I got introduced to the 12th-century Silicone Valley of Europe during my sail from Helsinki to Stockholm. A short port stop at Tallinn, Northern Europe’s oldest capital city, means exploring a colony that dates back to as far as 5000 years. Today, this Estonian cultural, political, financial, and educational hub is the largest city of Estonia. A city that houses several UNESCO world heritage sites, yet featuring a whole new world of digital and cultural modernism alongside.
Tallinn, a Traditional City with a Modern Twist
Tallinn is a well-preserved town, laden with beautiful cobblestone streets and traditional houses. Ensuring, that with every step, the antiquated wilderness reinvigorates old-world charm for you. To seal the deal, visit the 13th-century wall, Gothic Town Hall, and the Main Square. However, on your way, do take a look at the quality of modern techniques imbibed into the town’s infrastructure. For those who may not know, Estonia acquired the title of an E-country long before other countries acclimatized the concept. As of today, E-voting in Estonia has been prevalent for over 15-years, making it one of the most digitally advanced countries in the European enclave.
Interestingly, the digital city of Tallinn hosts the highest number of startups in Europe. Making almost every second person, independent. Rated as one of World’s top 10 digital cities, this city of entrepreneurs is also the principle foundation for business magnets such as; Skype, Tallink Group, Ericsson, Olympic Entertainment, ABB, Saint-Gobain Glass, and Norma AS. It was amazing to see, medieval-age assets and traditions blend-in beautifully with digital modernism. Beyond sightseeing, the food culture of Tallin is certainly worth immersing in. Treat yourself to an authentic burst of Estonian flavours with sea oysters, caviar, mussels and other local specialities. This gastronomy haven will leave you surprised with its coastal culinary buffet!
Also, don’t forget to take a trip down the market lane where you will find interesting souvenirs, that represent Estonia’s local culture. Most shops are open all days and accept major credit cards. What you must buy is a traditional Estonian knitted piece of clothing flaunting ravishing patterns from reindeer motifs to floral prints. These patterns have been in use for thousands of years. In food and beverage, Kalev chocolates, Chado tea and Vana Tallinn liqueur are a hit. Other souvenirs worth buying are the juniper products or the famous Estonian glassware.