Hello! I got quite worried when visiting Tallinn recently then I saw in the Old Town around street Viru group of young guys carrying another one on their hand to the car, the one carried was screeming. I hope it was just a friends game though... Jitka
On weekends shiploads of Finns come over on the Helsinki ferries because booze is much cheaper in Estonia. They come to drink, and nothing else. IMHO the guys did not look as if they were enjoying themselves very much, they were hanging around quite miserably while drowning one after the other, but to each their own. People in Tallinn seem to accept them as an inevitable nuisance.
Trouble is, drunk people are likely to hassle others. The old town and also the bars and pubs in the rest of the city centre are better avoided on Friday and Saturday nights. We were even hassled by an obviously very drunk Finn in the bar of the very same hotel where we were staying (and hotel staff did not care a thing).
Conclusion: Tallinn is better visited on weekdays. Spend the weekend somewhere else.
During my stay in Tallinn, I encountered quite a few groups of men from the United Kingdom (England and Wales) who were attending stag parties for one of their friends who was getting married in the near future. At first, I was a little apprehensive when encountering a group of drunken Brits on the streets of the Old Town. Quickly, though, it became just another fact of life in Tallinn -- like the medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and beautiful women. I wouldn't call these British stag parties a danger, but more like an amusing nuisance.
Both during the day and at night, it is not unusual to see a very drunken Finnish person in Tallinn. I was told that many Finns come to Tallinn to drink because it is cheaper than in Finland. The drunken Finns that I saw kept to themselves and did not pose a danger. I asked a few Estonian women what they thought of the drunken Finnish tourists that visit Tallinn, and the women just rolled their eyes and laughed. Apparently, the residents of Tallinn have come to accept the presence of drunken Finns just like they have come to accept the obnoxious British stag parties. Please note that this tip is not meant to impugn the vast majority of Finnish people that you will encounter in Finland and Estonia. Most of the Finnish people that I met were great people. However, everyone (including the Finns) acknowledge that some Finnish visitors to Tallinn drink alcohol well past the point where one is able to function in a coherent manner.
Not really a warning but the heated gluwine served up in the Christmas market hits the spot. You don't realise cos it tastes nice but after about 3-4 you start to feel a bit heady. It definitely sets you up if your drinking in the evening.
When I got back home I stuck up the decorations and settled down to watch the Great Escape, which is on every Christmas (the girlfriend hadn't seen it and I thought she would appreciate learning about the logistics of tunnel building) and thought it would be a good idea to knock up some gluwine. I followed the receipe and put in more than enough wine & brandy but it wasn't a patch on the stuff in Tallinn as far as the strength of it. I might add some boot polish next time- I hear cherry red blows your socks off!
Be aware that you can get yourself quite a nasty fine if you get caught (1) drinking any alcoholic beverages in public places (including parks), or (2) crossing the street in a wrong place / at a wrong time. Drivers are quite reckless in Tallinn, so it's better for your health if you follow the traffic signs, even when there are no police officers lurking around.