Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is located in Northern Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea. As a Hanseatic Town with a history dating back to 1154, Tallinn has been a meeting point for East and West for centuries.
Across the Gulf of Finland, just 80 km north, lies Helsinki, nearly 300 km to the east, St. Petersburg, and Riga is about the same distance to the south.
Getting to Tallinn is very easy as there are direct connections to major European cities and flights from there take just 2-3 hours. A list of the airlines flying to Tallinn as well as the possibility to follow the schedules online are available at the homepage of Tallinn Airport.
The city centre is just a ten-minute ride from the airport, and once there, the old town is right at hand. What is more, most sights, restaurants and hotels are within easy walking distance, so it is rarely necessary to take a taxi. As Tallinn is located by the sea, it is also possible to travel here by ferry from Helsinki and Stockholm. The port is located just 1 km away from the city centre so you will be arriving almost at the doorstep of the meeting venue.
First-time visitors will be amazed by Estonia's historic ambience. Imagine strolling past medieval walls and gates, Gothic churches, curious little lanes lit with old-fashioned lamps and a man in 16th-century merchant's garb selling his wares from a cart. At the same time Estonia's cities are surprisingly modern, with the latest high-tech conveniences always at hand. It's this combination of old and new, medieval and modern, that gives Estonia its unique flavour.
The capital, Tallinn, is best known for its unforgettable, UNESCO-listed Medieval Old Town, a fairytale neighborhood of cobblestone streets, gabled houses, picturesque lanes and Gothic churches that was built up from the 13th to the 16th centuries. Here culturally-minded visitors can explore a vast range of museums, churches and handicraft workshops, or visit the KUMU art museum, named Europe's best museum in 2008. In 2011 Tallinn was the European Capital of Culture.
Distances are conveniently short.
Estonia's major hotels are all either newly built or newly renovated, so they are as modern and high-quality as they come. Nowadays it is hard to find a guest room or conference room that's more than five years old.
Free wireless internet is available in nearly all hotel rooms, not to mention at the airport and in restaurants, pubs and cafes throughout the city. Participants can check e-mail and stay in touch wherever they are. Estonia is one of the most wired-up - and wireless - places on the planet. This is, after all, where Skype was invented.
50% of Estonia's territory is covered by forests and 20% by bogs. That means nature areas in Estonia are never far away, no matter where you are. English-speaking visitors will have no trouble communicating in Estonia. As residents of one of the smallest EU nations, Estonians have embraced the international language and proficiency levels are quite high.
Calls to Estonia: the country code for Estonia is +372.
Calls from Estonia: Dial 00 + the country code + area code + the subscriber's number.
The weather in Tallinn in the middle of July is usually sunny with a mean day temperature of 25 degrees. Showers may occur. For the weather forecast, please visit http://www.weather.ee.
Credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard/Eurocard, Diner's Club, American Express, etc., are accepted in most of the major hotels, restaurants and shops, but ask first. Most banks will give cash advances on credit cards supported by a valid passport. Check with the credit card company for further details before travelling.
The local currency is EURO. Foreign currencies can be easily exchanged in banks and exchange offices. Most banks are open from 9.00 - 18.00 on weekdays, and some offices are also open on Saturday mornings. There are exchange offices in several hotels, in the port of Tallinn, at the airport, the railway station and many other locations.
The electricity supply in Estonia is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.
The working language of the Symposium is English.
The official language of Estonia is Estonian, a Finno-Ugric language that is closely related to Finnish. English and Russian are also widely spoken.
Estonia is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET): GMT +2 hours.