First arriving in Tallinn, I had about as much information as an alien who had landed on planet earth for the first time. With my small guidebook, and three Estonian phrases, I was excited to step out and explore the old town. My initial thought was, it was nothing like I expected. Being so close to Russia, I half expected soviet buildings and grumpy Old Russian men. Imagine my surprise when I looked around and saw untouched architecture, blue skies and a happy Estonian granny knitting a jumper.
Tallinn as a city, acts almost like a love child between Russia and Scandinavia. It holds such gems as; the medieval restaurant where everything is lit by candles, the secret underground monastery where monks paint and sell their work, and the old-fashioned street cart that sells roasted nuts and makes the whole town smell like cinnamon. Don’t worry if the old town sounds a little too old for you, as when night falls, Tallinn turns into a young vibrant city with an abundance of bars and restaurants. One bar in particular (Labor Barr) was science themed and served cocktails; smoking and fizzing in beakers and test tubes. However, the biggest surprise of all, was just how welcomed I felt into a city I had known nothing about. Whatever your reason for wanting to visit Tallinn, It really is the secret gem of Europe.
P.S buy some socks, they are warm and made with Estonian granny love.