Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia


Northern European Itineraries

Contributed by Dotti Saroufim

 

Estonia’s capital and largest city, Tallinn, is a charming location that boasts cobblestone streets, beautiful parks, sidewalk cafés, trendy shopping areas, and medieval houses dating back to the 13th century. With parts of the city resembling a page taken straight from a medieval storybook, Tallinn is a surprise gem on your Baltic visit.

Charming Tallinn

AMBIENCE

Tallinn is a lovely combination of unique medieval architecture and new, sleek Scandinavian design—with even a little bit of leftover Soviet-era construction thrown into the mix. Having a convenient port location on the Gulf of Finland (it’s an easy boat ride from Helsinki and Stockholm), the city not only greets many cruise vacationers and day-trippers, but is also a booming cargo port and industrial center. Although Tallinn has grown rapidly since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the changes have not affected the charm of the city’s historic Old Town, where you will find winding cobblestone streets, authentic Hanseatic architecture, churches, ancient walls, and 26 red-roofed watchtowers. Often referred to as the “medieval pearl of Europe,” Tallinn Old Town became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997.

HISTORY

Humans arrived here around 9,000 BC, as the glaciers receded. The Livonian Crusade Christianized the region in the 13th Century, and the German crusaders long dominated local rule. Estonia passed from Denmark to Sweden, Poland, and Imperial Russia before the Republic of Estonia was formed in 1918. Soviet Russia invaded in 1940, and except for a brief period of Nazi rule, Estonia was firmly tied to the USSR until independence was regained in 1991. Estonia joined the EU and NATO in 2004, and adopted the Euro in 2011.

FACTS

Size: 61 sq. mi. (159 sq. km.)
Climate: Humid Continental Temperatures: 50°F (13°C) to 70°F (21°C)
Population 430,000 Busy Season Summer
Language: Estonian, English Money: Euro, Dollars (if new and unmarked)
Time Zone: EEST (UTC+3) Transportation: Walking, buses, taxi
Phones: Area code 372, dial 110 for emergencies

 

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