We can thank the Estonians for the invention of "Skype" and Tallinn is the computer savvy capital of Estonia. This is where it is good luck to touch the 19th Century designed uniforms of the local chimney sweeps, the local public transport is free for its citizens and you have to wear safety "reflectors" at night, not just on your bicycle but when walking, so I suppose on the backs of your shoes. The city is predominantly known for its historical old town and UNESCO status. A charming city with many hidden secrets, it sits on the Baltic Sea and is considered to be the cultural hub of the country. This is definitely one former Soviet city that is not dull, grey or boring with medieval treasures of the past to present day wonders.
Sitting on the shoreline of the Gulf of Finland, the city was founded in 1248 despite being inhabited as far back as 3000BC. Originally a major trade hub, its old town is one of the best preserved in the whole of Europe. Today Tallinn is a financial, cultural, education and major political hub of Estonia. Occasionally dubbed as the "Silicon Valley of Europe", it is the birthplace of many international companies and home to the NATO Cyber Defense Center of Excellence. A global city, it has been ranked in the top 10 digital cities in the world.
Only a smattering of Soviet inspired throwbacks will disrupt the mix of ancient church spires juxtaposed with towering skyscrapers. There is a plethora of restaurants, cafes and bars to make your way around whilst meandering through the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town. The Estonian History Museum is a must see for the history buffs and the Gothic styled Town Hall is considered to be one of the region's oldest. You can check out the 15th Century defense tower "Kiek in de Kok", the odd baroque palace, rundown wooden houses and overflowing squares bathed in sunlight. Almost a fairytale walled city, those looking for a bit of paid action (aka prostitution) and cheap booze have it here in bucket loads, but this is now being relegated to a few remaining sleazy areas. In an attempt to quash the image of being "Bangkok of the Baltic", during recent years they are cleaning up their image from brassy to classy.
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