And Estonia. When I was applying for a visa through Finland, an Indian who was staying in Finland told me that they go regularly to Estonia to buy alcohol from there because its really cheap. I found it surprising and wondered that what would be the price difference that people actually travel across the Baltic Sea to do that. I got my answer when during my visits to the capital city of Tallinn, I experienced it first hand. Racks and racks of a wide variety of alcohol at really throwaway prices. Yes. Even compared to Indian rates. Big bottles of wine and liquor at less than Rs. 500 !! Good reason to visit Estonia, isn’t it? 😊

Tallinn Old Town Square

 Spent 2 days in the beautiful capital city of Tallinn. Though Estonia is generally clubbed with the other 2 countries to be called Baltics, it has more Finnish and Nordic influence. Though my original plan was to spend one day in Tallinn and the other day exploring the countryside, Tallinn itself was so beautiful that I ended spending both days there.

Parliament of Estonia on Toompea Hill

The fist thing that struck me when I landed in Tallinn was how cheap the public transport is here. A 3 day unlimited public transport pass for Euro 7!! Just like many other European countries, Tallinn has an old town which is pretty and given that a big part of the old town is situated on a hill, you get a vantage view of the new town spread below. Estonia maybe the only country in the world which has black as one of the colours in its national flag. The reason for this – as per the citation near the watch tower at the old town is so that black denotes that it denotes the struggles and sacrifices of the people to gain independence. Good idea isn’t it? Look into the future without forgetting the past.

The old town in Tallinn is quite walkable with lovely squares and cobbled streets. Don’t miss the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the views from the viewing platforms at Toompea Hill.  Unfortunately the St. Olafs Church was closed for renovation when I was there so could not climb the top. Heard the view from the top of the church is fantastic.

Tower of Tallinn at Toompea Hill

Though the old town of Tallinn is indeed beautiful, what I certainly found interesting was the new town. Compared to the old town, the new part of Tallinn is quite modern and plenty of sights to see around. Especially the lovely neighbourhoods of Kalamaja  with its unique architecture. Also, what I found fascinating were the amazing food plazas and the local markets at Depoo , Balti Jaama Tallinn  Creative City. Must visit places if you are a foodie and are fond of visiting local markets (like me).

Interesting neighbourhood of Depoo
Balti Jaama and Tallinn Creative City.

Like I always do when I visit places where I buy the unlimited public transport passes is that I randomly take the tram or bus to its last stop to get a feel of the place when I’m visiting just to see where the locals live. And on one of these trips in Tallinn I got to see this spot which was the last stop on tram route 4. Not a person was to be seen here on this beach and I so would’ve loved to take a ride on the train which runs on this track next to the sea.  

Things you see when you go off the beaten path

Since I’m also fond of visiting the parks in European cities, one such absolutely lovely park was the Kadriorg Park which has the Kadriorg Palace and Parliament house on its grounds. Its spread across a wide area and has plenty of water bodies and fountains. A beautiful place to relax after a long day of trudging through the city.

Kadriorg Gardens
Kadriorg Palace

And yes, if you want to buy good quality alcohol at really cheap prices,  do head to one of the supermarkets across the Tallinn port. I was gobsmacked looking at the variety and prices of alcohol there.  

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