Tallinn might not be one of the top picks for a beach break, but as a coastal city it’s no surprise that there are some sandy stretches to sprawl out on. You’ll find three here, which are all within easy reach of the city centre, and lay on some low-key watersports like paddleboarding and pedalos.
Most of the locals flock to Pirita Beach in the summer months. It’s just a 25-minute bus hop away from the city centre, and it ticks off soft sands, sunloungers and activity areas, with leggy pine trees for a backdrop.
You’ll find this hidden gem just a little further along the coast from Pirita. Nature trails and health spas are two of the top to-dos in this old school town, which also ticks off first-class views of Tallinn’s old town.
Bargain hunters make a beeline for Creative City in Telliskivi. You’ll find loads of independent shops here, which sell a mix of souvenirs and handicrafts. And there’s a flea market every Saturday, too.
Estonia’s biggest shopping centre’s just a 10-minute drive away from the city centre. Ulemiste Centre’s home to plenty of familiar big-name brands, as well as a decent selection of local shops.
The Baltics’ biggest department store’s slap bang in the middle of the city. Stockmann’s five floors of wall-to-wall designer labels are a shopaholic’s dream, with top names like Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Armani.
For a bevy of bars and restaurants with a low-key vibe, head for the waterfront area of Noblessner. It’s also home to Estonia’s most popular brewery and tap room, plus an igloo-themed bar right by the water.
For the liveliest nightlife, make a beeline for Tallinn’s old town. Plenty of the pubs, bars and nightclubs stay open ‘til the small hours, and there’s an eclectic mix of sounds – from heavy rock to house music.
This slow-cooked stew consists of sauerkraut, pork and barley, and is usually served with fried onions or pork slices. It’s widely regarded as the country’s national dish, and you’ll find it cropping up at Christmas and other special occasions.
This straightforward salad dish has been an Estonian staple for generations. Its two main ingredients are herring and beetroot, which are mixed up with carrots, eggs, boiled potatoes and pickled cucumbers, before being drizzled in mayo.
Otherwise known as meat jelly, this is another dish that’s served up on special occasions. Its key ingredient is boiled animal bones, which form a natural gelatin once cooled. Sliced vegetables and chunks of meat are then thrown in and left to cool again, which leads to a jelly being formed.
This centuries-old staple roughly translates as blood dumplings. You’ll often find them being served at Christmas markets, where they’re sliced and garnished with sour cream or sauerkraut.
This dish is a favourite with fish fans, which you’ll often find as a starter on restaurant menus. The key ingredient is sprats - a small oily fish, similar to sardines, which are pickled and served on traditional rye bread. It’s usually served with tasty extras like cream cheese, garlic and onions.
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