Exploring Tallinn, Estonia | Top Reasons to Visit Tallinn | Top Things to See in Tallinn

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is a coastal town with lots of history. I arrived in Tallinn from Helsinki. Tallinn can easily be reached through a two-hour ferry-ride from Helsinki. Ferries from Helsinki to Tallinn and vice-versa regularly leaves every hour, so basically, most visitors in Helsinki tend to go on a day-trip to Tallinn. But in my case, I didn’t go for a day-trip as I wanted to experience this city at a different level, so I spent a total of three-days exploring and discovering what this city has to offer. 

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In this article, I will be sharing some of the Top-reasons why you should consider Tallinn in Estonia as your next destination. As well as some of the top things to see in this beautiful capital.

Hospitable People

Upon arriving at the Ferry-Dock in Tallinn, we were meet and greeted by our Airbnb host. She also drove us to the accommodation at no additional cost. And upon entering our Airbnb accommodation, a welcome basket with local chocolate and wine was lying on the table, literally two of my favorite things! So I was totally speechless. It really is true, small gestures often make the biggest impact. 

Great Location

Tallinn has a strategic location in the Baltic Region. You can pretty much reach other countries like Latvia and Russia in less than seven-hours from here, and Finland for two-hours. 

Stunning Old Town

Tallinn’s Old Town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. Here you can find countless cobbled passages. It is also home to many local cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in local cuisines. Although extensively bombed by Soviet air forces during the later stages of World War II, much of the medieval Old Town still has retained its charm.

Its Cheaper than most European Cities

Coming from Helsinki, I’m pretty surprise as to how everything here in this city is quite affordable. You can basically have a cup of cappuccino from a cozy cafe for a Euro. Hostels in Tallinn can be quite cheap as well, and most of them have affordable private rooms that are a good alternative to an average entry hotel. But Airbnb can be a great option too. Your Euros can go a long way in this city. 

Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels

Restored cannon tower from the 15th century in Tallinn. It is converted into museum with exhibits & tours of secret tunnels. Definitely a must-visit when in Tallinn.

Tallinn Town Hall Square

The Tallinn Town Hall Square is basically the city’s main square. Here you can find countless outdoor cafes and restaurants serving authentic Estonian Cuisines and beers. It is here where they hold community events as well, and during winter seasons, the square transforms into a giant Christmas market. 

Kohtuotsa Viewing platform

The Kohtuotsa Viewing platform is basically a must visit when in Tallinn. Located just a few hundred meters from Tallin’s Main Square, you can easily reach it by foot. The best time to go here is either during sunrise or sunset to see a dramatic view of Tallinn. 

St Olaf’s church

St Olaf’s Church is one of the tallest churches in Tallinn. Here you can see a wonderful 360 degrees view of Tallinn from above. Though I’m warning you, the climb can be a challenge, for you to reach the viewing deck you need to pass through a narrow spiral staircase with a slight traffic of other people heading up and heading down. Basically not for those who are claustrophobic. 

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in the Tallinn Old Town, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. 

Reference: Wikipedia

Onnelik Korstnapuhkija

Onnelik Korstnapuhkija or the Lucky Chimney Sweeper is a bronze statue of a short chimney sweeper standing in Suur-Karja in Tallinn’s Old Town. Locals believe that by rubbing the statue, you are welcoming luck to come into your life.

Tallinn Town Hall

A gothic structure in Tallinn’s main square. A site to behold of architecture lovers.

Have you been to Tallinn in Estonia? If so, how was your experience! 😀 Share it with us through the comment section below. 

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How To Apply For A Schengen Visa for Philippine-passport holders.

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How to apply for a Schengen Visa (Step by Step Procedure, Documents required and Tips on how to successfully obtain a Schengen Visa)

Applying for a visa can be one of the most-tedious task to do, especially with visas for highly-industrialized countries. Aside from the inch-thick documents we need to collect & submit and the time it takes for it to be processed, there is also a certain amount we need to pay. And above all these, there is still no guarantee that our application will be approved.

Anyway, in this article, I’ll be discussing mainly about the different procedures and documents required  in obtaining a Schengen Visa.

First, what is a  Schengen Visa? Well basically, a Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them.

Below are the Schengen States:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Aside from the Schengen States, you can also use your Schengen visa to visit other countries like:

Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey

Documents Required:

Fully Completed and Signed Visa Application Form

Cover Letter Stating the purpose of the visit.

Original Passport and passport Info Page Copy

Residence Visa Copy (if you are based abroad)

ID Photos (Bring at least 2 copies)

Roundtrip Flight Ticket Reservation

Travel Insurance

Proof of Accommodation(hotel bookings, etc.)

Proof of Financial Means (latest 6-months bank statement)

Employment Certificate if Employed

Day to day Itinerary

Invitation Letter if you’re invited by Someone from the EU

Affidavit of Support if someone else is paying for your expenses

Enrollment Certificate if you’re a student.

Step by step guide in getting a Schengen Visa

Basically, the first step in getting a Schengen Visa is to choose your main country of travel or the country of which you’ll be spending the most time (if you’re planning to travel to several Schengen States) as this will determine which Visa Application Center you will need to go.

For Schengen Visa Applications, it is mostly handled by VFS GLobal, although there are some countries where the Visa application is handled by the country’s embassy itself, there are also those which are handled by a different agency. So it is important to make sure to decide which country is your main country so you can go to that specific Visa Application Center.

Book an Appointment Online. Well after choosing the country, you should set an appointment where you will submit all your documents for your application. As mentioned on the first step, you should book an appointment based on your main country. In my case, I applied for a Schengen Visa for the Netherlands, and VFS Global handles visa application for the Netherlands, therefore, I booked an appointment on the VFS Global Website.

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I highly suggest that applicants should apply for at least 60-90 days before their intended travel dates to have ample time to fix any problems if there will be any.

On your appointment day at the Visa Application Center, representatives will collect and scan your documents, they will also assess what else may be lacking from all the documents you have submitted. After this, once everything is ok, you will then be called for biometrics collection (fingerprints and photo). Once everything is finished, you will then be given a receipt for you to claim your passport once the result of your application is ready. A tracking number is also written in the receipt for you to be able to track the progress of your application online. You can also opt for an SMS message update with an additional fee.

Processing time takes up to 21 days, so I advice that you only contact the Visa Application Center if you haven’t received any result yet after this timeframe. In my case, I received my passport with a Shengen Visa after 8 days.

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Shengen Visa Fees varies from each country of Application, Since I applied for The Netherlands through VFS GLOBAL in the UAE, then here is the breakdown of all the fees that I paid in the local currency:

99 AED around 26 USD – Appointment fee paid at the VFS Global site

260 AED around 70 USD – Shengen Visa Fee to be paid during the day of application

30 AED around 8 USD – Courier Service (Optional) – the passport will be delivered to your desired address.

I hope you find this article helpful. For questions, feel-free to ask it on the comments below and I will try to answer as soon as I’ll be able to read them.

Thank you for reading!