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YOUR LOCAL GUIDE TO ESTONIA CHILIES AND CHEESE

Tex-Mex restaurants in the city GREAT CHANGE

A look at Tallinn in 1825 AUTUMN GIG GUIDE

What's on this month INTERVIEW:

Kriss Soonik Käärmann

Tallinn

Fashion Week Nightlife: Explore the hippest craft beer bars in town

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O C T O B E R 2 0 16

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Five floors of delicious food, fashion, cosmetics, electronics and home goods. STOCKMANN DEPARTMENT STORE – BEST PLACE FOR SHOPPING IN TALLINN.

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editorial

T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

Festival Season

T

here is always something going on in Estonia and autumn is no exception. The leaves are changing, the days getting shorter and the weather a little cooler. It’s the time of year for cosy sweaters, pints of dark beer, warm spiced drinks, crackling fires, and enjoying yourself. Tallinn makes it easy for you to do just that. With the autumn harvest over, restaurants will be serving local seasonal-inspired dishes, and you can peruse the markets for culinary inspiration of your own. October is a great month to visit Estonia, not only for the food, but for many other reasons. Theatre

season is in full swing, with some great performances at the symphony and opera. Check out some of the new art and museum exhibitions. Enjoy some high fashion during Tallinn Fashion Week and do a little bit of shopping to find some unique Estonian designer outfits and souvenirs. Whatever inspires you, there is sure to be something for every taste and budget in Estonia. Happy travels!

Contents

Kristina Lupp, Editor-in-chief

3 editorial

October Highlights

restaurants 4-5 tex-mex restaurants in Tallinn restaurant news 8 Reviews: Tai Boh & Korsten Armastus ja Hea Toit

01 AUTUMN JAZZ

Photo: Jazzkaar

This autumn jazz festival brings international artists like Spanish singer Carmen Paris (8 October) and the Emler-Tchamitchian-Echampard Trio from France (30 October @ Kumu Auditorium) to Tallinn. The Brazilian duo Livia Nestrovski & Fred Ferreira will perform 13 October in Haapsalu, 14 October at Kõltsu Manor, and 15 October at Kumu. See the full programme at: www.jazzkaar.ee

this month

Eighteenth century fashion from the Aleksandr Vassiljev collections will be in display at Kumu until 30 October. In September, Raul Rajangu’s Soviet Union exhibition opened, where you can familiarise yourself with Soviet visual art. Find out more: www.kumu.ekm.ee

03 SAAREMAA RALLY The annual Saaremaa rally takes place from 7-8 October between the junipers on the gravel roads of Saaremaa. Both the start and finish will be in Kuressaare. www.saaremaarally.ee

04 NEWLY RENOVATED CHILDREN’S THEATRE REOPENS Nuku Theatre on Lai Street in the Old Town will reopen 13 October, newly renovated. The programme includes puppet theatre and theatre productions for children and young people. The opening celebration takes place on 13 October, along with the opening of the newly renovated museum and café. www.nuku.ee

05 PUMPKIN PARTY AT THE ZOO On the last Saturday of October (29.10) the animals at the zoo can enjoy pumpkins and other delights. The zoo is welcoming pumpkin donations for the polar bears, elephants, and tigers. www.tallinnzoo.ee

6 beauty 10 nightlife 12 shopping 14-15 events 16-17 sightseeing 18 museum 19-22 visitor information and maps 23 day trip: Viljandi

Your Comments ■ We always appreciate your feedback. Tell us your thoughts on our content, layout, things you think we should add – good or bad. Write to: kristina@balticguide.ee. or send a letter to: THE BALTIC GUIDE Põhja pst. 25, 10415, Tallinn.

Contact Information

Pick up your free copy at:

Managing Director: Jane Konga Editor-in-Chief: Kristina Lupp kristina@balticguide.ee Contributors: Stuart Garlick Design: Evelin Linholm Photography: Andrei Chertkov Printing House: AS Kroonpress

O 'Malleys, Odessa Restaurant, Seitse Merd Restaurant, Troika Restaurant, Turg Restaurant, Waynes Coffee PÄRNU Astra Hotel, Legend Hotel, Pärnu Visitor's Centre, Strand Hotel, Sanatorium Tervis, Tervise Paradiis, TRK Viiking, Koidulapark Hotel, Pärnu Airport TARTU Dorpat Hotel, London Hotel, Pallas Hotel, Tartu Visitor's Centre, Tartu Airport, Turu Linna City Information Point WESTERN ESTONIA Pärnu Yacht Club, Arensburg Boutique Hotel, Fra Mare Thalasso Spa, Haapsalu Tourist Information, Hiiumaa Tourist Information, Johan Spa Hotel, Kuressaare Airport, Kuressaare Tourist Information, Promenaadi Hotel Haapsalu, Meri Spa Hotel, Rüütli Spa Hotel EASTERN ESTONIA Jõhvi Tourist Information, Meresuu Spa, Narva Tourist Information, Rakvere Tourist Information, Saka Cliff Hotel & Spa, Toila Sanatorium, Vihula Manor, Villa Theresa, Sagadi Manor SWEDEN EAS Stockholm, Estonian House Göteborg, Estonian Air Stockholm,Tallink Mariehamn, Tallink Stockholm RIGA Cinnamon Sally Backpackers Hostel, Friendly Fun Franks Backpackers Hostel, The Blue Cow Backpackers Hostel, The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers Hostel

Põhja pst 25, 10415 Tallinn, tel +372 611 77 60 e-mail: balticguide@balticguide.ee

Kriss Soonik Käärmann Photo: Laura Strandberg

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OCTOBER 2016

PORTS B-Terminal, D-Terminal, M/L Liverpool Seaways Paldiski-Kapellskär-Paldiski HOTELS Barons Hotel, Bern Hotel, Braavo Hotel, City Portus Hotel, My City Hotel, Domina Ilmarine Hotel, Ecoland Hotel, Economi Hotel, Euroopa Hotel, Go Hotel Schnelli, Imperial Hotel, Kalev Spa Hotel, Kreutzwald Hotel Tallinn, L'Ermitage Hotel, Meriton Grand Conference & Spa Hotel, Metropol Hotel, Nordic Forum Hotel, Old House Hostel, Old Town Maestro Hotel, Oru Hotel, Palace Hotel, Park Inn Central Tallinn, Radisson Blu Hotel Tallinn, Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia, Reval Park Hotel Tallinn, Savoy Hotel, Scandic St. Barbara Hotel, Sokos Hotel Viru, St. Olav Hotel, Susi Hotel, Swissotel, Tähetorni Hotel, Tallink Express Hotel, Tatari 53 Hotel, Telegraaf Hotel, Ülemiste Hotel, Vana Wiru Hotel, Viimsi Spa Hotel, Von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn OTHER TV Tower, Hansabuss Business Line, Swedish Embassy, Sadama Market, Stockmann Info, Tallinn Airport, Estonian Air Europe-Tallinn routes, Tallinn Tourist Information, Citytour Buses, Hansabuss Airport, Merekeskus, Lootsi keskus, Puumedi Group OÜ RESTAURANTS Pirita Yacht Club, Arizona, Beerhouse, Clazz, Molly Malones,

@ balticguide_en

02 INTERESTING EXHIBITS AT KUMU


restau

4 Cantina Carramba has been a favourite among locals for years.

Tac

New additions to Telliskivi's street food area.

RESTAURANT NEWS The area between the port and the city cent-

a new café located just beside the lighthouse where you will get beautiful seaside views, as well as food. The Telliskivi street food area has welcomed a few new places. The Rocket Street Gastro offers pulled pork from their food cart and Fritto offers fries from their container. The popular Derek Burger has also opened a small takeaway and Londiste Koogid offers cupcakes. ■

A guide to Tallinn’s

TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

Who doesn’t love a good taco, or

the gooey cheese on a mountain of nachos? The Baltic Guide went to try some of the Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants in town and here’s what we recommend.

Ancho Location TOA - Taste of Asia, Rotermanni 2, Tallinn a2. Sardiinid, Regati pst 1/Purje 9, Pirita Port. Poogen, Tõnismägi 2, Tallinn b1. Pakri Parun, Majaka tee 43, Paldiski. Algoth, Lootsi 8, Tallinn a3. The Rocket Street Gastro, Fritto, Dereku Burger and Londiste koogid, Telliskivi 62, Tallinn a1.

Müürivahe 17, Tallinn Old Town i3 Tucked away on a quiet street in Tallinn’s Old Town you’ll find Ancho, where you can get simple Tex-Mex fare for non-Old Town prices. The stuffed jalapenos are a must, especially if you like spice. The chillies are stuffed with melted cheese, battered and fried, and served with sour cream. Wash it all down with one of their Mexican beers or a margarita, or two. Check their Facebook page for daily specials.

Amarillo Viru väljak 4, Tallinn a2 Amarillo has been a favourite among Finnish tourists for years, which would probably explain the higher prices. They offer all your southern American bar food classics with everything from chicken wings to huge burgers, nachos supreme and other tortilla wrapped dishes.

Cantina Carramba Weizenbergi 20a, Tallinn a4 Located in the green suburb of Kadriorg, just a quick trip on the tram, Cantina Carramba continues to draw in locals for a fun, relaxed atmosphere. We tried the spicy chicken, while not too spicy, they did make for a good appetiser served with chipotle sour cream. The enchilada had a decent amount of chili in it. Service was friendly, fast, and the portion size was generous.

Quick burritos at Taco.

Create your own tacos at Cerrito Burrito.

Photo: Taco

re, known as Rotermanni is quickly filling with new shops and restaurants. TOA or Taste of Asia recently opened and has a large heated terrace. This Asian restaurant also has a fantastic cocktail list. Wines start from 19 per bottle. By the river in Pirita, a nautical themed restaurant Sardiinid just opened in the yacht club. Head chef, Jaak Hiibus has created a menu blending Estonian and international flavours, with everything from fresh oysters to bouillabaisse to organic beef. Lunch specials are available on weekdays. A new modern café has opened in the Estonian National Library. Poogen café and buffet will surprise you with its price quality ratio. A regular coffee costs 2, as do the wraps and cakes. The lunch buffet is 1/100g and the buffet selection changes daily. Poogen is run by the Mozart Catering Group. The café can accommodate up to 200 people. Paldiski’s most popular attraction, the Pakri Lighthouse is located over 20 m above the beach and is Estonia’s tallest at 52 metres. Pakri Parun is


urants

T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

Try the spicy wings at Texas, if you dare!

co Fix Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants.

Ancho offers daily lunch specials.

Cerrito Burrito

Texas

Estonia pst 9, Tallinn b2 Solaris Centre, 1st floor Cerrito Burrito is closed at the moment while the shopping centre undergoes some renovations, but this little take-away is just too good to leave out. Here you can create your own tacos and burritos with their house made meat or veggie fillings, fresh salsas and guacamole. Our only comment, watch out, these burritos and tacos are messy, you’ll need a few napkins!

Pikk 43, Tallinn Old Town g2 This honky-tonk bar has been open for years and that’s because they do Americana so well. It’s worth a visit just for the eclectic decor, but stay, sit down, drink a giant margarita and enjoy some of their great food. We love the chicken wings and if you want to try something super hot, the Ero-style wings are not for the faint of heart. Other favourites: nachos and queso with chips.

Taco

Telliskivi 60, Tallinn a1 Just a short walk from the Old Town in Telliskivi, La Tabla offers a selection of dishes from different Latin American countries. They make their own tortillas, their own corn chips and you can really notice the difference. We really liked the ceviche and of course the tacos and quesadillas. The margaritas weren’t too bad either. ■

Suur-Karja 18, Tallinn Old Town i2 Taco is a favourite late-night food option, though it’s open during the day as well for a quick wrap or snack. While it’s certainly not your most authentic Tex-Mex option, at 3am one of their burritos sure does the trick. Pizzas and burgers available too.

La Tabla

Enjoy Latin American cuisine at La Tabla.

5


6

beauty

Instantly Visible Results Needle-free mesotherapy is safe, painless, and effective. This two-hour procedure restores elasticity in ageing skin. TEXT AND PHOTOS MIKKO SAVIKKO

Needle-free mesotherapy stimu-

lates the skin and its underlying tissue with the help of a pulsating laser. The procedure is tailored to suit individual skin type needs and is suitable for both men and women. The Baltic Guide visited Jekaterina at Freya Estetica, so see the procedure for ourselves. Jekaterina told us that the procedure’s application is wide, and is not just limited to the face. Thanks to this procedure you can remove underlying fat, reduce pigmentation and slow the signs of ageing. Before the procedure, don’t drink coffee or alcohol. For clients with a pacemaker, the procedure is also not recommended. Jekaterina assesses the skin of a

first time client and concludes that the surface is dry. She mixes a special formula for the procedure. The skin is cleaned after and the client puts on protective glasses. The mixed “cocktail” is then applied to the skin.

Jekaterina explains the procedure step by step.

Each area of the face is treated for about 10 minutes with the rounded tip of the applicator. The impulses are changed depending on the area, which you can feel as warming and tingling. The procedure is painless. There are about eight different areas to be treated on the face and this lasts about 1.5 hours. During the procedure, Jekaterina explains the procedure step by step to the client. After the procedure the face is cleaned. After the procedure you may feel

a bit thirsty. The results of the treatment lasts a few weeks, but long term results can be seen with multiple treatments. After, the client told us that her skin felt firmer and smoother, and immediately booked her next appointment. ■

Location Freya Estetica, Vana Viru 13, 2nd floor. Tallinn a2

T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

You can see visible results with Jekaterina and the RTL-5000.


NEW - The Home of Estonian Handicrafts

best collection of designer eyewear in Tallinn

Eesti Käsitöö Kodu Products from different parts of Estonia. An exhibition of artisan. Vene 12/Katariina käik, Tallinn www.folkart.ee

Eesti Käsitöö Maja Products from different parts of Estonia. Gallery of Folk Art Pikk 22, Tallinn Allikamajan Handicrafts Products from different parts of Estonia. Lühike Jalg 6a, Tallinn

The Baltic Guide is now on Facebook!

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New craft supply shop in the Freedom Square tunnel.

Be creative and make your ideas come to life!

Art, handicraft, and other hobby supplies. Pearls, semi-precious stones, beads, jewellery accessories, gift boxes, yarns, knitting supplies, embroidery supplies, embroidery floss, art supplies, oil and acrylic paints, children’s crafts, soap-making supplies, candle-making supplies, school supplies, school bags, office supplies, clay, and much more.

Entrance through the underpass!

Visit us at: Vabaduse väljak 9, Tallinn.

Eyewear boutique

+372 631 1871 viuu.ee

Telliskivi 60, Tallinn Telliskivi Creative City


8

restaurants

T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

Love & Good Food It goes without saying, a great meal is made by passionate cooks - Korsten Armastus ja Hea Toit is no exception.

bistro TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

Karol Pawlik, head chef at Korsten

sits confidently at the table, speaking with the kind of enthusiasm you only hear from someone that loves their job. With over two decades of experience under his belt, after working in London, Pawlik knows how to run a kitchen. His international team of chefs can be seen in the open kitchen balancing flames, creating a spectacle for diners. “The idea to open Korsten happened over drinks one night. We wanted to create a different kind of restaurant, with a kitchen run a completely different way than anywhere in Estonia, and to offer simple, honest food, using only the best ingredients”, explains Pawlik. “But most importantly, we wanted to have fun”. Pawlik’s menu is Italian-inspired,

which is no surprise after his long

Watch the action in the open kitchen.

career with Carluccio’s in London. “I want to get the most out of the ingredients, everything from our focaccia to our pasta is made inhouse”. We asked Pawlik to choose some dishes for us to try. To start, the king prawns, sautéed in white wine, chili, garlic sauce whet the

appetite. The pappardelle with four different kinds of mushrooms in a simple garlic butter sauce was a true expression of seasonality. As a main, the pan fried seabass with perfect crispy skin was complemented with steamed fennel, grilled lemon, and basil oil. Korsten is the “youngest child” of the Carmen Group. It’s a place to enjoy spending time, either over a wonderful meal or simply a coffee, without having to be rushed out. The dining room is full of energy and excitement, and everyone is having fun. We’ll certainly be back again. Register yourself as a Carmen Group friend at www.carmengrupp.ee and receive 10 in their six different restaurants: Restoran Cru, Korsten, Carmen Catering, City Marina, Carmen n Cafe Kentmanni, Carmen Cafee Rotermanni ■

Location Korsten Armatus & Hea Toit Põhja pst 27a, Tallinn a2 (Entrance from under the tower)

--------------------Appetisers: €4.90–€9.5 0 Mains: €8–€15 Dessert: €4.90 ---------------------

IIII I IIII I I IIIII I II I II I I

A feast for the senses Located in the same house as their sister restaurant, Manna La Roosa, Tai Boh is just as funky in its decor as it is with a vibrant menu in both flavour and presentation.

thai TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

The kitchen is run by Thai chef

Khampan, who has put together an Asian fusion menu that has so many dishes you want to try that it’s ultimately difficult to choose. To help you choose, mix platters of appetisers let you try a little bit of everything, as well as the two tasting menus that offer appetisers, a main and dessert. The plating of Khampan’s dishes is stunning, bringing out the vibrant colours of the food. Bold flavours, like that of the satay, whet the appetite for the main courses. The main dishes

come plated more as individual meals, which won’t stop you from sharing though. What’s great is that chili actually means heat here. The chili prawns are a good example of this. The Chef’s special duck is an interesting take on crispy duck pancakes, minus the pancakes, but the duck’s skin is crispy and served with spring onion and cucumber, and of course hoisin sauce. For dessert, the passionfruit cheesecake makes for a good ending to the meal, with the creaminess of the cheesecake and the tartness of the passionfruit in perfect balance.

from the menu to be paired with some unique wines by the glass. Tai Boh also has a fantastic cocktail menu, with appropriate takes on classic cocktails, like the lemongrass julep or the coconut mojito. ■

Service is just as fun as the decor.

IIII I IIII I I IIIII I II I II I I

Servers are friendly and knowledgeable and always happy to help you select something great

Location Tai Boh Mere pst 1, Tallinn a2 --------------------Appetisers: €6 –€ 17 Mains: €1 3– €2 4 Dessert: €6–€7 ---------------------


this With n o coup

Sa ku

e 1 fre drink

Buffet price includes: huge selection of salads, soup, Asian dishes (sweet and sour chicken, noodles, and spring rolls), chicken wings and cheesy pizzas, chips, wieners, and meatballs. And of course an unlimited choice of soft drinks! Best Pizza Buffet is a great choice for families with children and large groups! There is something for every taste! Maneezh

Viru keskus

A. Laikmaa

€ 2.90 price reg.

aal 0,5 l, Kis sc igin id Or

,5 l, House win e k0 rin

All you can eat and drink – Buffet 9,90€

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Hartwall lo ng

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October Offer Lunch or dinner for four: receive a free bottle of sparkling wine

www.balticguide.ee

ri

silla

At Liisu’s

Read articles online:

Gonsio

Gonsiori 10, about 150 metres from Viru Keskus.

ESTONIAN CUISINE IN TALLINN'S OLD TOWN SQUARE

Restaurant Liisu Juures Open everyday 10-23, Raekoja plats 13, Old Town, Tallinn tel +372 6 441 983

Kivi

www.pizzabuffet.ee

Kaubamaja

Viru 22, Tallinn, ph. +372 661 5518, www.steak.ee Eteläranta 14, Helsinki, ph. + 358 (0)504198000, www.steak.fi

t

nia

to Es

A. Laikmaa

THE BEST STEAK YOU’VE EVER HAD

Welcome!


10

nightlife

T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

Tallinn Nightlife A few more suggestions for evening (or early morning) entertainment:

Bars & Pubs

Visit Sip beer store to take some craft beers home with you.

Clayhills Pikk 13, Tallinn Old Town h1

Drink Baar

G-punkt

Mündi 2, Tallinn Old Town h2

Nimeta Baar

Koskenkorva Karaoke Bar

Rüütli 4, Tallinn Old Town i1

Roseni 13, Tallinn a2

The Highlander

Laif Restoran & Karaoke Club

Kuninga 1, Tallinn Old Town h2

Lai 5, Tallinn Old Town g1

Cigar Lounges

Nightclubs

Chicago 1933

Butterfly Lounge

Aia 3, Tallinn Old Town h3

Vana-Viru 13 / Aia 4, Tallinn Old Town h3

The Oak Lounge

Karja Kelder Väike-Karja 1, Tallinn Old Town i2

Kochi Ait Tavern

Müürivahe 14, Tallinn Old Town h3

Pööbel offers a wide range of locals ciders and international craft beers.

Sauna 1, Tallinn Old Town i2

Club Hollywood Vana-Posti 8, Tallinn Old Town i2

Club Privé Harju 6, Tallinn Old Town i1

Loung Club Violet

Valli Baar

next to the main Balti Jaam railway station. Although this area is presently being quite aggressively developed by big property companies, at the time two years ago when Speakeasy opened, the wooden-walled box-bar was one of the first new

Club Baila

Kolmas Draakon

Tartu mnt 44, Tallinn b3

Speakeasy (Kopli 4a, Tallinn a1)

Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2

Club Studio

Seiklusjutte Maalt ja Merelt

additions in many years to that part of Kopli Tanav. Now dwarfed by the concrete foundations of luxury highrises, this experimental lab for taste-buds prefers to show progress in a beer glass. With both Põhjala’s own brews and also imported craft delicacies from trusted companies like Buxton, there is always something new to excite, and something established to comfort. There is a selfconsciously-basic interior, which allows most of the bar’s revenue to go into the core business of

Café Amigo

Lootsi 10, Tallinn a3 Raekoja plats 1, Tallinn Old Town h2

In the light of bars like Pudel proving that there was a demand in the Kalamaja district for high-quality, strong-tasting beers, Põhjala Brewery, under the guidance of master brewer Chris Pilkington, opened

Tatari 1, Tallinn b2

Karaoke

Estonian

The welcoming bar staff are happy to help you choose the right beer.

X-baar

Põrgu

Sigari Maja

W

Pärnu mnt 23, Tallinn

Suur-Karja 4, Tallinn Old Town i2

Raekoja plats 16, Tallinn Old Town h2

hen most people come to Estonia, they want to sample something cool and local. They ask your average Old-Town waiter or waitress what the local beer is, and they are, unfailingly, given a pint of Saku. While this is, according to the letter of the question, a local beer, it’s not the best Estonia has to offer. That accolade, instead, is one of the many varieties of craft beer available on nights out in Estonia. Let’s take a look at the bars and nightspots that will help you to learn your craft. We start with the grandaddy of craft beer bars in the Telliskivi area of Tallinn, Pudel (Telliskivi 60A, Tallinn a1). We’ve covered this bar before, set in a former factory with its pine tables, exhaustive blackboard of taste options and welcoming bar-staff, but the bar has recently added an extension, which opens out into a new, spacious, room, with beer barrels on the wall and has the perfect atmosphere for a party or function. You can ask any member of the knowledgeable staff for information about the hundreds of beers from breweries renowned for quality like Brewdog and Põhjala, and they will tell you, or give you a small sample so you can make your own mind up. It’s the sort of place to which friendly, unpretentious people go – it’s certainly not exclusively a bar for hipsters, and the succession of comedy, music and even drawing nights will inspire you to see what is possible in Tallinn.

Narva mnt. 5, Tallinn a2

Gay

Dunkri 2, Tallinn Old Town h1

TEXT STUART GARLICK, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

Cubanita Live Cafe

Hell Hunt Mad Murphy’s

GRIN AND BEER IT

Pärnu mnt 158g, Tallinn

Väike-Karja 8, Tallinn Old Town i2 Pikk 39, Tallinn Old Town g2

Learn Your Craft:

Tapper

Live Music Café Amigo

Sauna 1, Tallinn Old Town i2 Roseni 9, Tallinn a2

Teater Vabaduse väljak 5, Tallinn Old Town j1

Vabank Harju 13, Tallinn Old Town j1

Venus Vana-Viru 14, Tallinn Old Town h3

Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2

Late Night Dining

Chicago 1933

Istanbul Kebab

Aia 3, Tallinn Old Town h3

Estonia pst 7, Tallinn b2

Clazz

Loca

Vana turg 2, Tallinn Old Town h2

Tatari 1, Tallinn b2

Rock Café

Taco

Tartu mnt 80D, Tallinn c4

Suur-Karja 18, Tallinn Old Town i2

developing great tastes to enjoy, rather than overheads and fripperies. Põhjala frequently tests out beer ideas at Speakeasy, and it’s a genuine thrill to be part of the development process for such an exciting brewer. If you get your kicks in a more sedate manner, or perhaps you’re out with a partner, a work group, or family, the bar to go to is Pööbel (Toompuiestee 16, Tallinn b1). Far away from the craft-beer hubbub of Kalamaja, this bar is actually right at the foot of Toompea, adjoining a rather nice hot dog cafe called Hotokas. Even in spite of this, don’t worry about the quality of the food; everything from Baltic sprats on black bread (as part of a locally-themed beer platter), through to a hearty and tender breaded pork schnitzel, is geared towards complementing the very wide range of local and international beers and ciders which fill several fridges at Pööbel.

If you want edgy decor, you’re sure to be interested by the blackboard walls, which carry fun and inspiring messages, even on the ceiling. Sometimes it’s not enough to consume the craft beers of Estonia - you want to take it home with you too. For those times, Sip (Telliskivi 62, Tallinn a1) beer shop is sure to serve you. Every craft beer you have ever thought of, and some you hadn’t, jostle for shelf space with the best of wine and Estonian cider. If you want to sample a glass, sit at the tables around the store and take your time, savouring the taste. It’s the least you can do. ■

STUART GARLICK is a journalist and English language teacher based in Tallinn. Since 2012, his blog, Charm Offensive, has covered food, music and fashion in Estonia.


12

shopping

■ Department

Stores Stockmann, Liivalaia 53. b3 The Tallinn branch of Finland’s favourite department store. Tallinna Kaubamaja, Gonsiori 2. b2 This Estonian department store has been in business since 1960 and is now attached to the Viru Shopping Centre.

■ Central Shopping

Centres

Foorum, Narva mnt 5. B2 Almost opposite the Viru Shopping Centre, Foorum houses a promenade of stylish boutiques. Postimaja Shopping Centre, Narva mnt 1. B2 The newest shopping centre in Tallinn houses an H&M. Rotermanni keskus, Rotermanni 8. B2 This modern shopping centre in the Rotermanni district houses gourmet food shops, a Scandinavian furniture store, and many international clothing brands.

Rocca al Mare, Paldiski mnt 102. Free bus from the port. This massive centre was completed in 1998 and resembles a large mall in North America. It is over 54,000 square metres in size and houses 170 shops – everything from food to fashion, Marks & Spencer to a children’s play world. Sikupilli Keskus, Tartu mnt 87. Busses 2, 15 and 54 (Sossimägi), Trams 2 and 4 (Lubja). A small shopping centre located near the airport that houses fashion outlets, a few electronics shops, and restaurants. Ülemiste, Suur-Sõjamäe 4. Buses 2, 7, 15, 65. Located close to the airport, this two-level shopping centre is one of the biggest in Tallinn. Magistrali Keskus, Sõpruse puiestee 201/203, Tallinn

■ Near the port: Lootsi Keskus, Lootsi 8. a3 This shopping centre houses a food store, large liquor store, and top brand clothing and shoe stores.

Solaris, Estonia pst 9. B2 One of Tallinn’s newer shopping centres that houses a cinema, numerous restaurants, as well as a top-end supermarket. Viru Keskus, Viru Väljak 4. B2. This modern shopping centre houses top name designer stores, great cafés and restaurants, as well as a large bookstore.

■ A bit further out Järve Keskus, Pärnu mnt 238. Buses 5, 18, 32, 36, 57. This shopping centre has quite a few furniture shops, as well

Merekeskus, Mere pst 10. a3 The Merekeskus is the oldest shopping centre in the area. The two-level complex houses many clothing stores and souvenir shops. Norde Centrum, Lootsi 7. a3 A medium sized shopping centre with a sports apparel shop, grocery store, and more. SadaMarket, Kai 5. a2 This has the appearance of a market, with many small stalls and shops.

■ Food Markets as a store for everything you might need for your sauna. Kristiine Keskus, Endla 45. Free bus from the port. A modern mall just outside of the city centre. Mustikas keskus, A.H.Tammsaare tee 116. Trolleys 1, 2 and 3. A shopping centre in the west end of the city.

Baltijaam (Train Station) – Kopli 1. a1 Closed for renovations. Open in the interim at Telliskivi 62. Keskturg (Central Market) – Keldrimäe 9. b3 Kalaturg (Fish Market) – Kalaranna 1. a2 Lasnamäe Market – Punane 48a. Mustamäe Market – E. Vilde tee 75a. Nõmme Market – Turu plats 8. Sadama Turg – Sadama 25. a2

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Tallinn Fashion Week & Estonian Fashion: Boutiques in Focus TEXT STUART GARLICK, PHOTOS

Marimo Fashion

For fashion-hunters, autumn in

Müürivahe 17, Tallinn Old Town i3, marimofashion.com

Estonia is a time of unexpected finds and newly-discovered beauty. Not convinced? Take a look at some of the great boutiques in Tallinn run by some of the best designers in the business, many of whom will be showing their latest collections on the catwalk of Tallinn Fashion Week 2016. Let’s take a peek into the places in Tallinn where you can buy the best pieces from the coolest designers.

Piret Ilves Moemaja Rüütli 16/18, Tallinn i1, piretilves.com

Sleek, subtle and sophisticated, Piret Ilves’ creations fit perfectly with the Nordic mentality of many Tallinners. The straight lines and sturdy, breathable fabrics of Piret’s latest collection will look great whether you’re about to go through a Finnish, Estonian or Italian winter. Should you need something a little warmer with which to cover up, have no fear - Piret is one of Estonia’s best-known designers of elegant-looking coats which will make the journey from business to bar, or hotel to restaurant, that bit more pleasurable. Drop into her boutique, where there are occasional champagne mornings, and you can learn more. Alternatively, watch as Piret’s newest designs take to the catwalk for the first time at Tallinn Fashion Week.

Baltman Baltika Kvartal, Veerenni 24, Tallinn c2, baltman.andmorefashion.com

Founded in the same year, 1991, that Estonia regained its independence, Baltman makes quality clothing for the modern man. As a spokesperson for the brand tells us, “as a premium menswear brand, Baltman is elegant and stylish, classic yet modern, always staying in touch with the zeitgeist. We draw on our tailoring heritage spanning eight decades and the best fabrics in Europe from renowned producers such as Loro Piana and Cloth Dormeuil to offer our clients only the best.” The inspiration for the new Baltman collection is the “Modern Dandy”, a man with an urge to express himself and a creative mind.

Sleek, subtle and sophisticated, Piret Ilves’ creations fit perfectly with the Nordic mentality of many Tallinners.

Head designer Antonio explains it thus. “Rich autumnal shades of burgundy, olive, camel, indigo blue and bottle green are key to a seasonal color palette that is accented with bright red hues. Checks and flower prints dominate print & pattern, from heritage looks recreated in print through to more directional graphic looks worked on outerwear and tailoring in a variety of scales.” On the company's 25th anniversary, Baltman takes part in Tallinn Fashion Week with a show to close proceedings on Saturday evening, in what is traditionally the most eagerly-awaited of slots. With Baltman designers having won the Golden Needle, Estonian fashion design’s most prestigious award, three times, the company goes hand-in-hand with Tallinn’s fashion extravaganza.

Mariliis Soobard, the creative brain behind Marimo Fashion, is justifiably proud of her new boutique in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town, where you can find the perfect combination of studied and professional, or of sexy and playful. Marimo Fashion has always offered a unique, Estonian, twist on modern women’s fashion, its growing following evidence of admiration for the high-quality fabrics and flatteringly-tailored signature looks that will be on display at Tallinn Fashion Week. As Soobard explains, Marimo Boutique is a place where fashion shopping is chilled-out. “Marimo Boutique is for the woman who wants it all and wants it from the same place!" "The atmosphere in Marimo Boutique is minimal and peaceful. We welcome all our clients with a cup of coffee or a glass of Prosecco, depending on the time and the client’s wishes.” “Marimo Boutique brings together brands which are exclusive by nature yet infinite in the ways they can combined. In addition to Marimo’s clothes the boutique features products from other top Estonian designers such as bags by Kadri Kruus, jewellery by Ettel Poobus and shoes by Vivian Vau. Extra fabulousness is added by the hair products of ghd and tasty surprises by Pernod Ricard and Lindt.” Does the fashion sound tasty? If so, head down to Marimo Boutique and find the perfect look for you! ■

Marimo Boutique brings together brands which are exclusive by nature yet infinite in the ways they can combined.


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shopping

13

Kriss Soonik Käärmann:

An Elegant Twist at Tallinn Fashion Week TEXT STUART GARLICK, PHOTOS SANDRA PALM

Kriss Soonik Käärmann is a great

example of a successful Estonian entrepreneur, having taken her unique twist on underwear-asouterwear, something which her label calls ‘loungerie’, and made it an international phenomenon. Soonik-Käärmann, who is married to Transferwise founder Kristo Käärmann, moved to London in 2005 to study for a Masters degree at the London College of Fashion. Since then, she has made regular trips back to Tallinn, taking part in several iterations of Tallinn Fashion Week. Soonik-Käärmann’s collections won her the Silver Needle, an award given to young or upand-coming designers, in 2013, and then the Golden Needle in 2014, a rubber-stamping of the enormous influence she has had on Estonian fashion, and on designers who wish to craft an international profile for their work. You can view her latest sassy, provocative Kriss Soonik Loungerie collection on the catwalk at Tallinn Fashion Week 2016, in the first standalone show for the brand at Estonian fashion design’s blue-riband event. Soonik Käärmann spoke to the

Baltic Guide about why she was returning to Tallinn Fashion Week. “I had this idea of doing a show at the end of the year, and then when Tallinn Fashion Week contacted me and said, ‘we have this tenth-anniversary celebration,’ I thought it would be a great opportunity.” Past spectators at Kriss Soonik Loungerie shows have never known what to expect in terms of

Underwear- as-outerwear: "it’s a trend that shows no signs of going away. We were one of the first lingerie brands to start pushing the trend; usually it’s fashion brands that do it. We’re trying to cross to the fashion side, we don’t want to just be perceived as a lingerie brand.”

presentation. “I think we’ve been known for our quirky shows before now. We sent an army of characters from Snow White to the catwalk one year, then another year we sent out gorgeous bunnyboys. This year it’s our autumnwinter 2016 collection, and it’ll be mixed in with our springsummer collection. People can expect shiny glitter and a mermaid theme too.” This brought up the topic of just how practical lingerie can be in a winter as harsh as that experienced in Estonia or Finland. “If you look at our turtle-neck turtle neck tops with suspenders, that’s very Nordic! It’s true that the Nordic climate wants you to make coats and things you can wrap up in, but I’m a lingerie designer, and as a lingerie designer, we have a lot of things that cover a lot. For many lingerie companies, you think of things that are very tiny, but for us, it’s a lot about bodysuits and tops, for example.”

“You mention the underwearas-outerwear thing: it’s a trend that shows no signs of going away. We were one of the first lingerie brands to start pushing the trend; usually it’s fashion brands that do it. We’re trying to cross to the fashion side, we don’t want to just be perceived as a lingerie brand.”

Trying to make it big in London’s

fashion scene is sometimes characterised as swimming with sharks; even the sharpest of entrepreneurial spirits can be crushed in such intense competition. Soonik Käärmann, though, sees this competitive atmosphere as an advantage. “I think that is a great driver. It can be so easy to become ‘someone’ in Estonia, but to keep on pushing yourself, it’s great

to be among such competition in London. The UK is one of our toughest markets - our main market right now is Japan, but I don’t think we would have found Japan so easily if we hadn’t been in London; it can be quite hard to get out from Estonia.” Something about Kriss Soonik Loungerie’s products seems to appeal to Japanese people as soon as they see it. “I’ve always gathered inspiration from Japanese comics and Manga - I always knew aspects of our aesthetic would appeal to them, and of course they really get the ‘underwear as outerwear’ trend. It wasn’t my first target, I was quite cautious when first approaching them, so when I met my agent in New York, I worked out a way to go into the market there. There are also very interesting things happening in places like Bangkok, for example, so there are a lot of places in Asia that have a very interesting design scene.” Does Soonik Käärmann consider it a patriotic requirement to come back to Estonia and show the new collection, or is there something more to her decision to return? “I think patriotism has a big role there, but we do have a lot of customers in Estonia, too, so I think it’s kind of my duty to do these shows in Estonia every now and then, and meet people afterwards, and we get a lot of visual material from there; we do the catwalk, we put stuff on Instagram, it’s very easy to do stuff globally from Estonia. It’s not just a local thing, as we see it. It’s great to still be connected to Estonia. We manufacture all our things there. People like the fact that there’s things happening internationally for us, but I think it’s very important for us to show our stuff there.” Kriss Soonik Loungerie can be purchased online at kriss-soonik.com, in Ulatas Kaunitar (Pärnu Mnt 36, Tallinn), or in the concession based in Tallinn’s Kaubamaja department store. ■


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events

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Events in Estonia recommended by culture.ee

Tallinn Comedy Festival Tallinn Comedy Festival brings

Quiet Soul and Stadium Rock

and Point in association with other comedy enthusiasts. ■

Location 6 October The Club of Different Rooms Telliskivi 60a, Tallinn 7 October Salme Culture Centre Salme 12, Tallinn http://comedyfestival.ee

Photo: Press

together famous entertainers with up-and-coming acts for the third time. During the three days from October 5th to 7th you can enjoy more than 20 entertainers in six venues from Estonia and around the world. These are the three most laugher-filled days in Tallinn, maybe even in the whole of Estonia. The festival is coorganised by comedy promoters Kinoteater, Komeediklubi

5th Artishok Biennale On October 6-15, 2016, the 5th

Artishok Biennale will take place, inviting the artists to the theatre - the biennale takes place in the chamber hall of Theatre NO99. Artishok Biennale is an exhibition format established in 2008, combining ten artists with new works created for the biennale and ten critics writing about each of the works on dis-

play. Critics’ accomplishments will be presented in the exhibition alongside the newly made artworks. ■

Joss Stone has one goal: to perform in every country of the world and learn more about its local music.

Location 6-15 October Theatre NO99 Sakala 3, Tallinn http://artishokbiennale.org/AB16/

The pop-filled autumn begins with soul diva Joss Stone, then enjoy harder rock at the end of the month. TEXT MIKKO VIRTA, PHOTO CONCERT ORGANISER

XIV Folk Music Harvest Party The Folk Music Harvest Party,

which was established in 2003, is a two-day festival, which always offers the audience something different with the emphasis being on the more intimate and authentic side of folk music. The topic of this year's Viljandi Folk Music Festival, "Women's Voice", has given momentum to the harvest party's new and fresh ideas. Beloved folk singer Mari Kalkun has

created a special project "From the Bottom of the Soul", where five charismatic female musicians make music together: Mari Kalkun, Siiri Sisask, Sänni Noormets, Tuulikki Bartosik and Aleksandra Kremenetski. ■

Location 7-8 October Estonian Traditional Music Centre Tasuja 6, Viljandi http://www.folk.ee/

Joss Stone wowed audiences last

summer at Pori Jazz, where she performed with Jenni Vartiainen in Finnish. The British star has one goal: to perform in every country of the world and learn more about its local music. The Total World Tour brings her to Tallinn on 11 October. Stone is known for her swinging and soulful sound. She began to rise to stardom when she was only 16 and released her first album in 2003. Despite her young age, the British star has performed with some top singers like James Brown and Stevie Wonder. Joss Stone will perform at Nordea Concert Hall, where the artist has asked that the first few rows

remain clear so people can dance. You can expect a great show with an urge to move. On 27 October, you will hear the more rocking sounds of the Scottish band Biffy Clyro who will play Saku Suurhall as part of their Ellipsis album tour. The band previously played Rock Cafe and will no doubt sell out the larger venue. Known for their strong melodies, some of the band’s hit songs include Bubbles and Many of Horror. Jean-Michel Jarre will perform on 2 November for the first time in Estonia. The French musician and composer is an electronic music pioneer, whose albums have sold over 80 million copies. The concert is part of The Electronica World Tour, where there will be a laser light party.

The band with tens of millions of views on YouTube, Bring Me The Horizon, comes to Tallinn on 23 November to promote their new album That’s The Spirit. It is the British band’s only show in the Baltics, meaning lots of visiting of fans from Latvia and Lithuania. ■

Location Joss Stone, 11.10. Nordea Concert Hall, Estonia pst. 9, Tallinn b2 Biffy Clyro, 27.10. Saku Suurhall, Paldiski mnt. 104b, Tallinn. Jean-Michel Jarre, 2.11. Saku Suurhall. Bring Me The Horizon, 23.11. Saku Suurhall. Tickets are available from Piletilevi.


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events

15 Event and Concert Tickets Tickets to just about any event or concert in Estonia can be purchased on-line at Piletilevi, Piletimaailm, and Ticketpro. Or, visit one of their central locations at: ■ Piletilevi: Viru Shopping Centre, Viru väljak 4/6, Tallinn b2. ■ Ticketpro: Solaris Shopping Centre, Estonia pst 9, Tallinn b2. ■ Piletimaailm (Eesti konsert): Estonia pst 4, Tallinn b2.

Vikings: Life Beyond the Legend Vikings: Life Beyond the Legend is

the new exhibition at the Seaplane Harbour Museum that breaks down the stereotypes of vikings. There are over 500 original viking artefacts on display in the exhibition. Through these artefacts you can explore viking customs, beliefs, conquests, and trading

practices. The exhibit offers a unique opportunity to delve into viking merchant life dating back 1000 years. The Viking Era dates from around 750-1100 AD. The exhibition is organised by the Swedish History Museum. The exhibit at the Maritime Museum in the Paks Mar-

gareeta Tower in Old Town compliments the viking exhibit. It displays for the first time Viking-Era finds from Estonia. You will also find information about viking merchant voyages. A new and interesting find is that vikings visited the north shores of Estonia often. ■

Location Vikings: Life Beyond the Legend is on display until 15 January 2017. Seaplane Harbour Museum, Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn. Viking Era Treasures from Estonia, until 27 August 2017. Paks Margareeta Tower, Pikk 70, Tallinn a2

JJ-Street Baltic Session 17 -23 October Tallinn, Various Locations This street art festival brings a week full of entertainment and competitions to Tallinn. The programme includes wall cleaning events, an Urban Flea Market, Vogue Ball, Street Art Jam, as well as different parties and more! The festival closes on 23 October with performances from Estonian and foreign stars at the Nordea Concert Hall.

ABBA and the Flying Dutch A new season of music spectacles at the Vanemuise Theatre and National Opera Estonia TEXT MIKKO VIRTA, PHOTO TOOMAS EDUR

Vanemuise’s autumn music spectac-

le is Mamma Mia, which premiers in Tartu on 26 November. The worldwide favourite is directed by Ain Mäeots, and ABBA’s hits have been translated by Merle Jalakas, Birgit Saraap, Sepo Seeman, and Veikko Täär, among others. You can see the musical in Tallinn on 10 and 11 December at Nordea Concert Hall. Vanemuise’s 147th season will bring 13 new performances to the stage. The programme includes Giorgio Madia’s ballet Don Juan on 29 October and N. RimskiKorsakov’s short opera Mozart and Salieri. The Impresario on 12 November. Many of the performances are also translated into English. The autumn season at the National Opera Estonia got off

to a flying start, when on 22 September Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman premiered. The Italian director Pamela Recinella has put together a modern and visually-pleasing performance with her team. Ballet lovers should definitely see Silent Monologues. Song of the Earth at the Estonia on 4 November. Directed by Toomas Eduri, it was premiered in London for the first time in 2009. The musical Karlsson on the Roof can be enjoyed by the whole family. The musical will play through to spring. ■

Location National Opera Estonia, Estonia pst. 4, Tallinn b2 Nordea Concert Hall, Estonia pst. 9, Tallinna b2 Vanemuine Theatre, Vanemuise 6, Tartu.


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sightseeing

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TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

Must-see sights of the Old Town Kiek in de Kök and the Bastion Tunnels

Raekoja plats

Viewing Platforms Kohtu Platform - offers one of the best views of the Old Town. The impressive tower of the Niguliste Church seems at arm's length. The red-tiled roofs with white edges are characteristic of Tallinn. Tallinn b1 Patkul Platform - shows both a view of St Olaf’s Church, and part of the city wall. The church was even taller in medieval times and the tallest building in the world in its time. Nowhere else can you see the city wall from a better angle. Tallinn b1 Kiriku Platform - the platform at the end of Kiriku Street faces west and offers a view of splendid and romantic sunsets. Tallinn b1

St Olaf’s Church (Oleviste kirik) Climb the stairs of the St Olaf Church and you will discover not only the lower town beneath, but also the magnificent palaces facing the slopes of Toompea Hill, and the upper town. The old town of Tallinn is divided into a lower and upper part. The lower town was inhabited by hanseatic traders and the upper town, or Toompea, was inhabited by nobility. Lai 50, Tallinn Old Town e2

Tallinn’s Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats) is Northern Europe’s best-preserved medieval town hall square and was built at the beginning of the 1400s. Tallinn Old Town h 1-2

The Kiek in de Kök tower is the entrance to historical underground bastion tunnels. In Soviet times they were supposed to serve as bomb shelters and protect the communist elite in case of a war. Kiek in de Kök means “look into the kitchen” in Low German, as this was one of the main things soldiers spent their time doing while on the lookout for intruders. Kiek in de Kök dates back to the 15th century. The tower is 38 metres tall, and the walls are four metres thick. Komandandi tee 2, Tallinn b1

Raeapteek The Town Hall Pharmacy (Raeapteek) is one of Europe's oldest pharmacies, which still operates in its original location, on Town Hall Square. Tallinn Old Town h1

KGB Museum Toompea Castle The Tall Hermann Tower (15th century) on the southwest corner of the hill, and the blue, black, and white Estonian flag signify independence and freedom for Estonians. Today, Toompea is the centre of Estonian government and the Riigikogu (parliament). Look for the pink building behind the Russian Orthodox Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral. Tallinn b1

A fascinating museum about Soviet history in Estonia is located on the top floor of the Viru Hotel. The hotel rooms were under KGB surveillance. The rooms were equipped with microphones, and small holes were made in the walls, where cameras could be placed to take pictures of hotel guests. The museum is only accessible by guided tour. Tours run daily and are held in English, Finnish, Russian, and Estonian. English tours fill up quickly so bookings are recommended. Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2

Hop on, Hop off Bus Tour Sometimes you just don’t have enough time to see everything, but on the Tallinn City Tour you just might. Three lines run daily, and best of all, each one passes through the Port of Tallinn, making it even more convenient. The tour operates in ten different languages and is guided by a recorded audio track that follows the sequence of the sights. One ticket is valid for 24 hours. This means that you can travel on all three routes in one day.

Paks Margareeta Katariina käik Blink and you might miss this narrow passageway off of Vene. Built in 1246, St. Catherine's Monastery (Püha Katariina klooster) is the oldest building in Tallinn. This passageway is also known as the Latin Quarter of Tallinn, and where you can find one of Tallinn’s first Italian restaurants. Tallinn Old Town h 2-3

Fat Margaret (Paks Margareeta) is the most important fortification tower in Tallinn. She was built in the early 1500s. The diameter of the tower is 25 metres and the walls are up to 5 metres thick! She was constructed to protect Tallinn from intruders from the sea. Fat Margaret is often the main entrance gate and first encounter for visitors to the Old Town in Tallinn, if arriving by sea. The Estonian Maritime Museum is located in the artillery tower (suurtükitorn). Pikk 70, Tallinn a2


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sightseeing

17 ESTONIA AT-A-GLANCE

TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

Outside of the Old Town Kalamaja & Kopli Kalamaja (Fish house) is a historic suburb filled with wooden houses and old factories. Since the 14th century, Kalamaja has served as Tallinn’s main fishing port and was home to fishermen and fishmongers. When the railroad connected Tallinn with St. Petersburg in 1870, many factories

opened. The colourful wooden houses you still see today were built in the 1920s and 1930s to house the growing working population. Kalamaja has seen a revival over the last few years as artists and other bohemian types have moved in for the large spaces and cheap rent. Restaurants and cafés began to open, and the area continues to grow.

Area: 45,227 km2. Population: approximately 1,350,000 Capital: Tallinn, population approximately 400,000. Other cities: Tartu 98,522, Narva 64,057, Pärnu 42,433 Ethnicity: Estonians 68%, Russians 24.8%, Other 6.5% Language: The official language is Estonian, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric group of languages (Finnish, Hungarian). Russian is the mother tongue of more than 300,000 inhabitants. English is widely spoken throughout the country. Religion: Approximately 20% of Estonians are nonreligious, others Lutheran, Orthodox, Catholic.

Currency: Euro € Independence: 24 February 1918 Re-independence: 20 August 1991 Weather: Average temperature July 16C, February -9C Time Zone: GMT +2 Elevation: The highest point in Estonia is Suur Munamägi (318m) located in Võru County. Islands: 1,521. The largest are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu. Lakes: Lake Peipsi, located on the border between Russia and Estonia, is Europe’s fourth largest lake (3,555km2).

A quick history of the city of Tallinn The name Tallinn originates from the Danish occupation (1219–).

Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam) Küti 17 / Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn By tram: No. 1 or 2 from the city centre to the Linnahall stop. Have you ever seen the hull of a real submarine from below? Or better still, crawled through the narrow living and working quarters of a fully refurbished sub from the 1930s? The submarine Lembit was one of two Estonian submarines

built in the UK in the mid 1930s. Another sight is an authentic replica of the Short Admiralty Type 184 seaplane, a British two-seat reconnaissance, bombing, and torpedo carrying folding-wing seaplane used in the Estonian War of Independence in the early 1920s and later for mail service. The museum is located in the former seaplane hangars built during WWI by the Russian tsar. The construction is architecturally unique since it was the largest armoured concrete ceiling in the world at the time of construction.

Patarei Prison (Patarei Vangla) Kalaranna 2-2a By tram: No. 1 or 2 from the city centre to the Linnahall stop.

Kadriorg Kadriorg Park is the area that houses the Presidential Palace (Presidendi kantselei) and the Kadriorg Palace (Kadrioru loss), and the KUMU Art Museum. (All located on Weizenbergi). Kadriorg means Catherine’s Valley in Estonian, and dates back to the 18th century. The park and the palace were built by Peter the Great, who apparently

1285 Tallinn joins the Hanseatic League. 1346 The Danish sell Tallinn to the German Order. Toompea was divided among princes and bourgeoisie in the upper-town and craftsmen in the lower-town. 1561 Tallinn goes to the Swedish. 1721 The Russians conquer Estonia and Tallinn. 1918 Estonia declares independence and Tallinn becomes its capital. 1939–44 Russians and Germans occupy Tallinn. 1944 The Soviet Army bombs Tallinn in March and causes extensive damage. 1400 people are killed.

Patarei Prison gives an eerie glimpse into gloomy Soviet era prison life. For a small entrance fee you can take a self-guided tour through the dark halls of this old sea fortress that has served as a barracks, and then as a prison during Soviet times.

helped in its building. As was customary at the time, the main house was named after his wife. There are plenty of other things to see in this beautiful and prestigious park. From the Kadriorg Palace, head straight along the park trail to the Russalka monument, located at the shore of the Gulf of Finland. The famous Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) are only a short walk from the park as well.

Pirita Pirita is an area located a short distance to the east of the city centre. Start by visiting the ruins of St Birgitta’s Convent (Pirita klooster) whose colourful history dates back to the 15th century. Its proximity to the Pirita River and the beach makes it perfect as part of a day excursion. The 2km long beach can attract up to 30,000 visitors a day in summer. Also located a short distance from the beach is the city’s Botanical Gardens

■ Medical Centres and Pharmacies 24H Pharmacy Tõnismägi 5, Tallinn Tel. +372 644 2282 Mustamäe Medical Centre Ehitajate tee 27, Tallinn Tel.+372 659 8318 Keskhaigla Medical Centre Ravi 18, Tallinn Tel. 1900, +372 622 7070

TOURIST INFORMATION (Botaanikaaed) and the famous Tallinn TVTower (Teletorn), which is a must see as it not only provides a number of interactive exhibits but also offers one of the best views of the city and the district. St Birgitta’s Convent ruins (Pirita klooster)-Kloostri tee 9, Tallinn

Tallinn: Niguliste 2/Kullassepa 4, Tallinn Tartu: Raekoja plats 1A, Tartu Pärnu: Uus 4, Pärnu Narva: Peetri plats 3, Narva

1944–1991 Tallinn becomes a Soviet capital and hosts the sailing competitions of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. 1991 Tallinn becomes the capital of newlyindependent Estonia. In 1997, it is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 2011 Tallinn is the European Capital of Culture along with Turu. Its population is estimated at 411,000: 53% Estonians, 38% Russians, 9% Other.

■ Central Post Offices Postimaja Post Office Narva mnt 1, Tallinn B2. Kristiine Post Office Endla 45 (Kristiine Shopping Centre), Tallinn Airport Post Office Tartu mnt 101, Tallinn Toompea Post Office Lossi plats 4, Tallinn Old Town, B1. Old Town Postal Store Viru 20, Tallinn Old Town, H3. Rakvere: Laada 14, Rakvere Järvamaa: Keskväljak 8, Paide Räpina: Kooli 1, Räpina Jõgeva: Suur 3, Jõgeva Saaremaa: Tallinna 2, Kuressaare Hiiumaa: Hiiu 1, Kärdla Haapsalu: Karja 15, Haapsalu Jõhvi: Rakvere 13A, Jõhvi Otepää: Tartu mnt 1, Otepää Valga: Kesk 11, Valga Viljandi: Vabaduse plats 6, Viljandi Võru: Jüri 12, Võru Rapla: Viljandi mnt 4, Rapla

■ Currency Exchange Debit and credit cards are widely accepted throughout Estonia, especially VISA and Mastercard. American Express is not as widely accepted.

Tallinn TV Tower (Teletorn) Kloostrimetsa tee 58A, Tallinn

Currency can be exchanged in banks throughout the country. Major Estonian banks include: LHV, Swedbank, SEB, and Nordea. There is a wide network of ATMs in major cities and smaller towns. Currency can also be exchanged at Eurex, and Tavid.

Botanical Gardens (Botaanikaaed) Kloostrimetsa tee 52, Tallinn.

Holidays

Estonian Open Air Museum (Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum) Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, Tallinn. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the Estonian countryside and village life

from the past. The venue has a distinctive rural atmosphere that includes various farm buildings as well as its own church, tavern, and schoolhouse. Several mills, a fire station, fishing net sheds, a dancing area, and a village swing add to the character of the place. Some of the country’s iconic windmills can also be seen. Various demonstrations, displays and interactive activities help bring the past to life and provide visitors with a fun and educational experience.

1 January – New Year’s Day 24 February – Independence Day Easter Good Friday 1 May – Spring Holiday; Pentecost; 23 June – Victory Day; 24 June – Midsummer’s Day; 20 August – Re-independence Day; 24 December – Christmas Eve; 25 December – Christmas Day; 26 December – Boxing Day

The work day preceding New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Victory Day, and Christmas Day is reduced by three hours.

2015/2016 School Holidays Autumn Break 17 October 2015 – 25 October 2015 Winter Break 23 December 2015 – 10 January 2016 Spring Break 19 March 2016 – 27 March 2016 Summer Break 4 June 2016 - 31 August 2016


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museum

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Great Change Get a glipse of Tallinn before industrialisation.

TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

“1825 might be the most essential

opportunity for drawing the medieval cityscape because soon it will perish in the face of the demands set by the new era.” Helmi Üprus, 1965. A model of Tallinn in 1825 sits proudly in the centre of the room and offers a 3D look at Tallinn before big changes were about to be made. The model, created by students, was made based on the extensive information available from the time, including a detailed map and drawings of all of the façades of Tallinn from 1825.

These drawings, some of which are also on display, were made by the Engineering Command of Tallinn between 1820 and 1825 and offer a unique look into how the city appeared prior to the largescale rebuilding of Tallinn, which started in 1830. In addition to these drawings, the exhibition holds the largest collection of Tallinn cityscapes from the 19th century. “Paintings and prints of cityscapes already became popular in the 18th century as souvenirs, as there were no photographs at the time. They offer unique views of Tallinn and

really show how much things have changed”, explained Eve Veigel, marketing and communications manager at Tallinn City Museum. “There had been plans to tear down the wall surrounding the Old Town, but the city lacked the means to do so at the time”, said Veigel. By 1825, the brickworks in Kopli

and a sugar factory in Maarjamäe had been built, but it’s really in the 1830s where you start to see more changes. The building of the railway in 1870 connected Tallinn to the Russian trade route and the city developed and grew even further.

Whether you’re familiar with Tallinn or it’s your first time visiting the city, this new exhibition is certainly worth a visit, as you’ll no doubt be able to pick out many of the famous landmarks in the city and see how much has changed, but at the same time, how well the Old Town has been preserved. ■

Location Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum) Vene 17, Tallinn Old Town g3

Museums & Galleries

TALLINN ■

Museums

Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (Eesti Tarbekunsti- ja Disainimuuseum) Lai 17, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.etdm.ee. We-Su 11 - 18.

Estonian History Museum Great Guild Hall (Eesti Ajaloomuuseum) Pikk 17, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.ajaloomuuseum.ee. 01.09 - 30.04 Th-Tu 10–18.

Estonian History Museum Maarjamäe Palace Maarjamäe Castle, Pirita tee 56, Tallinn, a5 www.ajaloomuuseum.ee. We-Su 10–17.

Estonian Maritime Museum (Eesti Meremuuseum) Pikk 70, Tallinn Old Town, d3 www.meremuuseum.ee. 01.10-30.04 Tu-Su 10–18.

Estonian Museum of Natural History (Eesti Loodusmuuseum)

MiiaMilla Museum (Muuseum MiiaMilla)

Photo Museum (Raevangla fotomuuseum)

Lai 29a, Tallinn Old Town, f2 www.loodusmuuseum.ee. We 10-17, Th 10-19, Fri-Su 10-17.

L. Koidula 21C, Tallinn b4 www.linnamuuseum.ee/miiamilla Tu-Su 12-18.

Estonian Open Air Museum (Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum)

Dominican Monastery Museum (Dominikaanlaste Kloostri muuseum)

Raekoja 4, Tallinn Old Town, h2. (Located behind Tallinn’s Old Town Square) www.linnamuuseum.ee/fotomuuseum. 1.03-31.10 Th-Tu 10.30-18, 1.11-29.02 Th-Tu 10-17.30.

Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, Tallinn. www.evm.ee. 23.04-28.09 Mo-Su 10-20, 29.09-22.04 Mo-Su 10-17.

Estonian Theatre and Music Museum (Eesti Teatri- ja muusikamuuseum) Müürivahe 12, Tallinn Old Town, i2 www.tmm.ee. 1.09-31.05 May, Tu-Sa 10-18. 1.06-31.08, Mo-Sa 10-18.

Kiek in de Kök & Bastion Passages Komandandi tee 2, Tallinn Old Town, j1 www.linnamuuseum.ee/kok/. 1.03-31.10 Tu-Su 10.30-18. 1.11-29.02 Tu-Su 10-17.30.

Vene 16, Tallinn Old Town, g3 www.kloostri.ee. 1.06-30.09 Mon-Sun 11-17. Winter by appointment only.

Museum of Estonian Architecture (Eesti Arhitektuurimuuseum. Rotermanni soolaladu) Ahtri 2, Tallinn, a2 www.arhitektuurimuuseum.ee. We 12–18, Th 12-20, Fr-Su 11-18.

Museum of Puppet Arts NUKU (Nukumuuseum NUKU)

Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum)

Weizenbergi 37, Tallinn, a4 www.kadriorumuuseum.ee. Jan–Apr: We 10–20, Th–Su 10–17. May–June : Th 10–17, We 10–20, Th–Su 10–17.

Mikkeli Museum (Mikkeli muuseum)

Vene 17, Tallinn Old Town, g3 www.linnamuuseum.ee We – Mo 10.30–17.30.

Weizenbergi 28, Tallinn, b4 www.mikkelimuuseum.ee. Jan–June: We 10–20, Th-Su 10–17. July–Dec: Tu, Th-Su 10–17, We 10–20.

Viru Hotel and KGB Museum (Hotell Viru ja KGB muuseum)

Kumu Art Museum (Kumu kunstimuuseum)

Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2 http://www.sokoshotels.fi/en/hotels/tallinn/ basic-information/hotel-viru-and-kgb-museum/ Please contact the hotel to make a booking. Tours available in English, Finnish, and Russian.

Weizenbergi 34/Valge 1, Tallinn, b5 www.kumu.ee. Oct–Apr: We 11–20, Th–Su 11–18. May–Sept: Tu 11–18, We 11–20, Th–Su 11–18.

■ Art Museums & Galleries

Niguliste Museum (Niguliste muuseum)

Lai 1, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.nuku.ee. Tu-Su 10-19.

Adamson-Eric Museum (Adamson-Ericu muuseum)

Occupation Museum (Okupatsioonimuuseum)

Lühike jalg 3, Tallinn Old Town, i1 www.adamson-eric.ee. We-Su 11–18

Toompea 8, Tallinn Old Town, b1 www.okupatsioon.ee. Tu-Su 11 - 18.

Kadrioru Art Museum (Kadrioru kunstimuuseum)

Niguliste 3, Tallinn Old Town, i1 www.nigulistemuuseum.ee. We-Su 10–17. Ticket office closes 16.30.


getting around

TH BA TO TH E EB A L TL ITCI CG G UU I DI D E E™ ™O O C CT O B EB RE R2 02 10 61 6

19 Ticket Information

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Tallinn’s public transport system consists of trams, buses, and trolleys. All three use the same ticketing system. In 2013, a smartcard ticketing system was introduced. If you plan on using public transport more than three times, this is your best option. Smartcards can be purchased and topped up at R-Kiosks and are transferrable. The Tallinn Card also allows you to use public transport for free. Both cards must be validated by touching them to the orange card reader. Detailed route plans are displayed at all the stops, or plan you journey ahead of time on-line at: http://soiduplaan.tallinn.ee

KOPLI

1, 2 9 Kopli Sepa Marati

Maleva Maleva

Sirbi

Sitsi Lõime Angerja

Madala

KALAMAJA

PÕHJA-TALLINN

The Smartcard or Ühiskaart can be topped up with money or e-tickets and can be purchased from any of the sales points listed at www.pilet. ee. A €2 deposit is needed to purchase the Smartcard. If you are using pay-as-you-go credit, your Smartcard automatically calculates the cheapest fare for you within a 24-hour time period. You must validate your card at the beginning of each journey.

Ehte Volta

Trolley-buses 1 3 4 5

Trams

Kaubamaja – Mustamäe Kaubamaja – Mustamäe Balti jaam – Keskuse Balti jaam – Mustamäe

1 2 3 4

Põhja pst

Nisu

Balti jaam Telliskivi

Kadriorg – Kopli Ülemiste– Kopli Kadriorg – Tondi Ülemiste – Tondi

Kolde puiestee

From the driver

4 5

J. Poska

KADRIORG

Mere pst

Ädala

Ristiku Sõle Ülase Taksopark Hipodroom Koskla Välja

Balti jaam Hobujaama L. Koidula 1, 3 Tallinna Htl. Tallinn OLD Viru Ülikool KADRIORG TOWN 1 Htl. Tallinn Paberi 3 Tehnika TõnisEstonia KAUBAA. Adam- mägi Keskturg MAJA Vabaduse soni väljak Tõnismägi Majaka AutobussiKoidu jaam Sikupilli Kosmos Lubja Koidu

Kelmiküla

Lille

HAABERSTI

Linnahall Port

Taksopark Koskla

UUS-MAAILM

VEERENNI

ÜLEMISTE

Pae Bus Station

VäikePaala

Majaka põik

2 4 Ülemiste

E-tickets

Vineeri

Tihase Marja

6*

Tedre

KRISTIINE Löwenruh

ÕISMÄE

Linnu tee

Aiandi

TallinnVäike

Sääse

TONDI

Siili

A. H. Tammsaare tee

MUSTAMÄE 1 3 5

MUSTAMÄE Mustamäe

Kaja

Szolnok

Tondi

3, 4

Lepistiku

Akadeemia tee KESKUSE Männi Vambola Mustamäe Liivaku Keskuse 9 4 Raja Keemia Ehitajate tee

JÄRVE

■ single ticket €1.60 ■ student ticket €0.80 Try to have exact change for the driver. Cards are not accepted. The ticket is valid for one journey only on that specific vehicle. Discounts are only available to ISIC cardholders.

Airport

At the beginning of September, tram line 2 will run from Ülemiste to the train station where a new turnaround point has been made. The line also has a new stop at Merekeskus. Bus number 52 will continue to run to Kopli until tram line 1 resumes service in autumn 2017.

■ ■ ■ ■ ■

1 hour ticket 1 day (24h) 3 days (72h) 5 days (120h) 30 days

€1.10 €3 €5 €6 €23

Where to buy ■ ■ ■ ■

from the driver from kiosks from post offices online www.pilet.ee (Top up your smartcard with MasterCard or Visa)

TALLINN CITY TOUR PIRITA

Take a tour of Tallinn on the red double-decker bus. Simultaneous translation in 10 different languages. Hop On Hop Off - bus tickets valid for 24h on three different lines.

Free ■ preschool children ■ adult travelling with children 3 years and under ■ holders of a validated Tallinn Card

LASNAMÄE KOPLI KALAMAJA ROCCA AL MARE

PELGULINN MERIMETSA

port

OLD TOWN

VEERENNI

KADRIORG

SIKUPILLI

Red Line - City Centre Green Line - Pirita Blue Line - Rocca al Mare Tour routes last approximately one hour. All services begin at Viru Square. Tickets 19€ www.citytour.ee

6-118-000 11-800 (+€0.74 / min)

www.pilet.ee, info@pilet.ee

■ Useful Phrases please.................................................. palun thank you .......................................... aitäh, tänan excuse me ......................................... vabandage hello..................................................... tere, tervist good morning ................................. tere hommikust good day............................................ tere päevast good evening .................................. tere õhtust good night ........................................ head ööd goodbye ............................................ nägemist, head aega all the best......................................... kõike head, kõike paremat have a good trip.............................. head reisi bon appetite .................................... jätku leiba, head isu cheers, to your health ................... terviseks

How much does this cost? ............. kui palju see maksab? Do you have…?.................................. kas teil on? on teil? where is… ............................................ kus on… What is this?......................................... mis see on? What does this mean? ..................... mida see tähendab? How are you? (formal)...................... kuidas elate? How are you? (informal) .................. kuidas läheb? not bad .................................................. pole viga! nice to see you/to meet you.......... rõõm teid näha, meeldiv kohtuda it was nice meeting you .................. oli meeldiv tutvuda What time is it? ................................... palju kell on? I do not speak Estonian, Russian .. mina ei oska eesti (vene) keelt Do you speak English? ..................... kas te räägite inglise keelt? /Swedish/Finnish/German? ........... /rootsi/soome/saksa keelt?


20

transport

I DE E ™™ OOC CT TOOB BE ER R 2 20 01 16 6 T THHE E B BA AL LT TI CI C GGUUI D

TALLINN

Photo: Margus Johanson

■ Getting to and from Tallinn

www.visitestonia.com Tartu

■ By bus: Tallinn Central Bus Station (Tallinna Autobussijaam) Lastekodu 46, Tallinn www.tpilet.ee, www.peatus.ee Ecolines – www.ecolines.ee Hansabuss Business Line – www.businessline.ee Lux Express – www.luxexpress.eu Temptrans – www.temptrans.ee

■ Phone calls There are no city codes in Estonia. Local calls can be made simply by entering the number as is. Mobile phone numbers start with 5. Estonia’s country code is +372. Dail 00, then the country code, and then the phone number to make a call overseas.

■ Free WiFi Ye s , t h a t ’s right, the rumours are true! Almost everywhere you go in Estonia, you will find free WiFi access for your mobile devices. Look for the orange and black WiFi sign, or visit www. wifi.ee for a listing of all Internet hotspots.

■ Emergency Phone Numbers: POLICE and EMERGENCY 112 AUTOMOBILE 1888 (24 h) ■ Taxis

From the bus station to the city: ■ tram no. 2, 4 ■ bus no. 17, no. 23

Driving in Estonia No international driver’s licence is required to drive in Estonia, but the following rules apply to all drivers: ■ Blood alcohol level must be zero. ■ Estonia has no motorways per say. Please mind intersections and cyclists. ■ The speed limit is most often 50km/h in towns, but can vary between 30-70km/h depending on the area. Speed limits will be posted. Outside of cities and towns the speed limit is 90km/h and 110km/h on dual carriageways. ■ All cars must carry a warning triangle, wheel chocks, a first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. Drivers must wear fluorescent vests when stopped at night. ■ In case of collision, please call the police. Insurance documents and driver information should be exchanged. ■ Please pay parking and speed fines to avoid further penalty.

■ By sea: TO/FROM HELSINKI Eckerö Line - www.eckeroline.ee Tallink - www.tallinksilja.com Viking Line - www.vikingline.ee Linda Line Express www.lindaline.ee TO/FROM STOCKHOLM Tallink - www.tallinksilja.com TO/FROM ST. PETERSBURG St. Peter Line www.stpeterline.com From the Port of Tallinn to the city/airport: bus no. 2

Car Hire You don’t need to hire a car to get around the city of Tallinn, but a car is a great way to see the countryside and explore small towns. If you are arriving by plane, your most convenient option is to use one of the many rental companies at Tallinn Airport: ■ Budget – www.budget.ee ■ Europcar – www.europcar.ee ■ Hertz – www.hertz.ee ■ National – www.europcar.ee ■ Sixt Rent A Car – www.sixt.com

There are many other companies to use in Tallinn, some which have a car drop-off and pick-up option to your hotel or holiday apartment. For more information on driving in Estonia visit www.mnt.ee. ■ ■ ■ ■

Easy Car Rent – www.easycarrent.ee Hansarent – www.hansarent.ee Sir Autorent – www.sirrent.ee Yes Rent – www.yesrent.ee

■ By train: Train Station (Baltijaam) Toompuistee 37, Tallinn www.edel.ee www.gorail.ee From the train station to the city: tram no. 1, no. 2, or ten minutes on foot to the Old Town

Parking Tallinn’s taxi rates can vary drastically, so to avoid being ripped off remember to check the rates displayed on the window before getting in. For a full listing of taxi rates visit: www.taksod.ee The Tallinn Airport has an agreement with the following taxi companies: Tallinna Takso, Tulika Takso, and Tallink Takso. A journey from the airport to the city centre should cost between 7-10€, or slightly more in heavy traffic.

P

Parking in Tallinn can be confusing. There are public paid areas as well as private parking lots. The first 15 minutes of parking is free , if the driver is using a parking clock or written notice stating the start time – placed visibly on the windscreen of the vehicle. This does not apply to privately owned off-street car parks.

CITY CENTRE / KESKLINN: 0,375 / 15 minutes Paid parking: Mo - Fr 07:00 to 19:00; Sat 08:00 to 15:00 Parking is Free on Sundays and on public holidays

DOWNTOWN / SÜDALINN: 1,20 / 15 minutes Paid parking: Mo - Fi 07:00 to 19:00; Sat 08:00 to 15:00 Parking is Free on Sundays and on public holidays

OLD TOWN / VANALINN: 1,50 / 15 minutes Paid parking around the clock Parking for motorcycles (two-wheeled vehicles) is free of charge in the public paid-parking areas of Tallinn. For more information: http://www.tallinn.ee/eng/Parkingin-Tallinn

■ By air: Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (Lennujaam) Tartu mnt 101, Tallinn www.tallinn-airport.ee/eng From the airport to the city: bus no. 2, no. 90K


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T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ O C TO B E R 2 0 1 6

day trip

23 Where to eat: Viljandi Kohvik Lossi 31 This combined cafe and restaurant has a seating area with a selection of excellent, hearty meals although, as the queues will attest, many are tempted just to choose something, or two somethings, from the amazing selection of cakes and snacks. Amrita Cafe Tallinna 29A This restaurant has seating inside and outside and plenty of space for kids, the food is amazing and plentiful, they have vegetarian options, the staff are lovely and the owner makes a great espresso.

A truly beautiful place. Old castle ruins, bridges and moats, and amazing views. Make sure to visit the Estonian Traditional Music Centre with its bold glass extension.

Viljandi: From a difficult past to a beautiful present The expression "chocolate-box" is used to describe a place that seems too lovely to be true, an idealised image of a rural town only found on souvenirs. Viljandi feels like that image come to life; quaint, unspoilt and beautiful. Its history however, and Estonia’s history, is a far cry from today’s tranquility. to less than 100,000 and there are even records of cannibalism. Slowly, with the help of Finnish and Russian immigrants, the population began to recover until a series of bad harvests led to the Great Famine of 1695-1697. Once more the population was ravaged and around 70,000 people died in just two years. The famine mostly affected territory under Swedish rule and her enemies were quick to take advantage. Estonia now found itself in the middle of the Great Northern War and by 1710 the area was under Russian Control. Once more the human cost was great and a particularly severe outbreak of the plague during the war left towns and villages across Estonia completely devastated.

TEXT HENRY LOVELESS, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV

So often beautiful places are flawed,

be it bad architecture, ugly cables filling the sky or bright plastic advertising, there is something that detracts from the overall feeling. Viljandi however, is consistently charming. The ruins of its medieval castle sit modestly on the hill amongst pristine grass lawns, mossy rocks and leaves fallen from the surrounding forests. To the south and east curves the deep blue lake, still and silent and to the north is the town itself, a charming mix of historic but pristine churches, town hall, a fairytale water tower and quiet cobbled streets lined by beautifully kept wooden or red-brick houses with steep tiled roofs. This is a great place for a relaxing weekend, for wandering up to the castle ruins, sitting to read a book or just day-dreaming at the amazing views before walking into town for a coffee and to enjoy the loving details the architects have hidden in their buildings. Then maybe down to the lake, for a swim, or an ice cream, then finally heading back to the centre for a good meal in a cosy restaurant. The fact that Viljandi feels quite so relaxing and enjoyable is even more impressive considering the long, complicated and often troubled history that brings it to the present day. Early settlers were probably attracted to the Viljandi area because of its geography.

Looking like the tower from the fairytale used to keep Rapunzel, it is now used as an observation tower.

Estonia is a flat country, the highest peak is only 318 metres high, and hills are few and far between. So Viljandi became an obvious place to settle and there is evidence of people living in the area from as long ago as 5000 bc. By the 12th century a hillfort had been established and in 1224 construction began on the castle. The town quickly grew and by the

14th century Viljandi was important enough to become a member of the Hanseatic League, a commercial organisation that

The end of the war finally meant Near the castle is the pristine white church initially built in the 17th century but now used for concerts.

connected trading areas around the Baltic. At that time the Estonian area was controlled by the Livonian Order, itself part of the Teutonic Order, a religious military group controlling most of the Baltic territories. The area was of great importance because of the access it controlled not only to Russia but also to trade routes to Constantinople and beyond. Unfortunately, the fortunes of Estonia and Viljandi were soon to take a turn for the worse. Inevitably, an area of such economic and strategic import-

ance attracted interest from Livonia’s powerful neighbours and although Viljandi castle helped resist attacks from Ivan The Great, the Livonian Order stood no chance when the armies of Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Poland invaded in the 16th century. Following its defeat, control of Estonia was eventually divided between Denmark in the North and Sweden to the south. The war however, in which Viljandi castle and town were destroyed, was devastating. Famine was widespread, the population crashed

peace for Estonia and society could begin to recover. Grain became the main export, much of it used to produce spirits for Russian consumption, serfdom was abolished and there was access to education, perhaps the first step in the road toward Estonian independence in 1918. Viljandi, devastated by war and famine, would never again have the same importance, but the mix of intervening empires in the area is still reflected in the mix of architectural styles seen throughout the town. Today, instead of being a centre of military and commercial importance, the town is proudly known as the cultural capital of Estonia. ■


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The Baltic Guide in English is a tourist newspaper for visitors to Estonia.

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The Baltic Guide in English is a tourist newspaper for visitors to Estonia.

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