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Tallinn - where is everyone?

I’m currently in Tallinn. Just like the photos, the old town is lovely. But… there is nobody here. Not nobody as in “uncrowded”, but nobody as
in “the streets are deserted”. Not sure if it’s the off season, the war in Ukraine, or what. Never thought I’d say a town had too few tourists but I guess there’s a first for everything.

Posted by
27 posts

Yes, things are open, but with almost no patrons. It feels very strange.

Enjoyed a good meal and beer at the Hell Hunt pub and had a good meat-filled crepe at Kompressor.

Heading on to Riga and Vilnius and hoping things are a little more lively.

Posted by
5033 posts

Well for starters, the cruise season in that area is over. Summer vacations are over. And its proximity to Russia isn't helping.

Posted by
27347 posts

I'm guessing many folks would look at the weather stats and decide October isn't nearly as attractive as June-September for that part of Europe. The average high is 49F. I have Estonia pegged as a July-or-August-only destination, but then I'm very cold-natured.

Posted by
2030 posts

We’ve had similar experiences in traveling and despite much ado about avoiding crowds and tourists, we found empty streets unnerving and frankly sort of creepy. It detracted from our experience. Interesting I thought. Safe travels.

Posted by
79 posts

I'm heading there on December 5th for the Christmas Market. Hope that brings some activity to the city. I'll do day trips to other parts of Estonia as well but base myself at an AirBnB apartment in the old town of Tallinn. Also spending some time in Helsinki. I thought of Lapland but it's a very great distance north.

Posted by
1384 posts

I was in Tallinn this July and the city was very lively and filled with tourists. Restaurants and outside terraces, museums, churches, shops etc were filled with tourists from everywhere in Europe and beyond. The only signs of the war that we noticed, were the Ukrainian flags and anti-Russia/anti-Putin signs all over the city. Other than that, things looked and felt completely normal.
Right now however the summer holidays are over and it’s off season. I don’t think many tourists will think of Tallinn as a destination to visit outside the summer months.

Posted by
5687 posts

Enjoy Tallinn without the tourists! It's a lovely town, and it can be obnoxiously crowded (I visited in late May a few years ago). I do know what you mean though about a town that's empty feeling a bit bleak - I have stayed n a number of towns like that and usually didn't enjoy it - I don't like towns mobbed with tour groups either but a happy medium is nice.

Posted by
2616 posts

My last trip to Europe was late April 2019--a return to Tallinn, then bus to Riga, then Vilnius--I certainly hope you enjoy the Baltic states as much as I did. I arrived in Tallinn and headed out to Hell Hunt around 7:00 pm and the streets were deserted, as you say, and there's something about having such a very magical old city to yourself, I felt somehow transported back in time and got some great photos.

I will offer a suggestion for food in Riga--Petergailis restorans, on Skarnu iela right near St Peter's church and the statue of the Town Musicians of Bremen. I was in Riga for 3 nights and ate dinner there twice, wonderful food and excellent service. Not a big place, and seemed to have more locals than tourists.

Posted by
6530 posts

October is hardly peak tourist season in Tallinn, so enjoy the city!