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We are very happy that you decided to choose our summer course and spend the best days of your life in Estonia!
This survival guide will provide you with all the necessary information about Tallinn and some advice that might help you survive this unforgettable trip!
The country has distinctly more women than men. For every 100 females in Estonia, there are 84 men – only the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific, with a population of around 50,000, has a smaller percentage of males. Estonian women live 10 years longer, on average, which goes some way to explaining it.
A bit more about Estonia
Estonia is situated right under Finland over the Gulf of Finland, next to Russia and
above Latvia. The area is 45,228 km2. The land is relatively flat, except for the southern part where the main mountains of Estonia are. Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting. 51% of Estonia is covered by forest. Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world. Skype was invented in Estonia. Estonian’s highest mountain is 318 meters high. Doing your taxes in Estonia takes approximately 2-3 minutes. In Estonia children in 1st grade start to learn programming. Estonian population is only 1,3 milion.
Some cool words about Tallinn
Tallinn is the meeting point of medieval heritage and high-tech. The jewel in Tallinn´s crown is its medieval city centre, otherwise known as The Old Town where medieval buildings and sacred structures have been preserved nearly unchanged. On the other hand Tallinn is a modern and open city with tall buildings of glass and steel, illuminated signs of major international companies, a modern airport and passenger ports. In 2011 Tallinn was the European Capital of Culture for the year 2011, with numerous and outstanding cultural events taking place all year long.
Tallinn is also the number one city in the world which is almost fully covered with Wireless Internet. You can use your laptop almost everywhere around the city.
Many information technology inventions have gotten their start from Tallinn. Skype is one of the best-known of several Tallinn IT start-ups. The New York Times has characterized Estonia as “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea.” In fact, Tallinn is just 10 minutes away from Skype´s office, so you will be having your lectures in a truly high-tech environment.
Cool tourist attractions in Tallinn
Tallinn's Old Town
Tallinn's Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the Old Town we recommend you visit the Town Hall Square. St. Olav’s Church and Kohtuotsa viewing platform. Also near the Old Town are important places like Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn Song Festival Grounds and Seaplane Harbour Museum.
The Town Hall
As in the Middle Ages, the Town Hall Square is the heart of the Old Town. Historically, it served as a marketplace, but today is the stage for various events, the most well-known being the Christmas Market. As you may have guessed, the square takes its name from the gothic Town Hall building. During the summer, visitors can climb the Town Hall’s tower to a 34-metre-high belfry balcony with views over the Old Town.
St. Olav’s Church
If you’re not afraid of heights, explore the vertical wonders of the Old Town. St. Olav’s Church was once the tallest building in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, its tower remains the most defining element of the Tallinn skyline, which visitors can ascend during the summer season for magnificent views.
Kohtuotsa viewing platform
Kohtuotsa viewing platform is one of the most photographed places in Tallinn. From here, a panorama including St. Olav’s spire, the modern city centre, many of the Town Wall’s defence towers and much more can be seen.
Just a short walk or tram ride from the Old Town, Kadriorg Palace is a stunning jewel of baroque architecture. It was built in the era of Tsar Peter the Great and named after his wife Catherine. Its neatly manicured gardens are home to many museums. While in Kadriorg park, also be sure to visit the next mentioned site.
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
This arched stage and performance venue hosts Estonia’s largest event – the Song and Dance Celebration. It was here in 1988 that the Singing Revolution spurred Estonia’s road to renewed independence. This year the Song Festival will also be happening.
Seaplane Harbour Museum
It is Tallinn’s most popular museum, and for good reason. The century-old seaplane hangar houses modern maritime exhibits that will educate and entertain guests of all ages. Learn about Estonian history through its connection to the sea, and climb inside a real submarine.
Make sure you buy your bus/train/plane/boat ticket to Tallinn, Estonia. We don’t want you arriving in Finland or Latvia.
(But sometimes it’s cheaper if you come by bus from Riga for about 7-20€.)
Arrival by plane
If you come by plane then you can take the tram nr 4 from the airport to “Viru” peatus and walk there to our most likely hostel the Red Emperor which is located on the outskirts of the famous Old Town. You can find the tram stop if you keep walking to the right after exiting the baggage claim of the Airport. Lennujaam is Estonian for Airport.
Arrival by bus
If you come to Tallinn by bus, take the bus nr 23 from the bus station and exit the nr 23 bus in ’’Kaubamaja’’ stop and walk around ’’Viru Keskus’’ to the Old Town, where Red Emperor Hostel is located.
Arrival by any other means
The address of Red Emperor Hostel is ’’Aia 10’’. If you are not able to find your way or can't use GPS to navigate from bus stops to Red Emperor Hostel then just contact any of the organizers and we will help you navigate or if necessary come get you ourselves. The organizers contacts are at the end of this guide. Google Maps is your friend when it comes to commuting in Estonia!
Some important things you should know
Estonian summers can vary from 10 to 25 degrees. It may be sunny or rain all the time. So try to take that into consideration whilst packing.
Our BEST office is located inside Tallinn University of Technology, it’s address is Ehitajate tee 5. The phone number of our office is +372 620 3625.
And don't worry about transportation during the course, we'll handle it and it won't be any extra expense.
What to bring?
ID card/passport or visa if you need it
Money for extra food, shopping etc
Big towel (and slippers) for sauna
Clothes fitting the weather
Personal hygiene items
Your medicines (if needed)
Typical drink and food from your country - for International Evening
Health insurance if possible (you can obtain a European Health and Insurance Card at for free)
Student card (for example www.isic.org)
Lots of energy
Quick language course
Although most people in Estonia can speak or at least understand English, it would be nice to know some words in Estonian as well. For example if you would like to impress your hosts or if you might find yourself in a situation in which you will have to use Estonian language . :)
So here you have some useful words and sentences:
Hello! – Tere!
Goodbye – Head aega!
Give the beer over Ülo's sister's shoulder! - Anna õlu üle Ülo õe õla!
Let’s have a drink! – Joome!
Good morning! – Tere hommikust!
You’re beautiful – Sa oled imeilus
Good night – Head ööd!
I like you - Sa meeldid mulle
My name is... – Minu nimi on...
I love you - Ma armastan sind
Tallinn University of Technology – Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (TalTech)
One ticket please - Üks pilet palun
Thank you! - Aitäh!
Cheers! – Terviseks!
Sorry – Vabandust
I have a BMW – Mul on bemm
Let’s go to the club, I want to dance! – Lähme kluppi, ma tahan tantsida!
Prices in Estonia
0.5 litre beer ~0,7...1 €
0.5 litre Coke ~0,85 €
0.5 litre good Vodka ~8 €
0.5 litre cheap Vodka ~5 €
0.5 litre Vana Tallinn ~8€
Snickers ~0,60 €
Marlboro ~4 €
1 kilo of bananas ~1€
1 kilo of apples ~1 €
1 kilo of carrots ~0,40€
170g potato chips ~1,25 €
1 pack of fast noodles ~0,25...0,50 €
A pack of toilet paper ~1,5 €
A pen (to write up your memories ? ) 0,40 €
A sheet of A4 paper ~ask organisers
Eating out, clubbing, depending on places
0.5 litre beer 2...3 €
250 ml Coke 1...1,60 €
a shot of Vodka/Vana Tallinn 1,60...3 €
a cup of coffee/espresso 1...2 €
vodka cocktail/Cuba libre/gin tonic etc.3...5€
a good meal in the city 4...10 €
a big mac meal 4...5 €
a Keemia „a la carte“ hamburger 1,60...2 €
eating in the student canteen 1,80...3 €
1km of cheap taxi in Tallinn ~0,40...0,50 €
1 bus-ticket in Tallinn ~1,50 €