Where do I even start?
I can’t speak more highly of Tallinn. I had zero expectations when arriving there, not knowing much about there area or people. I quite literally stumbled off the bus with no map, wifi, hostel reservation, or knowledge about the city… or even country for that matter. All I knew of the place was from the Viva La Bam episode where he and his cousin flew there to pick up a mail order bride.
Well, I couldn’t have discovered a more magical place for myself.
Cobblestone streets. Medieval fortresses. Old Taverns. Eating stew with no spoon. The works.
Not only was the city a diamond in the rough, but the people were so chill and laid back. For living in a country that’s freezing 6 months out of the year, everyone is smiling and pleasant.
- Red Emperor – AMAZING staff, chill, fun, great to hang out with. Facilities are clean and plentiful and there’s plenty of wifi (though the city already has “city-wifi”). One of the highlights has to be the bar just downstairs. You can go out without having to actually GO OUT in the cold. There’s something different going on every night, live music and games, happy hour AND a happy happy hour. Fun AND cheap?! I even extended my stay by 2 extra days and I would have stayed permanently in a heartbeat if the prospect of a trip to Russia didn’t arise.
- Free tour from the local college students everyday [almost] at 12pm at the town info center. Lasts about 1.5hrs which is a bit long in the cold, but you see overlooks you wouldn’t find by yourself. Also, they leave you right next to the best soup joint in town.
- Prison Tour – Given through our hostel and by a local. About 9euros but I’d say very much worth it. You learn about the prison but also about the city. Our guide was hilarious, shushing random children so we could hear and taking us to the “locked” section.
- 3 Dragons – If I were alone and didn’t have an amazing group who cooked, I would have eaten here for every meal. Walk in and you enter a cozy, candlelit old tavern with no electricity and wooden benches for seating. The elk stew is in a giant cauldron but don’t ask for a spoon or you’ll be advised to wittle one yourself. Try the spinach or meat pies – they’re hot, tasty, and CHEAP. Grab a beer or mead as well and sit relax from the cold.
Let’s just say Tallinn will suck you in like a black hole, but I mean that in the best way possible. Every person I met either extended or wanted to stay longer. We nearly missed our ferry because we were just having too much fun. When I say nearly, I mean they had to wait for us as we bolted down the bridge and pulled up the gate behind us.
Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that I did not take as many photos as I would have hoped to in my favorite city thus far. Because I was having too much fun with the amazing group of friends I found? Most likely.