On the shore of the Gulf of Finland lies one the most interesting cities I have visited during my years in Scandinavia. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, aka the Silicon Valley of the Baltics or hometown of Skype, has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. Although Tallinn is not on many people’s bucket list, the place is not only remarkable for its technological and mobility infrastructure, but also for its history, art and architecture.
The Old Centre is a walled area full of old buildings and fortifications. It was first expanded by the Danish who arrived and started ruling Tallinn in 1219. The Swedes invaded the city next in 1561. Then, in 1710, the Russians. In 1918, Estonia declared independence from Russia, but fell to the Nazis and then the Soviets during World War II. Despite all the wars and invasions, Tallinn’s historic centre has survived remarkably intact. It is so well preserved that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you are going on weekends, you have to get there early in the morning before the crowds to get the most of its medieval charm. It’s the best time to sit and marvel the beautiful architecture and to picture the life there hundreds of years ago.
A waiter showing one of the meals at the Olde Hansa restaurant.
Next time you plan a trip overseas, consider visiting an unpredictable destination like the Estonian capital. Just don’t forget the best time would be off-season when crowds are gone and you can dream yourself alive in a Game of Thrones setting.