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A local’s guide to Tallinn: the best fishburgers, speakeasies and Soviet-era art | Travel

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Food

Don’t miss AnnoA husband-and-wife couple serves creative dishes using Baltic ingredients at a nearby restaurant. The tasting menu isn’t too expensive and Erno (the husband) suggests inventive wine pairings. Take a seat in your backyard during the summer.

Telliskivi is home to the best street food. The best fish and chips are at Päästke Willy, which sources fish in Lake Peipsi at the Russian border. My favorite fishburger is the Chilly Willy fishburger.

For something It is really traditional, go to Olde HansaIn the old town. I love wild boar sausages and mushroom soup. Try their homemade ​​berry schnapps, too. Tallinn has the best.

Inspiration

I bring visiting friends to Fotografiska, a fine-art photography museum. It’s in super-cool TelliskiviThe old town is just a 10-minute walk away from this location.

Nick Brandt’s This Empty World, Inherit the Dust, which captures the destruction of African nature, is showing until spring. And don’t miss the neighbourhood’s street art – see it on a walking tour with Pseudo Tours.

tallin SPOT

NoblessnerThis is an old submarine shipyard which has been transformed into a cultural hub. Visit Kai Art CenterFirst: It does a great deal of promoting contemporary Estonian artist. Have lunch – the fish soup is delicious – in the same building at Lore Bistroo. Families will be delighted Proto Invention FactoryOver the road, a hot air balloon exhibit. It’s an interactive “discovery centre” where you can play around with different inventions from history. Really fun – even for adults.

Neighbourhood

A restaurant in Telliskivi.
Telliskivi has a restaurant.Photograph by Peter Forsberg/Alamy

TelliskiviTallinn’s most vibrant area. It was once a major Soviet manufacturing base that specialised in trains. Today, the factory buildings are a hub for creative people. There are no chains. When F-hoone – the first and probably best cafe in the neighbourhood – arrived in 2011, people said they were mad. Today, there are 1,500 people working there, from architects and designers to musicians and painters. There are 800 events per year. I love it in summer when the squares are filled with street-food vendors and live music. But it’s not all hipsters! If you go to the flea market (every Saturday, 10am-3pm), you’ll see families rummaging through the stalls.

Green space

In the Rocca al Mare area to the west – near Tallinn zoo – there’s a park called Vabaõhumuuseum. It’s an immersive, open-air museum with a reconstructed fishing village. I go there to walk the trails in the forest.

Fountain and pavilion in Kadriorg park.
Kadriorg park: Fountain and pavilionPhotograph: Image Professionals/Alamy

My favourite green space is Kadriorg Park. I walk along the promenade from Kadriorg Palace – the Kadriorg Art Museum within is well worth a visit – to the formal gardens near the Swan Pond. While you’re there, check out KumuThe Art Museum of Estonia’s branch in Estonia. There are seven floors!My favourite is the fourth floor, which displays art from the Soviet era.

Nightlife

Tallinn’s underground speakeasy, called “The Underground”, is one of the coolest bars. Whisper Sister. It’s not easy to find – the door looks like any other – and you have to call when you arrive, so they can come up to let you in. The cocktails are great and I always order the cheese board.

For live music, I go to Uus Laine. Thursday night is the best night to see up-and coming artists. Wednesdays are the music quiz. You can also grab a beer at Põhjala Brewery & Tap RoomNoblessner

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Stay

Design lovers should be at Hektor Container Hotel (doubles from £46) in Telliskivi. Each room comes in its own container. There’s a great vintage clothing store in the same building called Kopli Couture

Stay at Oru Hub Hotel (doubles from £52). It’s another design-led hotel where the co-working space is really quirky and the restaurant specialises in sharing plates using local ingredients.

Tiia Vihand is the CEO of The Estonian Design Centre. The European Design FestivalTallinn in June



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