A day in Tallinn


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March 31st 2018
Published: May 11th 2018
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Building in Tallinn Building in Tallinn 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
TowerTowerTower

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
City gateCity gateCity gate

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 towerKiek in de Kök defence towerKiek in de Kök defence tower

A defence tower named Kiek in de Kök
idea.



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.


Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

It is almost impossible to visit Tallinn and not walk past Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Tallinn's historical centreTallinn's historical centre
Tallinn's historical centre

Tallinn's historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks 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
Old townOld town
Old town

House in the old town
Old townOld town
Old town

Building in the old town
Tallinn's historical centreTallinn's historical centre
Tallinn's historical centre

Another building from the Middle Ages
View over TallinnView over Tallinn
View over Tallinn

View over the Tallinn historical city centre
Plaque honouring Boris YeltsinPlaque honouring Boris Yeltsin
Plaque honouring Boris Yeltsin

Estonia became an independent state much thanks to actions taken by Boris Yeltsin
"Museum of Torture""Museum of Torture"
"Museum of Torture"

It might be argued that we have a dark streak in us. But that museum is way too much even for us
FountainFountain
Fountain

It was still winter when we visited Tallinn so the fountain was turned off. But in summer we think this looks cute
War of Independence Victory ColumnWar of Independence Victory Column
War of Independence Victory Column

Memorial commemorating the Estonian War of Independence in the early 20th century
20th century building in central Tallinn20th century building in central Tallinn
20th century building in central Tallinn

Not only the historical city centre holds interesting architecture. Also the rest of Tallinn is well worth a stroll
Something a bit special in the endSomething a bit special in the end
Something a bit special in the end

We try to keep something special to the end. The sofa is cute, isn't it? (Ake would like to add that the woman sitting on the sofa is something extra as well...)


11th May 2018

Interesting ferry route via the Åland Islands
For a one day trip, this was very interesting. I always like your explanations. I wasn't aware of the appreciation that Estonians have for Boris Yeltsin. I wonder if Yeltsin is held in such high esteem in Latvia and Lithuania (the country of my wife's departed parents). I particularly like your comments about the ferry route via the Åland Islands and the tax situation that influences the ferry route. I have flown from Stockholm, Sweden to Turku, Finland but had never heard of the Åland Islands. Keep up the good photography and reporting.
13th May 2018

Thanks Harvey
Thanks for the comment Harvey. Åland Islands are supposed to be a very nice place to visit. I haven't been there myself but my sister has and she liked it there. Btw, the majority of all people who live in Åland speak Swedish, not Finnish, as their first language. /Ake
12th May 2018
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Fabulous. Would it be Russian Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox or other?
13th May 2018
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Russian Orthodox I think
I could be wrong but Russian Ortodox in my guess. The proximity to Russia and the historical ties to Russia makes me think so. /Ake
12th May 2018
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Awesome!!
12th May 2018
Tallinn's historical centre

wow!!
13th May 2018
Tallinn's historical centre

Better IRL
It was in shadow so I am not proud of the photo. It was better in real life /Ake
12th May 2018
View over Tallinn

Great shot! Love the red roofs.
12th May 2018
"Museum of Torture"

Museum of "medieval' torture?
12th May 2018
Something a bit special in the end

Love the sofa!!
12th May 2018

Looks like an interesting place!!
13th May 2018

It is interesting
Not only Tallinn is interesting. All of the Baltic States are interesting. One day we will probably go for a longer road trip in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Don't know when but one day. /Ake
12th May 2018

Lovely city
I really enjoyed Tallinn as well, it's a great city to just walk around in. :)
14th May 2018

Tallinn...
How cool to have such an interesting place available for quick ferry trips. We liked Tallinn, even though it was quite cold. Tallinn (and all of Estonia) had an interesting history and we loved the night time saunas after walking around the old town or sitting in a café on the main square in the cold all day. Nice pictures, Ake!
22nd May 2018
Fountain

Statue
I like this one.
23rd May 2018
Fountain

It is cute
We just have to go back and take a photo of it in summer as well. /Ake
25th May 2018
Something a bit special in the end

Walking the city
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this city and so funny about the ferries detouring to Åland. I’ve actually visited these islands!

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