You wouldn’t want to miss this Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia

Sweden declares a holiday when the sun shines the longest in the sky – and calls it the midsummer holiday! Darn cool, ain’t it? Believe it or not, living in the Nordics, one gets to discover the true worth of this biggest fireball in the sky. While there are special Swedish traditions and rituals to celebrate a midsummer, it also means an extended weekend to plan a getaway 🙂 This year S & I decided to hop over from Stockholm to the other side of the Baltic Sea, and seep into the midsummer seasons and celebrations of the much talked about Baltic Land 🙂

Tallinn, a port town in the country of Estonia, borders the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. With the city center just 10-minute drive from the airport, it appeared to me that this Baltic capital has one of Northern Europe’s most beautiful and well- preserved Old Town.

Over a few years of travel, I have come to realize why cities with an old European charm and appeal are the most popular among the travellers. Their ancient and medieval character, coupled with the modern vibrance is absolutely unparalleled. They may bustle with tourists, but you’re never far from a cozy and relaxing corner, where you can sit for hours beholding the sights around, soaking it all in, while holding a cup of your favourite coffee and some delicious cakes.

The characteristic cobblestoned alleys, tall-spired medieval churches, and distinct orange-roofed towers made Tallinn an incredibly photogenic place to set our eyes on.

Even more exciting was to be able to get an aerial view of the town, through some easily accessible viewing platforms, which are free for public to visit. I would definitely recommend to visit the ToompeaHill in the city to get some sweeping views of the town,  because of its positioning on a hilltop.

Some of the popular viewing platforms are :

  • Kohtuotsa 
  • Patkuli 

A few glimpses of the pleasing view from the top 😉

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Kohtuotsa viewing platform

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Patkuli viewing platform

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is another of the popular attractions in the Old Town. Perched upon the Toompea Hill, where the other viewing platforms are, it showcases the Russian Orthodox architecture with its dome-shaped top. Quite a contrast to the soaring spires defining the skyline of the rest of the town.

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Toompea Hill

Town Hall Square (or the Raekoja Plats) is a picturesque market hub, with a blend of traditional and modern sights, buildings, merchant houses, shops and cafes. Being a midsummer weekend, it was swarmed with a lot of other enthusiastic tourists, who found themselves gazing at the exquisiteness of the place. Don’t forget to pick up a piece of beautiful amber jewellery this region is famous for!

Amber jewellery in Tallinn

Do you also enjoy the beauty and charm of an Old Town, just like I do? There is another absolutely splendid and magnificent one in Poland, which I would surely recommend.

Read: This Old Town in Poland will sweep your ground

Have you visited Tallinn, too? Would love to know your experiences!

This Old Town in Poland will sweep your ground

After touring through the more popular European cities which leave a visitor enchanted with their architecture and museums, gardens and canals, cathedrals and castles, I was quite convinced I must now begin scouting for the second layer of travel wealth that remains hidden from the touristic commercialism. Something more pristine, more satisfying to the soul of a traveler. Long before I could nurture this thought and see it take me over, I was proved wrong, yet again by one of the old historic cities of Europe and its remarkable appeal.

I happened to make a short trip to Gdańsk, which is a port city in the Baltic Coast of Poland. And a casual evening stroll into the Old Town of Gdańsk made me stop in my shoes. I was looking at the finest form of architectural beauty, less explored but not less admirable, little heard of but, by no means any less precious. It appeared to me that this surreal colorful town has probably emerged from the abyss overnight. I was enthralled.

But the truth stirred me up even more. This beautiful town was almost completely destroyed during the World War II, and it was rebuilt later by the Polish citizens years after the war. A walk through the Dlugi Targ street with several gabled roof houses, cafés and restaurants, and other historical sites immersed me in a fairy-tale like exoticism. I can’t be sure if the pictures below are able to do justice to what the architect of this Old Town would have desired to reflect. But I tried!

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Długi Targ, Gdańsk, Poland

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A prelude to its its bewildering townscape came calling even before I set foot on the ground. Even as a flight passenger, I was an amazed onlooker.

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Aerial view of Gdańsk

Gdańsk is a part of the Tri-city of Poland, together with its cousin towns of Gdynia and Sopot.  They are all within a distance of 15 kms from each other, and have a unique character of their own. Gdynia has an attractive Sea Boulevard, while Sopot is known for its longest wooden pier that is open to public. One gets to walk a kilometer into the sea, crossing the sandy beach stretch on either side, and feeling the breeze right through.

One weekend is all you need to fall in love with this Tri-city. Would you like to travel to this captivating place? 🙂