Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is truly one of the gems of the Baltics. Recently, it has received a boom in tourism, especially by daytrippers which visit it from its sister city across the Baltic Sea, Helsinki. On first impulse, especially if arriving from the port, visitors are usually unimpressed by Tallinn and its fairly drab buildings in some parts. However, after they see the medieval town, no-one wants to leave.
Tallinn is a historical city dating back from the medieval times and founded in 1157. In these times, the city was attacked, sacked and razed, and it was the centre of the medieval salt-trade. In World War II, the city was quite extensively bombed, even though luckily the medieval town remains.
Today, Tallinn is a bustling, gleaming metropolis of 430,000 people, undoubtedly the most modern city in the Baltics. However, among the tall glassy buildings and corporate headquarters, Tallinn retains an inner charm rarely found anywhere else. Estonia considers itself a Northern European country (i.e. nearly Scandinavian) and, if you have had Scandinavian travel experiences before, you will understand Tallinn well.
As in other parts of Baltic Europe and Scandinavia, sea is the easiest and most common way of reaching Tallinn. The most common ferry shuttle route is the short journey from Helsinki in Finland to Tallinn. This journey is made very many times daily by a series of private operators which run everything from large cruise ships to ferries to small and fast hydrofoils. One of the largest and most trusted of these companies is Tallink. There are also many, although rarer, shipping options to Stockholm and even parts of Germany.