Tallin to Riga or Helsinki?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 21, 2012 3:42 PM Last Post By: JVroams
Jan 6, 2012 12:41 PM
Jan 6, 2012 1:25 PM
1They really are - theoretically, poles apart.
Riga is a lovely old city with many little nooks and crannies - whereas Helsinki, even though it has it's historical moments, is much more modern.
Two beautiful cities - though.
Also, if you have a budget to worry about - Riga is massively cheaper than Helsinki for 'Everything'.
Jan 6, 2012 1:37 PM
2Hi! do 2-day trip to North-East of Estonia - it is one of the most interesting region in Estonia.
Valaste waterfall - --> it is magic in winter!!! Kuremae nunnery/convent - only in whole Baltic states.
Narva city and its castle and bastions. Town of Johvi - capital of region. Sillamae town - "town-museum" of Soviet architecture!!
Jan 6, 2012 2:48 PM
3Why not stick to Estonia. Tartu is lovely and very lively in student season, and the islands are great too (in cold winters you can drive there over the sea ice).
If I'd have to choose, I'd go to Helsinki as it's a magnificent place with strange and lovely people, beautiful design, restaurants and museums. And not all that expensive if you stay away from the booze and prepare the visit well, really. Plus, you'll get to see Finns who are not falling around drunk, like most of those that come to Tallinn :)
Jan 6, 2012 5:11 PM
4Wow, now that's a difficult choice you have. You can visit Helsinki on a day-trip easily, and yes it's worth it. The city is modern, and Russian influence is very visible, even after 100 years (first example: Helsinki Cathedral). Just another example of how complicated European history can be, for me it was a bit of a discovery back then.
Riga is also worth it - beautifully restored, and a real pleasure to stroll around it. I would highly recommend it.
I haven't been to Tartu or the places sihi listed - I bet they're also very interesting. It's a really difficult choice you have...
Jan 7, 2012 3:15 PM
5Depends on where you come from, who you are, what is new for you.
Both Riga and Helsinki differ from Tallinn: they became rich and built big beautiful city style stone house areas at the right time, while Tallinn just made plans for it, but couldn't make it happen -- the former wooden-house "suburbs" just around the town walls are still there. Riga has its famous art nouveau areas, Helsinki's style is -- also art nouveau, plus art deco, in interesting combination with local materials.
Both Riga and Helsinki have more sense or pulse of a metropolis.
My personal impression is, that Latvia looks back much more, to the pre-soviet time, is more influenced by the petty bourgeois side of the German culture (some key words: cute, lovely, nice), while Finland represents the true north (in design, etc) and seems to look at the future.
Both Tallinn and Riga have a lot from the Soviet time, in architecture and everything. A lot of "raw new capitalism" can be seen. Finland, on the contrary, is social democratic. Even men take a tram, while in Tallinn -- as a writer said -- "only women and the poor use the public transport".
The landscape is the same in Estonia and Latvia, but Finland is totally different -- Helsinki is built on granite rocks. There are lots of parks and recreational areas in Helsinki, where it is especially visible. But maybe the contrast is not so big in winter-time.
Good luck in making the choice!
Jan 7, 2012 3:25 PM
Jan 21, 2012 3:42 PM
7Hi everyone, I'm also thinking of going to Tallinn/Riga/Helsinki for a week in February. I feel slightly crazy for choosing to go to the Baltics during the coldest month of the year but I feel like it could be a fun adventure too.
My question for those who have been: is it ridiculous to think I could find fun (and friends!) if I travel there on my own during the winter? There are some really interesting looking places and I've looked into some hostels that seem cool, but from what I've read it sounds like tourism really dies down in the winter. I'm so tempted to go for it but slightly nervous that I might just spend a week being cold and bored.
Can anyone offer any insight, tips, or suggestions? Thanks!
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