5 things you should know about Tallinn before you go!


By URBACT, on September 29th, 2017

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On 3-5 October, the URBACT City Festival will take place in Tallinn. Whether you’ll be part of the event or not, here are 5 things everyone should know about Tallinn and Estonia!

1 – There are more Capital Cities in Estonia than you think!

Pärnu, Summer Capital of Estonia

Tallinn is Estonia’s political and financial Capital, but other cities are also casually recognised as capitals: Pärnu has been known as Estonia’s Summer Capital since 1996 and Tartu is seen as the intellectual Capital of the country.

2 – Take your nicest socks in your suitcase: Estonia has quite a strict shoes-off policy.


Estonian are serious about taking off shoes before entering someone’s house. If someone says you can keep your shoes on, feel free to do it. If not, you’d better take them off to avoid being considered rude. This shoes-off rule is applied in school and also in some hype offices!

3 – Always have some safety reflectors on you.

Night in Tallinn

To avoid people getting hit by vehicles, the Estonian Traffic Act requires every person – biking but also walking – to wear safety reflectors. The 400€ fine helps most Estonian to abide by this law, but as a visitor, you’d better not forget your reflector bracelet before going out for a moonlight walk!

4 – Public Transport in Tallinn is free.

Tram, Tallinn

This catchy headline is not entirely true. Tallinn public transport is indeed entirely free since 2013, but for its residents only. This policy reduced car traffic and led to a higher amount of taxes perceived by the city, since more people registered as residents to access to their right to move freely around.

5 – Be ready for time travel.

Old Town, Tallinn

Middle Age or Soviet Union? Tallinn is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its exceptionally preserved medieval Old Town. But Tallinn also kept some Soviet Union’s neighbourhood with building which were symbols of both grandeur of the town and the USSR.

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