On March/April 2018 we joined a cruise journey organized by PM2AM student trips, an organisation that arranges different trips for young adults (until the age of 35). The cruise we went on is epic. The route started in Stockholm and took us further by cruise ship towards Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Tallinn over the span of 4 nights. A new country every time you wake up! In this series of four blogs I will tell you how we experienced each city. The fourth and final stop: Tallinn, Estonia!
A teaser of the sights we saw during our trip will surely persuade you to read on, will it not ;-)?
After experiencing Saint Petersburg the day before, we decided to enjoy the cruiseship until the late hours. The morning after that, we arrived at the Tallinn Harbor around 9:00 AM. The boarding was faster this time, entering a European city once again. After my last visit in 2011 I was very excited to be back, because this city has so much to offer! Back then I was there for a whole weekend of drinking, this time I could give my attention more towards the sightseeing!
And let us be honest, going in April when it was winter and the ocean was frozen never bore our sight :-).
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After 5 minutes of walking from the harbor towards the city, the first thing that will grasp your attention is the Oleviste kirik (Saint Olaf church). The tower stands at a 123,7 meters tall in front of you calling to be shot by your camera. We were lucky that it was snowing the day before, for some extra charm :-).
After strolling through the snow passing the Oleviste kirik we made our way towards the city. The first stop we wanted to go to: Kohtu Viewpoint. This viewpoint is located on the east corner of Toompea hill and gives you some breathtaking views over the medieval city of Tallinn. You want some photo’s of Tallinn? This is the place to be! P.s. be sure to not buy your souvenirs on top of the viewpoint but in the city center, it is cheaper there!
On our way towards the viewpoint we did pass the city walls of Tallin with its guard towers. The first wall of the city was called “Margaret Wall”, honoring the Queen Margarat Sambiria who ordered its construction back in 1265. Originally 2.4 kilometers long, 1.9 kilometers still stands today. The wall had 66 original defensive towers, but only a few remain. You can climb on top of them as well. Standing tall with their red roofs it is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval fortifications.
The Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was our next stop as we entered Tallinn Old Town. This cathedral is built in a typical Russian Revival style in the late 19th century, when Estonia was still part of the Russian Empire. It is Tallinn’s largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. Be sure to enter the cathedral and if you are lucky, you are able to witness a holy mass in the orthodox style. Totally different than Christian churches and interesting to experience.
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at the entrance of the Cathedral you can also find Toompea, a castle created out of the earlier built fortress in the 13th and 14th century. With the Estonian flag proudly in the wind, this building is the current parliament building. There are free excursions, sadly we did not have the time to do it.
After that we walked to the Danish King’s Garden, which is located right next to the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. It used to be only accessible through the Short Leg Gate Tower, which is one of the most haunted places in Tallinn. There have been sightings of an infamous executed black monk, a lion and a ghostly galleon floating through the tower walls with its transparent sails flowing. Hence the several statues of the black monk. The rich history is showcased on the sight, be sure to experience it yourself.
When you are walking towards the center of Old Town, you will end up at the Raekoja Plats (the Town Hall Square). It is the heart of the Old Town and one of the main reasons this whole city is an UNESCO world heritage sight. The colorful buildings and pleasant restaurants and bars make this a lovely place to relax and enjoy the view.
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The Town Hall Square also is the home of Raekoda, this immense building stands tall within the square and back in the day was used as a courthouse and a place to introduce goods. It even functioned as a theater.
Opposite of the Raekoda there is a small hallway which brings you to Vene and Pikk Tanav Street. These are the most famous streets of Tallinn. The street comes down from the Toompea Hill towards the Old Town. The street is loaded with ancient buildings and craft shops. Be sure to pick up some nice souvenirs here! Oh yeah, there is also a cool clock to find on the street :-).
Strolling through Tallin, you find a lot of gems. Like the Church of the Holy Spirit. The bright whiteness of this building catches your attention immediately. It is located in between a lot of streets, but when you turn the corner and see this white glow welcoming you, you got to gaze. Fun fact: it also has a sun clock, but since the sun is not that bright throughout the year it loses its use most of the time :-).
Around the corner of the Church of the Holy Spirit there is a small gateway and a tourist explanation sign. If you walk fast, you would go past it. But, it is worth a quick peek. The Academy of Sciences in Tallinn is housed in a building made by a former Land Council who was originally from Germany. It is modeled after the Italian Renaissance and built in the 19th century. It used to be the Estonian Provincial Museum before its current occupiers of the academy.
After some sightseeing of our own and a few beers on the Town Hall Square, we gathered with our PM2AM group for a guided tour of 1,5 hours. Of course the tour crossed through a lot of sights we already had seen, but now we got some background information with it!
Around 16:00 PM our guided tour was finished at the Vene and Pikk Tanav Street as our end destination. The road took us right back to the harbor. Our last stop was sadly over.
Tallinn is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its medieval character is well preserved. Everything is doable by foot, roaming through ancient streets will keep you gazing the whole day. The nightlife is perfect as well, making it a great escape for couples, a weekend with friends/family or as a solo traveler. Tallinn, one of our favorite cities in the world. And that in a small country like Estonia, with a population of only 1.3 million but genius minds who brought us Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.
I hope you enjoyed my blogs about our experiences during this Baltic Sea cruise trip. If you have any questions, feel free to respond below and I will gladly help you!
Oh, and to end our trip we also got some news. Big news in fact! Because as you know, Uncensored Travel consists of Robert the blogger and Samia the master mind and video creator. Well, it just so happens that Robert asked Samia for her hand, meaning that #Robsam_roundtheworld and #Robtakessamaroundtheworld just became: #Robsam_got_engaged ! 🙂
#robsam_got_engaged so Robert proposed in a cruise while we were doing a 4 country cruise trip #love #romance #engagement #romance #amazingworld #robsam_roundtheworld #robtakessamaroundtheworld #discovertheworld #travelphotography #igtravel #worlderlust #breathtaking #exploretheworldaroundyou #travel #tourism #instago #instagood #instapassport #picoftheday #photooftheday #lifeonmove #livelife #wanderlust #lonelyplanet #traveltheworld
To experience the other days on this tour, check out my other blogs about our Baltic Sea cruise: