Tallinn it like it is

Tallinn is Estonia’s small, but perfectly formed capital city. Drawing on influence from hundreds of years of history – and from the cultures of its Russian and Nordic neighbours the city offers a diverse mix of old and new. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so here are our #innsider tips to put on the ‘must-do’ list.

Chilled out cafés

Tallinn’s café culture is hard to beat. Innsiders head to the trendy district of Telliskivi to try out the cool and laid-back F-Hoone. This café is housed in a Soviet-era industrial building and perfect for a quick bite to eat after browsing the local flea markets. Telliskivi is seen as Tallinn’s creative quarter so after rubbing shoulders with local artists head to the area’s indoor shopping street to find artisan clothes, artists’ goods and traditional Estonian and Nordic wares. Find out what is on in Telliskivi here: http://telliskivi.eu/en/about-us/residents/shops/ 

Break the ice

The Sea Harbour Museum is an unusual space showcasing sea planes, submarines, ship wrecks and other maritime relics. The building itself is a one-off, being formed from architecturally unique sea plane hangars which were once part of a great ‘Naval Fortress’ in the early 1900s. One of the star attractions is the Suur Tõll steam icebreaker – a 100 year old vessel that has sailed under flags of four nations – Imperial Russia, Soviet Union, Finland and Estonia. Now, many of its rooms have been restored and you can even eat in the vessel’s Galley, which serves traditional meals which would have been dished up to those who worked on the ship. Find our more here: http://www.lennusadam.eu/en/

Hit the sweet spot

Those with a sweet tooth should head to Kalev, a 200-year-old confectioner in the middle of the historic Old Town.  Maiasmokk (“Sweet Tooth”) is Kalev’s café, which has stood in the same spot since the 1860s. The interior has been well preserved, so it is a great place to soak up Tallinn’s past over fresh pastries, pies and cakes as well as delicious handmade candies.  The rooms of the café  also house the Kalev Marzipan Museum, where visitors see the marzipan masters at work. You can also pick up chocolates and marzipan figurines to take home (if you can resist eating them that long). Find out more http://www.kalev.ee/en/maiasmokk-cafe/about-company

Eat, drink and be merry

Tallinn is a trail blazer for Estonian cuisine and the city takes its food and drink seriously. Look out for street food festivals and keep an eye out for pop up restaurants and bars. For wine lovers, Tallinn boasts cosy vinotheques offering international wines and food, check out this list for some suggestions http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng/fpage/goodtime/wining_dining/winerestaurants  or for a real fine-dining experience, check out http://www.flavoursofestonia.com/ which lists some of the countries’ best restaurants according to food critics and many of them are in Tallinn.

Where to stay

The Park Inn by Radisson Tallinn is situated close to the historic Old Town in the city centre. The hotel has over 245 rooms with WIFI and also offers a Jacuzzi and sauna for relaxing after a hard day exploring. http://www.parkinn.com/hotel-centraltallinn