Tallinn is the capital, primate and most populous city of Estonia. It is situated in the northern part of the country, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea.
Its climate is a humid continental climate, according to the Köppen climate classification, with warm, mild summers and cold, snowy winters.
Tallinn has a population of 434,562 andis the main financial, industrial, cultural, educational and research centre of Estonia.
Data and Facts
- The first traces of human settlement found in Tallinn's centre are about 5,000 years old.
- The Estonian capital was not always named Tallinn. Before 1918, when the country gained independence, it was known as Reval.
- Under the Old Town is a labyrinth of 17th century tunnels. During WWII these were used as bomb shelters.
- Teletorn, the TV Tower, standing at 314 metres, is largest building in Tallinn and the whole country.
- Tallinn's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- According to the WHO survey on air quality conducted in 2011, Estonia´s air is the cleanest in the world.
- The country has distinctly more women than men. For every 100 females in Estonia, there are 84 men.
- Estonia is one of Europe’s least crowded countries, with a population density of 28.4 people per square kilometre.
- Head of the state: President Kersti Kaljulaid.
- Language: Estonian, Russian.
- Currency: Euro
- Median age: 43 years
- Life Expectancy: 77 years
- Religion: 39.9% Christianity, 0.2% Islam, 60.2% Unaffiliated
Estonia has become a constitutional democracy, with a president elected by a unicameral parliament in which elections are held every four years. The government or the executive branch is formed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and a total of 14 ministers. The government is appointed by the president after approval by the parliament.
For local government purposes, Tallinn is subdivided into 8 administrative districts. The district governments are city institutions that fulfill the functions assigned to them by Tallinn legislation and statutes. Each district government is managed by an elder appointed by the city government. The administrative districts are further divided into 84 subdistricts or neighbourhoods.
Traditionally an agricultural society from earliest times, after independence in 1991 the Estonian economy was detached from former Soviet controls and started to grown. Today Tallinn is the financial and business capital of Estonia. The city has a highly diversified economy with particular strengths in information technology, tourism and logistics. Over half of the Estonian GDP is created in Tallinn.
Tallinn receives 4.3 million visitors annually, and Tallinn Passenger Port is one of the busiest cruise destinations on the Baltic Sea, serving more than 520,000 cruise passengers per year.
Tallinn industries include food processing, shipbuilding, machine building, metal processing, electronics and textile manufacturing. Many notable companies are headquartered in the city like the maker of Vana Tallinn liqueur, a popular drink in the country, or Air Maintenance Estonia and AS Panaviatic Maintenance, both based in Tallinn Airport.
Tallinn is the financial centre of Estonia and also a strong economic centre in the Scandinavian-Baltic region. Many major banks, such as SEB, Swedbank, Nordea, DNB, and LHV Pank have their local offices in Tallinn. It also stands out that two crypto-currencies exchanges officially recognized by the Estonian government, CoinMetro and DX.Exchange, have their headquarters in Tallinn.
The city has seen development of an information technology sector, being even called the Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea. One of the best known technology startups in the world, Skype, was created in Tallinn and has kept its headquarters in the city. But it is not the only one, Tallinn has gradually been becoming one of the main IT centres of Europe, with the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence being based in the city.
Smaller start-up incubators like Garage48 and Game Founders have helped to provide support to teams from Estonia and around the world looking for support, development and networking opportunities.
The city operates a system of bus, tram, rail service and trolley-bus routes to all districts. In January 2013, Tallinn became the first European capital to offer a fare-free service on public transportation. This service is available to residents who register with the municipality.
The Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is the largest airport in Estonia and serves as a hub for the national airline Nordica, as well as the secondary hub for AirBaltic and LOT Polish Airlines.
Estonia has emerged over the last 20 years as one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. The birthplace of some of the most rated startups in the world like Skype and Transferwise, has made the country earn the nickname e-Estonia because of its vibrant tech ecosystem. It also stands out the fact that it has the only government in the world that fully operates in the cloud (e-Estonia Showroom) and has implemented the e-vote or the online tax declaration (e-Tax Board).
Tallinn has the highest number of startups per person among European countries and is ranked as a global city, being listed among the top ten digital cities in the world.
There are numerous incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces, such as the home of the Estonian startup community Lift99 or the Business and Innovation Centre of Tallinn University of Technology.
Estonians call startups idufirma which translates to sprout company. According to a survey by Startup Estonia in 2017, around 4,300 people in Estonia were working in startups.
Tallinn has a maturing investment scene with leading players including Jaan Tallinn, who built the back-end to Skype as well as the music sharing application Kazaa. The city has an exciting events calendar such as the Estonian Startup Leaders Club, and on Facebook by Garage48, Startup Estonia and e-Estonia. Key meet-ups and events include Garage48, Tech Sisters and Tehnopol as well as the Latitude59 conference and Estonian ICT Week. There is even a TV show dedicated to business ideas, called Ajujaht.
Finally, local accelerators include Startup Wise Guys, Elevator Startups and Buildit while other top incubators include TÜ Ideelabor and Startup Incubator.
Social wellness and human resources
Estonia has two types of health care systems: public and private. The public is provided by Estonian Health Insurance Fund which is received by the citizens when they have an employment contract. Estonia is quite covered by health care and treatment is equally available in all regions.
Tallinn has the potential to become renowned as a town with an educated population where employers can find qualified and resourceful employees. There are many institutions in the city that provide higher education. Among others it stands out: Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian Academy of Art, Tallinn College of Engineering, and Estonian Academy of State Defence.
Tallinn is home to more than 60 museums and galleries to cover the city’s rich history. Some of the most visited historical museums in Tallinn are the Estonian History Museum, The Estonian Maritime Museum and Estonia's Museum of Occupation.
The music scene in Estonia is very world known. It stands out the festival called Tallinn Music Week, an international music event held every spring in Tallinn since 2009.
Traditionally estonian music culture have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world with written records of 133,000 folk songs
Sport plays an important role in Estonian culture with many athletes participating in the Olympic Games.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Estonia as well as beach volleyball, cricket, cycling and as with most European countries, football.