There are 10 simple rules in this article. These guidelines will help you have a great experience, without running into the most common problems when visiting Tallinn. Some of these guidelines can be applied to other countries; some, however, are more Estonian specific.
#1: Avoid expensive cabs
This is probably the number one advice to all newcomers. The, commercial laws in Tallinn are pretty relaxed and it is extremely easy to start a private taxi company. The law does not regulate the fares. Confirm prices before getting into the cab. 6 to 7 euros is a fair for the average distance.
#2: if you’re looking to buy something, the best bet is the old town of Tallinn
The market in the old town, as it was centuries before, brings out the best handmade goods like jewelry, linen, Amber and wood. There is a shop and almost every street and they are pretty competitive.
#3: if you want to have great experiences get a personal guide
Your private Tallinn guide is the city storyteller just like in the mediaeval times. The city of Tallinn has harbored a few stories and anecdotes in the course of 1000 years. Tallinn city guides are just as refined and extra ordinary as the legends they will share.
#4: to spot crooks scammers and con artists
Their types can be charming or not so much, therefore easy to spot. Watch out, when you stand in big crowds for pickpockets and remember people of Estonia will rarely start a dialogue with the you first.
#5: if you’re looking for a hotel, best if someone recommends it to you
Prices on Estonian hotels change significantly every season. In the summer and winter they are higher by more than 30%, whilst autumn and spring are relatively cheaper and quieter.
#6: if you speak English, you will do fine
Don’t worry, if you’re unable to speak in any other European language. The majority of people in Estonia can speak English quite well.
#7: the nightlife in Tallinn old town can be wild
That is if you know the places. Tallinn has many nightclubs. Most of them are located at the city center, the old town and the parts of the city center surrounding it. The week is pretty silent except Fridays and Saturdays. So if you live in those regions watch out for noisy nights.
That is, of course, unless you want to take part in the celebration.
#8: areas you should probably avoid
There are not many of those areas in the city of Tallinn and they are not as frequent. Remember Tallinn’s population is just a little bit over 400,000 people. Among them could be the railway market, some parts of eastern Tallinn. Also, getting a tour right off the ship can be overcharging and questionable quality. It is best to book a private Tallinn city tour in advance.
#9: rent a Segway
When you visit the old town of Tallinn you will find that the mediaeval streets are made of cobblestone. It turned out, that Segway is a perfect means of transportation on this kind of terrain. A Segway old town tour is an incredibly popular activity.
#10: don’t restrain yourself to the old town of Tallinn
The old city of Tallinn can be so magnificent and breathtaking, that you wouldn’t want to leave. But if you have time, you can most certainly visit the two special places: Kadriorg and Rocca al Mare. The Baroque gardens, surrounding Catherine’s Winter Palace, are a dive into a 18 century era. A wooden Estonian village, that rests near the sea on a cliffy hill. Makes you think; if Shire was real it would have been it.
Estonia is an amazing country, which has a lot of hidden treasures for travellers. Stay clever country wise and you will have a great time.