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Tallinn, Estonia: an autumn destination.

Autumn is the perfect time of year to visit Estonia’s capital Tallinn. The tourist-bearing Baltic cruise ships have gone south, leaving its beautiful Old Town to the locals and visitors who enjoy being energized by a nip in the air.

Estonia regained its sovereignty in 1991 from the former USSR and it’s worth booking an English-speaking, certified guide to learn about the turbulent history of this medieval-walled city, reports the Telegraph. Reserve in advance through www.tourism.tallinn.ee

The Old Town is peppered with churches and monasteries which you can enter for a small charge of €1. The Church of the Holy Spirit is arguably the best of the bunch. The beautifully restored medieval home now housing the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments, the guildhall House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads and the Gothic town hall are also must-see stops.

Wandering around the town’s cobbled streets, with its narrow medieval buildings, cosy restaurants, craft shops selling linen, leather goods and implements carved from juniper wood, is a pleasure in itself. There are plenty of candle-lit, fire-warmed cafés serving hot chocolate, spiced wine and hearty borsch if you need to warm up.

Batteries recharged, the Kadriorg forested park, home to the Baroque Kadriorg Palace, the Presidential Palace and several museums is a 20 minute walk away and well worth the trip. Alternatively, take it easy and jump on a number 1 or 3 tram from the Viru shopping centre just outside Old Town.

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