Tallinn- medieval surroundings and depression

One day my awesome friend decided to visit me in Estonia. Since it was a weekend trip, I thought it is best to spend it in Tallinn. There is more to do in the capital and then we can both be tourists. I do not know my way around Tallinn and I always need to use google maps or ask for directions. Thus, it was a little domestic trip for me.

Independence day


When she arrived, Estonia was celebrating Independence Day. I took her to a nice homey restaurant called the Granny’s Place to enjoy some local food and made her eat our famous blood sausages. Afterward, we strolled around the city but because it was cold and dark it was best to leave the city tour for the next day. There was a small parade too, in the city, with people quietly walking in a row holding torches. I started to question my culture.

My friend was wondering why it is so quiet during the Independence Day. Later that night we went to a bar and met a group of British bachelors and they asked me the same question and why are people so sad. Independence day should be happy and full of celebration and people screaming of joy. I never thought about it before, but now I was wondering the same thing. Why are we celebrating it so modestly and it’s rather depressing? We are our own freaking nation now!

The performances on TV are also dark. It should be a great day that we were finally able to break free and become independent. Instead, we just drink and eat at home and watch the “penguins parade” from TV. The “penguins parade” is just a bunch of important people coming to shake the hand of the president one by one. Only entertaining part of it is to see if someone completely messed up with their dress and wore something disastrous.

 Strolling around in Tallinn

We were lucky with the weather the day we went wandering in the city. It was sunny! Still freezing, though. But now we were able to see the medievalness in the light.

Tallinn’s old town is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It developed as an important trading center thanks to its port. Tallinn has gone through multiple wars and had to suffer massive bombings, but despite all, it has managed to preserve itself and many of its medieval exterior that was mostly built in the 15th century but some also go back to the 13th century. Because it has been so well-preserved it has become part of UNESCO.


Even though Estonia is super flat, we do have some higher spots here and there. Not including some towers, we have built. In the old city, there are a couple of viewing platforms where you can have a proper view of the center. To my surprise, Tallinn has become very touristy. At every viewing platform, there was a group of tourists and you had to wait for a little to get a good picture. It’s only February, which I also found out is the coldest month in Estonia but still, there are so many tourists.


Art and history

During the Soviet times, Estonians produced 15 million liters of vodka in a year. Our population was a bit over a million. There was so much vodka we could have taken vodka baths, have swimming pools filled with vodka, made our pets drunk too, and there still would have been too much vodka. Those must have been some really depressing times.

I learned that fact from the Estonian history museum. There I finally found and answer or maybe a confirmation to my idea, which explains our miserable nation. It said in the museum that Estonians are one of the most unhappy people in Europe. The reason is probably because most of the time we have been second-class citizens in our own land being peasants or slaves but never the rulers. I guess that has stuck with us. But no worries, we have so much vodka to forget all the troubles!

We also visited Estonian art museum KUMU. Many of the art pieces reflected sadness as well. For instance, I noticed a painting of a woman unhappily sitting behind a table with some cabbages, turnips, and carrots in front waiting to be cooked. I imagine in Spain the same painting would be a cheerfully dancing woman juggling oranges and watermelons in air.


Our lovely weekend ended with a nice relaxing spa.

To sum up? Don’t visit Tallinn. Everybody is just awfully depressed…

Just kidding! It has its charm and the food is actually pretty damn good. Plus it’s just not a carnivore paradise, it has loads of choices for vegans and vegetarians too.



24 thoughts on “Tallinn- medieval surroundings and depression

  1. My husband and I have longed to visit Europe but Estonia was never a place that was really on our radar. Thank you for changing that. I personally loved the skyline views of Tallinn. But I am also intrigued by the history of this quaint town. 🙂

  2. Great post – I’d never really heard of Estonia but now I want to visit! Love your pictures of the old town it looks like something from a fairytale. Tallinn looks like an interesting place to visit thanks for sharing your tips!

  3. Thoes first few shots definitely were dark! Such an interesting way to celebrate Independence Day; I would be wondering why too, but maybe it holds a significant meaning? The rest of the pictures make Tallinn seem like such a bright and vibrant place! I had never even heard of Tallinn before and now may need to add it to my bucket list!

    1. I guess the dark history has affected a lot the way its celebrated too. The sufferings are remembered more and I guess that’s why it’s a quiet celebration.

  4. From the photos, yes, I don’t see any celebration decoration there. But still, it looks like a colorful place except the first two photos. Hehe..

  5. Now I’m wondering too why is it celebrated so. But then it been less that 3 decades since you guys got independence. It would take some more time for situation to change and get more celebratory. That said, being a UNESCO site, filled with so much of history and heritage I think its a must visit! Plus I’m super happy that there’s options for veggies too!

  6. I’ve heard quite a bit about Tallinn over the past year, and I’m really moved to visit – especially with this post. Your photos are gorgeous and I love the architecture of Old Town. I’m definitely curious about the Independence Day customs and am gonna have to look into them further! Cheers 🙂

  7. OMG I have GOT to visit Tallin! I admit I didn’t know about it before reading your post but between your descriptions and photos I’m pretty much sold! Adding it to my 2018 Euro Trip itinerary!

  8. It’s interesting to hear an honest insider take on your own culture. I’m sure there is depressing aspects to every culture but especially for ones that have a tragic history. At least you have a sense of humour right? Also, great to hear there is vegan options there as well.

    1. I feel like when you travel a lot, it makes you see your own culture differently too. There are quite a few restaurants only for vegans and many places have vegan dishes included in their menus 🙂

  9. I didn’t realize that Tallinn old town was a UNESCO world heritage site. Your photos are wonderful, so much colour! The penguins parade sounds unique to this country!

  10. I visited Tallin this time (July) last year…enjoyed the medieval centre very much…especially St Catherines church, which had an exhibition honouring Avo Part at the time, and Modern, recent buildings…generally found Estonians very friendly, very direct (which I dont mind), no mucking around…given the recent history, and the current threats its understandable that there may be some apprehension…you have a wonderful city, great culture, didnt notice any obvious unhappiness..come visit Sydney one day..its along way..but you would be very welcome..

    1. I’m glad that you liked it! When I visited Tallinn, it was also freezing, which might have affected the peoples moods a little. I would love to visit Sydney. It’s a little far, but one day I’ll make it there 🙂

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