Tallinn may have the best airport in the world. It is that perfect mix, not too small, not too big. All the services you need are there, yet you get from gate to baggage claim to public transportation in no time at all. It’s clean, free wi-fi is everywhere, what more could you ask? And it is located a stone’s throw from the city center. You could walk to town if you so desire.
I’m in Estonia to play a couple of new golf courses, but I arrived quite early and had almost a whole day to explore Tallinn.
Tallinn reminds me a lot of Prague. It has the same rich history, with many well-preserved historical buildings. The Old Town is fairly compact, dominated by a large main square lined with restaurants and pub. While it is of course a bit touristy, it does not have the plethora of shops selling knickknacks that you find in most tourist destinations today. Instead it has many shops selling genuine handicrafts and linen goods. Not entirely devoid of junk, but it is not galling as in many other places.
I took the self guided church and pub walking tour. This turned out to be perfect for a day with several minor rain showers. Sun, walk around. Rain, explore a church or enjoy one of the many good local beers. You can easily spend a whole day in this manner, but if you are on a cramped schedule you can take in the most important sights by foot in a couple of hours.
At the end of the day, you can hang out in one of the outdoor restaurants around the main square. There’s almost always something happening on the square during the summer months. The happening today was a free rock concert on a large stage erected at one end of the square. I enjoyed some of it over a beer, while writing this post and publishing it through the free wi-fi that is just about everywhere in Estonia. From what I hear, if your cafe doesn’t offer free wi-fi, you’re quickly out of business. Everything is available online in Estonia, even voting.
Later, I had dinner at one of the many trendy restaurants, the Sfäär, hidden behind a shoe store (or maybe I just came in the back door?). Either way, the food (and dessert) was excellent. Highly recommended.
Tomorrow we set of for the island and Saaremaa and our first round of golf.
For more information go to www.visitestonia.com.