Building in Tallinn
Tallinn is a lovely city
A day in Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital of the country Estonia and is actually the national capital that is the closest to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and the city we live in. To go from Stockholm to Tallinn is really easy. There are several direct flights each day and there are also ferries going between the two cities every day of the year.
On this trip we took a ferry because it was cheap and because we enjoy going on ferries. It is very convenient and time efficient way to travel. You board the ferry in Stockholm in the late afternoon and wake up in Tallinn the next morning. There are restaurants and bars on the ferry so if you wish you can have a "night out" at the same time as you transport yourself. Good luck trying to party on a 55 minute long flight when you are squeezed in in an economy class seat!
The ferries from Stockholm to Tallinn go via Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea. If you look at a map you'll see that it makes little sense so take that route. If we add
Its historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to being such a well preserved example of a city from the Middle Ages
that the ferries don't even stop there it comes out as right out ridiculous to make such a detour instead of going the straight way. The reason for going via Åland is simple - the tax-free regulations demand it. On the ferries there are shops selling tobacco, alcohol and other goods you'll likely to see in tax-free shops. Since Estonia and Sweden both are part of the European Union both countries fall under the same tax regulations which means that the ferry company must pay tax for everything they sell in the tax-free shops. Åland Islands belong to Finland but they have a certain degree of self-government. When Finland joined EU Åland Islands managed to get an exception from the EU tax regulations. Thus by letting the ferries go via Åland Islands they also leave the EU tax zone and the ferry company no longer has to pay tax on the goods they sell.
If you thought that was odd you still haven't heard of something ever weirder - the booze tours. Some of the ferry routes in the Baltic Sea go to Åland Islands, touch a jetty there without stopping and return to the port where
One of the gates into the old town
they started from. Those routes are designed for people who only wish to party and the nickname booze tours comes from the large amounts of alcohol people consume. "Hey, the drinks are only half price here. Let's drink four times as much as we would if we were back in Stockholm". That apparently makes sense to some people but not to us.
So we took the ferry to Tallinn on the night between Friday and Saturday. We had the better part of Saturday in Tallinn and then we took the ferry back the night between Saturday and Sunday.
Tallinn is a lovely city. It's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to being such a well preserved example of a city from the Middle Ages and also because its historical importance in the history of trade in the Baltic Sea since it once was one of the member cities of the Hanseatic League.
We did for a while think about going to a museum. But when we asked about it we learned that the most interesting section in the museum was closed at the moment. So we scrapped that
Kiek in de Kök defence tower
A defence tower named Kiek in de Kök
So what actually did we do? It might sound like we had a dreadful time in Tallinn when we admit that all we did was walking around. It was quite the opposite of "a dreadful time". Walking around in a beautiful city when the weather is good is something we absolutely love to do. We think walking is one of the best ways to see a place and that's what we were there to do, to see Tallinn.
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