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Just about 60 miles south of Helsinki, Estonia’s capital of Tallinn is like an ultra-hip medieval city trying to grow along with other modern European cities. The name Tallinn is thought by many to have originated from the word Taani-linn, which means Danish castle or town. This sounds like a logical assumption because the Danes did build a castle at Lindanisse. It is when the city became independent in 1918 that it adopted the name Tallinn, replacing the German name Reval.

While in the midst of one of Tallinn’s streets, you cannot help but remind yourself that you are really there; you are not in a photo-shopped alternative world. An example of such a charming oddity is finding modern nightclubs and fancy restaurants within medieval-style stone walls. The city’s colors are also vibrant, both with the old and the new. Though fashion-forward, Tallinn does not turn its back on its old crafts: weaving, pottery, and glass-blowing. The city is in itself a museum mixed with modern improvisations. You may not expect impressive museums here, however; instead, look for modern art galleries.

When going to Tallinn, you may have to book a series of interconnecting flights ending in Tallinn Airport. If you are from a nearby city, you can take a bus or a boat. Within the city itself, you can get around with little problem. Public transport consists of several trams, buses, and trolleybuses. Of course, you can always take a taxi for convenience. If you pick the public transport, you do have to be watchful against pickpockets. Tallinn has continental weather. It is best to visit the city during the summer months of July and August, where the weather is pleasant; the temperature reaches 77 degrees Fahrenheit maximum. August is a little cooler than July. If you want to avoid harsh weather, do not visit from November to March – unless you have a thing for blankets of snow and chilly temperature as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are from the United States, you need only a valid passport to enter Estonia. You will not be asked for a visa or a return ticket if you are staying in the country for 90 days or less. Still, it will be good to have all your travel documents safely with you.

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