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Tallinn & Helsinki

A 72 hour sojourn in the Baltics

Story by Amaresh Ray September 27th, 2015

tallinn

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people that lies along the Baltic coast in Northern Europe. A 3 hour flight from London and you’re in this beautiful old town surrounded by medieval walls. Tallinn has become increasingly popular spot for an inexpensive weekend getaway and has a burgeoning gastronomic scene that rivals those of it’s Nordic neighbours.

alexander nevsky cathedral

The Russian influence is quite obvious when walking around Tallinn. There are 23 churches, the largest being the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built around 1900.
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old town

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food & drink

Tallinn’s culinary scene is remarkable for a country that’s relatively tiny, even by European standards. There is a fusion of contemporary and modern Nordic and Russian cuisine. The craft beer scene puts many other countries to shame - in the last couple of years there has been a major surge of local breweries and you’ll find them in most bars in the old town. Did you know that Estonia is the fourth largest per-capita beer-consuming country in the world? I’ll let you figure out what the other three are.

Mutton dumplings for €4.50? Hells yeah.
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HELSINKI

Just 45 miles north of Tallinn lies the Finnish capital of Helsinki, accessible via a two hour ferry ride. On a sunny day, one of the best places to visit is the Suomenlinna fortress. The fortress was built on six islands by the Swedish in the 1700s to protect their eastern flank. Today, it’s home to around a thousand inhabitants and spans over five miles of walls and hundreds of cannons.

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helsinki cathedral

One of Helsinki’s most recognisable landmarks standing at 200 ft tall, the Helsinki Cathedral looms large over the Helsinki skyline. This is a great spot to grab a sandwich and watch the sunset.

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olympic tower

There are some great views to be had from the top of the Olympic Stadium’s tower.

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Tallinn and Helsinki