Oozing with historic charm, this medieval gem was first recorded on a world map in 1154. Talinn today is the capital of Estonia but over the centuries has at one time or another “belonged” to Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Russia. The city’s old town is exceptionally well preserved, a hilly labyrinth of cobblestone streets, medieval houses, alleyways and the remnants of a city wall.
Highlights include Toompea Castle dating back to the 13th century and Kadriorg, an English garden founded by Peter the Great. The new centre of town is called Freedom Square and you’ll find the infamous Hotel Viru, a former den of Cold War intrigue, nearby. If you’re feeling energetic take a bike tour from the Rocca al Mare Museum through the old town or visit the Open Air Museum on Vabaõhumuuseumi Street which houses 72 traditional buildings and offers visitors insight into when the Tsars ruled the country. The museum offers free dancing performances on the weekend. Tuck into traditional Estonian fare at Neh, located just outside the Old Town and offering among the widest, tastiest variety of Estonian dishes like smoked lamb, herring and beetroot salad, and homemade breads.