Local traditions and culture in Tallinn

  • Lionel Shriver at HeadRead, Tallinn
    Lionel Shriver at HeadRead, Tallinn
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    by LoriPori
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Tallinn

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo


    by LoriPori Written Jun 22, 2014

    Located at the fork of the streets Rataskaevu Plats and Dunkri in old town, is the CATS' WELL.
    Once it was one of the main sources of water for Tallinn residents. According to legend, locals believed that an evil water spirit lived in the well and it threatened to make all the town's wells run dry unless it was given regular animal sacrifices. To keep the spirit happy, some cattle carcasses were thrown down the well, but the main victims were stray cats, thus the name "Cats' Well". The sacrifices worked as the town's wells never ran dry.

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    Dragon Gallery by Jacques Rosenbaum

    by call_me_rhia Updated Oct 22, 2013

    Dragon Gallery at pikk 18 is a very interesting art gallery located in a glorious art-nouveau building, and mostly displaying art by local artists. Check out what it is showing on http://www.eaa.ee/draakon/english/eindex.htm

    The building was designed by the estonian architect Jacques Rosenbaum. Two large dragons flank a single curved window on the ground floor, while above it, you can see two Egyptian women. Even for art-nouveau, these ornaments are quite interesting and strange.

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    Vana Tallinn

    by Gili_S Written Feb 22, 2011

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    Be sure that you taste this sweet liquor in the restaurant or bar before you leave, it is excellent as it is with ice but you can also add it to your coffee. Don't forget to buy one bottle before you leave the country.

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    Stone ?pigeons

    by leics Updated Jul 20, 2008

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    I liked these. At first I thought they were a specific sculpture, but then I saw them in various other places and realised they were just a rather attractive way of stopping people from parking on the pavements.

    So much more attractive than bollards or blocks of concrete, and I can't imagine they are much more expensive. Some of the ?pigeons have their heads down, some are just looking around.

    Very nice idea.

    Not billing and cooing though
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    Have to take a number at the post office

    by BillNJ Written Mar 15, 2008

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    I found a post office (Eesti Post) in a complex across the street from the Sokos Hotel Viru (largest hotel in the city). All I needed to do was mail a few post cards. In this post office, though, it wasn't that simple an exercise. First, I had to wait on one line to obtain a number --then I had to wait until my number was called before I could see a clerk to mail my post cards. Perhaps this overly bureaucratic procedure is a holdover from the Communist days?

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    by Bamby-Bambi Written Aug 16, 2007

    As a lot of people know in Estonia and Tallinn it's very popular internet. So places of Wifi are really everywhere... all the petrol station, a lot of bars, pubs in city, some parks, some "grass" (just in front of main Tourism Office of Tallinn), there are always possibility to connect to interent for free even in small villages!
    Alltogether around Estonia are 1109 places of wifi-area! (not so bad for 45,000 sq.km), in Tallinn 358 places. I add also adress where you can check exactly (if it's for free or you have to pay some small money for all the day ~1-2eur)!

    And don't forget to bring your laptop with you when you're coming back to Estonia!

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    Some local habbits

    by frockland Updated Jul 9, 2006

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    Tallinn is a very clean city! (I think I´ve never seen a cleaner city!) It very hard to spot any rubbish in the streets. Even fag ends are not to find. There are many garbage boxes and everybody is using them. On top of these boxes is an ashtray. Don´t throw your cigarette ends away.

    On most bottles is a deposit. If you are not interested in returning the bottle to a shop to collect the money, give it to a beggar or to other bottle collectors.

    Whenever the sun is shining for a second the local guys and construction workers will take off their t-shirts. Doesn´t matter where they are! Nice to look at when you are gay or a girl!

    There was a time when every self-respecting Estonian farmer made his own beer at home. Drinking alcohol seems to be a widely enjoyable habit. Even in the early morning I ´ve seen people drinking alcohol. Like in many other former Soviet countries it seems to be quite comon.

    Enjoying a beer and a chat in the early morning Lady cleaning the street in the early morning Get naked! Litter box

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    Special toilets

    by Rusket Updated Mar 28, 2006

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    looks like there is a trend to make the toilets look special in Tallin! Here are some pictures from Olde Hansa and Scotland Yard, with toilets that fit the theme of the respective place. The one in Olde Hansa is cute, while the one in Scotland Yard is scary ;-)

    Toilet, Olde Hansa, Tallinn Toilet, Olde Hansa, Tallinn Electrical chair? Scotland Yard Pub, Tallinn
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    Fortune cookies?

    by Stevieboy Written Jan 13, 2004

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    One old Estonian tradition is to melt tin in a spoon and then pour it into cold water. The metal immediately goes hard again, leaving a chunk of tin in the bucket. Studying the shape of the chunk should tell you all about your future in the following year.

    As we are in Estonia, there obviously is some traditional procedure you should follow (first the 'master of the house' should pour the tin and the youngest family member should get it out of the bucket, etc.). Interpreting the result is done in two ways - by looking at the chunk itself or by examining the shadow it makes on the wall.

    The picture is a bit blurry. But then, I guess my whole future is too : - )

    Try not to be too drunk when you do this though. Molten tin tends to be a wee bit hot...

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  • BillNJ's Profile Photo

    Live music in Old Town

    by BillNJ Written Mar 15, 2008

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    When I was visiting Tallinn, they were setting up for a live music performance in Old Town. Unfortunately, I did not see the actual performance.

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    Estonian waitress in traditional dress

    by flyingkiwi Written May 27, 2004

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    The friendly waitress at Kuldse Nolsa Korts let me take this photo of her wearing traditional Estonian dress.

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Tallinn Local Customs

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