LNOF Guide to Tallinn
As a country, it’s safe to say that Estonia has been through the ringer. Following periods of rule by Denmark and Sweden, it ended up as part of the Russian Empire in the 18th century. After decades in the Russian Empire were ended with a short-lived independence in 1918, the country was cajoled back into the Soviet Union in 1940, where it would remain until its collapse in 1991. Since then, the country has become a hallmark example of phoenix-like reinvention and prosperity, and nowhere is that more obvious than the capital city of Tallinn.
Perched on the northern coast of Estonia, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, Tallinn is about as old a player in the Eastern European stag game as they come, welcoming fun-seeking UK groups into its arms for many years. The large Old Town, shaped like a vast rugby ball, is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We know you’ll be more worried about the drinking and we’ll get to that, but don’t forget that it’s always nicer to drink your ninth pint in a 14th century square than on your local high street, watching drunk people falling out of the local betting shop. Also, never underestimate the importance of getting that one group photo taken somewhere other than a bar to show all the other halves when you’re back.
Most of the refined restaurants and buzzing bars are condensed into the Old Town, giving this large capital city a feel much more like a town. There’s the requisite mix of strip clubs, Irish pubs and bars boasting of their Sky Sports screens, but this area still exudes character and tradition in spades. Authentic, cheap taverns serving cold pints of local beer and generous glasses of vodka are easy to come by. If you’re one of those people for whom vodka is a one-way train to drunk dialling your ex, then give Vana Tallinn a spin. You might have to have a glass of this local herbal liqueur and smile if you ever want to be welcomed back, they love it.
Ethnic Russians make up a sizeable minority in Estonia, around a quarter of the population in fact, and they add their own diversity to the Tallinn nightlife. It might even be the late-night ‘club’ culture of the Russians that sees Tallinn’s nightclubs open and busy until 6am at least. During the day, we have a brilliant activity portfolio with unique highlights like demolition derbies and ‘moto paintball’ (paintball in cars), as well as some of the best value shooting packages on the continent.
When it comes to getting some (any) kip, we can accommodate all tastes and group sizes; from characterful central hostels to towering 4-star hotels. Combined with the bar crawls, meals and other night-time activity options we can offer, your only planning problem might be squeezing everything in. But that’s what we’re here for.