Gay Tallinn Estonia Still a Great Value for European Travel
on Tallinn Estonia about
4 years ago on
New Gay Travel Guide .
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe.
Estonia has land borders to the south with Latvia and Russia to the east.
The tourism bureau says, “Like Alice in her Wonderland, you will find there is even more to see in Estonia than you have dreamed about. The dream world becomes real and the reality is unbelievable.”
Though attitudes in Tallinn have become more in line with those of Western Europe over the last few years, overt public displays of affection are still rare here. That said, the city is home to its own thriving gay scene, with two of the most popular gay venues located next door to one another on Sauna street in Old Town.
Gay and Lesbian Information is online at Tallin Life and also www.gay.ee
Some places listed on the main tourism page are the most accessible for tourists, but are by no means the end of the story. G-Punkt and Ring Club are somewhat divey local favourites outside the centre. There’s also an exclusive, men-only sauna called Sauna Club 69 a short walk from Old Town. They actually list sauna and club information right on their main tourism page !
Two decades ago, this tiny republic was in the clutches of the Soviet Union; now it’s a full-fledged member of the EU and it’s fast becoming one of Europe’s vacation hotspots. Long eclipsed by nearby (and much pricier) destinations like Helsinki and St. Petersburg, Estonia’s capital offers everything from stunning architecture (in particular, the cathedrals in the medieval Old Town) to funky restaurants (one to try: Cafe VS, an Indian restaurant set in a dance club) to raging nightlife (liquor is dirt-cheap; a shot of Estonian vodka averages $1.75, and a bottle of domestic beer generally costs $2.50).
On Jan. 1 Tallinn kicked off a yearlong schedule of 7,000+ events—concerts, dance festivals, museum exhibits and more—to celebrate being crowned a 2011 European Capital of Culture. Plus, increasing flight capacity means airfares are likely to decrease—Estonian Air will double its flights to London in March and discount carriers EasyJet and RyanAir are boosting their number of trips to Tallinn.
Best time to visit Tallinn: Winters are cold and dark, and summers are packed with tourists, so your best bet is to visit in May or June, when temperatures typically hover in the 50s and 60s and it doesn’t get dark until after dinner.
Price check: A recent flight search found May fares starting at $800 for one-stops out of New York (Finn Air) and $900 from Atlanta (American Airlines); a two-stop flight from San Francisco rings up at $1,000 (American).
Where to stay: Built in 1874 for a German nobleman, the von Stackelberg Hotel is still fit for royalty with its original limestone walls, heated bathroom floors and free Internet. Ask for the Zen Room, which features soothing bamboo decor and a private Jacuzzi. Vonstackelberghotel.com, doubles from $100!
HOWEVER, Tallin Life has about 2 dozen places to stay on their site that are very gay friendly.