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all4hockey54r

Tallinn- Tour or Not?

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The obvious pros and cons of a tour are

 

Pro: you have someone who knows where they are going and you might see something that you might not on a DIY

 

Con: expense

 

We did Tallinn on our own and were very happy with our experience. We planned by reading a guidebook before we left and copying some of the relevant pages. Worked out well, even in the rain.

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We found Tallin ( the old town) absolutely charming and very walkable. We are reasonably fit mid 60 year olds. As so much of the town is pedestrianised, I am not sure what benefit a tour would be, unless it is a walking tour with a guide. There is a fairly long cobbled slope to the upper town, but not too arduous . I believe it may be possible to take a taxi or shuttle bus to the top, then walk down if that's easier.

As already suggested, a good guidebook or on line visitor information website should tell you what there is to see, and you can then enjoy wandering around the town.

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We walked around by ourselves. We took the little train from outside the ship which took us on a quick tour of the town before dropping us in the main square. From there we explored using a map we had printed off in advance.

It was an easy walk down hill back to the ship.

If you do a tour check what they involve, buses are not allowed in the old town so for example the hop on hop off bus can not take you to the centre of it all. Whereas the little train did.

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Will be there in the next couple of weeks and will DIY as there looks to be plenty to do.

 

Its already looking like somewhere we will go back to for a longer visit as I dont think a day will be enough to appreciate everything on offer.

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I recommend this as a DIY visit, but do have some form of guide to help you understand what you are seeing. We went with folks we met on the ship and shared reading from R Steves. Plenty of time to tour, have a drink and then a wee bit of shopping.

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Rick Steves has a good walking tour of Tallinn in his guidebook, "Northern Europe Cruise Ports". There are several items/sites that he includes which the tour that our tablemates took entirely skipped. When we told them something in particular that we saw, they said, "Wow, I wish we'd known about that!"

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Would it be beneficial to take a tour in Tallinn or should we just go it alone? What are the pros and cons?

 

We will be visiting Tallin in September and I found that there is a free 2 hour walking tour offered every day (http://www.traveller.ee/tour/tallinn-free-tour) which is open to whomever shows up. The same group offers a private 3 hour tour for a fee. Using my roll call I was able to put together a group of 16 and it will cost us about 9 euro per person. For this nominal amount I feel its worth it to have someone familiar with the area, who can add so much more than a guide book can.

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Our biggest mistake on our Baltic cruise was paying for a tour in Tallinn. Total waste of time! It is a beautiful city and I should have taken the advice that I had read in Rick Steves guidebook. We actually ended up leaving our tour half way through and finishing out on our own.

 

 

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I thought I read somewhere on these threads that you can get an audio tour for Tallin to do on your own. Maybe at a TI. Does anyone know about this & where to pick up?

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I thought I read somewhere on these threads that you can get an audio tour for Tallin to do on your own. Maybe at a TI. Does anyone know about this & where to pick up?

 

Several options:

http://tallinnaudioguide.com/

http://www.audioguide2go.com/guide.php?guide=821

Tallinn Tourist Information Centre: https://www.inyourpocket.com/tallinn/audioguide-old-town-tour_7416v

 

This is from my DIY - the old town is very walkable.

Njk5G8tUV1E

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Tallinn is perfect for DIY. We were there several years ago and walked by ourselves for hours. Also they have several free tours which are quite popular.

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We will be visiting Tallin in September and I found that there is a free 2 hour walking tour offered every day (http://www.traveller.ee/tour/tallinn-free-tour) which is open to whomever shows up. The same group offers a private 3 hour tour for a fee. Using my roll call I was able to put together a group of 16 and it will cost us about 9 euro per person. For this nominal amount I feel its worth it to have someone familiar with the area, who can add so much more than a guide book can.

 

We did this Tallinn Free Tour last month and it was great--one of the best walking tours we've ever done anywhere, hands down. We ended up giving a 15 euro tip for two of us and honestly would have given more if we had any extra cash because the tour guide was super informative and just really funny.

 

The free tour lasts about 2-2.5 hours and starts at 10, so we had several hours after to get some lunch and explore more on our own.

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It is a small town, and very doable to DIY. After two days of DIY Copenhagen, and a day of DIY Rostock, I decided to leave the tour to an expert - and went with the Free Tallinn Tour (you can google it).

 

It was about 2 hours and the guide we had was fantastic (If I were to have done it myself, I would have focused on the pre-WWII history - the tour covered that, plus a lot of the more recent history of Tallinn as well as its culture.

 

It is highly recommended, and well worth the tip at the end - which is still a lot less than either the boat's tour or a private tour.

 

Tallinn, for us, was the port that was the unexpected surprise - it was very nice, and charming.

 

If you do not like their tour, you can always break off, and easily do the town yourself. As mentioned above, Rick Steve's have a very good tour of the town.

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Would it be beneficial to take a tour in Tallinn or should we just go it alone? What are the pros and cons?

 

 

 

Just google free walking tour. We took a wonderful tour with a very informative guide all around cobblestoned streets with plenty of time for shopping and lunch !

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We were in Tallinn and it rained on us. It was disappointing due to the rain, however, once the sun came out, it was a lovely quaint little town to DIY.

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We loved Tallinn, had a beautiful day there and started with a walking tour from http://sakutravel.ee

 

We were met at the port, outside the gates, had a few hours with a guide then plenty of time on our own. There was one other couple from our ship that we didn't know who also signed for this tour so the 4 of us plus the guide took off and we thoroughly enjoyed learning about Tallinn' getting facts and seeing things we may have missed had we done it ourselves.

 

 

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We always like to DIY in ports so we have the freedom to do whatever, whenever. Especially in ports like Tallin, so easy to do it on your own. Just walking distance from the port to old town.

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do you know if most cruise ships have a shuttle taking passengers into the Tourist Info center?

thanks

 

We always like to DIY in ports so we have the freedom to do whatever, whenever. Especially in ports like Tallin, so easy to do it on your own. Just walking distance from the port to old town.

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do you know if most cruise ships have a shuttle taking passengers into the Tourist Info center?

thanks

 

Cruise ships dock at the Old City Harbor, it's just around 500 metres from city center. You don't need any shuttle bus at all. Old town is a little further but you need to go up the hill. So if you have any mobility issues you could take a taxi. Anyway everything in Tallinn is very close and the only problem may be cobblestones which are everywhere. So be ready:D

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do you know if most cruise ships have a shuttle taking passengers into the Tourist Info center?

thanks

 

HAL did have a shuttle. We did not use it and did not have to wait on line for it. Walking into town worked fine.

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Just google free walking tour. We took a wonderful tour with a very informative guide all around cobblestoned streets with plenty of time for shopping and lunch !

 

How long was the tour and how arduous? Did you walk up the big hill to overlook the town?

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Tallin was a wonderful DIY port. Can't imagine sharing the charm with a tour group.

 

Hank

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We walked from the ship to Old Town and followed Rick Steves' walking tour. The town did become very crowded with walking tours from a few ships docked there that day. We then took a taxi to the Maritime Museum and then taxied back to our ship.

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I read elsewhere that the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is only open on weekends. Is that true? We are scheduled to be in Tallinn on a Thursday next August. Although I understand that photos are prohibited inside, I'd like to visit the inside of the cathedral.

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I read elsewhere that the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is only open on weekends. Is that true? We are scheduled to be in Tallinn on a Thursday next August. Although I understand that photos are prohibited inside, I'd like to visit the inside of the cathedral.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is open Monday - Friday (and Sunday) from 8:00am to 7:00pm

It is open Saturday from 8:00am to 8:00pm

You won't be able to wander around the cathedral during services but if you work around the services, you will be able to see the interior.

Services are held: Monday - Friday at 8:30am and 5:00pm; Saturday at 8:30am; Sunday at 9:30am

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Thank you dogs4fun! That makes more sense than just being open on weekends.

Now we have to figure out DIY vs. free walking tour, leaning towards getting a

local to show us the city. :)

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Tallinn is a very easy place to visit. We even went to one of the famous restaurants, for lunch.

Our problem was the rain. It seems to rain a lot in Tallinn.

BTW This is the place to pick up your chocolates & souvenirs. Things got more expensive, as we cruised to the other places.

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Tallinn is a very easy place to visit. We even went to one of the famous restaurants, for lunch.

 

Our problem was the rain. It seems to rain a lot in Tallinn.

 

BTW This is the place to pick up your chocolates & souvenirs. Things got more expensive, as we cruised to the other places.

 

 

 

So true. Tallinn is easy. Also, we bought the chocolate at the factory store for Kaslov for gifts. After tasting it we were so sorry we didn’t buy more. So good and so reasonable.

 

 

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So true. Tallinn is easy. Also, we bought the chocolate at the factory store for Kaslov for gifts. After tasting it we were so sorry we didn’t buy more. So good and so reasonable.

 

 

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Thank you for the suggestion, FloridaTourist. Any other suggestions for gift\souvenir from Tallinn?

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Thank you for the suggestion, FloridaTourist. Any other suggestions for gift\souvenir from Tallinn?

 

 

 

We bought the juniper wood trivets, they have a nice smell & come in handy in the kitchen [emoji3]

 

 

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We DIYed Tallinn and Helsinki. Both cities are easy to DIY and visitor friendly. A good way to save money for a private tour of St.Petersburg :)

My husband got a wool sweater in Tallinn and loves it.

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We did a Food Tour & it was fantastic. Our guide, Raiko, was extremely knowledagble & due to having a car we were able to visit some areas outside of Old Town before beginning our food experience. Completely recommend.

This is the one we did

http://www.foodsightseeing.ee/

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We did a Food Tour & it was fantastic. Our guide, Raiko, was extremely knowledagble & due to having a car we were able to visit some areas outside of Old Town before beginning our food experience. Completely recommend.

This is the one we did

http://www.foodsightseeing.ee/

Thank you for the link, mara93. We'd love to do a food tour but I'm not sure I have a clear picture of what we will be visiting and what is included in the tour. Will appreciate it if you tell more.

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Thanks for the information everyone! I'm looking into food tours there as well. That might be a nice alternative.

all4hockey54: did you find any food tours? did you do any? did you enjoy?

 

we like doing food tours but i couldn't find much about food tours at this forum.

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Thank you for the link, mara93. We'd love to do a food tour but I'm not sure I have a clear picture of what we will be visiting and what is included in the tour. Will appreciate it if you tell more.

 

I can probably shed some light. Do you want to know food specifics?

We had pumpkin soup & schnapps @ the Peppersack restaurant

Moved on to Gourmet Club Deli & Cafe for Beet Hummus along with fresh bread & a malt like beverage

Stopped at the Old Town Pharmacy where we were given marzipan

Then to Kaerjaan restaurant where we sampled some hors d'oeuvres along with a kefir drink

Moved on to a viewpoint of Old Town where the guide provided traditional estonian chocolate along w/estonian schnapps

Last stop was at the Luscher & Mattiesen winery for apple wine

 

Keep in mind, throughout the entire time you are walking through Old Town & the guide is providing information on its history & happenings.

 

When we were first picked up we traveled to the Office of the President of Estonia, not much time but nice building (we didn't enter) We moved on to Regulaarpark gardens & Tallin Song Festival Grounds. We drove back to Old Town & were able to see a bit of Tallin. After the tastings, we had free time to hit the Open Market in the city center.

 

Great day in Tallin. Hope this helps.

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When we toured in Tallinn, there was just a terrific walking tour that one of our posters linked on the site. Everyone, and I mean everyone used it. But for some reason, the link was removed and no one was able to put it back on. It was done by a poster, Lairbear.

That said, a lot of the fun in Tallinn, is following a walking tour, but also, exploring a bit on your own. We just loved to wander about those narrow cobblestone streets, just looking to get away from many of the tourists and find some hidden gem of a shop to browse around in. Another benefit of doing Tallinn on your own is that you can go at your own pace. Maybe you find a spot where you just want to sit and 'chill out; (if they still say or do that :)), or want to stop for a bite at any of the wonderful restaurants, or linger to take some pictures.

Tallinn is really the one city where it is the easiest to do on your own. Yes, you won't get all the names and dates that fill up a guided tour, but, for us, that wasn't necessary. We just wanted to feel the area and experience Tallinn.

I would google walking tours of Tallinn, print one out and get going on your own.

It is a very easy walk from the ship to the old city. In fact, I believe they have a sort of line painted on the street that you follow to get there. There is a few block incline walk to get to the top of the hill, but it is not strenuous, if you walk OK.

Do the tour if you like, but save a few bucks that will go to a tour in St Petersburg, and do it on your own.

As for souvenirs, we found that the nesting dolls were cheaper in Tallinn than in St Petersburg, and many people say Tallinn is the best place to buy Amber. Just shop at reputable places.

(The used to have a sort of bazaar type set up near the ship as you walk back. We found some great little things there, if it is still around.)

Cheers

Len

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Thank you for your review MARA93. You made my mouth water )))

We love food tours and I'd love to take the tour from Food Sightseeing but we'll be travelling with an 8-year old. I'm afraid the marzipan and chocolate is not enough to keep her interest and she is not going to enjoy the tour. Do you agree?

 

Jess

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