What better way to celebrate when the exams are over than a holiday weekend? Soon, it will finally be time to relax, and for your study buddies to become your friends again. Although November and December are two tricky months when it comes to the wallet size, there is a way around it; you just need to look for a budget-friendly destination not too far away! Lucky for you, I have already found it, and Tallinn is a city that will strike you by surprise!
A while ago a friend of mine moved to Estonia, and to be honest, Eastern Europe has never really interested me much, so countries further away and western European cities have always been higher up on my bucket list. Consequently, and not to much of a surprise, my expectations were pretty low when I went to go visit her. But boy, was I wrong. Tallinn appeared to be a beautiful city with great charm, and here are some of the hidden treasures that I found.
Kompressor – the legendary pancake house
The headline does not lie. This place is legendary. This could be one of the coolest restaurants I have ever been to. The decor is plain and industrial, and you get the feeling you are still in a country ruled by the Soviet Union. Here, you can get both sweet and savory perfectly cooked pancakes. The pancakes are served either with traditional filling like jam and ice cream or ham and cheese, or with more unusual ingredients such as herring or coconut. I can truly recommend the pancakes with raspberries and condensed milk. The best part about this place? It is both delicious and cheap! Just remember to reserve a table or be there before you get starving; you are not the only one wanting to try this place out.
Remember to reserve a table; you are not the only one wanting to try this place out
This café is even cuter than the pastries they serve. The place was established in 1864, making it the oldest café in Estonia. Depending on your level of hunger, you can either have a proper meal or a handmade sweet. Just do not make the same mistake as I did, and order the bun topped with whipped cream, hoping there is a yummy filling inside. There is not. Apart from being a café, MaiasMokk also hosts a small marzipan museum with over 200 marzipan figures. You even have the chance of meeting a marzipan artist!
The Christmas market
If you visit Tallinn during Christmas time, the Christmas market is a must see. It is like traveling back in time; the town square transforms into a winter wonderland, with a big Christmas tree in the middle. Everywhere you go little lights lead your way, while you smell those characteristic Christmas spices. Here, you can buy anything from porcelain Santas to handmade hats that would rescue you, even during the coldest Siberian winter. Why not get all of the Christmas gifts done at once?
The town square transforms into a winter wonderland
Tallinn is the perfect weekend destination; not too far away and with a price level way under Norway’s. Escape to a winter wonderland for a couple of days and enjoy a city looking like the inside of a snow globe. You will wish you had gone there sooner!