YOUR LOCAL GUIDE TO ESTONIA Discover Tallinn’s legends An arsenal of shopping at the city’s newest centre Calm contemplation in Rakvere
Interview: and Dmitri Rooz janov – Dimitri Demng face of The changi stronomy Estonian ga
Happy Holidays! Nightlife: Where to party on New Year’s Eve
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Your free guide to Estonia
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An Estonian Christmas
stonian Christmas is a mixture of traditional and modern, a combination of cultures and cuisines. The many occupations of Estonia have influenced celebrations here and each one has left a small piece. Like in most of Northern Europe, Estonians celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve (24 December). In the folk calendar, Christmas began on St. Thomas’s Day (21 December) and lasted until Epiphany (6 January). The word jõulud (Christmas) comes from the word Jul, a word that has no connection to Christianity. Scandinavia and Estonia are the only areas in Europe where Christmas is still referred to by a pre-Christian word. The word näärid, of German origin, was also used to mark the holiday. What was the only official seasonal holiday during the Soviet period. Otherwise, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
were celebrated and Christmas was celebrated unofficially in the privacy of one’s home. Modern day Christmas time in Estonia is magical. The huge tree in the middle of the square is the centerpiece for the annual market. Smells of black pudding, sauerkraut, and mulled wine fill the Old Town. Traditional Estonian Christmas food includes pork with sauerkraut and blood sausage. There are many opportunities to try traditional Estonian Christmas food while visiting this December. Many restaurants have special Christmas menus on offer. And no visit to Estonia in winter is complete without a mug of glögg or mulled wine.
Contents 3 editorial
Kristina Lupp, Editor-in-chief
restaurants 4-5 Dmitri Rooz and Dimitri Demjanov The changing face of Estonian gastronomy Restaurant News Christmas at Le Chateau 6-7 Sardiinid TOA - Taste of Asia
December Highlights Photo: Toomas Volmer
01 HARJU STREET SKATING RINK The skating rink on Harju Street in Tallinn’s Old Town opened again at the end of November. This unique spot beside the Niguliste church is a wonderful place to spend an evening skating and sipping mulled wine. Skate rental is available on site.
02 MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM THEATRE FESTIVAL From 17-21 December, the Tallinn City Theatre will organise a festival with different theatre groups from South America.
03 CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM THE NATIONAL OPERA Singers, the choir and orchestra from the Estonian National Opera will get you in the holiday spirit with a Christmas concert at the Tallinn St John’s Church.
this month 8 beauty 10 nightlife 12 Arsenal, Kaubamaja's new men's department 14-15 holiday event guide 16-17 sightseeing top 10 18 museum: Tallinn Legends 19-22 visitor information and maps 23 day trip: Rakvere
04 CHRISTMAS DESIGN MARKET Last minute Christmas gifts can be found at Tallinn’s Kultuurikatel on 21 December and the design market. Find clothing, accessories, ceramics, homewares, and cosmetics.
The Estonian Ski Championships will take place in southern Estonia in Otepää at the Tehvandi Ski Centre on 23 December. This pre-Christmas competition will select combined competitions’ winners. The rest of the finals will take place later this winter.
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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
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Dmitri Rooz Photo: Andrei Chertkov
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05 ESTONIAN SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
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RESTAURANT NEWS Bring your own wine to PM20. You can enjoy your favourite bottle in the restaurant if you order at least two main courses from the menu. Located close to Freedom Square, appetisers start from under 4 and mains from 7. Enjoy daily lunch specials on weekdays. Meat lovers will enjoy the new restaurant PULL in the Rotermann Quarter, where you can find vegetarian dishes as well. Mains include beef, lamb, pork, and duck. The enormous Tomahawk steak makes other steaks seem like hors d’oeuvres in comparison. Meat comes from Saaremaa. The Palace Hotel has been in operation for almost 80 years. Celebrations take place in January. Prior to that, enjoy a four-course Christmas menu in their restaurant Konrad, which begins with foie gras and finishes with a Christmas pavlova. The restaurant’s head chef is Andrus Laaniste. Mon Repos opened right
at the edge of Kadriorg Park. Located in a stunning villa, Vladislav Djatšuk, who has competed for Estonia at the Bocuse d’Or, is head chef. The restaurant’s menu mirrors the golden age of the park. For appetisers, try the venison tartare with gin and as a main, the sturgeon or pheasant. The Silverspoon organisation chose the country’s best restaurants through a long and arduous process. Horizont was chosen as the best restaurant in three different categories. The best café was Café Lyon. The White Guide restaurant guide just published its latest Nordic guide, including Estonia. Four restaurants received over 80 points: NOA Chef’s Side (87), Alexander (86), Ö (82), and Horisont (80). Thirty restaurants all
Enjoy live music in the heart of the city at BART Piano Bar.
over Estonia were included in the guide. According to rumours, a new gay club with space for 300 will open in the port district of Tallinn called Lounge Patt. Enjoy live music in the heart of the Old Town at Bart Piano Bar. It’s a great place to book for events. The bar’s owner is Italian pianist Tommaso Primavera. In Pärnu’s city centre, Alex Maja cellar restaurant has been renamed Black Bull. Enjoy traditional meat dishes with organic beef from Saaremaa and at weekend try the Farmer’s breakfast, or daily lunch specials on weekdays. ■
Location PM20, Pärnu maantee 20, Tallinn b2. PULL, Rotermanni 2, Rotermann City, Tallinn a2. Konrad, Vabaduse väljak 3, Tallinn b2. Mon Repos, Narva mnt 92, Tallinn a4. Horisont, Tornimäe 3, Tallinn b2. Meistri Café Lyon, Meistri 22, Tallinn. NOA Chef’s Hall, Ranna tee 3, Tallinn. Alexander, Pädaste mõis, Muhu Ö, Mere puiestee 6 É, Tallinn a2. Bart Pianobar, Sauna 10, Tallinn Old Town i2. Black Bull, Kuninga 20, Pärnu.
Candlelit Christmas Dinner TEXT MIKKO SAVIKKO, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
When food is brought to the table
on platters, it sets the mood for a cosy dinner. Those that are particularly hungry can help out those with a smaller appetite, and even vegetarians won’t go hungry at this buffet. Le Chateau’s Christmas meal consists of beef fillet with mushroom tartar, without forgetting about the smoky sauerkraut and divine apple cake. Estonian traditions are not forgotten with the selection of sausages, including blood sausage. With twenty different dishes, take some time to indulge. The meal begins with Le Chateau’s own homemade glögg, which you can order with or without alcohol. Mulled wine is not only served at Christmas, but throughout the entire winter period in Estonia. The cosy medieval cellar isn’t decorated with any fancy decorations. The warm candlelight sets the right mood. ■
Location Le Chateau, Lai 19, Tallinn Old Town f2.
Meat lovers will enjoy the new restaurant PULL.
There is plenty for vegetarians too.
Le Chateau's divine apple cake.
Food is served on large platters meant for sharing.
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Rooz returned with the first course, his interpretation of the classic sprat sandwich. The sprat was served as a popsicle, covered in black bread crumbs that could be dipped in the poached egg and herb oil.
The second course was soupy version of sült or headcheese, often found on many Estonia Christmas tables. Rooz served his with slow-cooked oxtail and topped it with horseradish foam.
Dessert was a rich and warm spiced Christmas cake with vanilla ice cream that had been caramelised on a pan with sugar – a wonderful ending to a creative lunch.
Finding our roots Chatting with Dmitri Rooz and Dimitri Demjanov about the upcoming Bocuse d’Or culinary competition, the changing face of Estonian gastronomy, and food as tourism. TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV, PRESS
Dmitri Rooz, Chef de cuisine at
Farm restaurant (Müürivahe 27 /Viru 11, Tallinn Old Town h3) is Estonia’s finalist in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or culinary competition. Rooz placed among the top 12 in the European semi-finals back in the spring in Budapest and will now go on to compete with 24 chefs representing 24 countries from around the world. It’s not Rooz’s first attempt at Bocuse d’Or glory. In 2010 he missed the finals, but since then has worked hard at his second chance. Practicing for this competition is not unlike training for the Olympics. Hours upon hours go into cooking. I asked Rooz if he was tired of cooking Bresse chicken and crayfish, the main ingredients for the platter he has to prepare in Lyon. He replied with a smile: “we’re almost nearing the end of training”. Rooz went off to the kitchen to prepare his take on some classic Estonian and Christmas dishes, while I continued to talk with Estonia’s best-known chef and promoter of Estonian gastronomy, Dimitri Demjanov. Estonia has been competing at Bocuse d’Or since 2008, when they received their first invitation and every year Demjanov has been coaching Estonia’s culinary talents through training and the final competitions. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Bocuse d’Or and to celebrate the occasion, Bresse chicken and crayfish will be the theme of the platter to be presented to the judges. “It’s both a tribute to the origins of the con-
Dmitri Rooz – Estonia's candidate at Bocuse d'Or 2017
Bocuse d’Or Since 1987, 24 chefs representing 24 countries come together every two years to compete in the world’s most prestigious cooking competition in Lyon, France. Chefs have 5.35 hrs and two tests to try to win the Bocuse d’Or. Chefs must show originality and creativity to the international jury composed of 24 chefs representing the 24 countries in competition. The jury will be presided over by Joël Robuchon, Orjan Johannessen (winner of Bocuse d’Or 2015) and Jérôme Bocuse. Candidates will be judged on the presentation of the plates, the taste, and also the interpretation of the plate theme.
test and to see the development of culinary innovation over the past 30 years”, explains Demjanov. While the theme is a play on the famous recipe “Chicken and crayfish” from Lyon where the finals take place every two years in January, chefs can choose other shellfish like lobster or langoustine. “In the beginning, Bocuse d’Or was very French centric. It wasn’t until 2006 when Nordic countries started winning, setting the stage for the development of New Nordic cuisine. To start a new cuisine, it begins with new ideas, to take what’s old and reconstruct it. New cuisine is not improv, it starts with a solid foundation, the right combination of flavours and the search for the best ingredients”, continues Demjanov. “While we have many talented young chefs here in Estonia, food culture starts at home, something that hasn’t quite developed here in Estonia. In 2010 the conference Food is Future, was held in Estonia and this is where we learned that Estonian cuisine belongs to Nordic cuisine and less to Baltic cuisine. There is a strong seasonal influence in our food and the short summers boast preservation of the what’s grown in summer”. The next step, according to Demjanov is to find the ingredients that reflect each season, as well as different regions, much like AOC does in France, or DOCG in Italy. This will not only promote food domestically, but will promote culinary tourism to Estonia as well. The question remains, how do we choose which food or ingredients?
Gastronomy is constantly evolving, from molecular gastronomy
seen at El Bulli to New Nordic cuisine at Noma. Estonia is not France, nor will it ever be, but it can adopt some of the same philosophies, teaching proper, healthy, seasonal eating from an early age at home and at school, according to Demjanov. While we can’t all be top chefs, the Bocuse d’Or gives young chefs something to work towards, a place to showcase their talents on an international stage. Estonia’s improved rankings each year at the competition show that Demjanov’s hard work is paying off. ■
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Interview: Heimar Kuuskler TOA’s chef is Estonia’s self-appointed ambassador of Asian cuisine.
asian TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV, TOA
TOA or Taste of Asia opened earlier
this year in Tallinn’s Rotermann Quarter. This new Asian restaurant has been hitting Estonian palates by storm with bold, fresh flavours. We sat down with TOA’s chef/owner Heimar Kuuskler to find out more about this great place. “I opened TOA because there were no proper Asian restaurants in Tallinn”, explained Kuuskler. “But it had to be done properly, because if you’re going to do something, you have to do it well”. After extensive travels through Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam while filming a TV series for Estonian TV, Kuuskler had the expertise to do just that. Everything from the furniture to the cooks in the kitchen is from Asia. “Street food is probably the best expression of Asian cuisine and I wanted to bring that back to Estonia. But not everything travels
Sardines are served grilled with asparagus, figs and celery-cucumber tartar sauce.
that well. It’s been quite difficult to source some ingredients and if the quality isn’t good or the ingredient isn’t available, then I won’t substitute it, it will just stay off the menu. While I’m a big advocate for eating local, quality is still most important”, Kuuskler continues. TOA’s dining room is set up with long tables, meant for sharing. Don’t be surprised if when you sit down, you’re seated with strangers. “You book a seat, not a table”, explains Kuuskler. Kuuskler wants to promote a communal dining experience, so his dishes are priced accordingly and meant to be shared. Some customer favourites so far are Pad Thai, Tom Yum soup, for those looking for a dish with a lot of heat, and coconut shrimp. The level of heat can be adjusted with the chilli sauce or fresh chillies found on every table. “I also found that Asia has a strong cocktail culture, where higher quality spirits are used”. TOA’s cocktail list focuses on fresh Asian flavours, with a play on food with drinks like Vod Kha, using quality spirits, as well as quality ice. “Good
quality ice is the kind that doesn’t melt before you finish your drink and that doesn’t break easily. We have a special ice machine for this”. Kuuskler also loves his gin, so there is not only a long list of speciality gin to choose from, but an extensive gin and tonic cocktail list as well. We asked Kuuskler how he became so interested in Asian cuisine. “I had worked a lot in fine dining and I was looking for something new, new techniques, but most importantly new flavour”. TOA showcases this curiosity and passion, bringing something new to Tallinn as well. ■
TOA's chef and owner Heimar Kuuskler
When dining at TOA, choose a few dishes to share.
TOA - Taste of Asia Rotermanni 2, Tallinn a2 --------------------Appetisers: €2 –€9 Mains: €7–€9 Dessert: €4.50 ---------------------
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A little bit of summer in winter Enjoy a taste of the seaside at Sardiinid restaurant in Pirita. mediterranean TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
The last sailboats may have been
put away for the summer, but the kitchen is working in full force at Sardiinid restaurant in the Olympic Yacht Centre at Pirita. Opened just this autumn, the restaurant aims to offer a taste of the mediterranean while overlooking the the Pirita river and the sea. Built into the Olympic Yachting Centre that was built for the 1980 Olympic sailing event, the interior of the restaurant has been impeccably renovated for a cosy and inviting atmosphere. We went to have a taste of what’s cooking at Sardiinid, beside sardines, that is. We took
a seat by the window overlooking the harbour. The menu has ample selection for all types of appetites and diets. The hummus with serrano is perfect to share while looking over the menu. We start with the carpaccio - thinly sliced pieces of beef are arranged on the plate with a syrupy raspberry balsamic glaze and bright pomegranate seeds. Another great dish to share are the mussels in coconut broth, together with some crusty bread and a bottlee wine, you need not much more.. But no trip to Sardiinid would bee complete without trying some off their sardines. As a main course,, the sardines are served grilled d with asparagus, figs and celery-cucumber tartar sauce. The sar-dines fresh and the unusual sidess complement the fish nicely.
Sardiinid is located a quick drive or
bus ride from the city centre, and while this may seem like a trek in the winter, let us assure that it’s worth it for something a little different and a beautiful view over the bay. Lunch specials are also offered during the week. ■
Location Sardiinid restoran Regati pst 1 / Purje 9, Tallinn --------------------Appetisers: €2.95–€12. 95 Mains: €6.95–€17.95 Dessert: €4.50–€8.95 ---------------------
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VIRU CAFÉ LYON IS LOCATED ON THE PARK SIDE OF VIRU CENTER.
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At Liisu’s December Offer Lunch or dinner for four: receive a free bottle of sparkling wine Restaurant Liisu Juures Open everyday 10-23, Raekoja plats 13, Old Town, Tallinn tel +372 6 441 983
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WOK TO WALK TALLINN: VANA-VIRU 14 Sunday-Thursday 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Friday-Saturday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM Pick up service! Tel. +372 444 3320 www.woktowalk.com
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Before & After – from day to night.
Eliise has always love makeup.
Beauty with a brush stroke Professional makeup and the festive party season are inseparable. TEXT JANIKA POOLA, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
Eliise waits for me smiling. The stu-
dio is cosy and welcoming, and the makeup artist’s positivity is truly infectious. I get the feeling that I’ll be able to completely relax and enjoy the next hour. Eliise has always loved makeup and has worked with it for most of her life. She turned her hobby into a dream when she became a professional makeup artist after studying at the International Makeup Center and learning from some of the best artists in Tallinn. With her experience and a following of loyal clients, in 2015
she realised another dream and opened her own studio in Tallinn. I sit down in the chair and the transformation begins. We begin with a day look, where Eliise starts by putting a moisturiser on my face, followed by foundation, which matches exactly with the skin tone on my neck. She applies it quickly, starting from the centre of my face and moving outwards. With a lighter tone she covers under my eyes, eyelids, forehead, nose and chin. The powder seals the makeup with
the so-called baking method. This technique helps keep an even matte
finish over the face with the help of a sponge. After ten minutes, Eliise takes away any excess powder with the help of a brush. After that, she brushes the eyebrows and fills them in with eyebrow powder. The brow bone and the inside corner of the eye is touched up with a lighter colour and the outer corner of the eye is shadowed with a matte brown colour. The eyes are lined with a black pencil. The eyelashes are coloured with the same tone mascara. Eliisa contours the face with the help of some tan powder to the cheeks, chin and nose. She also adds a little bit of shimmer-
ing powder to the cheeks, nose and upper lips for a beautiful 3D effect. The lips are lined with a plum purple colour and coloured with a pearly lipstick. The day looked can easily be changed into a evening look by
adding a lighter brown to the inner corner of the eye and a dark matte brown to the outer corner of the eye. The objective is to change the eye makeup to a more smokey looks. Fake eyelashes add a more dramatic effect. Shimmer powder is brushed on the cheeks and the lips are coloured with a dark plum colour that is balanced
with a lighter shimmering tone in the centre. There is no denying that professional makeup must be done by a professional and is certainly worth it for photo shoots and big important events. I’ll definitely visit Eliise again. Prices are very reasonable makeup 35, bridal makeup 40, and an extra 15 if you’d like your hair set into flowing waves. ■
Location Eliise Timusk M.U.A Studio, Gonsiori 44, beside the Torupilli Selver, courtyard side, 1st floor
Reinvigoration and Relaxation Reset yourself with a massage from Thai Refresh. TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
Many places boast fabulous massage that will seemingly solve all
Four hands are better than two.
of life’s problems, but after lots of money spent and a mediocre massage later, you’re left feeling nothing but a little oily. At Thai Refresh, in as little as half an hour, you’re left feeling relaxed and actually refreshed. Wanna and Kanchana have both studied massage in Thailand and have been offering Thai massage since 2015. Their massage salon in the suburb of Kadriorg is warm and inviting and brings a little bit of Thailand to Tallinn. “I want-
ed the salon to feel like home, to show a feeling of Thailand,” explains Wanna. “I want the atmosphere convey a blend of nature, happiness, and refreshing energy”. Thai Refresh offers a few different massages, with everything from the quick 30 minutes head, neck, and shoulders massage to a longer four hands massage with both Wanna and Kanchana. I left myself in the hands of the two women and they offered me a full body massage with aromatic oils combined with some traditional Thai massage. Starting from my back, they worked down my legs and feet, and then back up to my neck and
shoulders. Having a massage from two people is a true indulgence, but one that everyone deserves to try. Afterwards, I was left not only feeling relaxed and refreshed, but also energised. The stress and sore muscles simply melted away. Massages range from 38-56. Five and ten visit cards are also available, as well as gift cards. ■
Location Thai Refresh Kreutzwaldi Salon Kreutzwaldi 5-4, Tallinn b3 Old Town Salon Suur-Karja 2, Tallinn Old Town i2
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
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
+372 631 1871 viuu.ee
Telliskivi 60, Tallinn Telliskivi Creative City
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.
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Tallinn Nightlife A few more suggestions for evening (or early morning) entertainment:
Bars & Pubs Clayhills Pikk 13, Tallinn Old Town h1
Photo: Ryan Wong
ith the festive season approaching like the Polar Express out of a tunnel, you'll need to know what Tallinn, the city with the iconic fir tree at the centre of Town Hall Square, has to offer for the determined party animal at New Year. And here's the surprise - you don't have to keep your feet on the ground to enjoy yourself, if you know what I mean! When in Tallinn, New Year is the big celebration. Most locals prepare by having parties indoors, at their houses, taking a bus or tram to Freedom Square for the annual firework extravaganza. Tallinn City Government always puts a lot of effort into a colourful display that will mean the effects
of your hot "glöggi" wine wear off instantly. We recommend getting to Freedom Square well in advance, so you can stake your best spot - and so you can enjoy the free concert that takes place each year in the square. Although you will likely see some locals with bottles of wine or beer, remember that drinking alcohol on the streets is officially forbidden in Estonia. If you decide to buy an aperitif for your hotel room before heading out, you should also bear in mind that alcohol retailers are only permitted to sell drinks to carry out until 10pm, after which time you will need to go to a bar to get a glass of something special. All of the nightspots you know and love in Tallinn are open until the morning light for New Year
Mündi 2, Tallinn Old Town h2
parties. If coming off the Freedom Square fireworks, if it's already after midnight, we recommend you head straight for a nightclub. The newly-rebranded Prive (Harju 6, Tallinn Old Town j1) is the kind of club where youngsters can enjoy the peppy mix of chart music and new R&B tunes, while older clubbers can recline in the plush VIP area. On the other side of the square, Klubi Teater (Vabaduse Väljak 5, Tallinn Old Town j1) is the sort of gilded paean to opulence that President-Elect Trump would enjoy. We advise going with an Estonian or Russian-speaking friend, as most of the clubbers are locals, but the experience is electrifying, especially when the troupe of superb dancers take to their plinths in theme costume. Dress to impress, and enjoy the show in the former theatre.
Dress to impress, and enjoy the show in the former theatre.
Rataskaevu 10, Tallinn Old Town h1
Gay Pärnu mnt 23, Tallinn
X-baar Tatari 1, Tallinn b2
Suur-Karja 4, Tallinn Old Town i2
Rüütli 4, Tallinn Old Town i1
Valli 1, Tallinn Old Town i3
Laif Restoran & Karaoke Club
Kuninga 1, Tallinn Old Town h2
Lai 5, Tallinn Old Town g1
The Oak Lounge
Dunkri 2, Tallinn Old Town h1
Vana-Viru 13 / Aia 4, Tallinn Old Town h3
Sigari Maja Raekoja plats 16, Tallinn Old Town h2
Café Amigo Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2
Estonian TEXT STUART GARLICK, PHOTO TEATER
Hell Hunt Mad Murphy’s
With Your Feet on the Ground... Or Not?
Narva mnt. 5, Tallinn a2
Väike-Karja 8, Tallinn Old Town i2 Pikk 39, Tallinn Old Town g2
Cubanita Live Cafe
Karja Kelder Väike-Karja 1, Tallinn Old Town i2
Kochi Ait Tavern Lootsi 10, Tallinn a3
Kolmas Draakon Raekoja plats 1, Tallinn Old Town h2
Seiklusjutte Maalt ja Merelt Tartu mnt 44, Tallinn b3
Valli Baar Müürivahe 14, Tallinn Old Town h3
Club Baila Sauna 1, Tallinn Old Town i2 Club Hollywood Vana-Posti 8, Tallinn Old Town i2
Club Studio Sauna 1, Tallinn Old Town i2
Klubi Teater Vabaduse väljak 5, Tallinn Old Town j1
Vabank Harju 13, Tallinn Old Town j1
Venus Vana-Viru 14, Tallinn Old Town h3
Live Music Chicago 1933
Late Night Dining
Aia 3, Tallinn Old Town h3 Clazz Vana turg 2, Tallinn Old Town h2
Suur-Karja 18, Tallinn Old Town i2
Tatari 1, Tallinn b2
Pärnu mnt 158g, Tallinn
For something a little more down-to-Earth but no less fun, take the short walk across the Old Town to Sinilind (Müürivahe 50, Tallinn Old Town h3), the club in an historic cinema with several themed rooms, including dance and party music in the film theatre itself, while you're likely to hear a sharp guest DJ spinning old-school hiphop in the room on the other side of the building. If neither of those options grab you, the cafe stays open all night, selling delicious cakes and savoury pastries to go with the wine, beer and banter. Sinilind's similar sister nightspot
Must Puudel (Müürivahe 20, Tallinn Old Town i2) feels like partying in a
particularly crowded living room, but with the most fun people and the kind of music mix that will give you a visceral rush as you see 2017 in. Meanwhile, Tallinn's nightlife doesn't only end at the city boundaries. If I told you about a chance to toast new beginnings with friends, music and great food, you'd probably ask me where the bar was. But Tallink's Special New Year Cruises from
Tallinn to Stockholm start on 30th and 31st December, setting off from Tallinn Port D-Terminal. The entertainment, from the onboard concert hall and the nightclub, is top-notch, as is the catering. As for the nightlife, Tallink is yet to confirm its schedule, but with Estonian pop superstars Jüri Pootsmann and Liis Lemsalu having given concerts on board in recent weeks, you're sure of a star-studded bill to keep you smiling as the champagne corks pop. Far from being a travel convenience, Tallinn residents enjoy the Stockholm cruise, which lasts two-and-a-half days between outward journey and return, as a spectacle in itself. Best of all, you get back to Tallinn in time for more fun and frolics on dry land. ■
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.
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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
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. 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
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
Lootsi Keskus, Lootsi 8. a3 This shopping centre houses a food store, large liquor store, and top brand clothing and shoe stores. 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.
Baltijaam (Train Station) – Kopli 1. a1 Closed for renovations. Open in the interim at Telliskivi 62.
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.
A tour of Tallinn's newest shopping centre. TEXT: KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS: ANDREI CHERTKOV
Located in the northern part of
the city in the quickly developing suburb of Kopli, Arsenal is not named after the English football team, but the Estonianera weapons factory it used to house. The red brick building is a good example of tsarist-era architecture, built in 1917, just
■ Near the port:
■ Food Markets
as a store for everything you might need for your sauna.
Shopping Spotlight: A
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
before Estonia gained its independance. Today, the building has been beautifully restored and repurposed as a shopping centre filled with over 30 shops and ten different cafés and restaurants. Browse through the Uuskasutuskeskus, a secondhand shop, where you’ll find some unique items, especially among the hou-
sewares. The shopping centre houses quite a few clothing, shoe and accessory stores, as well as a few organic/health food shops. The cheese shop Juustukuningad has also opened another location at Arsenal, as did the grocery chain Selver. For a full list of shops visit: www.arsenalkeskus.ee ■
Peruse the top brands at Kaubamaja’s new men’s department ■ Baltman
■ Pierre Cardin
■ Boss Black
■ Ted Baker
■ Boss Green
■ Tom Tailor
■ Boss Orange
■ Versace Jeans
■ Canada Goose
■ Michael Kors
■ Gino Rossi
■ G-Star Raw
■ New Balance
■ Hilfiger Denim
■ State of Art
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
A new collection for a new season
Warm up with these new styles from Baggys. Location
TEXT MIKKO SAVIKKO, PHOTOS BAGGYS
Arsenal Keskus Erika 14, Tallinn
With the cold weather, it’s time
Bus: 3 (Veerenni-Randla), 59 (Balti jaam – Pikakari), 73 (Vana-Lõuna tn – Tööstuse tn) Arsenal keskus stop: Erika The building is beautifully restored and refurbished both inside and out.
New season, new look The Baltic Guide visited Kaubamaja’s men’s department for a tour of the newly renovated space. TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTO ???
The men’s department at Kaubamaja can be found on the
second and third floor where you can now come for a truly enjoyable shopping experience. New lighting and windows have been installed to make sure everything looks its best. Starting on the second floor, you can still find the same great brands like Ted Baker, Pierre Cardin, Bugatti, Joop!, Mont Blanc, and more. New brands like Sand and Versace Jeans have also hit the shelves to bring you more of a choice than ever. Browse through each brand’s shop-in-shop to find this season’s hottest colours and trends. The jeans section has all the most popular jeans brands
together, like G-Star Raw, Levis and Boss Orange. Kaubamaja promises something for every size and shape, either formal or casual. New styles are constantly coming in. The focus is on small collections, where there will be a few articles in each size, meaning you can come in often and find something new. The third floor is where you’ll
find formal wear, also organised by brand. The selection of men’s shirt is the best in the city, available in seemingly endless colours and patterns. There is no lack of choice from Estonian designers and brands like Baltman, Mosaic, and Sangar, where shirts and suits can be tailored as well. Personal shopping is no longer just for the rich. Come
in or book an appointment with one of their personal shoppers who can help you put together an outfit or a whole new wardrobe. Everything can be tailored as well. If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can have suits and shirts made by Kaubamaja’s own tailor. It’s not all about clothes and shopping, every month you can find a pop-up shop, bar or café on the third floor. In December, come and try Vana Tallinn Elegance, where you will also find other gift ideas as well. ■
Location Kaubamaja Gonsiori 2, Tallinn b2
to dress warmly. Baggys offers not only warmth, but style as well. Just because you have to dress practically and comfortably, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Modern synthetic materials are no less effective than downfilled ones. For example, Thinsulate products are even better than down, as they won’t bunch and are hypoallergenic. When choosing winter clothes, in addition to warmth, you should also consider style. This year, Baggys’ winter collection includes streamlining mink and sheepskin jackets, fox and silver fox vests, but also less expensive eco leather
vests and classic mink coats. Styles, sizes, and colours are plenty. Stylish winter clothes are not just for women. Men will find sheepsskin, mink, and wolfskin coats, as well as less expensive warm and natural camel hair. Among the autumn-winter 2016 collection are also leather and eco leather boots and half boots. Real mink felt boots are particularly “in” this year and Siberian-style embroidery is also available. ■
Location Baggys Viru 4, Tallinn Old Town h3 Also at Ülemiste, Kristiine, and Rocca Al Mare shopping centres.
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
Events in Estonia recommended by culture.ee
Lucia di Lammermoor Donizetti’s opera is about the
destiny of a woman. The intrigues of a world ruled by men do not allow her to assert herself. Lucia’s wishes are disregarded, her will is suppressed and her life’s happiness is sacrificed. When existential feelings cannot be expressed openly and honestly, they explode with the force of a nuclear bomb. Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor – the Romeo and Juliet of the Scottish Lowlands – is not simply a private tragedy of love, but also an exceptionally political story in which the masculine power system deeply distorts
human relations and finally destroys them for good. Donizetti colours the raging of betrayed love and the dissolving of the rage with the most eloquent music: the revenge is bloody, insanity is terminal. Abused feelings ruin everything and everyone. ■
Location 7 December, 19 January, 4 February Theatre Vanemuine Small Building, Vanemuise 45a, Tartu 7 February Estonian National Opera Estonia Blvd 4, Tallinn
Old Town Christmas Market Christmas treats and beaver tails TEXT SILJA HURSKAINEN, PHOTO ANDREI CHERTKOV
The magnificent Christmas tree
Christmas music festival “Church Holidays in the Land of Mary” Christmas music festival
“Church Holidays in the Land of Mary” takes place in churches and manorial estates of Estonia and at the Toompea Music Lounge. Opening concerts on the 1st Advent will introduce organ, the king of musical instruments; the following Advent concerts bring holiday spirit to rural churches, manors and music lounges. The year traditionally ends with brilliant large scale works which have fascinated audience for 10 years and the last festival concerts will be on the 6th and 7th of January. With contemporary
musicians, the festival brings the colours and atmosphere of distant ages to modern people – just as the masters of the era could have been heard the music in their lifetime in the churches and castles. Performers are professional musicians as well as young interpretes just beginning their career in music. ■
Location Various locations throughout Estonia. For more information: www.corelli.ee/ 26 Nov 2016 – 07 Jan 2017
Exhibition “Encounter Estonian Design. An Introduction“ The exhibition is an overview of
the history of Estonian design curated by the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design at Tartmus. It concentrates on the most important aspects and trends in Estonian design.For Tartmus, this is the first overview of Estonian design. The Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design has used the last 15 years to map the local design landscape and to place its history into context. With new information, the idea of Estonian cultural heritage has grown. The present exhibition is based on this research and connects the
history of design with contemporary ideas. Using a selection of examples that have been considered the most prominent of their time, it contextualizes the Estonian design landscape and reveals the various aspects that are its most distinguishing characteristics. More information: www.tartmus.ee. Photo: Folding pitcher for plastic milk package. 2009. Designer Veiko Liis, manufacturer Foldplast. Photo: designer’s private collection. ■ Until 1 January 2017
(brought from Rapla County) in the centre of Town Hall Square in Tallinn’s Old Town is the centrepoint of the market. Around the tree sits one of Europe’s most beautiful Christmas markets, which Business Insider Holland also named Europe’s most economical. Next after Tallinn are the markets in Riga and Prague. The market opened at the end of November and the feeling of Christmas is already in the air. The market is open daily from 10.00-19.00 until 7 January. Visit Santa daily from 12.00-18.00 in his house. As is tradition, on Christmas Eve, the mayor of Tallinn will declares Christmas peace at 12 noon in the Town Hall Square. As in previous years, you’ll find all kinds of different gifts for everyone on your list, with everything from handicrafts to smoked meat. Have you ever tried
Christmas Markets in Tallinn and Estonia: ■ Mustika keskus Christmas Market, 9-11 December 10.00-19.00, Mustika
keskus Shopping Centre, A. H. Tammsaare tee 116, Tallinn ■ Huge Christmas Market, 9-11 December 11.00-19.00, Mustamäe
Shopping Centre, A. H. Tammsaare tee 104A, Tallinn ■ Christmas Market at the Museum of the Coastal Folk, 10 December
10.00-17.00, Museum of the Coastal Folk, Nurme tee 3, Viimsi ■ Tartu Christmas Market, 10 December 11.00-17.00, Tartu Centre ■ Haapsalu Christmas Market, 10 December 10.00-17.00, Haapsalu Cultural
Centre, Posti 3, Haapsalu ■ Tallinn University Christmas Market, 12 December 9.30-14.30, Narva mnt
27, Tallinn ■ Pärnu Keskus Shopping Centre Christmas Market, 17 - 23 December,
Aida 7, Pärnu ■ Narva Winter Market, 17 December, Narva Castle, Peterburi mnt 2, Narva
bear meat sausages or a beaver’s tail? Both of these can be vacuum sealed to take home with you. Wandering around the market you can also taste traditional Christmas foods like blood sausage and sauerkraut. Food can be enjoyed with different flavoured mulled wines with or without alcohol. ■
Location Old Town Christmas Market in Tallinn’s Town Hall Square. h1-h1. Open until 7 January 2017, daily from 10.00-19.00. Cultural programmes on Fridays and Saturdays from 17.0019.00, Sundays 12.00-14.00.
Christmas cheer TEXT KRISTINA LUPP
The first-ever Christmas Festival and
Market will take place at the Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn. The three-day event will transform the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds into a beautiful Christmas village that will not only take up three floors but also part of the grounds outside. Enjoy traditional Christmas song by well-known Estonian artists and choirs, take a ride on the Christmas train, read Christmas verses, try a workshop or visit the mini zoo. That’s not all, you’ll certainly find some great gifts from one of the over
200 sellers, with everything from handicrafts to electronics to children’s toys. Christmas is about sharing. Some proceeds will go to those in need to spread the holiday cheer. The Christmas Market has teamed up with the Tallinn Chamber for Disabled People to help volunteer sellers with products or services. Visitors can also make donations or bring used clothing or other useful items. The market takes place 16-18 December at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. Parking is free.
Find more information at: www. joululaat.ee or on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/ events/238694363140298 Direct transport via bus available from the port (times are subject to change, check the website for updates): Buses run on Friday (16th) and on Sunday (18th) Tallink: 12.20 - 12.45 15.20 - 15.45 EceröLine: 10.50 - 11.20
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
15 The costumes are exceptional.
Viru’s new cabaret shines TEXT TIMO HUTTUNEN, PHOTOS SOKOS HOTEL VIRU
In 1972, the Viru Hotel was Tallinn’s
first high-rise building and the city’s pride. Viru Varietee also got its start in the new hotel and was the Soviet Union’s first variety show. The dance shows finished in 1994. The Sokos Hotell Viru has done us all a cultural favour, reviving the variety show tradition. The cabaret theatre Starlight Cabaret presents the revue performance “Forever Young” in the Viru Merineitsi restaurant, which tells the story of Estonia’s 100-year history through the medium of song and dance. In addition to the performance,
you can also enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner, prepared by Viru’s talented Markus Tammpere. The menu includes Estonian red deer, quail, and salmon. Let one of
the sommeliers help you choose the appropriate wine. The show is also in three parts. Old photographs shown on large tvs help you follow the performance and you don’t need to know Estonian either. Kristjan Kurm’s production is a success. The first period of independance portrays Estonia as a country of love, the Soviet period as a period without love and present day as a period of free love. The show exudes true passionate revue theatre. Many different types of music are portrayed in the revue. The dance numbers are particularly compelling. The soloists are a joy to watch. While a stage sets certain limits, the show as a whole it still top class. The colourful costumes are well chosen. Eurovision, which is particularly important to Estonians is the show’s climax. The show’s
humour and love scenes, as well as self-irony made the audience laugh more than a few times, on the night I attended. “Forever Young” cabaret will run until 29 April 2017. Performances take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Tickets for the cabaret are available online from piletilevi.ee for 69, which includes a glass of sparkling wine, the performance, a three-course dinner and free entry to Cafe Amigo nightclub. Accommodation packages are available from Sokos Hotell Viru and ferry companies travelling between Estonian also offer travel packages. ■
Ballet is part of the programme.
The performance is full of humour.
Location Sokos Hotel Viru Viru väljak 4, Tallinn a2
The year’s biggest parties! Christmas and New Year’s are a time of celebration in Estonia. TEXT JUKKA ARPONEN
Christmas is mostly family-centered in Estonia. Many restaurants offer
Christmas menus and put on different holiday events. You can ring in the New Year with a classic dance party, rock and roll, cabaret, or formal dinner
in Tallinn or elsewhere. There are also fireworks displays to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for some of the biggest parties and events in the country. Bookings are recommended. Ring in the new year at Uusaasta.ee in Elva. Located about 30 km from Tartu, a heated tent will
be set up in this small town for an evening of musical entertainment by the legendary Singer-Vinger. Tickets 20. Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu will organise a dance party in Tartu on 30 December. On New Year’s Eve the party continues to the conference rooms of the Dor-
pat Hotel where you can enjoy a festive meal, quality entertainment and sparkling wine. Tickets: 28-93. The “official” NYE dance party takes place in Tallinn at the Estonia Theatre with 1930s glamour. Opera soloists and the choir, as well as some well-known
artists like Eurovision singer Gerli Padar will perform. Meals can be ordered in advance. Tickets: 50. Cabaret parties will take place at the Meriton Park Inn and Merineitsi restaurant in the Viru Hotel. In addition to the show, enjoy a full dinner and some drinks. Tickets: 105-119. ■
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV, ESTONIAN OPEN AIR MUSEUM
December Top 10 Sights in Tallinn
1 VABAÕHUMUUSEUM 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.
(Lennusadam) Küti 17 / Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn
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.
TALLINN TV TOWER
(Tallinna Teletorn) Kloostrimetsa tee 58a, Tallinn
Kullassepa 7, Tallinn Old Town h1
Tallinn Legends is a unique tourist experience, a theatrical and interactive museum that recreates historical events and legends of medieval Tallinn. The entire experience takes 40 minutes, where nine fascinating legends are performed by professional actors and mechanical dolls. You are led through nine underground chambers, each a themed set for a different legend like the Alchemist deriving the formula of the Philosopher’s stone, the plague-devastated streets, or the beheading of Johann von Uexkull. The performances bring together storytelling, interactive shows, and special effects and are available in English, Finnish, Estonian, and Russian.
The 314-meter tall Tallinn TV Tower has been a popular sightseeing destination ever since its reopening last spring. From the visitor’s platform you can see the silhouette of Tallinn Old Town, some 10 kilometres to the west. Muuga Harbour is located to the north, on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. In Soviet times, the tower was the only place to ‘see through the iron curtain,’ to the contour of unattainable capitalist Finland. Once you have looked horizontally, step on the glass circles in the floor and look vertically, 170 metres down! If you are less adventurous, just take a break in the caférestaurant, or get a glimpse of an interactive exhibition illustrating Estonian achievements.Back at the entrance area you can get a glimpse of Estonian history, and the restoration of independence, in which the TV Tower played an important role.
5 KUMU: ART MUSEUM OF ESTONIA Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn
KUMU Art Museum has reopened the Soviet wing of its permanent exhibition space, which focuses on Estonian art produced between 1940 and 1991. KUMU curators are reconceptualising understanding of what artists in Estonia made during the Soviet occupation for the first time since KUMU opened its doors to the public in 2006. This change is a welcome and fresh take on Soviet culture in Estonia, reflected in the new name of the display. Previously titled “Difficult Choices”, the display will now go under the name “Conflicts and Adaptations”, reflecting the multiple and contradictory roles artists played throughout the Soviet period, rather than imposing a single grand narrative. Come and see perennial favourites and outstanding works by Jüri Arrak, Malle Leis, Ilmar Malin and others in a new light!
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
17 ESTONIA AT-A-GLANCE
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).
MUSEUM OF OCCUPATIONS
TALLINN CITY MUSEUM
(Tallinna Linnamuuseum) Vene 17, Tallinn Old Town g2
Situated in one of the oldest buildings in Tallinn’s Old Town, the Tallinn City Museum offers a wonderful look into the history of the country’s capital. The museum takes pride in carrying the cultural and historical heritage of Tallinn. It is not only a popular place for interactive communication and leisure time activities, but also a centre for research and memory. It includes an impressive porcelain collection, as well as a fascinating look at Tallinn before industrialisation, among other things. It is a must-see place for any history enthusiast.
KIEK IN DE KÖK AND THE BASTION TUNNELS Komandandi tee 2, Tallinn
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.
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.
8 TALLINN ZOO
(Tallinna Loomaaed) Paldiski mnt 145 / Ehitajate tee 150, Tallinn
The zoo is one of those places that you can visit many times and still not see everything. It’s fun and interesting for visitors of all ages, especially with baby animals born in the spring. Tallinn Zoo is definitely Estonian, because you can watch many of the animals live via webcam from the zoo’s homepage. But of course, visiting is much more fun. Located in the Veskimetsa park forest, Tallinn Zoo houses one of the most fascinating collections of wildlife in northern Europe. It has over 7,700 specimens from almost 600 species from all over the world. Tallinn Zoo has an impressive collection of wild goats and sheep, as well as a large population of vultures and eagles, along with other birds.
(Okupatsioonide muuseum) Toompea 8, Tallinn b1
Every visit to the Occupation Museum brings a new surprise of some description. For someone who did not live through Estonia’s Soviet occupation, it’s easy to imagine what the city of Tallinn might have looked like in Soviet times, but it’s not possible to live through those times. That’s where a place like the Occupation Museum comes in. In a modernist, glass-surrounded building at the bottom of Toompuiestee, the museum projects an understated calm, all the better for drawing attention to its exhibits. The aim of the permanent exhibitions is to show what Estonia was like to live in, under Soviet rule. There are impressive artefacts, including paraphernalia from an old home, old cars, and of course the rogues’ gallery of Soviet political and military busts held downstairs, opposite the toilets, and sure to give you a fright when you realise how close you are to Lenin.
10 KGB MUSEUM
Viru väljak 4, Tallinn b2
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.
A quick history of the city of Tallinn The name Tallinn originates from the Danish occupation (1219–). 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.
■ 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 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.
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.
Holidays 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.
museum Museums & Galleries Museum of Estonian Architecture (Eesti Arhitektuurimuuseum. Rotermanni soolaladu)
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (Eesti Tarbekunsti- ja Disainimuuseum)
Ahtri 2, Tallinn, a2 www.arhitektuurimuuseum.ee. We 12–18, Th 12-20, Fr-Su 11-18.
Museum of Puppet Arts NUKU (Nukumuuseum NUKU)
Lai 17, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.etdm.ee. We-Su 11 - 18.
Lai 1, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.nuku.ee. Tu-Su 10-19.
Estonian History Museum Great Guild Hall (Eesti Ajaloomuuseum)
Occupation Museum (Okupatsioonimuuseum) Toompea 8, Tallinn Old Town, b1 www.okupatsioon.ee. Tu-Su 11 - 18.
Pikk 17, Tallinn Old Town, g1 www.ajaloomuuseum.ee. 01.09 - 30.04 Th-Tu 10–18.
Photo Museum (Raevangla fotomuuseum)
Estonian History Museum Maarjamäe Palace
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.
Maarjamäe Castle, Pirita tee 56, Tallinn, a5 www.ajaloomuuseum.ee. We-Su 10–17.
Estonian Maritime Museum (Eesti Meremuuseum)
Tallinn City Museum (Tallinna Linnamuuseum)
Pikk 70, Tallinn Old Town, d3 www.meremuuseum.ee. 01.10-30.04 Tu-Su 10–18.
Vene 17, Tallinn Old Town, g3 www.linnamuuseum.ee We – Mo 10.30–17.30.
Estonian Museum of Natural History (Eesti Loodusmuuseum) Lai 29a, Tallinn Old Town, f2 www.loodusmuuseum.ee. We 10-17, Th 10-19, Fri-Su 10-17.
Estonian Open Air Museum (Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum)
Viru Hotel and KGB Museum (Hotell Viru ja KGB muuseum) 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.
■ Art Museums & Galleries
Vabaõhumuuseumi tee 12, Tallinn. www.evm.ee. 23.04-28.09 Mo-Su 10-20, 29.09-22.04 Mo-Su 10-17.
Adamson-Eric Museum (Adamson-Ericu muuseum)
Estonian Theatre and Music Museum (Eesti Teatri- ja muusikamuuseum)
Lühike jalg 3, Tallinn Old Town, i1 www.adamson-eric.ee. We-Su 11–18
Kadrioru Art Museum (Kadrioru kunstimuuseum)
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.
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.
Kiek in de Kök & Bastion Passages
Mikkeli Museum (Mikkeli muuseum)
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.
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.
MiiaMilla Museum (Muuseum MiiaMilla)
Kumu Art Museum (Kumu kunstimuuseum)
L. Koidula 21C, Tallinn b4 www.linnamuuseum.ee/miiamilla Tu-Su 12-18.
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.
Dominican Monastery Museum (Dominikaanlaste Kloostri muuseum) Vene 16, Tallinn Old Town, g3 www.kloostri.ee. 1.06-30.09 Mon-Sun 11-17. Winter by appointment only.
Niguliste Museum (Niguliste muuseum) Niguliste 3, Tallinn Old Town, i1 www.nigulistemuuseum.ee. We-Su 10–17. Ticket office closes 16.30.
Kumu Art Museum
Paul Delvaux. Le rêve. 1935. Private collection Musée d’Ixelles, deposit
PAUL DELVAUX. A Waking Dreamer 25.11.2016–12.03.2017 The dream-like atmosphere of the works by this Belgian surrealist, who had a significant impact on 20th-century art, combines deeply personal motifs with quotations from art history. The exhibition is a cooperative project with the Musée d’Ixelles (Belgium). Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1 Tallinn, Estonia
Open: Wed 10am–8pm, Thu–Sun 10am–6pm Closed: 24–26 December, 1 January Closed three hours earlier: 23 December, 31 December Open as an exception: 3 January
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
Discover the Legends of Tallinn TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, ALEKSANDR IVANOV, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
A unique project recently came to Tallinn and has become quite
popular. The one of a kind Tallinn Legends is a different kind of theatre experience where each set not only moves and plays with light and colour, but sound as well. The immersive theatre project took three years to put together and build. Screen writers and historians, producers and artists, designers and decorators, robot engineers, and lighting and sound specialists were all called in on the project. Twenty five tonnes of decorations, 2000 lamps, 16 km of cables, 120 decibels of sound, and one million euros is what it took to complete. Tallinn Legends is set in a 12-13th century cellar in the Old Town, where there was once a prison. The creators sure found the appropriate place to recount medieval tales of fears and misgivings in an underground theatre, where history and legend meet. The experience is brilliant and mysterious. We learned that there were both dark and light periods, life didn’t cost anything and death meant nothing; why virgin girls were walled into towers and how 100 years ago St. Olav’s church was the tallest building in northern Europe and how it burned many times. Legends of mermaids and hidden marzipan recipes, and how the city authorities had cut off the Baron’s majestic head, because he murdered his peasants, who became city dwellers are just some of the fascinating and haunting tales you will
Real actors portray the legends of Tallinn.
hear told by talented actors.Performances take place in English, Russian, Estonian, Finnish, and starting in May in German and Chinese as well. We were let in on one final secret, that in December Tallinn Legends will also start city tours to show the birthplace of some
of the city’s legends, followed by a theatre attraction tour. ■
Location Tallinn Legends Kullasseppa 7, Тallinn Old Town h1
TH BA EC EM TH E EB A L TL ITCI CG G UU I DI D E E™ ™D D EC EM 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: soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#tallinna-linn/map/en
1, 2 9 Kopli Sepa Marati
Sitsi Lõime Angerja
PÕHJA-TALLINN Ehte Volta
Trolley-buses 1 3 4 5
Kaubamaja – Mustamäe Kaubamaja – Mustamäe Balti jaam – Keskuse Balti jaam – Mustamäe
1 2 3 4
Balti jaam Telliskivi
Kadriorg – Kopli Ülemiste– Kopli Kadriorg – Tondi Ülemiste – Tondi
Ristiku Sõle Ülase Taksopark Hipodroom Koskla Välja
J. Poska Mere pst
Balti jaam Ädala
Htl. Tallinn OLD Viru TOWN 1 Htl. Tallinn 3 Tehnika TõnisEstonia KAUBAA. Adam- mägi MAJA Vabaduse soni väljak Tõnismägi Koidu Kosmos Koidu
KADRIORG 1, 3
Keskturg Autobussijaam Lubja
Who can ride for free:
A. H. Tammsaare tee
MUSTAMÄE 1 3 5
Akadeemia tee KESKUSE Männi Vambola Mustamäe Liivaku Keskuse 9 4 Raja Keemia Ehitajate tee
■ 30-day: €23
■ Single-ride ticket from driver: €2 ■ 24-hour: €3 ■ 72-hour: €5 ■ 5-day: €6
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. More information: www.visittallinn.ee/visitor/plan/getting-around/ public-transport.
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.
■ Registered residents of Tallinn ■ Tallinn Card holders ■ Unaccompanied children under 6 ■ Children under 3 with one accompanying adult
TALLINN CITY TOUR 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 24 and 48 hrs on three different lines.
KALAMAJA ROCCA AL MARE
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: adults: €19/24hr, €23/48hr www.citytour.ee
6-118-000 11-800 (+€0.74 / min)
■ 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?
I DE E ™™ DDE EC CE EMMB BE ER R 2 20 01 16 6 T THHE E B BA AL LT TI CI C GGUUI D
Photo: Margus Johanson
■ Getting to and from Tallinn
■ 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.elron.ee www.gorail.ee From the train station tion to the city: tram ram no. 1, no. 2, or ten minutes on foot to the Old Town
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 ys
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.
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
For more information: http://www.tallinn.ee/eng/Parkingin-Tallinn
■ By air: Nordica - Estonia's newest airline, replacing Estonian Air currently serves many routes in Europe and Scandinavia in cooperation with Adria Airways. +372 664 2200 email@example.com, www.nordica.ee Open 5.00-21.00, Sa 5.00-16.00
Photo: Nordic Aviation Group
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.
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.
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Â©Regio 2008 KL-8-026 HAAPSALU 175 IKLA MAAKONNAD 347 288 KOIDULA 84 148 335 KUIVASTU HARJUMAA IDALÃ„Ã„NEVIRUMAA VIRUMAA 158 221 408 73 KURESSAARE 56 228 403 121 106 KÃ„RDLA JÃ„RVAMAA RAPLAMAA HIIUMAA 312 349 267 357 431 368 NARVA JÃ•GEVAMAA 108 67 253 81 155PÃ„RNUMAA 161 291 PÃ„RNU VILJANDIMAA SAAREMAA TARTUMAA 199 235 222 245 318 256 167 178 RAKVERE 9 180 356 90 163 47 321 114 208 ROHUKÃœLA PÃ•LVAMAA 99 193 285 144 218 155 211 128 VALGAMAA 99 108 TALLINN 249 209 100 255 328 305 178 174 123 258 186 TARTU VÃ•RUMAA 204 131 173 177 250 257 235 96 149 210 159 78 VILJANDI 22Ëš00' 300 227 62 274 347 353 248 192 194 306 253 71 124 VÃ•RU 22Ëš00'
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Â©REGIO 2008 Riia 24, Tartu 51010 tel +372 738 7300
T H E B A LT I C G U I D E ™ D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6
Rakvere – Calm Contemplation in the Countryside
beautiful places to visit, and it’s for this reason that it’s well worth getting on the Elron train from Tallinn Balti Jaam station, or the bus from Tallinna Bussijaam, and taking the journey of just over an hour, up the north coast of Estonia, to Rakvere, capital of Laane-Viru county and a compact market town full of unending surprises. I hopped off the train and took the ten-minute walk into the centre of town, passing Inglise Pubi, the English pub, which I was not expecting to see outside of Tallinn. However, it seems Rakvere is a place that enjoys cultural cross-pollination. You can see this if you go to the main square, and put your head round the door of Berliini Trahter (Lai 15), which is a German-style tavern on the main tourist hub of the town. Although central-European lager and beer is available for evening visits, this is also a fine place to sit with friends and enjoy some lunchtime refreshment. I recommend the pelmeenid (dumplings); admittedly they’re not a German snack - they’re more
Russian in heritage from what friends tell me - but they are delicious. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to well-appointed cafes in the centre of Rakvere. Probably the one place everyone needs to spend time while in the town is Art Cafe (Lai 13). The walls are adorned with paintings that can be purchased, making it a kind of collaborative effort between the cafe’s staff and local artists. In summer the large garden, with children’s play area, is a highlight, but in winter, the building itself is cosy, and the food never disappoints, especially for what is a distinctly nonTallinn (and therefore low) level of expense. The staff are polite, the ambiance soothing - it’s perfect stress relief. Also good is Laada Bistroo (Laada 10a) - this is the only cafe of the three I visited that serves breakfast, including an Estonian twist on the English Breakfast baguette, and a tasty omelette. You are served in a canteen style, meaning if you’re pushed for time, Laada Bistroo is likely to get you fed faster. It’s not meant to be classy or fancy, but it will satisfy you, and one of those breakfast sandwiches will fill you up for a whole day.
The inviting Art Cafe.
Tasty cake at Art Cafe.
TEXT STUART GARLICK PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
Estonia in winter has a panoply of
Estonian sculptor Tauno Kangro made the Tarvas statue that sits on Vallimägi Hill.
Moving off from the main square, another great tourist attraction is the Aqva Spa Hotel (Parkali 13), where you can get your fair share of massages, pampering body treatments and dips in warm baths, and all for a price that is a fraction of some of the better-known places in Tallinn and Pärnu, if you get a good deal. Move on to the parkland behind the hotel, go up the steep flight of stairs (being careful of your footing) and you reach Rakvere
Aqva Spa Hotel Castle, the town’s main landmark
and a marvel of the Hanseatic age, gratifyingly still in wonderful condition after 670 years of turbulent history, defending the town from all-comers. Although the walls, on an overcast day, project a certain isolated bleakness, it’s something any fan of stories like Wuthering Heights will appreciate. In order to have a true appreciation of Estonian history, it’s necessary not only to see the castle, but also to head to the Okaskroon, or
Crown of Thorns, monument (uphill from Õie 12), built after the restoration of independence in order to commemorate the individuals and families from the area who were deported to Siberia after the Second World War. The monument is a minimalistic, silent reminder of a chapter of history everyone hopes not to repeat. A visit to this sobering sculpture will shed light on the many changes experienced in just a few short decades in Rakvere, and in Estonia. ■
Berliini Trahter, a German-style tavern on the main tourist hub of the town.
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