Estonia Tallinn Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral
From the red-roofted towers of its Town Walls, to the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the smoky pink Riigikogu parliament house, Tallinn's medieval Old Town looks straight out of a fairy tale. Make sure to stop in central Raejoka Plats, a charming square filled with cafes and restaurants.
Aerial view of the business district in Tallinn, Estonia
Estonia was the birthplace of tech giant Skype, after all, and Tallinn's modern central business district reflects this futurism. Meanwhile, the Rotterdam District hearkens back to the pre-Russian Art Nouveau period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tallinn's beaches are the perfect opportunity to escape the not-so-hectic city center. Pirita Beach in particular is a big draw, with its broad expanse of sand and unique architecture, which dates back to when the USSR hosted the Olympics in 1991.
Estonian food mixes Baltic and Russian influences — pickled herring is a common sight on Estonian tables, as is hearty black rye bread. Check out one of the cool cellar restaurants, which are situated on the garden level of warehouse buildings. Try buckwheat blinis with whitefish roe, red onion and sour cream, or pea soup with smoked pork hock. Wash it down with a pint of the local favorite Pohjala beer.
If you want to shop a range of souvenirs, local items and just about anything else you can think of, wander through the outdoor market stalls just outside Viru Gate, in the Old Town. Tallinn's most famous souvenirs include wooden crafts made with Estonian Junpier trees and local chocolates and spirits by brands like Kalev and Vana Tallinn.
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