Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia; and lies on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. The city is filled with historic areas and attractions that draw in visitors from all around the world. Tallinn is the ideal destination for those looking to get a glimpse of Soviet-era life, as well as for those looking to relax and spend some time outdoors. Tallinn is a historic city that dates back to medieval times and is home to major attractions and sites; including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers so much to do; visitors are sure to never get bored. It is an internationally renowned tourist destination and is a must-visit when in Estonia. However, Muslim visitors will find it quite difficult to locate Muslim-friendly facilities in Tallinn.
Tallinn’s medieval Old Town is its pride and joy; it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a must-visit for all. This visually appealing town is home to impressive structures and sites; including squares, courtyards, passageways, churches, towers and of course the renowned Town Walls. Some of the majestic structures found in the area, including the walls; date back to when Tallinn was a part of the Hanseatic League. It is a great way for visitors to learn more about the town’s history and with almost 2 kilometres of the original town walls remaining, tourists can also walk along it for an elevated view of the Old Town. The towers that are still standing now house art galleries, cafés or museums. Located in the heart of Old Town Tallinn is the Town Hall Square; Raekoja Plats. This square hosts markets and festivals throughout the year and is known for its historical significance. Other areas to visit in Tallinn’s Old Town include; Viru Gate, Toompea Hill, Museum of Occupations and the Ex-KGB Headquarters.
A visit to the magnificent northern Baroque Palace; the Kadriorg Palace is also a must. Built by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine I, in 1718 the palace is a great example of Tsarist extravagance. Kadriorg Palace is surrounded by impressive and well maintained gardens and is also home to the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia. The Art Museum in Kadriorg consists of numerous paintings, sculptures, prints and more by Western and Russian artists done between the 16th and 20th centuries. Those visiting the palace must also visit the buildings that surround it, including; a restored building that used to be occupied by a kitchen, and the palace governor’s house.
Those visiting with kids must pay a visit to the Tallinn Zoo, as well as Lahemaa National Park; located 70 kilometres from Tallinn. Other sites in the city that are worthy of a visit include; the Tallinn Botanic Garden, Kiek in de Kök, the Kadriorg district, Balti Jaama Turg, National Library of Estonia and the Seaplane Harbour.
The nearest airport to Tallinn is Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport, located approximately 8 kilometres from the center of Tallinn. It is the largest airport in Estonia and consists of one passenger terminal and four cargo terminals. The airport is accessible by public bus, taxi and car as well as a shuttle bus service. There are also car rental companies available at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport.
There are no known Halal restaurants in Tallinn. Muslim tourists will have to dine at local vegetarian or seafood restaurants after making sure the dishes served do not consist of non-Halal items. Tourists must be warned that most restaurants in Tallinn do serve pork dishes as well as alcohol. Inquiries regarding the location of Halal restaurants could be made at the local mosque. The Turath Islamic Cultural Centre of Estonia is known to also sell Halal meat; so if possible, tourists are advised to find accommodation with a kitchen area to prepare their own meals.
There is one known mosque in Tallinn, namely; the Turath Islamic Cultural Centre of Estonia. It is located conveniently near Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and there are a few buses that go through this area. If unable to get to the mosque, however, Muslims are advised to offer their prayers in their hotel rooms, if possible.