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On Town Hall Square you can find a humble apothecary that’s been operating for nearly 600 years. Just a few steps away, there’s an old-fashioned café where specialists make marzipan figurines by hand – edible symbols of Tallinn’s fairytale charm. Nearby, in other cafés and lounge bars, the city’s residents are tapping away at their laptops and surfing the Internet in their iPhones.


Historic. Romantic. Friendly. Relaxing. Modern. Daring. This is Tallinn.

ust at the southern edge of Tallinn lies Lake Ülemiste. According to legend, on the darkest autumnal night each year a mysterious old man climbs out of the Ülemiste depths, knocks on the city gates and asks whether the construction of Tallinn has been completed. The little man has sworn that, should it one day be finished, he will release the lake’s waters and drown out the whole city. The knowing guards therefore always answer, “No, good sir! There’s still a great deal of construction taking place. Please be so good as to come again after a little while.”

Toomas Tuul

That’s why Tallinn will never be completed. Though already eight centuries old, it’s still a work in progress, forever growing and reinventing itself while never forgetting its unique heritage.

TALLINN • 2 / 3

Closer than you think

83 km

from Helsinki

The city shares a nearly identical geographical latitude with Stockholm and the Alaskan capital, Juneau.

During Estonia’s White Nights in June the sky here stays bright from 4 am until around 11 pm.

This is a green city, proudly boasting 40km2 of parks and forests with a 2 km stretch of sand beach bordering its bay.

Tallinn is a popular cruise ship destination, with more than 300 ships making the call here each year.

Thanks to its small size and compact layout, Tallinn is extremely easy to get around.

Lennart Meri International Airport is only 5 km from the city centre. Depending on traffic, a taxi ride from the airport to a downtown hotel can take as little as 15 minutes.

15 min

from the airport

Tallinna Sadam

Tallinn sits on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, just 83 km south of Helsinki. A ferry trip between the cities takes 2 hours or less.

Kaido Haagen

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, a small, forwardthinking, Nordic country.

TALLINN • 4 / 5

A singing nation

Built in 1913, the grand Estonia Theatre is Tallinn’s prime venue for opera, ballet and symphonic performances. Most famously, it’s home to the Estonian National Opera, Estonian National Ballet and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, which this year is celebrating the return its native son Neeme Järvi. During his long and successful career, Järvi has conducted several of the world’s prominent orchestras and has become one of classical music’s most recorded conductors. He is known for playing the works of another Estonian classical music figure, composer Arvo Pärt. One of the absolute giants of classical music, Pärt gave the world a compositional style called Tintinnabuli, which, like many Estonian creations, is both minimalist and mystical.

Like that of its Nordic neighbors, Estonian design has long been known both for its simplicity and its fresh, off-beat style. On the traditional end of the spectrum are the beautiful handicrafts that are prized by visitors from far and wide. At the same time, modern Estonian designs, as well as architectural trends, have created an enviable splash in Europe’s art scene and garnered considerable praise from critics.

Tallinn’s regular events and festivals:

Toomas Tuul

Kadriorg, a quiet area of Baroque gardens, ponds and fountains, is the city’s cultural nexus. This is the site of the Tsarist-era Kadriorg Palace, where the nation’s collection of foreign art is on display, as well as the vast, new Kumu Art Museum, where the best of Estonian works, from the historic to the modern and funky, can be seen. In warmer months Kadriorg is the setting for a variety of outdoor concerts.

Serge Rompza

The Estonian national identity is entwined in folk song. Every five years, as part of a tradition that goes back to 1869, Tallinn hosts the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration, which involves as many as 37,000 performers and more than 200,000 spectators.

Mari Kadanik

With Finno-Ugric roots that run thousands of years deep, Estonians pride themselves on being a society rich in music and creativity. There is the perfect chance to show off this creative energy in 2011 when Tallinn takes on its role as a European Capital of Culture.

Just before the Christmas season starts Tallinn hosts the Black Nights Film Festival, the largest film event in the Baltic states.

In summer Tallinn hosts the Old Town Days festival and Medieval Days, both of which celebrate the city’s centuries-old heritage.

For several weeks each winter Tallinn’s Town Hall Square is filled with an elaborate Christmas Market where visitors can buy gifts, listen to concerts or drink hot, spiced wine.

Every August the city welcomes the Birgitta Festival, several days of outdoor concerts set amid the stunning ruins of St. Bridget’s Convent.

Spring in Tallinn starts off with the sound of jazz, namely the Jazzkaar International Jazz Festival.

Tallinn Maritime Days, held each summer, is a huge, sea-faring festival involving all sorts of water-related attractions.

Allan Alajaan

TALLINN • 6 / 7

The heart of Tallinn is its Medieval Old Town, a fairytale neighborhood of gabled houses, Gothic spires and cobblestone streets that dates in the 13th – 16th centuries, the days when this was a thriving, Hanseatic trade centre.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Tallinn had the largest and sturdiest defense system in Northern Europe. The wall that surrounded the city was up to 15.9 m high, 3 m thick, and 3 km long, and was dotted by 46 towers. Today, 2 km of the original wall and 26 of the towers are still intact.

Underneath Tallinn there are hundreds of metres of underground passage ways, mostly built in the 1600s during the time of Swedish rule. During World War II, Tallinn residents used the 17th-century tunnels under Old Town as bomb shelters. Nowadays a full 380 m of the tunnels are open to the public as a tourist attraction.

At the centre of Old Town stands the impressive, early-15th-century Town Hall, the best preserved Medieval town hall in Northern Europe.

The Old Thomas weather vane that stands atop the Town Hall Tower is a muchloved symbol of the city. The original dates to 1530.

One of Old Town’s prime attractions is St. Olav’s Church. With its 159metre spire, it was once the tallest building in the world.

Records show that merchants from the Brotherhood of Black Heads guild installed a spruce on Town Hall Square in 1441. This became one of the first public Christmas trees in Europe.

The Raeapteek on Town Hall Square is Europe’s oldest continuously operating pharmacy. It has been open since 1422.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral atop Toompea Hill is Estonia’s main Russian Orthodox place of worship. Built in 1900, when Estonia was part of the tsarist Russian empire, the cathedral was originally intended as a symbol of the empire’s dominance – both religious and political – over this increasingly unruly Baltic territory.

On the façade of the 14th-century Church of the Holy Ghost, you’ll find an elaborately painted clock that’s the oldest public timekeeper in Tallinn.

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EgZh^YZci^VaEVaVXZ EgZh^YZci^VaEVaVXZ EgZh^YZci^VaEVaVXZ Just Just Just up up up the the the hill hill hill from from from the the the more more more famous famous famous Kadriorg Kadriorg Kadriorg Palace Palace Palace isisEstoisEstoEstonia’s nia’s nia’s Presidential Presidential Presidential Palace, Palace, Palace, built built built inin1938 in1938 1938 toto to serve serve serve asas as the the the official official official residence residence residence and and and workplace workplace workplace ofofof the the the head head head ofofof state. state. state. ItItstill Itstill still serves serves serves that that that function function function today. today. today.

Most Most Most visitors visitors visitors toto to Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn are are are fascifascifascinated nated nated by by by Tallinn’s Tallinn’s Tallinn’s ’wooden ’wooden ’wooden house house house districts’ districts’ districts’ – –Kalamaja, –Kalamaja, Kalamaja, Kopli, Kopli, Kopli, and and and Pelgulinn. Pelgulinn. Pelgulinn. These These These neighbourneighbourneighbourhoods hoods hoods ofofof colourful colourful colourful working-class working-class working-class houses houses houses took took took their their their shape shape shape during during during Europe’s Europe’s Europe’s 19th-century 19th-century 19th-century industrial industrial industrial boom. boom. boom. But But But unlike unlike unlike their their their councouncounterparts terparts terparts ininother inother other countries, countries, countries, Tallinn’s Tallinn’s Tallinn’s wooden wooden wooden house house house districts districts districts escaped escaped escaped 20th-century 20th-century 20th-century redevelredevelredevelopment opment opment and and and are are are now now now among among among the the the last last last places places places ininthe inthe the world world world where where where one one one can can can find find find such such such an an an intriguing intriguing intriguing hodgepodge hodgepodge hodgepodge ofofof old-fashioned old-fashioned old-fashioned homes. homes. homes. The The The most most most architecturarchitecturarchitecturally ally ally unique unique unique ofofof these these these are are are called called called ’Tallinn ’Tallinn ’Tallinn Houses’. Houses’. Houses’. Built Built Built ininthe inthe the 1920s 1920s 1920s and and and 30s, 30s, 30s, these these these twotwotwototo to three-storey three-storey three-storey apartment apartment apartment houses houses houses are are are made made made ofofof two two two symmetrical symmetrical symmetrical wooden wooden wooden wings wings wings separated separated separated by by by a astone astone stone central central central staircase. staircase. staircase. There There There are are are about about about 500 500 500 ofofof these these these ininthe inthe the city city city today. today. today.

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Serge Rompza Serge Rompza Serge Rompza

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An An An excellent excellent excellent place place place toto to learn learn learn more more more about about about prehistoric prehistoric prehistoric Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn isisthe isthe the Great Great Great Guild Guild Guild Hall, Hall, Hall, an an an impressive, impressive, impressive, Medieval Medieval Medieval structure structure structure that that that now now now serves serves serves asas as the the the Estonian Estonian Estonian History History History Museum. Museum. Museum. Here Here Here tools, tools, tools, bones bones bones and and and other other other artefacts artefacts artefacts from from from this this this period period period are are are on on on display. display. display.

Andres Treial Andres Treial Andres Treial

Annika Palvari Annika Palvari Annika Palvari

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AAwooden Awooden wooden fortress fortress fortress built built built on on on Toompea Toompea Toompea Hill Hill Hill sometime sometime sometime ininthe inthe the 10th 10th 10th oror or 11th 11th 11th century century century was was was probprobprobably ably ably the the the first first first structure structure structure ininwhat inwhat what later later later became became became Tallinn. Tallinn. Tallinn. Foreign Foreign Foreign invaders invaders invaders replaced replaced replaced ititwith itwith with a astone astone stone building building building inin1227-29, in1227-29, 1227-29, and and and over over over the the the centuries centuries centuries ititdeveloped itdeveloped developed into into into tototoday’s day’s day’s Toompea Toompea Toompea Castle. Castle. Castle. Since Since Since its its its early early early days, days, days, the the the castle castle castle has has has served served served asas as the the the local local local seat seat seat ofofof power power power for for for any any any empire empire empire ruling ruling ruling Estonia. Estonia. Estonia. Fittingly, Fittingly, Fittingly, the the the building building building isisnow isnow now home home home toto to the the the nation’s nation’s nation’s Parliament. Parliament. Parliament.

Picturesque Picturesque Picturesque Town Town Town Hall Hall Hall Square Square Square has has has been been been the the the undisputed undisputed undisputed hub hub hub ofofof Old Old Old Town Town Town since since since Medieval Medieval Medieval times. times. times. Historically Historically Historically ititserved itserved served asas as a amarket amarket market and and and meeting meeting meeting place, place, place, and and and was was was the the the site site site ofofof atat at least least least one one one execution execution execution (re(re(re9VcXZl^i]9ZVi] 9VcXZl^i]9ZVi] 9VcXZl^i]9ZVi] sulting sulting sulting from from from a adispute adispute dispute over over over a abad abad bad omelette). omelette). omelette). Nowadays Nowadays Nowadays it’s it’s it’s home home home Tallinn’s Tallinn’s Tallinn’s most most most famous famous famous artwork artwork artwork toto to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, gabled gabled gabled houses, houses, houses, sidesidesideisisBernt isBernt Bernt Notke’s Notke’s Notke’s 15th-century 15th-century 15th-century walk walk walk cafés cafés cafés and, and, and, ininDecember, inDecember, December, painting painting painting Danse Danse Danse Macabre Macabre Macabre (Dance (Dance (Dance the the town’s town’s town’s Christmas Christmas Christmas tree. tree. tree. Find Find Find with with with Death), Death), Death), a aspooky aspooky spooky depiction depiction depiction the the the the round round round stone stone stone marked marked marked with with with a aa ofofof people people people dancing dancing dancing with with with skelskelskelcompass compass compass rose rose rose ininthe inthe the middle middle middle ofofof etons. etons. etons. The The The unusual, unusual, unusual, wall-sized wall-sized wall-sized the the square. square. square. From From From this this this spot, spot, spot, with with with work work work isison ison on display display display ininSt. inSt. St. Nicholas’ Nicholas’ Nicholas’ the alittle little stretching stretching stretching and and and bending, bending, bending, Church, Church, Church, and and and continues continues continues toto to amaze amaze amaze a alittle you you you can can can see see see the the the tops tops tops all all all five five five ofofof visitors visitors visitors with with with its its its immensity immensity immensity and and and Old Old Old Town’s Town’s Town’s spires. spires. spires. level level level ofofof detail. detail. detail.

Stanislav Stepashko Stanislav Stepashko Stanislav Stepashko

Mari Kadanik Mari Kadanik Mari Kadanik

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At At At the the the old old old Seaplane Seaplane Seaplane Harbour Harbour Harbour ininTallinn’s inTallinn’s Tallinn’s Kalamaja Kalamaja Kalamaja district district district visitors visitors visitors can can can see see see enormous, enormous, enormous, rerereinforced inforced inforced concrete concrete concrete shell shell shell hangars hangars hangars that that that are are are a aone-of-a-kind aone-of-a-kind one-of-a-kind find find find ininin the the the history history history ofofof architecture architecture architecture and and and engineering. engineering. engineering. Built Built Built inin1916, in1916, 1916, they're they're they're said said said toto to be be be decades decades decades ahead ahead ahead ofofof their their their time. time. time. Modern Modern Modern builders builders builders claim claim claim that, that, that, even even even with with with the the the help help help ofofof a aa computer, computer, computer, ititwould itwould would be be be imposimposimpossible sible sible toto to come come come up up up with with with a abetter abetter better design design design today. today. today. This This This engineering engineering engineering marvel marvel marvel will will will be be be re-opened re-opened re-opened after after after renovation renovation renovation inin2011. in2011. 2011. The The The harbour harbour harbour isisalso isalso also home home home toto to a anumber anumber number ofofof mumumuseum seum seum ships ships ships including including including the the the world's world's world's oldest oldest oldest operational operational operational steamer-icesteamer-icesteamer-icebreaker breaker breaker Suur-Tõll, Suur-Tõll, Suur-Tõll, which which which dates dates dates toto to 1914, 1914, 1914, and and and the the the 1930s-era, 1930s-era, 1930s-era, BritishBritishBritishbuilt built built submarine submarine submarine Lembit, Lembit, Lembit, a arare arare rare relic relic relic ofofof Estonia’s Estonia’s Estonia’s prewar prewar prewar navy. navy. navy.

Russian Russian Russian Tsar Tsar Tsar Peter Peter Peter the the the Great Great Great built built built the the the city’s city’s city’s famous famous famous Kadriorg Kadriorg Kadriorg Palace Palace Palace inin1718, in1718, 1718, naming naming naming ititin itinin honour honour honour ofofof his his his wife, wife, wife, Catherine Catherine Catherine I.I.I. Surrounded Surrounded Surrounded by by by fountains fountains fountains and and and manicured manicured manicured gardens, gardens, gardens, this this this stunstunstunning, ning, ning, Northern Northern Northern Baroque Baroque Baroque palace palace palace isisis now now now home home home toto to the the the international international international collection collection collection ofofof the the the Estonian Estonian Estonian Art Art Art Museum. Museum. Museum.

Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo Reimo Võsa-Tangsoo

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InInIn 1980 1980 1980 Tallinn Tallinn Tallinn played played played host host host toto to the the the yachting yachting yachting events events events ofofof the the the IKIdlZg IKIdlZg IKIdlZg Moscow Moscow Moscow Olympics, Olympics, Olympics, and and and several several several major major building building building projects projects projects were were were Standing Standing Standing atat at 314 314 314 metres, metres, metres, Tallinn’s Tallinn’s Tallinn’s major undertaken undertaken here here here ininthe inthe the lead-up lead-up lead-up TV TV TV tower tower tower isiseasily iseasily easily Estonia’s Estonia’s Estonia’s talltalltall- undertaken toto to the the the event. event. event. One One One ofofof the the the most most most est est est structure. structure. structure. It’s It’s It’s also also also a aprime aprime prime visible visible visible remnants remnants remnants ofofof those those those times times times example example example ofofof Soviet Soviet Soviet engineering engineering engineering isPirita Pirita Harbour, Harbour, Harbour, a amust-see amust-see must-see (completed (completed (completed inin1980), in1980), 1980), and and and reflects reflects reflects isisPirita for for anyone anyone anyone interested interested interested ininin the the the somewhat somewhat somewhat tacky tacky tacky and and and bizarre bizarre bizarre for Olympic Olympic Olympic history, history, history, socialist socialist socialist style style style ofofof the the the period period period both both both inside inside inside architecture architecture architecture oror or large large large amounts amounts amounts and and and out. out. out. After After After undergoing undergoing undergoing oddly-shaped oddly-shaped oddly-shaped concrete. concrete. concrete. renovation, renovation, renovation, ititwill itwill will be be be reopened. reopened. reopened. ofofof

;gZZYdbHfjVgZ ;gZZYdbHfjVgZ ;gZZYdbHfjVgZ Completely Completely Completely revamped revamped revamped inin2009, in2009, 2009, this this this vast vast vast square square square on on on the the the edge edge edge ofofof Old Old Old Town Town Town isisaisafantastic afantastic fantastic place place place toto to get get get a asense asense sense ofofof Tallinn’s Tallinn’s Tallinn’s history history history ininall inall all its its its richness. richness. richness. From From From here here here you you you can can can see see see remnants remnants remnants ofofof several several several eras eras eras atat at the the the same same same time time time – –Medieval –Medieval Medieval towers, towers, towers, 19th-century 19th-century 19th-century churches churches churches and and and 1930s-era 1930s-era 1930s-era cafés cafés cafés all all all surround surround surround a a21st-century a21st-century 21st-century public public public space. space. space.

Karel Koplimets Karel Koplimets Karel Koplimets

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Kristjan Mändmaa

Dining out & chilling out

If relaxation means biking, yachting, swimming, golfing, and enjoying the great outdoors, Tallinn can also oblige. Aegna and Naissaar, two small islands just off the coast, are popular for their quiet pine forests and secluded beaches.

The city’s nightlife offers something for every taste and speed, whether that means grabbing a pint and watching the game in a friendly pub, sipping cognac in a fireside lounge, or dancing the night away in a trendy club.

With its wide range of local fashion, design products and handicrafts as well as popular, internationallyknown brands, Tallinn caters to even the most extreme shopaholics.

Mart Taniel

Tallinn has long been a popular destination for relaxation. The city is home to several health resorts, all offering brand new facilities and services ranging from various saunas to chocolate massage.

TALLINN • 8 / 9

Head isu!

Toomas Tuul

Tallinn’s bustling restaurant scene is packed with inventive chefs and offers mouthwatering cuisine for every taste: Medieval, ethnic, elegant, cutting-edge and more. Thanks to strong cultural and historic links, the city is also home to several top-notch Russian restaurants.

Toomas Tuul

Traditional Estonian cuisine has its roots in village culture, with Germanic, Scandinavian and Slavic influences thrown in the mix. Favourites include sauerkraut, jellied pork, marinated eel, herring, and at Christmas, blood sausage. The local signature drink is Vana Tallinn, a sweet liqueur invented in the 1960s. It’s usually taken straight or added to coffee.

Mari Kadanik

Bon Appetit!

On the cutting edge Not only is Tallinn ranked among the Europe’s most technology-oriented cities, leading the way in everything from free public Wi-Fi to e-government, it also has a dynamic business community eager to engage in new areas.

The average resident is incredibly tech savvy, and businesses are always quick to adapt to the next new thing.

The city has over 360 public Wi-Fi areas and over 700 public Internet access points, nearly all of which are free.

98% of the country’s bank transactions are done online. Tallinn is home to NATO’s Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Toomas Tuul

The international think tank Intelligent Community Forum listed Tallinn among the world’s “Top Seven Intelligent Communities” for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Public Wi-Fi

Cafés and hotels throughout the city provide free internet access.

Madis Palm

As much as Tallinners pride themselves on their city’s Medieval heritage, it’s the modern side of city life that tends to grab international headlines.

Most drivers pay for street parking via SMS text message, a system pioneered here.

In Medieval times, Tallinn’s St. Oleviste Church tower with its 159 m spire was the tallest building in the world. Nowadays the city’s tallest structure is its 314 m TV Tower, which will soon have its own claim to fame: it will host a futuristic exhibition featuring the latest of Estonia’s high-tech inventions.

Toomas Tuul

Tallinn is home to the world development headquarters of the Internet telephony company Skype, a product developed in Estonia.

TALLINN • 10 / 11

Toomas Tuul

18 / 18 is a fantastic place to experience Tallinn each of the four seasons in all its glory. In summer the city positively bursts with life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; parks, beaches and Old Town streets pulse with a festival atmosphere. Both the crisp, colourful autumn and the warm, fresh spring offer their own natural charms. And during the frosty Christmas season the city takes on a truly magical quality!

Published by Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau Text by Steven Q Roman & Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convenvtion Bureau Design by Bummi and Jan Tomson & Indrek Sirkel • © 2010