Tallinn Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages
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Tallinn , is the capital of Estonia, lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, only 70 km south of Helsinki. At the historical and medieval heart of the city is the hill of Toompea, covered in cobbled streets and filled with medieval houses and alleyways. The lower town spreads out from the foot of the hill, still protected by the remnants of a city wall. Around the city wall is a series of well-maintained green parks, great for strolling. The city's old town has been astonishingly well preserved and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, it is now in better shape than ever, with the bigger roads converted into fashionable shopping streets reminiscent of Zürich or Geneva. Especially in summer, the Old Town is packed with tourists, with the traditional daytrippers from sister city Helsinki increasingly supplemented by Europeans taking advantage of cheap flights.Alas, the new town sprawling all around is largely built in typical concrete Soviet style, now joined with glass-and-steel cubes celebrating the post-Soviet economic boom. The new centre of town is Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square) at the edge of the old town, and nearby is the giant matchbox of Hotel Viru, the former Intourist flagship and notorious den of Cold War intrigue .
Tallinn Landmarks & Popular attractions :
The Old City :Medieval Old Town Excellently preserved, built in the 15-17th centuries. This compact area is best explored on foot.
Viru Gate : Entrance to Viru Street This section of town is known as '''All-Linn''' or "Lower Town", as it's where the merchants and artisans of old Tallinn lived. Today, Viru is still Tallinn's trendiest shopping street and the entire All-Linn is the busiest (and most touristy) bit of Tallinn.
Raekoja Plats : The square in the heart of the Old City, ringed with cafes and restaurants.
Raekoda (Town Hall) : Built in 1371, this heavy stone structure dominates the square. It now houses the Tallinn City Museum.
Toompea Hill : According to myth, the hill was built on top of the grave of legendary Estonian king Kalev, but more historically, it's solid limestone and the site of the Danish castle that founded the city in 1219. Toompea was the home of the Danish aristocracy and relations between the toffs and the plebs were often inflamed, which is why it's surrounded by thick walls and there's a gate tower (1380) guarding the entrance.
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral : a classic onion-domed 19th-century Russian Orthodox church that has become a touristy symbol of the city,
Riigikogu : Estonia's Parliament, pretty in pink.
St Mary's Cathedral : Toomkirik The oldest church in Tallinn, originally built as a Catholic church in 1229 but renovated and expanded many times since then, becoming a Lutheran church in 1561.
Museum of Occupations : Describes the life conditions under Soviet and Nazi regimes.
City Wall Admission : can be climbed from the corner of Suur-Kloostri and Väike-Kloostri, with entry into three towers possible. Quite frankly, the views from up on Toompea are better, and the spiral staircases are steep and somewhat claustrophobic.
Ex-KGB Headquarters : Now the Interior Ministry and not generally open to the public .
Outside the Old City :
Tallinn Zoo : This is an enormous area. Among its live exhibits you'll find the world's best collections of mountain goats and sheep, which means there a lot of them! Tallinn Zoo defies the realities of a relatively modest town -- it features all the elephants and crocodiles a visitor would expect to see in a larger zoo, as well as a breathtaking maze of lake-size ponds that host birds in summertime.
Open Air Museum Vabaõhumuuseumi : This museum includes 72 buildings of Estonian vernacular architecture and village milieu of the tsarist time of rule in a dark, dense forest. This museum provides a picture about the life and its hardship in the old times. Folklore Society Leigarid gives free dancing performances here at 11am each Saturday and Sunday.
National Art Museum KUMU Weizenbergi : The museum houses a cyclopic house, partly cut out of limestone rock.
Holy Birgitta Monastery Pirita beach area, : 5km from the city center - monastery of Scandinavian female saints, as well as a landmark of 16th century catacombs and ruins. It includes a guest house operated by the nuns.
Patarei (Battery) Prison Kalaranna : This is the most recent and least-developed historical attraction in Tallinn. Originally decreed by tsar Nicholas I in 1820 as a fortress to protect the city from the sea-born attacks, it was turned into a notorious KGB prison in 1920. The prison ceased operations only in 2004.
Tallinn TV Tower Kloostrimetsa : a 314-metre high, free-standing structure with an observation deck on the 21st floor, which with its 170 metres, is the highest in Northern Europe. It offers spectacular views across Tallinn and, on a clear day, you can see Finland. Unfortunately since late 2007 this tower has been closed to the public because it does not conform to fire safety regulations.
Kalamaja District north west from Old City : The oldest suburb of Tallinn, dating back to the 14th century. It was probably inhabited by fishermen (''Kalamaja'' means "Fish house") and mostly houses workers. The current wooden buildings are from the 19th century.
Rottermann District : an industrial district between the City and the Tallinn Port. The buildings are from the 19th and 20th century, with motifs of Art Nouveau and Historicism , New and stylish apartment buildings with shopping centre have now been built there widely regarded as architectural masterpiece in Tallinn.
Song Festival Grounds stops: A huge Modernist structure where the All Estonian Song Festival, which is held every five years, features 34,000 singers and dancers in addition to a massive audience.
Pirita District : includes forest parks, Botanic Gardens and Metsakalmistu (the last resting place of well-known Estonians).
Tallinn Botanical Gardens : http://www.tba.ee/index.php?lang=eng
Kadriorg : a beautiful and rich seaside resort district with mostly wooden buildings from the 18th to 20th centuries, as well as 20th century Art Deco and Functionalist structures. It also includes the baroque pearl of Estonia, the Kadriorg Palace and Garden.
Kadriorg Palace : an imperial Russian summer residence built by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti for Tsar Peter the Great in 1718.
Things to Do in Tallinn :
Saku Suurhall, Rocca al Mare : Estonia's largest concert and exhibition space, the venue for the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest. The hall and its facilities include an excellent shopping centre .
Beaches : A flag system that regulates swimming. A green flag means it is safe swim, a yellow flag means you can swim, but it isn't recommended and a red flag means swimming is not advised, go in at your own risk. Pirita Marina and Beach Look for the massive Soviet architecture located 5km from the centre. The yachting venue for Moscow 1980 Olympic Games. It features a large sandy beach and in the summer it's full of locals and tourists. Stroomi Beach North Tallinn The water is clean and warm, and it is the gay friendliest beach of Tallinn.
Harku Lake West Tallinn small lake that draws a lot of people. The lake gets dirtier by the year and swimming is not always recommended. Watch out for the vipers on the shore .
Kakumäe beach : The water is almost the purest of all Tallinn beaches.
Pikakari Beach The water quality is fairly good and it gets deep quite soon when you go in. The huge waves coming from the ships break on shore for the joy of all swimmers. The historical Katariina Pier is nice to walk on.
Sporting & Relaxation : Tallinn offers a lot sporting opportunities - from ATV rentals to ice skating. Tourists from well-developed countries often opt for spa holidays in the city.
Film Festivals : Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) : The festival combines a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films.
Tallinn Music Week : Spring Showcase festival, aiming to stage the best and most outstanding Estonian talent on two nights in Tallinn's most vibrant live venues, as well as a networking event for the music industry professionals.
Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar : April - In addition to Tallinn jazz concerts also take place in Tartu and Pärnu.
Tallinn Old Town Days : http://www.vanalinnapaevad.ee May/June
The Estonian Song Celebration : (In Estonian: Laulupidu) http://www.laulupidu.ee/eng First held in 1869, takes place every five years. In 2009, 35,000 choral singers gathered to perform for an audience of 90,000 people. It is recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Õllesummer Festival : Tallinn http://www.ollesummer.ee/eng July Approx 70,000 people attend the festival each year over the course of 4 days.
Birgitta Festival Tallinn : http://www.birgitta.ee/ August Music and theatre festival, held at the ruins of the historical Pirita (St. Bridget's) convent.
Sport Events :
Simpel Session Tallinn : http://www.session.ee/ Summer/Winter International skateboarding and BMX event.
Tallinn International Horseshow Tallinn : http://www.tallinnhorseshow.ee/ Spring/Autumn Biggest international horseriding competition in Baltic states, includes showjumping and dressage. Takes place in Saku Suurhall .
Get around Tallinn :
Soomaa National Park : is about 150km south of Tallinn and is known for its swamps and bogs (Soomaa means "land of bogs" in Estonian). Surprisingly, swimming is popular and is said to rejuvenate the skin.
Lahemaa National Park : is about 50km east of Tallinn and is a place to find some nice forests, seaside and swamps and bogs.
Kaberneeme village : is about 40km east of Tallinn on the coast. The village has 2km long beach area with pine tree forests edging right up to the shore.
Tartu - Estonia's student town
Jägala Falls. The Jägala Falls (Jägala juga) is Estonia's largest waterfall. It is better to go early in the morning to catch the soft dawn light or in the evening when the sun shines on the falls. During cold winters, Jägala Falls freezes in a spectacular fashion and is well worth seeing. It is located near Tallinn, 15-30 min car drive.
Tallinn Flights & Airports : Tallinn Airport (or "Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport") (TLL) is located 5 km from the city center. The following airlines operate service to/from Tallinn Airport: airBaltic (Lappeenranta, Oulu, Riga, Stockholm-Arlanda, Tampere, Turku, Vilnius), Avies (Kärdla), City Airline (Gothenburg-Landvetter), Czech Airlines (Prague) EasyJet (London-Stansted), Estonian Air (Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin-Tegel, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Kiev-Boryspil, London-Gatwick, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Nice, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Arlanda, Vilnius), Estonian Air Regional (Kuressaare, Minsk, St. Petersburg, Stockholm-Arlanda, Vilnius), Finnair (Helsinki), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw), Lufthansa (Frankfurt, Munich), Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo-Gardermoen), and Wind Jet (Forlì) .