Got a great deal through Expedia – flight and hotel, £265, from Stansted. Cloudy weather and showers had been forecast for all week but we landed to lovely sunshine. Taxi was €15 to the hotel, L’Ermitage. Dropped off our bags and headed towards old town through the park. Was immediately impressed as we walked up to the cathedral area. Made our way to the tourist information so we knew where to find the walking tour and found what was to become our favourite bar, Troika, in the square. Two Russian beers and 1 plate of delicious fruit pancakes (€22) hit the spot.
The walking tour was fun, informative and gave us a great overview of Tallinn. We learned much about the politics of the region. The guide was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour.
After a quick trip back to the hotel to freshen up, we walked back to have another good look around. The guide had advised us not to eat in the square but due to places being full or the more popular, being expensive, we settled on Burger and Ribs on the square. I had pulled pork sandwich and an Estonian beer – both were a treat. Two meals with fries and beers €45.
Great breakfast at the hotel, can highly recommend it for location and service. Staff aren’t overly welcoming but they are efficient and helpful. Easy walk to old town and pleasant walk (through park area) to the port.
Walked around the cathedral, St Catherine’s passage and caught a HoHo bus that did some of old town before we caught another one to Kadriorg Park. Didn’t get chance to go around any of the buildings but the park is a great photo opportunity and lovely place to walk around. Caught the HoHo to Tallin TV tower. What a blast. Great views, both out of the windows and through the glass portholes in the floor. Bought a glass of sparkling wine, which was extremely cheap, and sat on the ledge looking out. The little museum on the ground floor is worth a visit too. Caught the HoHo but back and booked our tickets on the ferry for Helsinki, the next day. Worth doing as we got quite a good discount for booking early. Took some finding, and an impromtu beer while we looked at the map for the umpteenth time, but the Monet2Klimpt exhibition at Helios Hall was well worth the effort. Fabulous and unusual way to show art. Gave the square a miss for dinner and ate at Clayforth’s and had a great relaxed meal. A shared starter, two meals, a bottle of wine and one dessert (€58). It was delicious and the servers were very friendly and welcoming. Finished the night with a Moscow Mule at Troika’s.
After another great breakfast, we walked down Toompuiesteee through the park to the port. Easy trip across on the ferry and got to Helskinki with the sun beating down on us. Had a look around the harbour, called at the Tourist Information so I could get my Moomins map and headed for the cathedral square to take some photographs. We were keen to do the beer tram so walked to Union Station to find the stop. Took some photos of the great architecture at Union Station and got on the beer tram. The tram is beautifully restored and we were ready for the beer but, apart from the cathedral, we didn’t see anything of any interest. 11 € for the tram and €7 for the beer. The actual tour could be in any outer city. As a bit Moomin fan, we headed for the café, which we couldn’t find but luckily someone pointed in the direction of another cafe. We had coffee and cake and posed with the Moomins before walking back to the harbour and having a great value and tasty falafel and fries at Kauppatorin grilli €7.90. Bought some souvenirs and walked across the road to Uspenski Cathedral. This is beautiful inside and out and they have no problems with photographs. Back in Tallinn, headed for our old favourite, Troika, for Russian pie and watched the square light up after dark. Two Russian pies (absolutely delicious), 4 Moscow Mules, 4 Black Russians and a vodka shot €85.
Set off for Fat Margaret, through the same park we walked through the day before and came across the exhibitions from the recent flower show, great photo opportunity. Had a last look around the old town and climbed up onto the walls for great views. Came across a great little place for lunch, C’est La Vie, where I had a tasty chicken Caesar salad and crème brûlée. Inside the restaurant is stunning, all art deco and we planned to return for our evening meal but unfortunately, it stops serving at 8.00 pm. Back to the hotel to pack and up to the friendly. Had square for pizza at Caffe Centrale, which was enjoyable and they had some live music. Over to Troika for our last Moscow Mule and watch some live Russian dancing and music.
Even the airport was fabulous – no queues at security, a relaxed and pleasant areas to sit, with fish tanks and grand pianos. A fellow traveller played some great music for us while we waited.
We were very lucky with some brilliant (at times too hot) weather.
Tallinn is wonderful, with new things to discover around nearly every corner. We hardly scratched the surface. Everywhere felt relaxed and safe and most of the people were super and we had a thoroughly wonderful time.