We know local.

„Events, Food, Music, Culture, Nightlife“

Tallinn Sightseeing: Then & Now


31. March 2014

Tallinn Sightseeing: Then & Now

Tallinn’s historical Old Town is the best starting point for some serious sightseeing. There, you will be surrounded by the city’s pulsing centre and many other attractive sites like creative culture centres in abandoned Soviet factories with trendy art galleries, cafés and shops. But has Tallinn always offered such a range of sightseeing options? What did tourists do when the factories were still running on full and the Old Town not yet a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

According to the many Soviet tourist guidebooks, Tallinners were crazy about the city’s green gown. A tourist was supposed to see the flowers, buy flowers, smell flowers – you name it! The “flower-power” was unavoidable. The same thing could be said about the statues and war memorial sites. They had quite an important task to perform – teaching tourists about the Soviet Union’s heroes, pride and honour. Another show-off was the so called “new town”, meaning Tallinn’s suburbs. They were all proudly presented in the guidebooks showing their modern look, amenities and facilities. And, if a tourist needed a drink, they just had to visit any of Tallinn’s famous cafés. According to the guidebooks, a visit to a café is a must and a national custom! Last but not least, no tourist could say no to the Song & Dance Festivals in Estonia. Today, these celebrations and traditions are among the best trademarks of Estonia, and have played an important role in Estonian history. In the guidebooks, the festivals are explained as a national holiday for the USSR, but nowadays it is back to being a celebration for the Republic of Estonia. This year, the Song and Dance Festivals will take places in Tallinn from July 4-6.

Tomas Alexandersson, otherwise known as The Tallinn Collector runs a website that collects images from Soviet-era guidebooks to Tallinn.

TEXT TOMAS ALEXANDERSSON, PHOTO INTOURIST POSTCARDS, TALLINN, 1980

Rakvere – Calm Contemplation in the Countryside

Rakvere – Calm Contemplation in the Countryside

Estonia in winter has a panoply of beautiful places to visit, and it’s for this reason that it’s well worth […]

03. December 2016

Christmas Market Joy

Christmas Market Joy

Get into the holiday spirit while getting your shopping done early!   The 2016 International Christmas Bazaar organised by the […]

10. November 2016

The long-awaited opening of the new Estonian National Museum

The long-awaited opening of the new Estonian National Museum

The National Museum has been an important project for Estonians for 107 years, ever since its founding. Between the two […]

05. November 2016

Find yourself at home in Tartu

Find yourself at home in Tartu

Tartu is the second largest town in Estonia and is best known for being the student capital. The University of […]

03. November 2016

Local Beauty

Local Beauty

‘Local Beauty. The Tarbeklaas Glass Factory’, exhibit has brought together about 50 years worth of glass production. The factory began […]

29. September 2016

The Sounds of the Nordic Islands

The Sounds of the Nordic Islands

This year’s Viru Folk programme features artists from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland.   The summer’s final ethno-festival features the […]

09. August 2016

Eastern Estonia

Eastern Estonia

Where East Meets West   Like with any road trip, the more time you have, the more you’ll get to […]

26. July 2016

Southern Estonia

Southern Estonia

Rolling hills, fascinating culture, and beautiful lakes are only a few of the reasons to visit this area.   Southern […]

22. July 2016