Monday, 18 April 2011

Free Walking Tour in Tallinn

Freedom Square
We had to get up early on Thursday in order to check out by 11am and so since we were already up we decided it would be the perfect day for going on the free walking tour and would also be the best way to say goodbye to Tallinn before we left. We'd already seen most of the places on our wanders and so we thought it would be really nice to learn a bit more about everything we saw.

Once everybody had gathered at the meeting point, we met our tour guide who was a young Estonian student who also worked during summer as a paid guide and so knew the route really well. Since it was a free tour, it was also a lot more informal than most tours which was really nice as the guy just chatted away to everybody and would also tell us amusing things that he couldn't say on the "official tours".


Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Our very first stop was a church right beside the starting point where he told us an interesting story about how guys used to bring girls there who would then get scared by a "mummy" which they could protect them from. After that, we headed on to Freedom Square with the giant monument where he told us about how just after it was build, some sort of red mould started growing on the glass causing peope to start saying it was a bad omen about the "red terror" returning.


We then headed on up to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and had a look inside, it was amazing and very ornate and just gave you a feeling of awe standing there even though it wasn't actually that large inside, certainly felt a lot smaller after seeing the huge outside. On our way there, we had passed the Kiek in the Kok tower which means "Peek in the kitchen" because you used to be able to see into the kitchens of houses nearby. Outside the Cathedral our tour guide took lots of pleasure in showing us the most expensive toilet in Estonia - a small public toilet which cost around 100,000 euros to build. It's also the cheapest hotel as if you go into it 5 minutes before it automatically locks, you can stay in there all night and not be disturbed until the morning.

Tallinn Old Town

By this point in the tour, it had started to get quite rainy but it was still light enough to not bother us too much although one other member of the group decided to head back to her hotel at that point. We now went to have a look at St Mary's Cathedral which is the oldest church in Tallinn and from then headed to a viewpoint where we got a wonderful panoramic view of the old town. Unfortunately by this point the rain was getting worse so the view wasn't that great but luckily we'd already been earlier so we had some nice photos already.


Town Square
Now we just had one location left which was the town square, firstly we went to visit the Pharmacy which is one of the oldest Pharmacies in Europe that is still running and we were able to go into a small museum section showing all the ancient recipes and ingredients.

However, the tour wasn't finished yet - before we could leave our guide took us into the centre of the square and proceeded to teach us a small traditional Estonian dance which we then had to perform as the finale of the tour. It was pretty simple and pretty fun and luckily the rain wasn't too bad when we did that.

It was definitely one of the best tours I've been on and I'd highly recommend it to anybody visiting as after all it's completely free and is both very fun and very informative.

The Viru gates (weren't part of the tour)


Tallinn Old Town

St Mary's Cathedral
Kiek in de Kok Museum

5 comments:

  1. This is just beautiful Love all the pictures!

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  2. I miss Talinn! Your post is bringing back memories. We were there in 2004!

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  3. I've only been back a few weeks and already I'm planning on going back again once I have money XD

    I'd like to go again once I have more money so I can actually do more things, that and I'd like to see it in summer too. It's just such a lovely city. =)

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  4. I took the same pic of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral!

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  5. Wow I'm getting really jealous reading your blog missy! Your photos are beautiful and the stories you tell sound like amazing memories!! The mummy thing made me laugh..the public toilet thing is hilarious too! I love random stories/facts like that, haha. Sounds like a great tour and trip, I don't blame you for wanting to go back!! :) I would too!

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