I found Estonia a fascinating country and the capital Tallinn a super interesting city.
I was lucky enough to spend quite a long time exploring the city, which allowed me to feel the city and go beyond the most well known touristic attractions. (find here what to do and see in Tallinn)
For me, the following places are an absolute must:
Top places out off the Beaten Track in Tallinn
Telliskivi Creative City
I really loved exploring Tallinn’s art scene. Telliskivi Creative City, was an abandoned factory area that has been reclaimed as an urban space and is now home to the biggest artistic hub in the country.
At Telliskivi Creative City there are really interesting independent businesses and non-profits, alternative public spaces and great street art.
Here you have an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the local cultural life and hang out in places far from the masses of tourist.
This district is about 15-20 minutes walk from the historic centre, but if you do not want to walk or cycle you can reach it getting the trams number 1 and 2 from the centre, the bus stop is called Telliskivi.
The Patarei prison is an imposing, seaside complex in the Kalamaja district that was originally built as a fortress in the 19th, and from 1920 was used as a prison during Soviet times.
What I liked about this place was that it isn’t a regular museum, they only had some posters in some areas with chilling testimonies and facts about life in prison, giving you a glimpse of Soviet-era prison life in all its dreariness. Despite the posters, the prison has been left virtually untouched.
The building is in a rough condition and to be inside and see the place the same way that it was abandoned sends shivers up my spine. There is an undeniable eerie feeling as you walk around.
Walking around takes a little bit of courage, and you get punched in the stomach many times just from the thoughts that run on my mind imagining the many atrocities that happened on those walls, torture, violence, execution… You can almost smell the fear and desperation that would have hung in the air here.
To visit the exhibition ‘Communism is Prison’ the admission is 5€, and per the patareiprison.org website, it seems that they are aiming to become the International Museum for the Victims of Communism. So I imagine that the building will suffer great changes.
From where I’m from there is no sauna culture, so I thought it was a great opportunity the try it, and I didn’t get disappointed.
A lovely woman I met during my time in the city recommended the Tallink Spa, but there are endless options in the city, for all tastes and pockets.
I paid 14€ to use the Aqua Spa for 3 hours. There you can try a variety of saunas, Jacuzzi pools, and use the large indoor pool and also the open-air outdoor swimming pool.
I never came across such a variety of steam and Finnish saunas it was a great experience.
Let me know if you have been to Tallinn and what places did you like the most.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha