I’ve been in Tallinn for the last couple of days. I always find it amusing when people ask me why I visit a place, as if there’s some grand master-plan to all my traveling. I guess I could say I’m here because Tallinn is the European Cultural Capital for 2011 or that it’s rated one of the top ten technology cities in the world. But I didn’t even know about those tidbits before coming here. I was however told beforehand that the women are gorgeous and the booze was cheap, which is pretty much the best reason to go anywhere, if you ever needed one.
But really, the only reason I’m in Tallinn is simply because I’ve never been to Estonia. I was planning on going to a Couchsurfing meet-up in Riga and thought “Where else can I go?”. So I fired up Google Maps and picked Tallinn.
Tallinn is an interesting place. But whoever decided to call Tallinn the “new Prague” was clearly heavily under the influence at the time. Tallinn feels like a unique mishmash of the Soviet-era and modern Scandinavia. Also, apparently there are 400,000 inhabitants here but they must only come out during the weekends because I think I’ve seen a total of maybe 12 people. And I’m pretty sure a couple of them were people I just saw twice.
The public system here is very organized and intuitive. And you can get free wifi in most places. The city centre itself is small and very easy to walk around. The Old Town is quaint and worth checking out. As far as prices are concerned, it’s reasonable. Beers cost €2.50-3 a pint, so it’s not crazy cheap like Prague where it’s financially prudent to drink beer instead of eat solid food. But I guess for a “taste of Scandinavia”, Tallinn is fantastic value.
Estonians have a really cute accent. It sort of sounds like Milla Jovovich from The Fifth Element.
Estonian people apparently have a long history of pagan worship. Basically these were the original hippies who went into the forest to hug trees and run naked around bonfires. They kind of remind me of those elves from Lord of The Rings because they were all blonde and always in the woods. I have no idea if Estonians are any good at archery.
So far I like Tallinn. If I do come back I’ll have to make sure I’m here for at least a weekend, so I hopefully see a few more people out and about.
Have you ever been to Tallinn?