Tallinn, so easily and quickly reached by ferry that it’s sometimes jokingly called “Southern Helsinki” by Finns, is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Hattivatti joined up with a group of girlfriends for a one-night stay in the Estonian capital city in mid-May. The timing was great weather-wise: plenty of sunshine meant plenty of wandering around enjoying the flowering parks around town.
The trip over the Bay of Finland was made on the Linda Line fast catamaran, with the journey lasting a bit over an hour and a half. Just enough time to enjoy some cava. Luckily the sea was very calm and the going therefore smooth, which is not always the case.
After disembarking in the Tallinn harbor, the group headed directly for the Telliskivi district, an old industrial area which has been reborn as the place to be, full of hip restaurants, bars, and shops. On Saturdays, the large courtyard area is taken over by a giant flea market, and on a sunny day the place is crowded with sellers offering all kinds of treasure and buyers hoping to make great finds.
An hour later, having wandered around and made some small finds, hunger was creeping up on everyone. A table had been booked a F-Hoone, a wonderful restaurant serving delicious portions of street food with a fine dining twist at extremely reasonable prices in an industrial yet comfortable milieu. About 20€ per person for a shared snack plate and sparkling wine plus a starter and a main. Not bad at all!
With satisfied smiles and full stomachs, it was time to wander towards the old town and the OldHouse Apartments. The reserved apartment for six turned out to be a three bedroom suite on two floors with a kitchen and balcony looking out over the restaurant courtyard terrace below. At the price of about 190€ per night for six adults, the lodging was more than decently priced.
Before heading to dinner, there was time to wander around the old town, have coffee and cake at Kehrwieder Chocolateria on the edge of the Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats), and shop for some quirky and colorful designer shoes at Vivian Vau. Finland was playing against Russia in the world hockey championships during the afternoon, and all the bars in the old town seemed to be packed with Finns cheering on the home team, which was victorious this time around.
For dinner, a reservation had been made at Neikid Resto and Bar, situated outside the old town in a quaint old wooden house. Food and drinks were again tasty and very inexpensive, but the restaurant was oddly empty the whole evening despite being listed as one of the best restaurants in Tallinn. Afterwards, tiramisu and sweet dessert wine were enjoyed in the cellar of Trattoria del Gallo Nero before heading back to the apartment for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, the restaurant downstairs played music to an empty terrace past midnight, making sleep a bit hard to reach.
Sunday morning arrived sunny and bright. After a light breakfast of fruits and yoghurts along with some mimosas, a visit was made to a nearby shop selling adorable animal themed dishes made by a local ceramic artisan, Helina Tilk. After climbing up near the seat of parliament for a scenic view, it was time to head on to brunch at Kohvik Sesoon in the Kalamaja district. Appetizing and quite creative dishes served buffet style at the cheap price of only 12€ per person; this place was definitely worth a visit.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around Kadrioru park on the east side of town, shopping for liquid and chocolate treats to take back home, and enjoying the warm sunny spring day. Then on back to the harbor for the early evening ride back north to Helsinki. What could have been a nicer way to spend a weekend than having good food and drinks in good company. Everyone agreed: we need to do his again some time!