Time for a trip down the memory lane. This trip took place last summer in August 2017 and I’ve been meaning to write about this, but somehow it always got pushed. My friends took me to Tallinn as a birthday surprise and very shortly after that I started my new job, moved to Sweden, and got caught up in managing the issues that came along with the move. So maybe now’s the time to reminisce as it was a great weekend.
I’ve mostly done day trips to Tallinn as it’s just a two-hour ferry ride from Helsinki, but this time we stayed the night at Von Stackelberg Hotel, which was a very nice place located a bit outside the old town. We got an attic room, which was roomy enough for three of us. I always hate taking taxis from airports or ports because I feel that the taxi drivers congregating there just want to rip you off, so I prefer to use taxi apps, walk or take public transportation. The ride from the port to the hotel cost us 10€, which was okay. It cost us about the same to get back to the port the next day, so at least we weren’t ripped off too badly. 🙂
We had no big plans for the first day, so we headed to a bar called Labor Baar, which is a bar, which had laboratory vibes. The menu is in form of ingredients and the drinks come in test tubes. One cocktail is ten test tubes. A cool idea, but actually proved to be a bit boring to drink from test tubes.
Maybe not surprisingly there wasn’t many people in the bar around four in the afternoon. As I said, the idea seemed better on paper as the cocktails weren’t that great. At least not the ones we tried. And of course you cannot have a pretty drink as everything is just poured into test tubes.
After the bar we headed for a walk in the old town and then to the restaurant called Kaks Kokka meaning Two Chefs. I have eaten there once before and the food was simply amazing, so I was looking forward to eating here again. I think the restaurant looks really cool and the food was once again really good.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, which was also good in terms of both quality and selection and headed out to Kiek in de Kök museum. Kiek in de Kök means “peep into the kitchen” and it was a nickname given to the towers, which were part of town fortifications, because the legend goes that people in the tower could see into the kitchens of nearby houses.
We were interested in visiting the passages under the tower and the city walls, which can only be accessed on a guided tour. The tour is limited to 20 people and has to be booked in advance. It seemed to be very popular. We had tickets booked, but while we were there, several people inquired whether there were still tickets.
The tour was actually quite interesting as the guide told that the tunnels were abandoned and in a bad shape and were used by homeless people and at one point a popular gathering place for punks and other subgroups. At one time they were planned to be used as a bomb shelter as well.
After the tour we took a cab to KUMU, which is an art museum. Taxify taxi app works really well in Tallinn, but you really need to check where the GPS is positioning you as it’s not very precise.
This is the first time I’ve visited this museum despite having been to Tallinn many times and it actually had some interesting art, but also some really weird pieces. Also apparently you are not allowed to have sex in the museum. Who would’ve guessed? 😀
After the museum we still had some time, so we decided to visit the Maarjamäe War Memorial. We also wanted to see a semi-abandoned discarded communist statue park nearby, but the area was closed for restoration and there was a guard there, so we couldn’t access it. 😉
The memorial had an abandoned air around it and a part of it was closed off because of a risk of pieces falling off the monument. There was only a small tourist bus of people visiting the monument with their guide chatting something about vodka. 🙂
We also wanted to get something to eat before we needed to get back to our ferry. I love eating in Tallinn. The food is seriously good and the prices are not sky high as they are in Helsinki. The Tallinn old town is seriously touristy and I generally speaking avoid eating in restaurants in these kind of places because they don’t have to be good as they have a continuous flow of tourists, but my friend has heard good things about a restaurant called Olde Hansa, so we decided to give it a try. To be honest, I didn’t expect much from a place where the servers need to wear historical costumes, but the food was actually quite good. Not cheap though and you can get much better value elsewhere, but it was an interesting experience.
After the restaurant we collected our suitcases from the hotel and took a taxi back to the port. Also sometimes it is worth to pay a little extra to travel in a lounge. It was super peaceful with just a few people there and good quality internet, so it was exactly what we needed at that time. 🙂