- Turrets on the Baltic
- City life
- Mystery and modernity
A maze of merchant houses, spires and red-tiled roofs, Estonia's seaside capital is a living history book where vodka-fuelled nocturnal fun is as typical as festivals of modern dance, cinema and contemporary music.
The Baltic is teeth-shatteringly cold in winter, so defrost in cockle-warming cafés with motherly service and flavoured coffee. In summer, swap hot chocolate for Havaianas, and visit the beach, a 30-minute drive away.
Typically TallinnRent a sauna on wheels for an evening, and invite new friends: it fits eight (+372 508 7600). Buy brooms and brushes for Walpurgis Night at the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union (www.folk.ee). It’s their equivalent of Halloween, and all the kids dress up.
- They are cheap. Go to the taxi rank on Vabaduse Väljak, or hail one on the main road.
- Tipping culture
- Optional, but ten per cent is usually expected.
- Packing tips
- An Estonian (Eesti Keel) phrasebook – although more and more people speak English. Warm clothing in winter.
- Recommended reads
- The Compromise by Sergei Dovlatov; The Conspiracy and Other Stories by Jaan Kross; The Autumn Ball by Mati Unt.
- Cabbage or pea soup. Our favourite was served at the simple, traditional Eesti Maja (Estonian House) on Lauteri (645 5252).
- Kroon (EEK).
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Estonia: 372. No city code.
- Do go/don't go
- Though it’s very pretty in the snow in winter, it gets very cold and in February the temperature can drop to –25ºC.