Pasi Rantanen is the only Finnish karaoke DJ in Tallinn. Every weekend he plays the favourite songs of karaoke soloists in the Valuuta bar on the 2nd floor of Original Sokos Hotel Viru, happily providing the vocals himself on tracks here and there. "When I started out in karaoke back in 1992 there were only about 40 songs to choose from, but these days there's more than 6500, half of which are in Finnish," he explains. As a long-standing resident of Tallinn, Pasi has a lot of favourite places in the city, but his number-one recommendation is hopping on a tram and heading for Kopli.
To Kopli by tram!
The architecture typical of the suburb is old and diverse. The area is coming along quickly, with some major changes in infrastructure taking place. On the tram ride you'll come across Telliskivi and Kalamaja and a dozen or so unique cafés and bars that are the perfect place to stop off and gather your thoughts. Trams 1 and 2 stop right in front of the hotel.
Rocca al Mare – that's the way to the zoo (and shops)!
Rocca al Mare shopping centre is the second largest in Estonia. If you need shoes, you'll find them here in abundance. Right opposite the shopping centre is Tallinn Zoo, while next to it is an ice rink and the Saku Suurhall arena and nearby is the Open Air Museum, so there's something for everybody.
Pirita beach and Yacht Club
Just 8 km from the hotel is the Tallinn of the bold and the beautiful: Pirita, where you'll find a marina, the TV Tower and a range of shopping and sports opportunities. Pirita's sandy beach is a must, especially in summer.
Karaoke in the Valuuta bar
Finland's centenary celebrations will soon give way to those of Estonia's 100th anniversary. Karaoke maestro Pasi has some song suggestions for those looking to mark these special occasions:
- Olen suomalainen, Kari Tapio's Finnish version of Toto Cutugno's Italiano vero
- The most famous Finnish female singer Katri Helena's Katson sineen taivaan
- Juice Leskinen's Eesti on My Mind, which undoubtedly needs no further introduction
Long live Finland! Long live Estonia! See (and hear) you in the Valuuta bar next weekend!