Tallinn, which means "Danish castle", is the capital of Estonia. It is situated on the inlet of the Gulf of Finland. By virtue of this, it is prominent as a seaport and a manufacturing centre specializing in the production of electric motors, cables and other electrical goods. Fishing and fish processing are the bread and butter business of this city.

The city is middle-aged in appearance and identified by Gothic architecture. It was in 1154 that the Arabian cartographer al - Idrisi marked Tallinnn on his world map.

The seacoast capital of Estonia projects a sense of romantic memoirs since it is one of the most completely conserved medieval cities in Europe. Anonymity still spreads through the courtyards of the Old Town, the winding alleys surrounded with authentic ancient merchant's barns, houses, warehouses and an abundance of perfectly maintained medieval state buildings and churches.

Nonetheless, Tallinnn is definitely not trapped in the ancient past. While keeping its past, the city is as progressive-thinking as any other modern European capital. This is shown in the interactive and interesting displays at the Tallinnn Science and Technology Centre. Its public transport is up to date and proficient; the nightlife is very active with places ranging from pool halls and cigar bars to nightclubs; and eating out is a pleasant thing to do.

Tallinn, getting there and around

By air
Tallinn can be reached by riding its main carrier Estonian Air and landing at Ülemiste airport. Ülemiste airport is less than 4 km from the city centre. It can be reached by connecting flights from UK and Europe. Non-stop flights from North America are not available.

By sea
Two passenger ports are available for tourists to disembark when in Tallinn. These ports are just near the Old Town.

By train
Tallinn can also be reached by rail. Train stations in Praha will mark ones arrival in the city.

Getting around

A network of buses, trams and trolleys link all sections of the city from 6am to 12pm daily. Tickets are easily purchased either from the driver at vehicle stops or at newsstands. Another option is by purchasing Tallinnn Cards that allow limitless use of public transport together with admission to different attractions. Minivans are also available for transport and taxis can be called over on the street or contacted by phone. Plenty of parking lots in downtown Tallinnn, and parking on street sides are made available that must be paid for ahead on kerbside machines.

Tallinn, main attractions

The Old Town

It is the main tourist attraction of Tallinn and it can be explored through walking. This site is surrounded by walls and is comprised of architectures that are very nostalgic since it reflects those that are from the Medieval times. The town is composed of the Toompea Hill, which was the home of the aristocracy and gentry in the olden days, and the Lower Town that runs independently. The Old Town is exceptionally complete and well-kept.

Tallinnn Zoo

The most popular family attraction of Estonia's capital is the zoo. It houses close to 6,000 animals from Siberian tigers to Polar bears, chimpanzees and crocodiles playing in the Tropical House.

Botanical Garden

The magnificent Botanical Garden of Tallinn encompasses a very large land area measuring to 110 hectares and it holds a lot of plant species, 8000 to be exact. The vegetation originates from all parts of the world.

Rocca al mare Tivoli

This is Estonia's biggest amusement park that gives a lot of family fun showcasing 18 different rides and greater than 100 video and carnival games. Various shows are programmed everyday with shows in its main tent. It is situated on the sandstone banks of the southwestern coast of Kopli Bay in Tallinnn.

Tallinn, events

Estonia considers traditional celebrations as vital parts of their lives, particularly during summer, when people who can travel to rural areas to party in midsummer. Three-day country wedding rarely happens at present but singing continues to be largely famous, be it soberly drunk around a midsummer fire or at some song festivals. At present, the national song and dance festival remains to be a big event, even if it has lost its political urgency. Classical and contemporary music festivals are usually excellent.

Tallinn, important visitor information

Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

220 volts AC, 50 Hz.

The currency of Estonia is the Kroon (EEK). Foreign currencies can be comfortably be exchanged at banks, hotels and exchange bureaux in the larger towns, at the main railway stations and airports. Banking hours happen daily 9am to 4pm.

Locals speak Estonian. English is widely used and understood, but specifically to those from the younger generation and from those involved in the tourist industry.

It is not usually practised, but there is a budding pattern of leaving tips in restaurants; generally 5-10% of the bill. Spare change is appreciated by taxi drivers.

The International dialling code for Estonia is +372 and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code. Pay phones using cards are freely available from tourist information offices, hotel reception desks, post offices, newsstands and other shops. GSM mobile network is also available.