Monday, May 3, 2010

Tallin; Where to live, dine and shop

Tallinn overall:
Tallinn is a small city, with about 400k citizens. We went there for a weekend getaway, and it was after exactly what we got. To be honest, we (and other friends of mine) experienced that Tallinn aint got quite a lot to offer except the medieval "hotspots" in the old city. But for us it was perfect since we only wanted a relaxing weekend getaway with cheap prices, good food and some cultural sightseeing.

+ VERY cheap. We ate a 3 plate gourmet meal + free one from the chef for 1000EEK.
+ VERY polite, no nagging about tip from anyone, which made us even more willingly to leave some.
+ Even though it's not a very rich country, you get a good and modern Scandinavian feeling.

- Not that many cultural sightseeings except the medieval hotspots, churches etc..

(c) Travel Tips and Reviews Blog

Where we stayed:
Me and my gf stayed at a hotel called Hotel Reval Olümpia Tallin. We got a really nice price for it, and we also wanted a pool for our weekend getaway in Tallinn.

When we arrived we got our room and were surprised by how lovely the hotel looked when we arrived.

In short:
+ Very gentle staff
+ No nagging about tip
+ Swimming pool at 26th floor with a great view. Temperature was fine, and there even were saunas (seperate women/mens). Free to use.
+ Clean rooms
+ Pretty good breakfast being served until 10:00 on 2nd floor. A lot to choose between.
+ Free storage of luggage until we were leaving to the airport.
+ Short walk to city centre
+ Cheap taxi to airport. ~100EEK +/-10
+ Bar and café on first floor. Cheap.

- A bit old look on the rooms, kind of 80s. Carpeted.

Where we ate:
We tried other places as well except the ones mentioned below, but those werent always much to brag about and worth mentioning. The food overall in Tallinn is good in our experience.
Restaurant Stenhus:
Let's start with the best! This one is more expensive then the others, but after all we only payed 1000EEK for a 3 plate meal (+ 1 free from the chef). We were two persons, and our total bill ended on ~1300EEK (with 2 glasses of red wine, diet coke and still water).
GREAT gourmet food, very nice locals and our waiter was excellent and answered all our questions.

Olde Hansa:
I'm not a big fan of these theme-restaurants. Olde Hansa is the most famous, but one of many restaurants in Tallinn with the medieval theme. We decided to try this one out since we heard a lot about it. It was a nice experience, but everything is hardcore themed around the medieval times. So there is no "diet coke" or other modern luxuries. The food is good, but it doesnt look quit delicate on the platter as it's medieval as well.
It was overall a nice experience. But once is enough for me :)

Where we went shopping:
Shopping in Tallinn aint exactly as cheap as one might would expect it to be. I actually found it a lot more expensive then NYC shopping for example. I ended up not buying much as a lot of the clothes were outdated, and they didn't have what I was looking for.
Stockmann was in our opinion just a mess, and a really bad version of the American Macys (NYC) if you have been there. Prices was higher then the other stores we went to as well.

Nice, big and modern shopping centre with many brand stores (Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Guess, Zara). Prices were nice and this is probably the best shopping centre in Tallinn. It is located in the same building as the Hotel Viru.

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