Tallinn, Estonia

Starting my trip to the Baltic states at Tallinn, Estonia (formerly also called Reval) was a perfect idea. Relaxed and rather quiet people, a wonderful city with a well-preserved old-town (Vanalinn, a UNESCO world heritage site), the Toompea hill and the parks around it and a tech-savvy nation that makes travelling easy. It already starts with the fantastic and small airport that is really welcoming and the cute Finno-Ugric language.

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Skyline bar

View on Rīga from Hotel Latvia

I really love sky bars as they combine good drinks with good views, give you the chance for a nice picture of the city and you can really enjoy sundown. At Rīga, Latvia you just have to leave the old town in direction of the freedom monument, pass the orthodox church and than you’ll already see the hotel Latvia, belonging to the Radisson hotel chain. The old skyscraper is the highest building in that area and therefore the best spot for a bar like this.

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Kadriorg, Tallinn

In the northeast of Tallinn, Estonia you can find the city quarter Kadriorg or Catherine’s valley. When in the year 1710 CE tsar Peter the Great conquered Estonia which was by that time under Swedish reign he named this area after his second wife Catherine I of Russia and created his summer residence there. Still today you can find Kadrioru loss, the Catherine palace here – a nice baroque style palace with a beautiful palace garden and a vast park surrounding it.

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Botanical garden, Tallinn

Outside of the city centre of Tallinn, Estonia and close to the teletorn (TV tower) you can find the Botaanikaaed – the botanical garden. It is a vast park with different sections and many green fields. It includes an arboretum, a beautiful rosarium and a greenhouse with succulents and tropical crop plants. Distributed throughout the park you can also find some interesting artworks.

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TV tower, Tallinn

The TV tower of Tallinn, Estonia is 314 meters high and was opened in 1980 – for the olympic summer games in Moscow, Russia. It is the second highest free-standing building in northern Europe after the TV tower of Rīga, Latvia. On the 21st floor there is a restaurant and an open terrace from which you can also see the Baltic sea. It is located at a height of 170 meters and only 100 persons are allowed to enter the tower at the same time.

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Tallinn zoo

Zoo, Tallinn

The loomaaed (zoo) of Tallinn, Estonia is located a little bit outside of the city center close to the big shopping mall ‘Rocca al mare‘. It is a large area with many animals and a zoological garden undergoing a slow remake. There are a lot of old and empty cages, climbing elements for the animals made of concrete and often a high distance between visitors and animals – but also a lot of new buildings and areas beautifully designed.

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Balti jaam trug, Tallinn

In the Baltic states food markets (‘turge‘) still play an important role. In Germany most people buy fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and fish at supermarkets and going to a farmer’s market is rather a fun activity for weekends. Here it seems to be still part of everyday live. Throughout Tallinn, Estonia you can find different markets – one of the newest and most modern is the one directly next to the Balti Jaam railway station.

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Occupation & freedom

VABAMU, Tallinn

Estonia is a young state gaining independence only in 1990. In the past it was occupied three times by Germans (1941-1944) and Soviets (1940-1941, 1944-1990) – independence and having an own state is therefore of big importance for Estonians. What occupation means and what chances and challenges freedom creates is discussed in the Okupatsioonide ja vabaduse muuseum (VABAMU) – the museum of occupations and freedom at Tallinn, Estonia.

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Cat eyes

Cat eyes, Estonia

When you’re at Estonia and walk around at night you’re required by law to wear cat eyes. A special situation I never had before and they tell you also where to wear them: at knees height on the right side of your body. It is necessary that they are visible from back and front. I learned about this from the travel advice of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

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Ships & more

Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn

Estonia is a sea-faring nation and of course there is a museum dedicated to that topic at Tallinn, Estonia. The Eesti Meremuuseum has it’s main location in the ‘fat margret‘ tower at Pikk 70 which is currently closed for renovation – therefore I could only visit the secondary location at the old waterplane harbour in Lennusadam. It can be reached on foot or by using a small train on wheels.

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