Visit Estonia’s Tallinn, this year’s European Capital of Culture.
Tallinn is arguably at its prettiest in winter when its rooftops are attractively snow-covered, but although that looks great on the photos, it’s also nice to leave your thermals at home! So go ahead and visit now that spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. This year’s European Capital of Culture is awash with events and things to do, with music from electro-techno to classical high on the list and lots of exhibitions too. Check out www.tallinn2011.ee for details of what’s on while you’re there.
Must-stop sites in this beautiful medieval-walled city, with its narrow medieval buildings and cobbled streets, include The Church of the Holy Spirit, the guildhall House of the Brotherhood of Blackheads, the Gothic town hall and the lovingly restored medieval home which houses the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. Out of town but just a 20 minute walk away, the Kadriorg forested park, home to the Baroque Kadriorg Palace (www.ekm.ee), Tsar Peter the Great’s summer residence, the Presidential Palace and several museums is well worth a trip.
Tallin is a town steeped in history. Under Danish rule in the 13th century and Swedish rule two centuries later, it became part of the Russian Empire and was then under Soviet domination in modern times, gaining its independence in 1991. It’s now a country that is not only maintaining its fascinating past as an important Hanseatic port, but also fervently looking to the future. Cited as having the world’s most extensive internet usage, and the country where Skype was developed, free wi-fi is everywhere. So you can be in constant touch with what's going on in the rest of the world!
Ryanair flies to Tallinn from Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh and London Luton, and Easy Jet from Liverpool and London Stansted.