Talinn was the most surprisingly impressive city on our cruise. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I didn’t know much about Estonia, but it was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited, even if it rained during most of our time there. The old town buildings are gorgeous, the Russian Orthodox churches impressive, and great views and cute cafes seem to lurk around every corner.
We started off the day with a self guided tour around the city, which was good since the boat docked early (7:30 ish) and nothing was open until quite a bit later. We stopped at the Fat Margaret (a round tower), the House of Black Heads guild hall and walked along the city walls, stopping for excellent views. We visited the inside of a Russian Orthodox church, which I was hesitant to do, since services were in progress. No matter, all the cruise tour groups crowded in after us, so I’m sure we weren’t the largest disturbance. We wandered through the shops and market stalls, where lots of yarn, knitted items and wood carvings were for sale, and tried to restrain ourselves since it was only our second port of call!
Afterward, we stopped for espresso and marzipan at café (so good!) and headed to the Estonian History museum. The museum is well put together and is based on essential questions about the Estonian identity and discusses history as well as current views on religion and politics. The museum is in both Estonian and English and is definitely worth a visit.
We stopped for lunch in an amazing restaurant, Lieb. They brewed their own beer, and the modern Estonian food was so good! I ate quail for the first time and really enjoyed it. It was a bit pricier than we usually would go for lunch but, I suppose when you’ve only got one meal in a country, might as well make the most of it.
We then made our way to the Sea Plane Harbour, also known as the Maritime Museum. It was old abandoned airplane hangars, until the idea to make it into a maritime museum was realized. If you have any interest in boats, going on a Soviet Submarine or playing a video game where you get to shoot down planes with a life size anti air craft gun, you won’t be bored. They even have flight simulators and remote control boats you can attempt to navigate. This is in addition to lots of boats and navigation equipment exhibits which are well documented and explained throughout the museum. I’d definitely recommend a visit.