Visiting Estonia: going off the Beaten Track in Tallinn

Known for being an increasingly popular piece of Eastern European heaven, Estonia is a fascinating sliver of a nation nestled in between Russia and Latvia on the banks of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.

The country's capital, Tallinn, plays home to over 400,000 residents and thousands more tourists year after year and is well worth a visit. In this blog post, we'll take a look at what to do if you're going a little off the beaten tourist trail in Tallinn.

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Check out Kalamaja

For a fun Tallinn experience, head to the area known as Kalamaja and experience the genuine Estonian side of this buzzing city. Like many hipster neighbourhoods in cities around the world, Kalamaja used to be a working class neighbourhood but has now morphed into a vibrant epicentre for young people.

Take a wander around the Russian Market, where you can pick up a memento from neighbouring Russia's days as the communist USSR, before taking an hour or two to explore the kooky side streets and marvel at the little wooden houses decorated in a variety of garish colours.

And once you've had enough shopping and sightseeing for a day, head to the nearby funkily-named Boheem restaurant for a bowl of authentic Estonian soup.

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Get your seaside museum fix

For museum lovers, the maritime museum at Seaplane Harbour is not to be missed. Boasting 8,000 square metres of floor space, you can learn the basics of how to operate a submarine and go back in time with an original-size replica of a Short Type 184 seaplane from the first world war.

And down the road is another nautical attraction, the Patarei Sea Fortress. When it was first built it served as a home away from home for soldiers. It then became a prison in the early 20th century, and it has most recently reinvented itself into a culture centre hosting a variety of fun events every year. If there are no events on when you visit, fear not - you can take a guided tour.

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