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Journey to Tallinn. Estonia

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Tallinn
Tallinn (/ˈtɑːlɪn/ or /ˈtælɪn/, Estonian pronunciation: [ˈtɑlʲˑinˑ]; names in other languages) is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. From the 13th century until 1918 (and briefly during the Nazi occupation of Estonia from 1941 to 1944), the city was known as Reval. Tallinn occupies an area of 159.2 km2 (61.5 sq mi) and has a population of 443,894. Approximately 32% of Estonia's total population lives in Tallinn.
 
Tallinn was founded in 1248, but the earliest human settlements date back 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe. The initial claim over the land was laid by the Danes in 1219 after a successful raid of Lyndanisse led by Valdemar II of Denmark, followed by a period of alternating Scandinavian and German rule. Due to its strategic location, the city became a major trade hub, especially from the 14th to the 16th century, when it grew in importance as part of the Hanseatic League.
 
In 1154, a town called Qlwn or Qalaven (which may be derivations of Kalevan or Kolyvan) was put on the world map of the Almoravid by the Arab cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, who described it as "a small town like a large castle" among the towns of 'Astlanda'. It has been suggested that Quwri may have denoted a predecessor of the modern city.The earliest names of Tallinn include Kolyvan (Russian: Колывань), which is known from East Slavic chronicles and which may have come from the Estonian mythical hero Kalev.
 
Up to the 13th century, the Scandinavians and Henry of Livonia in his chronicle called the town Lindanisa (or Lyndanisse in Danish, Lindanäs in Swedish and Ledenets in Old East Slavic. According to some poetical suggestions, this name was derived from Linda, the mythical wife of Kalev and the mother of Kalevipoeg, who in an Estonian legend carried rocks to her husband's grave, which formed the Toompea hill. It has been also suggested that the archaic Estonian word linda is similar to the Votic word lidna, meaning a castle or town. According to this suggestion, nisa would have the meaning 'niemi' (or 'peninsula'), producing Kesoniemi, the old Finnish name for the city. Another ancient historical name for Tallinn in Finnish is Rääveli. The Icelandic Njal's saga mentions Tallinn and calls it Rafala, which is a variant of the name Raphael.
 
After the Danish conquest in 1219, the town became known in the German, Swedish and Danish languages as Reval (Latin: Revalia). The name originated from (Latin) Revelia (Estonian) Revala or Rävala, the adjacent ancient name of the surrounding area.
 
What can arguably be considered to be Tallinn's main attractions are located in the old town of Tallinn (divided into a "lower town" and Toompea hill) which is easily explored on foot. The eastern parts of the city, notably Pirita (with Pirita Convent) and Kadriorg (with Kadriorg Palace) districts, are also popular destinations, and the Estonian Open Air Museum in Rocca al Mare, west of the city, preserves aspects of Estonian rural culture and architecture.
 
The city operates a system of bus (64 lines), tram (4 lines) and trolley-bus (5 lines) routes to all districts. A flat-fare system is used. The ticket-system is based on prepaid RFID cards available in kiosks and post offices. Starting from January 2013 public transport for citizens registered to live in Tallinn is completely free. That includes buses, trams and trolleybuses, and also the rail services within city limits.
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Where to stay in Tallinn
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Kuninga Apartments
Tallinn | Kuninga 1, 10146 Tallinn
4.5
Traveller Rating
( Based on 33 reviews )
With a stay at Kuninga Apartments in Tallinn Old Town, you'll be minutes from Tallinn Town Hall and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This apartment is within close proximity of Church of the Holy Spirit and St. Catherine's Passage. Make yourself at home in one of the 4 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring kitchenettes with refrigerators and kitchen linens. Windows open for fresh air and courtyard views. Computers, complimentary high-speed wired Internet access, and cable programming provide entertainment. Conveniences include desks and separate sitting areas, and you can also request microwaves. Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed wired Internet access and multilingual staff. Parking subject to charges is conveniently located nearby.
Price from 20 EUR
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CRU Hotel
Tallinn | Viru 8 10140 Tallinn
4.5
Traveller Rating
( Based on 432 reviews )
The luxurious boutique CRU Hotel is set in the 15th-century merchant’s house. Cru Hotel is located on the main street of the beautiful Tallinn’s Old Town, just 100 metres from the Town Hall. All rooms at CRU are decorated with antique furniture and wooden beams. Each offers Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV, as well as a safe, a minibar and a modern bathroom with toiletries and bathrobes. Front desk is available 24 hours a day. All public spaces are air-conditioned. The hotel houses a restaurant which specialises in French and Estonian cuisine. Restaurant CRU is located on the ground floor and has a great view on one of the busiest streets of the Old Town. The restaurant’s chefs are award winning personalities. CRU Hotel’s delicious breakfast with morning sparkling wine is served daily at the restaurant.
Price from 55 EUR
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Von Stackelberg Hotel by Unique Hotels
Tallinn | Toompuiestee 23 10137 Tallinn
4.5
Traveller Rating
( Based on 1165 reviews )
This historical hotel overlooks the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tallinn's old town. The establishment lies right at the foot of Toompea Hill and is also only a few steps from Toompea Castle and Nevsky Cathedral. All of the main shopping, restaurant and nightlife areas can be found nearby, and the establishment also has excellent transport links, with the railway station lying 7 minutes' walk away and the port and bus station situated around 2 km away. Guests will find a number of bars, pubs and nightlife spots in the immediate vicinity, whilst shops can be found around 1 km away. The national football stadium offers live sports and is a 15-minute walk away. Meanwhile, Estonia's best golf courses are approximately 25 minutes' drive from the hotel. The local airport is approximately 2 km from the accommodation. This fully renovated lifestyle hotel is set in a building dating back to 1874. Renovated in 2009, the establishment offers modern facilities in a historical setting, with a unique atmosphere, where the old meets the new. The air-conditioned conference hotel comprises a total of 52 guest rooms and suites spread across 3 storeys and 2 buildings. Guests are welcomed into a lobby with 24-hour reception and check-out service and currency exchange facilities, and on-site facilities include lift access and dining options such as a café, bar and restaurant. Business guests will appreciate the conference facilities, and room and laundry services are available for a fee.
Price from 56 EUR
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Savoy Boutique
Tallinn | Suur-Karja 17/19 10148 Tallinn
4.5
Traveller Rating
( Based on 1747 reviews )
This hotel is located on the edge of the city centre and the old town of Tallinn. It is an ideal hotel for business guests as well as for tourists. Public institutions, shops, restaurants, and bars can all be found in the surrounding area. Constructed in 1890, this 6-storey hotel was extensively renovated in 2006. The original Art Deco style of the hotel was preserved. The hotel comprises a total of 43 rooms as well as a lobby area with a reception desk manned around the clock, a currency exchange facility, lift access, and a restaurant. Business guests may take advantage of the conference facilities, and there is also a free Internet connection via WIFI. Room and laundry services are available. There are 43 rooms in the hotel: 3 suites, 10 single rooms, 19 double rooms with a bed for two persons, 11 twin rooms with 2 separate beds for one person and 1 room suitable for disabled guests. All rooms are luxuriously furnished and complete with accessories and details that should satisfy the needs of demanding customers, including air conditioning, a minibar, hairdryer, TV, bathrobe and slippers. In addition, the suites have a whirlpool, trouser press and an extra TV. The guests can use the telephone with direct outside line and a safe with an internal power socket to allow safe charging of laptop computers. Entertainment is on offer close to the hotel, just a few minutes' walk away.L'Arancia restaurant can be recommended to friends and acquaintances and it offers a small interior, a cosy atmosphere, excellent service and first-class cuisine.
Price from 86 EUR
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