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Pick’n’ mix Tallinn

Continuing our new short-break had in Tallinn – choose your favourites to build your own ideal trip

If the Estonian capital isn’t on your travel radar yet, it really should be. A hotchpotch of architectural styles, its medieval streets are lined with ancient churches and noble merchants’ houses left by the great powers - including Russia and Germany - to which it has belonged in the past. But this is a city with a character all its own; stray beyond its well-preserved Old Town and you’ll find on-the-up neighbourhoods beloved by younger Tallinnites, which are particularly buzzy at night. Always pretty, the city looks even lovelier in the winter months, when it’s often dusted with snow. Break up daytime wanderings with leisurely spells in its cosy cafŽs and bars, and check out independent design stores for the classiest souvenirs.

Snow on Tallinn’s Old Town rooftops

Ditch your suitcase

Occupying a 13th-century merchant’s house arranged around a central courtyard, the 23-room Schlössle Hotel has an atmospheric vaulted basement bar and a log fire in the restaurant. Rooms vary in size and style – the smaller ones have more historic charm (£140; schloesslehotel.com). Another, somewhat cheaper option, making marvellous use of a medieval building, is boutique Cru Hotel. Behind the pretty powder-blue façade you’ll find 15 richly furnished rooms scattered along a rabbit-warren of corridors. All make sensitive use of original 14th-century features such as timber beams and limestone walls, and the attached restaurant prides itself on being one of Tallinn’s best (from £85; cruhotel.eu). Skipping forward five centuries, upmarket Hotel Telegraaf is housed in a converted 19th-century former telegraph station. Its décor blends modern art with Art Deco touches, and there’s a spa with a pool. ‘Superior’ rooms are in the older part of the building, but we prefer the marginally cheaper ‘executive’ rooms for their bigger proportions and sharp interior design. In-house restaurant Tchaikovsky is particularly fancy, and offers Russian-influenced fine dining, including dishes such as caviar and pelmeni dumplings (£115; telegraafhotel.com).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2018
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