The kids and I visited Tallinn during the school Autumn holiday for some good food and interesting museums.
Our first stop was the newish market hall, Balti Jaama Turg. I’ve been there so many times but always love to return. It’s nice just to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Upstairs they have shops with interesting antiques and vintage clothes. You can find all kinds of things from the Soviet era there too, like posters or pins. Downstairs is all about fresh produce, cafes and restaurants.
I had wanted to try the bao at one of the street food stalls for some time and as they also had a vegetarian option, we went for that. The stall is called Baojaam and it’s quite popular, as they have opened a new restaurant in the old town. I was a bit disappointed with the taste but it was fresh and there are different options for the fillings. So if you’ve never tried a bao, then I say, go for it!
After our dinner, we went to the Fotografiska Museum. I have visited this museum in Stockholm and loved it, so it was on top of my list. The museum can be found in Telliskivi and it’s amazing.
We were lucky to catch the exquisite Wonderland exhibition by Kirsty Mitchell. It was enchanting! The photos have been taken during a five year period following the artist’s mothers passing. You will feel like walking into a fairy tale, as the settings were inspired by the stories Kirsty’s mother told her as a child.
We also saw the Truth is Dead exhibit by Alison Jackson. The photos are of celebrities in intimate moments or being caught off guard. But in fact, they are not the real celebrities but doubles posing as them. You could call it “fake reality”. Quite thought-provoking.
Unfortunately both these exhibits have moved on, but Fotografiska has new interesting ones going on all the time. If I lived in Tallinn, this would be my haunt. In addition to cool art, Fotografiska has a lovely café. The first time I was there, we had to queue and wait for service for half an hour! This time they were much more speedy.
I recommend you try the Napoleon cake as it’s divine. One thing that makes this museum special is that it has excellent opening hours. On the weekend, it’s open till 1 am!!
In the evening we settled in our airbnb apartment in Telliskivi, which was in a new building. I love Tallinn so much that I’d love to own an apartment there. However, in the long run it’s much cheaper to just stay in hotels or airbnbs and you can change the location every time if you want.
The next morning we grabbed a Bolt to the Maarjamäe Palace aka Estonian History Museum. Our driver was quite crazy and almost crashed the car on the way. Thankfully we made it to the museum in one piece. The building is gorgeous and used to be a summer residence for a St. Petersburg family back in the day. We went to see the My Free Country exhibit, which took us through 100 years of Estonian history.
We climbed up to the building’s tower to see the sights. It was an overcast day, so we couldn’t really see that far but I’m sure on a clear day the views are magnificent.
Behind the museum is an outdoor exhibit of Soviet Monuments. There used to be monuments like these in every town square but along the way, they have been destroyed or disappeared. This is the largest exhibit in Estonia of the monuments and there aren’t that many. These have been sculpted from 1945 to 1990.
I can imagine that these sculptures are not something most Estonian’s want to see. However, they are part of history and thus I think it is important to keep them in sight in a setting like this. I was surprised to see that there were fresh flowers beneath some of the statues.
After our tour of the museum and the grounds, we went across the road to the Pirita Promenade (Pirita tee) to catch a bus back to the center. This promenade is two km long and starts in Kadriorg and ends in Pirita. It’s one of the most magical places during a sunset.
For lunch we went to one of my fave sushi restaurants, Sushi Plaza. It did not disappoint.
When in Tallinn, one must always have cake. After our morning, we were ready for some! We chose Café Rukis, which had some interesting variations to try. We tried a tiramisu pancake cake and a poppy seed cake. If you are in Tallinn on a cold day, Rukis is the perfect place to gather some warmth and cosy feels.
For dinner, we visited Tru – a newish vegan restaurant. I’d heard a lot about it beforehand and wasn’t disappointed. We walked there through a quiet but very dark neighbourhood which was a bit spooky, I’d like to see the area in daylight one of these days and explore more as there’s a bakery and cocktail bar nearby too.
Everything we ate was delicious, so if you’re going to Tallinn and are into vegan food, I really recommend you go to Tru. Even if you aren’t staying nearby, it’s easy to get there with a Bolt or Uber – it costs a couple of euros. The loaded sweet potato fries were my fave.
Bye Tallinn, I hope we meet again very soon! ❤ I’m sad I didn’t have a chance to visit in December for the Christmas market and yuletide cheer but I do have two trips coming up in 2020, woop!