Politically, Estonians adopted a lot from Great Britain: like parliamentary republic principles and the attitude of the traditional Anglo-Saxon rule of law. Generally, it is a very peaceful and secure country. Most of the tips over here could be easily applied to all other travelling spots. Some however, are more area specific and can help a traveller along the way. Hopefully, and most likely you won’t run into any of these issues, but if you want to stay on the safe side here is some helpful advice to avoid some of the more ridiculous situations.
Wouldn’t want to be in your shoes
Town of Tallinn can sometimes be very complicated, as the streets are not organized in a symmetric fashion and to the newcomers they may seem like one giant maze. So getting the footwear right is crucial. This is actually one of the biggest mistakes people make, when venturing forth into the old town. The mediaeval streets are made out of cobblestone and can be extremely difficult to walk on. So, for all the ladies out there, putting on high heels is definitely not a very good idea. The ideal footwear would be a pair of sneakers.
A stomach for good manners.
Estonian food is mainly Germanic and usually consists of cabbages potatoes and pork. The portions are certainly big enough. In fact, the portions are so big, that you would probably be satisfied having eaten only halfway through. You want avoid having to excuse yourself in front of your host. The prices may vary from restaurant to restaurant, but most of the food places in the old town are highly competitive and deliver good value for the price. If you feel skeptical about the native food, finding a sushi or a pizza will not be a problem.
Watch out for pickpockets.
This is valid especially during the summertime. Tallinn is a tourist city. Specifically, it is a major tourist city. This is especially true during the summer days. Every day there is at least two or three cruise ships, delivering tens of thousands tourists and that only naturally tends to attract pickpockets. But then again, it is not as scary as it may sound and definitely not as widespread as in some of the major world cities. Still, it is generally considered to be a good practice to be careful in crowds, check your pockets every once in a while and definitely not to carry your wallet in the back of your pants. Generally, it’s a good practice anywhere in the world.
Watch out for areas of high prices.
As soon as you make the first step from your cruise ship, you will find yourself surrounded by souvenir shops, markets, yellow cabs, hop on hop off buses, but don’t let that fool you. You are still within the limits of the cruise ship harbor. This territory is surrounded by a metal fence. All goods and services within this territory are worth much more than outside the harbor. To buy souvenirs and antique is much better in the old town. Although, the prices in the lower parts of the old city town are much lower than in the upper city. Booking guided tours; it is better to book a tour in advance.
Some artists can be con.
The streets of the old town sometimes have musicians, painters, dancers and trolls. Some specific artists come from Romania and Bulgaria. These artists come in different types. Some are begging, others asking you to sign “applications”, for so-called donations et cetera. Such entrepreneurs can be spotted pretty easily.
They say Tallinn is a big village.
Despite being a capital the city Tallinn is a very small place indeed. The distances in Tallinn are short as well. For example a police car can go through the entire city in just five minutes. Most of the distances can be walked through with the exceptions like Kadriorg and Rocca al Mare. To get to those it is better to take a cab which brings us to the next point.
Confirm taxi price.
Some taxi drivers can be dishonest in their own way. There is no government regulation on what the taxi fares should be like. So, in order to avoid being overcharged by private taxi drivers you have to confirm likely prices before you get in. Just tell the driver where you want to go and ask for an approximate price. Most of the times the average price is no higher than seven euros for a 5 km ride.
And here you go! Good luck. Keep these simple things in mind and you are surely to have a great experience when you visit Estonia.