From here take the steep cobbled path up to Toompea Hill called Pikk Jalg, or Long Leg, to see the orthodox Cathedral and parliament building in what was Toompea Castle. Estonia was granted independence from the Soviet Union in and the monuments of that moment in its history have been slowly transformed into tourist attractions.
10 of the best things to do in Tallinn
In the Old Town, the former KGB offices have mostly been turned into apartments, but the bricked up basement windows hint that this floor once housed prison cells. The KGB Prison Cells museum displays the written and recorded testimonials of the interrogated vabamu. There are English tours at Tallinn has plenty of bicycle paths and where there are none, do not be surprised to see cyclists using the pavement. Hire bikes from City Bike or Waypoint Travels and ride out of the city, past the Kadriorg Park and Palace, towards the grounds of the Song Festival, which started when Estonians experienced their grand awakening as a sovereign nation from the s.
Continue to Pirita beach, which has lockers, a small market and lifeguards. Or take the bicycle tour , which leaves every day at 11am. Fans of compact living will appreciate KODA Stay , a concrete box plonked in a car park off a main road. The open-plan rooms are surprisingly quiet and include futuristic touches, from the motion-sensor lighting and mezzanine bed to sleek, minimal appliances. Breakfast — from porridge to a full cooked option from a nearby cafe — is ordered by text and delivered at a time of your choosing.
The area started as a slum inhabited by workers of the Tallinn-Saint Petersburg railway at the end of the 19th Century, but now families and young people fill the purpose-built apartments in colourful wooden houses. From there, the trendy bars and coffee shops of Telliskivi Creative City are a very short walk over the train tracks.
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Try their moose fillet, a surprisingly lean and tender meat. The seared pike and citrus risotto comes with a fennel salad and lime foam. High ceilings, massive plants, exposed brick and big chalkboards create a relaxed atmosphere, but the food and service are impeccable. Try the local Saku beer on tap or venture into the extensive craft beer menu, featuring many smaller breweries. NoKu , a hidden bar with a rebellious past, is in the heart of the Old Town, on the second floor of a building with a red and blue door. It used to be a members-only haunt for artists, started in the Seventies as a protest against the admission policy of the nearby KuKu Klub.
It is now open to the public, but you need a code to enter — just ask the smokers standing outside the door. The bar is spread across two spacious rooms furnished with stripped floorboards and Seventies furniture, giving it a laid back, bohemian vibe. This indoor shopping street runs through a former Soviet Kalinin factory at the intersection of the Kalamaja and Pelgulinna districts. The community has transformed the formidable old building into a vibrant community hub, home to creative businesses, small stores and lots of hipster bars and coffee shops.
Tallinn caters for all architectural tastes, from the gothic architecture of the Old Town fortress to its concrete monuments to Soviet rule. You can also buy paper tickets from the driver for exact change only. In summer, ascend the step spiral staircase to the top of the gothic Town Hall for a beautiful view of the Old Town.
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Industrial gourmet. North by south. The embassy of pure food. Tasty dishes in cosy atmosphere. Take a walk in the czar's park. City's most modern market. Tongue in cheek soviet chic.
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New age fun with a Soviet feel. Theater cafe for artsy types. Walk in, crawl out. Ask Tallinn locals questions questions and answers by travellers and locals. Locals' favourite cafes, restaurants, bars and sights in your mobile. Create an account or log in. Log In Sign up. Log In with Facebook.