First of all: I’m in a very tight relationship with my phone. Second of all, having my phone and its charger in separate countries can cause absolute and pure panic. Third of all, the staff at Viru Hotel in Estonia are the purest and nicest people ever and total lifesavers.
Now, let’s get to the point: Last week, the enginerd and I visited Tallin because it is super easy and absolutely budget friendly and we have no extra money but wanted to do something fun. As Finns, our one and only option for a method of travel was to take a ferry. Yes, yes, surely there are other ways, too, but who needs them when you’ve got this super easy no hassle option. We opted for Viking Line, for it cost only 27€ for the two of us, including a cabin on our way back. There are also other options available, such as a one day cruise with no stayover on board. The ships leave from Katajanokka terminal, which is really easy to reach by foot or car.
Compared to Finland pretty much anywhere else counts as cheap, but Estonia, in general, is very tempting for Finns. This is probably due to its reputation as an affordable place to buy booze and the fact that to a lot of us it’s pretty much like Finland with same products and stores and people who speak the language, only kinda funny.
Fun fact: both Finnish and Estonian languages belong in the same language family, Uralic languages. Surely, this may sound a bit boring to some, but the similarities in the two languages and the fact that to Finns, Estonian sounds like super old school Finnish with ridiculous words, has made it a butt of countless jokes, TV show characters and comedies in Finnish entertainment history. I guess it is happening less and less now, but honestly has been a huge reason to our generation’s super bad sense of humour.
Being on a budget (saving for our next adventure, tho), we had to narrow down what we wanted to do in Tallin in about 10 hours. As I had no preferences, the engineer got to finally fulfil one of his dreams: to visit the KGB museum in Viru Hotel. First, however, we ate at this just awesome vegan restaurant in Old Town. The service at Vegan Restoran V was fast and friendly and 100% suitable for Finns who wish to be left alone while eating. And the food… Just look at the pictures! Even if you like to dine on the meatier sector of the food circle, this place will be worth your time.
Stomachs full, we headed to the KGB Museum. I have to admit, seeing all the spying gear and secret rooms and a sign saying “There’s nothing here” on a door behind which there totally was something, helped me to find my inner little boy, too. The tour guide was this most awesome ever lady, whose Finnish was just fluent, and stories so captivating and unbelievable, you could really feel the atmosphere of secrecy and political scamming in the air. The hotel, which was opened in 1972, served as the Soviet spies’ headquarters for spying on local and foreign guests. Nowadays, it’s a Finnish owned chain hotel, with phone chargers in the reception 🙂
All in all, Tallinn never lets you down. Next time we’ll try and venture farther from the terminal, tho, perhaps to Pärnu or Saaremaa. Estonia might be small, but the possibilities for a traveller are endless (and yes, booze is cheap).
Psssst, you can follow our next adventure here and on Instagram 😉 We’ll be hitting the road again in less than three weeks, just us and our pack bags, for three months!