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Typically, when people think about city breaks in Europe they think of Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona etc. but a cheaper and absolutely beautiful alternative lies in Estonia with the walled coastal city of Tallinn. A wide range of low cost airlines regularly fly there directly in under three hours.
With terracotta roofs, Gothic spires, cobbled streets and very well preserved city wall, Tallinn is a very picturesque city. Not only that, it offers a wide range of activities and amusements to suit any type of traveler.
The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour, complete with commentary, is a very popular way to see the many sights of the city. There are also a number of places to visit such as the Kiek in de Kök, not actually something rude but an impressive cannon tower where you can make an appointment to visit the spooky Bastion Tunnels that run beneath the town. St. Olav’s Church and tower dominates Tallinn’s skyline and offers magnificent views from the top of the tower for those brave enough to make the climb.
Things to Do
Tallinn is practically bursting with museums. They range from a hands-on science museum called the Energy Discovery Centre, the Estonian Art Doll House which houses a, probably terrifying, huge collection of dolls and other artifacts, the very grand Estonian History Museum in the Great Guild Hall and the unusual Open Air Museum. Galleries abound too and range from the super modern to the deeply traditional.
At various times of the year, there are a wide range of activities going on throughout the city for visitors to take part in. These include music festivals, medieval festivals, fairs and fashion week.
There is no shortage of night life either ranging from nightclubs to cigar lounges. Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes serving international and local cuisine. For people seeking culture there are theaters and cinemas as well as more bizarre night spots like the Depeche Mode bar which plays nothing but Depeche Mode’s music.
Venturing outside of Tallinn itself, tourists can hire boats to mess about on the Pirita river or even take a day trip to Helsinki for a dash of Finnish flavour. Therefore, Tallinn is a smart choice for the budget traveler looking for something different.