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Spend a Romantic Weekend in Tallinn, Estonia

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

xmas market tallinn

Beginning of December 2016, me and my wife visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and if you are searching for a romantic weekend, then you should consider Tallinn. The Estonian capital offers travelers the chance to explore a historic port city that dates back to medieval times. You can see traces of old Europe in its city walls and rustic buildings and experience the medieval times at the city’s unique venues.

Tallinn is the ideal destination for aromantic city break for you. Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are traveling to Tallinn between November and December then you may enjoy its Christmas Market which is situated at the Town Hall Square. You can get around on foot and enjoy Raekoja Plats, the Pikk Jalg, and the Castle Square.

tallinn christmas market

Tallinn is the first point of entry to Estonia for most visitors. Tallinn city centre is never more than 15-minutes drive away regardless of if you happen to arrive by plane, train, coach or ferry.

5 Things to do in Tallinn

1. Get lost in Tallinn Old Town

One of the best ways to learn a city is to get lost in its streets, therefore we advise you to get around the Old Town on foot and try to get lost. The historic centre of Tallinn encompasses the upper town (Toompea), the lower town inside the medieval walls, as well as the 17th century historic fortifications surrounding the entire Old Town, and a range of primarily 19th century structures, streetscapes and views, which today form a green area around the medieval city.

The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings - the churches in particular- and the domestic architecture of the merchants' houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries.

If you are afraid of getting lost, download maps.me app to your smartphone before leaving home. After you download the city’s map to your smartphone, you won’t need to have an internet connection while traveling in the city. Maps.me is a great alternative to Google Maps and other similar interactive maps that require an Internet connection to work.

2. Enjoy local cuisine & beer

Tallinn has many restaurants and cafes but the medieval themed restaurant Olde Hansa is one of the most popular touristic restaurants of the city. It is located in the centre of the Tallinn’s Old Town. The restaurant will transport you back in time. Try to sit inside the restaurant and don’t forget to visit toilet. Dishes on their menu include roasted bear, wild boar and elk. You may want to try honey and cinnamon beers that are served in pottery mugs.

If you wonder a modern restaurant – Mekk should be marked on your map. The restaurant’s name is an acronym formed from Moodne Eesti KöögiKunst (i.e. Modern Estonian Culinary Arts). As you may understand from the name, Restaurant MEKK offers modern Estonian dishes. It is located on Suur-Karja street in the Old Town of Tallinn. Its menu, food and service are excellent. We are sure that you will not be disappointed.

Kolm Sibulat is another restaurant we recommend. The restaurant name means ‘Three Onions’ and here is a food lover’s heaven. They offer simple yet exceptionally tasty foods and a drink list.

Rataskaevu 16 is one of the restaurants that our guide advised us. We were lucky enough to get the last empty table; we advise you to make a reservation before heading to the restaurants in Tallinn. Rataskaevu 16 or Restaurant 16 - is one of the favourite spots for locals as well as visitors of Tallinn. TripAdvisor has awarded the restaurant with a Certificate of Excellence 2014 that further attests to its high level.

3. Visit Xmas Market

If you visit Tallinn between November and December then you will enchanted Christmas Market on the Town Hall Square. Set for dates from 18 November 2016 to 7 January 2017, Tallinn Christmas Market features a tall Christmas tree on the historic town square surrounded by little houses shining with lights that sell Christmas delicacies and folk craft products. For more information and future dates visit http://www.christmasmarket.ee/

4. Visit Kumu Art Museum

Europe is one of the best tourist destinations to discover among the most beautiful museums in the world and Kumu Art Museum is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The museum opened on 17 February 2006. In 2008 Kumu received the European Museum of the Year Award.

Kumu showcases the exhibition Soviet Midnight by Estonian postmodernism Raul Rajangu, which appropriates Soviet visual culture, is a witness to the existence of the original Estonian Sots Art. The exhibition Soviet Midnight contains the newly found series Politburo (1982). This series, shown publicly for the first time at this exhibition, is an example of how the artist created works of art from placards with portraits of the Soviet Politburo members, which, at the time, were widely available in book shops but hung mostly in administrative offices. The exhibition will be open in the project space of the fourth floor of the Kumu Art Museum until 2 April 2017. The visuals of the exhibition are available in the digital collection of the Art Museum of Estonia.

Currently, Kumu Art Museum also serves as the venue for the exhibition of the oeuvre of Paul Delvaux, one of the most outstanding Surrealists of the 20th century. The exhibition is supported by a series of events entitled “Delvaux & Draw”, consisting of four sessions of drawing nude models in the Kumu exhibition hall among Paul Delvaux’s works. The exhibition of ‘Paul Delvaux. A Waking Dreamer’ will remain open in the Great Hall of the Kumu Art Museum until 12 March 2017.

5. Experience Estonian life at Estonian Open Air Museum

Sitting at the western edge of the city, Estonian Open Air Museum is a forested park where traditional Estonian village life is recreated. The museum is home to 74 buildings from the past two centuries, including farms, mills, net sheds, a village school, a chapel, a fire house and more.

You will have a glimpse of how people were living in the old times. Museum workers dressed in that era's costumes will present you the crafts of old and will take you to a journey to the past.

The museum on the coast of Kopli Bay is located in the area of Rocca al Mare summer manor, which was established in 19 century. The museum under construction was opened for the visitors in August 1964.

While visiting the museum you may dine at the traditional Kolu Kõrts tavern or you can try more modern restaurants like Lucca and Rucola, and Meistri Lyon, famous for its pastries. Additionally, there's the large Rocca al Mare shopping centre, which offers a broad range of cuisine options as well as hundreds of top brand names, both local and international.

During our visit we also visited Tallinn Handicraft Fair at Song Festival Grounds, watched The Nutcraker Ballet as an unforgettable Christmas treat at the Opera House and listened a special concert by Kultuurikatla Black Box at JazzKarr. The special concert ‘6 strings 4 voices’ brings spirited original works to the audience that have been created for a rare combination in music world – guitars and a choir.

Where to stay?

We have stayed at Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn. Our room was comfortable and breakfast was great. The hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Tallinn, 5 to 10 minutes walk to the Old Town. You can reach hotel from airport by taxi in not more than 15 minutes.

For more information about Tallinn here are some links for you: Visit Tallinn, Tallinn city tours, and other Tallinn hotels

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