Culture capital where medieval meets modern.
Now’s the time to discover the cultural hub of Tallinn, Estonia—it’s becoming one of the fastest growing destinations in the world and for a valid reason. Not only is Estonia’s capital city perched on the tip of the Baltic Sea (making it a summer hotspot), but it’s a mecca of iconic cityscape views mixed with promenades and beaches that are well worth a visit anytime of year. The winding cobbled streets and 14th-century architecture make this one of Europe’s most charming cities and the rest of the word is quickly catching on to the fairy-tale magic. This year is especially unique for the city locals—they’re celebrating their 100th birthday in 2018.
Did You Know?
Tallinn is the city of towers and tunnels. Above the trees stand the 20 remaining observation towers on the 14th century medieval fort and the 123-meter high St. Olav’s Church spire. Go below the streets to find Old Town Tallinn’s labyrinth of tunnels that were used as bomb shelters in the 17th century.
You could spend days wandering through the medieval courtyards, rustic alleyways and charming shops of Tallinn—and you should definitely carve out plenty of time to lose yourself in the city streets. The city’s Old Town is one of the most attractive aspects of it all. The Old Town is separated into two parts, the first (Upper Town) boasts many of the parliament historical buildings and is typically less bustling than Lower Town, which houses most of the shops, restaurants and hotels. Both are worth checking out.
"Tallinn is a mecca of iconic cityscape views mixed with promenades and beaches that are well worth a visit anytime of year."
After spending some time exploring the history, escape the park for some R&R. This one is a favorite among locals and features an Instagram-worthy palace, wooden villas dating back to the 19th century and plenty of gorgeous gardens to wander around in.
Another great way to take in the city is on wheels; there are tons of bike paths in the city and it's a popular way for people to get around town. Go rogue by venturing off on your own, or hire a guide to take you on a bike tour of some of the city’s most sought-after spots, including Kadriorg Park and Kadriorg Palace, Patarei Sea Fortress, Pirita Beach and the Presidential Palace.
The concept of fusing French, Russian and Estonian ingredients continually lands Restaurant Tchaikovsky at the top of Tallinn’s best restaurants lists time and time again. During the summer months, grab a cocktail and head to the gorgeous patio, located just steps from Townhill Square (it’s the culinary gem inside the famed Telegraaf Hotel).
HERO: @Ilya Orehov
EXPLORE: @Kaupo Kalda