History and innovation blend seamlessly in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and one of the busiest ports of the Baltic Sea. Vanalinn, its UNESCO-listed old town, is hemmed in by a remarkably well-preserved medieval city wall, which includes no fewer than 26 defence towers. Most sightseers head to Patkuli viewing platform for sweeping vistas of the walls and the Gothic churches they contain. Among the most notable of these is Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, perched atop Toompea Hill.
On closer inspection, you’ll discover Vanalinn’s cobbled streets are lined with museums, galleries and craft stores selling everything from Baltic knitwear to the region’s famous amber jewellery.
Yet, despite this medieval feel, Tallinn is also regarded as one of Europe’s leading tech and start-up hubs. Lots of new enterprises open here, drawing on the pool of talent from the likes of Tallinn’s University of Technology. The modern city centre bustles with high-speed internet cafés and lively bars and clubs.
Tallinn’s approach to gastronomy is just as dynamic, with a range of both international and traditional restaurants to choose from in picturesque Raekoja Plats. In summer and spring, indulge in a bowl of wild berries and currents, while winter is a time to savour hearty fare like wild mushroom soup served with a hunk of black bread.
Set by the sea, Tallinn’s sandy beaches are also popular with locals and visitors alike during summer.