Tallinn, a capital to explore

I am a student of nursing and for my Erasmus program I have chosen to go to Tallinn. I am going to share with you my experience in this beautiful city so I hope you enjoy!

TRAVEL TO TALLINN – ESTONIA

  1. AIRPLANE to Talinn Airport (companies such as Ryanair fly there)

From the airport to the centre

  1. TAXI FROM £5/6.3€/$7 (duration: 10 minutes)
  2. BUS FROM £1.40/1.80€/$2 (duration: 15 minutes)

Travel around Talinn

  1. BUS and TRAM from £4.8/6€/$6.8 the weekly pass for both

Note: There are also rent-a-cars at the airport yet it is easier and quicker to move around Tallinn by bus, taxi, tram or foot!

_DSC0029

Starting with food, to taste some good Estonian food, you definitely have to try number 1 Trip Advisor restaurant “Rastakevus”. It has a beautiful and cosy environment and the staff is really pleasant. I will just let you know they have the most delicious homemade pumpkin seeds bread with some butter to die for. And guess what…. It’s on the house!

Rastakevus Restaurant

Prices in average: £7/8.8€/$9.9

For a cheaper meal there’s a Greek restaurant called “Pitas” that has the most delicious pitas/kebabs I have ever tasted. And it can be a good meal after a night out because they are open 24 hours! And don’t forget to bring your student card because they have good discount.

Pitas Restaurant

Prices in average: £2.45/3€/$3.5

Now for desert! It doesn’t look like much from the outside (or the inside really) but “Kompressor” has a full menu of delicious and GIANT crepes. It’s a place to indulge in your sweetness for sure. But if you don’t like sweets so much, you can always try the salty ones (bacon, cheese, ham and so on).

Kompressor Restaurant

Prices in average: £3/3.8€/$4.2

DSC_0236

DSC_0106

DSC_0111

I don’t have much experience to tell you about hotels because all my stay in Tallinn was in a student’s residence. But when my friend’s parents came to visit her they stayed in a really picturesque hotel named “Von Stackelberg”. The stone walls and the wood gives it a beautiful ambience, that’s makes you feel like a northerner.  It’s located near the old town and has some really good reviews.

Von Stackelberg Hotel

Prices from: £49/62€/$69 per night per person

It has also sauna/steam room, day spa, library, café, among other facilities.

_DSC0091

sightseeing

DSC_0132

Almost all of the landmarks and museums to see are in the Old Town, a place you will find very medieval. To see all the old town and museums I recommend 2 days. You can get a map of the city in one of the souvenir’s shops and see how to get to every landmark. To see the entire city you should climb to St. Olaf’s Church and you will have a great view of the all city. Also there are two viewpoints in the Old town where you can get a beautiful view of the Old Town and the Baltic Sea.

kadrioque2

kadrioque5

kadrioque1

kadrioque

DSC_0022

kadrioque2

There is also a beautiful park “Kadriorg” with beautiful gardens, a palace an art museum. This one you have to take a tram from the old town to get there.

About 50% of Estonia is covered in forest and it was ranked the cleanest air in the world by World Health Organisation 2011 report.

You will find the people in Tallinn very reserved and not to smiling, this in manly because they got out of the soviet oppression quite recently and also because their history tells that in ancient times they lived very apart from each other because of the big forests.

 

mt floresta

Advertisements

Tallinn, Estonia – Take a note

Tallinn is situated on the northern coast of Estonia, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (as seen on map). Tallinn‘s Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is ranked as a global city and has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world (these are cities that use digital technologies to improve the quality of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption). The city was also a European Capital of Culture for 2011. Approximately 32% of Estonia’s total population lives in Tallinn.

Estonia_map

For many year the city used to be called Reval (this lasted from the 13th century until 1918 and also during the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1944).

Tallinn is the financial and business capital of Estonia and over half of Estonian GDP is generated in Tallinn. Most profit comes from tourism, information technology and logistics.

DSC_0014

During the winter months, temperatures tend stay below zero and it can go down to -4.3ºC in their coldest month which is February. In the summer the temperature goes from 19 to 21 °C (during daytime) and 9.6 to 12.7 °C during nighttime.

This Friday on the blog Carolina’s journey in Tallinn will be posted and being Carolina an Erasmus student she definitely knows already all the best stops in the city!

“You will find the people in Tallinn very reserved and not to smiling, this in manly because they got out of the soviet oppression quite recently and also because their history tells that in ancient times they lived very apart from each other because of the big forests.”

Carolina

Country: Estonia

Capital: Tallinn

Largest City: Tallinn, 439,286 habitants

Official language: Estonian

Currency: Euro (£1 =1.42 euro)

Population: 439,286 habitants

Total area: 159.2 km2

President: Toomas Hendrik Ilves (2006)

A Magic Island called Santorini

During our summer holidays we have chosen to visit the Greek islands and Kamari, a little place in the east side of Santorini ended up as being the best choice. The reason we have chosen Kamari was because when comparing to price/quality with all the other places in Santorini this was the one who they thought the best.

Kamari

After two airplane scales and a whole days stuck in traffic we finally made it to Santorini where we had a driver waiting for us to take us to the hotel. In that moment we were introduced to the driving style in Santorini which is let’s say quite more relaxed than what we are used to in Portugal. In this moment we knew right way these were going to be very fun holidays!

TRAVEL TO SANTORINI – GREECE

  1. AIRPLANE to Athens Airport (airlines such as Aegean Airline or British Airways flight there)
  2. METROFROM £0.80/1€/$1.1 –  E. Venizelos Athens TO Piraeus Port (duration: 1h30)
  3. BOATFROM £14.10/18€/$20 – Piraeus Port TO Thira (Santorini) (duration: 7h30)

DSC_0069

Once we arrived at the Makarios hotel the owner told us a place where we could go eat something. The next day would be exploring day. Kamari is the number one choice for tourism in Santorini. It has a lot of black sand beaches and the water temperature is around 25ºC. It has a big amount of restaurants by the sea, some locals’ houses and many hotels and hostels. This area lives out of tourism during the summer and the prices in general are slighter higher than what we are used to in Portugal. The people is very welcoming and nice always ready to help.

MAKARIOS HOTEL

Prices from: £70/88€/$99 per night per room with all inclusive rate plans: breakfast, lunch and dinner, snacks, drinks from 10.00-22.00

DSC_0284

On our second day we decided to explore the strongest touristic points of Santorini: the capital Fira and its mystic sunset and the Oia (pronounced Ía) maze of white houses. It is easy to travel in the island and we have chosen to do it by bus that quickly took us to Fira which was very crowded of people.

TRAVEL IN SANTORINI

  1. RENT A CARFROM £26/33€/$37 per day (prices may vary as there are many local car rental companies such as Coolcars, easy rentals, Santorini Holiday Cars and visitors can also rent from international companies such as Budget Rent a Car or  Hertz)
  2. TAXIFROM £32/40€/$45  (one way taxi to any village from the port or airport)
  3. BUSFROM £1.30/1.60€/$1.80 (Note: in the winter buses stop running at midnight every night of the week and start running again at 5am.  In the summer months buses run until 4am from Fira to the main resorts.)

DSC_0504

We started by exploring the inside of the capital. We found a stunning landscape to a caldera within an endless and strong blue sea.

Just a bit underneath it we saw a “Donkey Station”, yes that is right, a station with donkeys to take tourists down and up the hills. To be honest they did not have a very happy face but it definitely gives more to the scenery of the island. They won’t move out of the way unless we hit them which made us being literally stuck between a donkey and a wall.

DSC_0147

DSC_0148

RIDING DONKEYS IN FIRA

You can ride a donkey up (or down) the caldera from the main port.

PICK UP POINTS: Fira and the old port

Price: £3.50/4.50€/$5 one way per person

Duration: 25-35 minutes

Note: There are many controversy as many tourists have been poorly treated by the donkey owners along with some issues on whether the donkeys and well taken care of or not. Other ways to go up and down from Fira to the old port is by cable (£3.50/4.50€/$5 one way) or foot!

DSC_0206

We kept on exploring the capital and along with astonishing landscapes we also found beautiful churches and old buildings. It is a good place to quickly fill up your camera memory card. We had lunch at a local hospital where we had to pay for service charge which we never do in Portugal! So we thought they were a bit too business oriented per say.

DSC_0075

After lunch we caught the bus and after 20 minutes of travelling we got to Oia. We started exploring the area which is just like as seen on photos: mazes with a million corners of white and blue houses over a hill that ends in a deep blue ocean. Oia seems like taken from a movie. There is really something magic in the air of that place and the art crafts stores are in each corner. We even almost made part of a wedding photo shooting!

DSC_0136

DSC_0256

After 3 hours of exploring we went to eat at a local burger place and we went to book the place where we were going to watch the sunset. The sunset is a very busy moment in Oia and 3 hours before the sun sets there are already many people saving the best spot to watch the moment. Coming from a place with a beautiful sunset (Ericeira, Portugal) we didn’t find this sunset prettier than what we are used to yet the amount of people gathered to contemplate it made us think who we should value more what we have at home.

DSC_0354

DSC_0084

We spent the next days in Kamari resting and enjoying the beach, the pool and the local restaurants.

DSC_0317

Santorini, Greece – take a note

Santorini is a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea. It is officially called Thira and is the largest island of the archipelago with the same name – Thira. It belongs to the Cyclades group of islands. The municipality of Santorini includes Santorini and Therasia and four uninhabited islands – Aspronisi, Christiana, Nea Kameni and Palaia Kameni. 

Santorini-Tourist-Map-3

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc and it is also where one of the largest volcanic eruptions happened about 3600 years ago. The Minoan eruption which occurred during the Minoan civilization and many say be the source for the legend of Atlantis.

Now a days Santorini is very famous for tourism and this is in fact its main source of wealth followed by agriculture. The island holds a small but quite successful wine industry.

DSC_0084

Tomorrow André and Marina travel experience in Santorini will be shared with all the best suggestions on where to go, what to see and eat among many other things!

“Santorini is a “little” paradise that everyone should visit. It has good beaches, good food, good architecture but above all of this Santorini is truly a magic island.”

Marina & André

 

Country: Greece

Capital: Athens (Greece capital)

Largest City: Athens, 3,090,508 habitants

Official language: Greek

Currency: Euro(£1 =1.41 euro)

Population:  15,550 habitants

Total area: 90.623 km2

President: Prokopis Pavlopoulos (2015)