"I decided to take a chance and instead of taking a bus chose a faster and more ecologic meway of getting around– by bike," says Rauno who travels to work at the Viru Sokos Hotel reception every morning on his Original-bike. Rauno knows which places to recommend to guests looking to do some cycling.
Tallinn is conveniently small. A bike is ideal for navigating through traffic jams, so that you don't have to rush too much. You see and experience more and feel more freedom. There are fewer bike paths in the very centre of town, so you have to ride on the pavement or road, but the centre is becoming more and more bike friendly and, if you are respectful yourself, drivers and pedestrians are accommodating, give way and don't beep.
Our cyclist has easily three destinations for visitors who want to discover the town by bike.
Sports enthusiasts should direct their bike towards Pirita, to which cyclists can ride on a cycle path along the picturesque seaside and pine forest. You can head to the Museum of Costal Folk (13 km) or continue to the end of Viimsi peninsula (19 km). This route also take in the Pirita Health Track, which is a favourite of cycling enthusiasts.
For those who want to take it easier, Rauno recommends Kadriorg and the Telliskivi district. Going to Kadriorg allows you also to take a cultural tour. On the itinerary, you can have a number of sights such as an old park and the swan pond, the superb Kadriorg Palace, the Japanese Garden, the Song Festival Grounds, KUMU Art Museum, cafés and picnic spots, all within 5 minutes of the city centre.
Cruising on a bike or going to eat out at the artistic and creative Telliskivi district is equally nice – hipsters, colourful wooden houses and the renovated market of Balti Jaam. There are lots of cyclists in Kalamaja, and sometimes you come across peculiar designer and retro bikes. Hotel Viru is only 3 kilometres from Kalamaja.
In cooperation with CityBike, it is possible to rent bikes or join a cycling tour at Hotel Viru. Tallinn also has a public bicycle sharing system. For those who come on their own bike there are free bicycle parking facilities.
Rauno uses a fixed-gear bike – a Fixie – that is fast and popular among young people and can be designed to be just as cool as one wants. "You only realise how pleasant it actually is compared to a stuffy bus or tram only when you take up cycling. So put on some music and get on your bike!" says Rauno. The experiment continues.
Explore Tallinn like locals do - Carpe Diem, Carpe Tallinn!