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An unforgettable year in Tallinn, Estonia


An unforgettable year in Tallinn, Estonia

What is it like to live in Tallinn? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

I was in Tallinn for 10 months and, as it says in the title, it has been a memorable year like no other. All I have to say is short and I don't have one negative thing to say about this year. The city is incredible. It's small, welcoming, it has a charm that a lot of other European capitals lack and a culture that is totally different to Spanish culture. It seemed like an ideal Erasmus destination precisely for this reason.

And as for the weather, obviously Estonia is a cold country and there are hardly any hours of daylight in the winter, the sun goes down at around 3 in the afternoon. In January, the temperature is around -23ºC. With a very good coat, you'll be fine. But I also enjoyed getting to experience it. The daylight hours in winter are very different from the daylight hours in spring/summer, when it's light for practically the entire 24 hours. At 2 in the morning there is still a trace of light and the by 4/5 a. m. the sun is already coming up.

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What is the student lifestyle in Tallinn?

It's incredible. Especially if you live in a residence. But, in the end, being a small city, you get to know almost all of the Erasmus students there and it's super easy to make friends, with people who live in flats as well as those in the residences. There is a huge variety of cultures there.

How much does it cost to live in?

I don't know how much the flats cost, but the residences start at €90 and go up to €280. I stayed in Academic Hostel, which is the most expensive one. Although you can get one of the few private rooms in this residence, it's more expensive. Regarding the standard of living, it depends on your own rhythm, regarding trips, going out to eat and partying. Compared with Spain... Going out to eat is quite a lot cheaper, between €5 and €20 maximum; doing food shopping costs more or less the same and going out partying is cheaper (than Madrid at least).

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Was it difficult to find accommodation in Tallinn? Do you have any advice?

No. I was in a residence that was offered to me by my university in Tallinn, the TUT. The residence was Academic Hostel, of the two that they have there, I was in the more central one, Endla 4. Each person will give you their own recommendation, but if you don't mind sharing a room or a bathroom with another person and having a shared kitchen, I sincerely think that there's no comparison between Endla 4 and any other kind of accommodation. 5 minutes walk away from the Old Town and 20 minutes by tram away from the university. It's super east to make friends and all of the Erasmus students end up being like a little family. Being in the residence that is the closest to the centre of the city, the pre-drinks parties all happen here and then everyone goes to the club together. If you get the choice, don't hesitate to go for ENDLA 4!

What is the food like there? What are some of your favourite dishes?

I actually thing that it's the worst thing about being there. There isn't much variety regarding meats or fish, like you can get in Spain. They don't have many traditional dishes either. Maybe moose meat, but it's pretty expensive to get to eat it in any restaurant.

Where would you recommend to visit in Tallinn?

Well since it's small, I'd recommend going walking and walking and get all around Tallinn, little by little and to discover little hidden corners that aren't very well known. Keep moving. But you have to go around the generic routes in the entire of Old Town, Kadriorg, Pirita, Linahaall...

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What trips would you recommend going on?

All of the trips that you can. In Estonia, as well as in Tallinn, the best thing to do is to rent a car and to go around the whole country, little by little, throughout the year. Parnu, Tartu, Lahemaa, Rummu, Saaremaa, etc. Outside of Estonia, you have to go to Stockholm, Lapland and Saint Petersburg. Helsinki, Riga, Vilnius, Oslo are also nearby...

And to eat in Tallin? What are some of your favourite places to go?

The most traditional place is III Draakon, in Raekoja Plats (it's cheap and it has a kind of medieval charm); Kompressor is a super typical pancake place; Vapiano, Rataskaevu, Pegasus, Estonian Burger Factory, F-hoome.

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Where would you recommend for a night out in Tallin?

There are parties going on pretty much every day of the week. On Mondays, people normally go to karaoke at the Red Emperor; on Wednesdays, the best night of the week, is the Erasmus night... Club Münt, entry costs €5 to get in, drinks cost €1, and it has the best atmosphere; and then for the weekends, the clubs to go to are Studio, club Hollywood, Kelm, Prive, Mishka, Protest... And the bars are Labor, Nimeta, Shooters... There are lots.

Do you have any advice for students coming to Tallin in the future?

Go out, move around, travel, make as many friends as you can, but, above all, don't just stay sat in your room, or waste a moment that could be spent enjoying yourself. Because as we all say: "You only have one Erasmus+ experience", and once it's finished, you'll never stop missing it. If you have any doubts, you can private message me or find me on Facebook. Good luck! :)

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Share your Erasmus Experience in Tallinn!

If you know Tallinn as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Tallinn! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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