Estonian cuisine is all about.
Evening Entertainment: Take in a performance at the Estonian National Opera and the Estonia Concert Hall (Estonia pst 4, Tallinn Map Code B2). Enjoy opera, ballet, or a concert in this theatre founded at the beginning of the 20th century. For tickets and information: www.opera.ee; www.concert.ee