Exotic escapism in Estonia

Estonia has shed its reputation for rowdy hen and stag parties and has been replaced by cool art-house festivals and adventurous outdoor pursuits.

Around a decade ago, Estonia’s reputation in travel circles was for rowdy stag and hen parties, and the low-cost flights that delivered them.

Today, things are very different: air fares to the Baltic country might remain a bargain, but the stewed revellers and their numbered T-shirts now carouse elsewhere.

In their stead have come art-house festivals and eco-spirited outdoor adventures, plus a clump of voguish places to stay. In short, Estonia has gone cool.


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Jõuluturg Raekoda Tallinn 2012

Tallinn Should be Your Next Destination Travel Channel Suggests

Looking for a perfect travel destination?

For all travelers out there looking for the coolest passport stamps of 2016, Travel Channel chose Estonia and Tallinn as one of the next great travel destinations:

“Start in Tallinn, where fairytale architecture wows in this medieval old town. Wander the ancient streets, pop by the plethora of museums and churches, and then venture to the country’s most famous national parks – Matsalu, Vilsandi and Lahemaa.”

You can read the full post about The Next 11 Great Destinations by Travel Channel here.

Would you recommend any particular places in Estonia and Tallinn? Share it in the comments.

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Kanter Takes Bronze For Estonia In London Olympics

Congratulations to Gerd Kanter of Estonia who, whilst not repeating his gold medal success in Beijing in 2008, was in the medals in the men’s Olympic discus in London last night, achieving a bronze medal with a throw of 68.03 metres on his penultimate throw.

Germany’s Robert Harting won gold with a throw of 68.27 metres, with Eshan Hadadi of Iran taking the silver medal.

Congratulations are also due to Heiki Nabi who attained Estonia’s first medal (silver) of the tournament on Monday in the men’s 120kg greco-romano wrestling event.

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Redevelopment Of Train Station Area In Tallinn, Estonia Up For Tender

As recently reported on this blog, one of the up and coming areas of Tallinn is the area surrounding the train station, merging into the Kalamaja and Pelgulinn neighbourhoods.

Our faith in this seems to be bearing fruit; according to a recent report by Ott Tammik on the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) English language site, the City of Tallinn is drafting the very terms and conditions for the tender of architectural plans that will make this long yearned-for development become a reality.

The project has been in the offing for some 11 years, and will replace the existing Balti Jaama Turg (Train Station Market). Not surprisingly the developments are not unopposed – one point of contention is the reassigning of Reisijate Street, currently closed to traffic and taken up by much of the marketplace itself, as a traffic street, and the existing Kopli Steet to become a four lane thoroughfare, the report stated.

Currently traffic is undoubtedly congested, particularly at rush hour, since Kopli Street is a one way street along the stretch that passes the train station. New developments would require better road access.

Other dissenting or at least questioning voices, as well as market traders, include national rail carrier Eesti Raudtee who wish to preserve some rail sidings and have space for additional platforms in future, according to the report.

Previous architectural plans had met with objections due to apartment developments blocking the view of Toompea, the seat of the Estonian government and the highest point of the old town.

As noted on this blog the area where Telliskivi Street crosses train tracks adjacent to the station is already something of a bohemian quarter, with two or three successful restaurants and various other businesses.

The original report is available here.

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Estonian Finance Ministry Building In Tallinn To Be Demolished, Rebuilt

According to a report by Ott Tammik on the English language site of the Estonian Public Broadcasters (ERR) the building which houses the Estonian Finance Ministry is to be demolished and two new, identical towers are to be built in its stead.

The current building at Suur-Ameerika 1, which was constructed back in 1977 when Estonia was a constitutent republic of the former USSR, has been declared unfit for renovation (which was the original intention) according to the report.

The work is due to start some time in 2013 and whilst the new buildings, which will also house the Ministry of The Economy, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs from 2016, are to resemble the existing building externally, the interior will comprise modern, open plan offices rather than separate office rooms as is currently the case, according to the report.

This has not been met with unified approval, it would seem. The Estonian Architect’s Union called the building an architecturally valuable monument to its era and the decision to demolish it ‘strange’, the report stated.

Possible interim accomodation for the Finance Ministry during the period of construction could be the current Tax and Customs’ Board (EMTA) offices in various locations around Tallinn. EMTA is due to relocate to new premises in Ülemiste in the second half 2013.

Goodson & Red Tallinn Property Consultancy is a premier real estate service in Estonia, specialising in residential and commercial Tallinn real estate, with a strong focus on consultancy services for overseas property investors in Estonia. Our recent media accolades include mentions in both the UK quality newspaper the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times.

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Tallinn Maritime Days Begin Today!

The popular Tallinna Merepäevad (Tallinn Maritime Days) festival starts today and offers a great variety of free family entertainment.

Lasting for three days (13th-15th July) the festival will offer both musical performances, as well as sea-based activities such as the Tallinn Sailing Regatta, moored ships open to the public, boat trips and scuba diving.

This is the fifth Tallinn Maritime Days festival on such a scale, and the first since the refurbished Seaplane Harbour was open to the public. The development includes hangars originally built as part of a naval fortress during World War One and the ‘Lembit’ submarine, one of two ‘Kalev’ class submarines built for the Estonian navy during the period of the First Estonian Republic, by British company Vickers-Armstrong.

Seaplanes will be flying demonstrations at the harbour as well, weather permitting (waves of above 30 cm in height prevent takeoff and landing).

The Seaplane Harbour Museum is discounting entry tickets to three Euros for the festival. The hangars will be open from 2.00-8.00 pm (Friday 13 July), 11.00 am-8.00 pm (Saturday 14 July) and 11.00 am-7.00 pm (Sunday 15 July).

Musical performers appearing through the course of the weekend include Lenna, who performed in the Estonian Song competition earlier in the year, and noted singer Siiri Sisask.

More information is available on the festival website here.

Goodson & Red Tallinn Property Consultancy is a premier real estate service in Estonia, specialising in residential and commercial Tallinn real estate, with a strong focus on consultancy services for overseas property investors in Estonia. Our recent media accolades include mentions in both the UK quality newspaper the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times.

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Tallinn Summer Beer Festival Kicks Off Tonight

Today sees the first day of the annual Tallinn Õllesummer (‘beer summer’) festival, at the Lauluväljak (Song Festival Ground) in Tallinn.

This is the 18th year the festival has been held, and it has now grown to include not only beers from Estonia and around the world, but several major music acts, including Welsh band The Manic Street Preachers (Friday), and Estonia’s Eurovision entry for 2012 Ott Lepland (Thursday).

In all the festival lasts for four days.

More information is available here.

Goodson & Red Tallinn Property Consultancy is a premier residential and commercial property service based in Tallinn, Estonia, with a strong focus on consultancy services for overseas property investors. Our recent media accolades include mentions in both the UK quality newspaper the Daily Telegraph, and the New York Times.

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Comedy Estonia Hosts International Standup Acts in Tallinn

Here at Tallinn Property we like to comment on some of the attractions that this city offers, aside from the thriving real estate market!

Comedy Estonia is an organization which puts on, as its name suggests, comedy acts in Tallinn and all over Estonia, simultaneously fostering local talent and bringing great international names from the world of standup to Tallinn.

Founded over two years ago with its first tentative outings in Tartu, which proved to be highly successful, it has snowballed into shows for all levels of comics and would-be comics, from the regular open mic nights two or three times a month in Tallinn and Tartu, through to the big comedy nights once a month at the louche Club Prive in Tallinn.

Two highly successful tours of provincial Estonian towns including Pärnu and Rakvere have followed and attracted the attention of the local media.

As if that were not enough, in April this year Comedy Estonia were able to promote and host standup with Dylan Moran, a noted Irish comic whose credits include Channel 4’s (UK) ‘Black Books’ and romantic comedy movie ‘Notting Hill’. The show, at the Vene Kulturi Keskus (Russian cultural centre) in Tallinn was an instant hit, so much so that tickets were snapped up within hours of going on sale and an extra date was added!

The success of the show spread the word further, and Dylan became the first English speaking standup act to ever appear in Russia, at an impromptu show in St. Petersburg on the back of his Tallinn success, with Comedy Estonia’s own Louis Zezeran following up this feat, appearing as a standup in that city in May.

This Wednesday (20th June) sees the popular Club Prive night featuring Anders Stjernholm (Denmark) and Tom Rhodes (US) – the latter has appeared on the Comedy Central cable TV channel in the States and has had his own standup show on Dutch TV to boot.

Comics can perform their acts in either Estonian or English, with roughly a 50:50 split between Estonian comics (who often perform in English) and a variety of other nationalities, so there is something for everyone.

The best standup acts from the Scandinavian countries regularly take the ferry to Tallinn to perform, all year round.

If you’re in Tallinn and like good comedy, be sure to check out their website for dates, or if you’re feeling brave you can even put yourself down for an open mic slot (details on the site)!

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