Telliskivi is the creative center of the Estonian capital. We go there to discover artists and crafts and we stay there much longer than expected! It is without doubt my favorite neighborhood in Tallinn. But then, why should you absolutely not miss it?
Telliskivi from Soviet industrial site to Estonian artistic center
Located in a former industrial site, the city’s creative center has some great surprises in store for you. Telliskivi nicknamed Creative City is indeed the most trendy district of the city. It takes its name from the bricks that make up the old warehouses in which the district is so lively now. Indeed, Telliskivi means brick in Estonian.
These buildings were constructed in 1869 during the installation of the railway lines connecting Saint Petersburg and Tallinn. The Soviets wanted to take advantage of the abundance of Estonian forests to produce faster and more cheaply. The first step was therefore to connect the two cities and then to launch productions from Estonia. Located at the intersection of the districts of Kalamaja and Pelgulinna, the factories then made Soviet rails, locomotives and transformers. Telliskivi was at the time a place where only the authorities and workers could enter. When the USSR fell in 1991, the factories were sold. And it is since 2009 that Telliskivi has become the nerve center of Estonian artistic creation.
If you are visiting the Estonian capital, spend half a day there. Arrive for coffee and leave in the evening after a few cocktails!
What to do, what to see in Telliskivi, Tallinn
West of the old town, a few minutes walk from Tallinn’s train station, Telliskivi will charm you. More than 500 cultural events take place on site each year. But apart from these events, the arty district is worth the detour.
First, by looking up you will discover impressive street art. There is a lot of graffiti on the facades of old industrial warehouses.
Also, Telliskivi hosts Art galleries and small local designer shops. Often, moreover, it is the artists themselves who run their stalls. We then discuss with the manufacturer by buying a leather wallet or with the designer by choosing her new t-shirt.
You can also stroll to the last exhibition of the photo museum: Fotografiska. When I went there, it was artist Alison Jackson who was in the spotlight with her exhibition Truth is dead. The museum has a café, restaurant and bar. The menu is not worth the detour. Nevertheless, since roof terrace, you can admire the old town. So, just drop by for tea!
Finally, on Saturday, a flea market takes place in the Creative City.
Where to eat in Telliskivi
As I told you, the artisan shops may have been the reason for your visit. But take advantage of your visit to have lunch there because there is no lack of good addresses!
My favorite is F-Hoone. The setting is superb, the staff friendly, the prices very affordable! There are proposals for vegans and gluten free. I recommend the burger, normally served with fries, I advise you to ask for sweet potato fries instead: you won’t regret it!
There are food trucks in the center of the square. But I do not keep a memorable memory. For a good burger (even in a vegetarian version), definitely go to F-Hoone.
In another culinary style, I enjoyed the Indian restaurant Lendav Taldrik. In a large hangar, the decor is more recycled, industrial than what we usually see when we come to taste a chicken biryani and this is not to displease me. Here again you will find wide options for vegetarians. The portions are very generous. But, be aware that the doggy bag is customary here, so do not hesitate to leave with your lunch for the next day.
Last address, valid only for expats in need of cheese & wine evenings: the wine bar Tiks. The French traveling to Tallinn will wait for their return to France to taste better quality products at a lower cost. But for expats, it’s a great choice!
I found the perfect coffee!
At home in Paris, we are equipped with a fairly premium coffee maker. Then, we will collect our freshly roasted beans from a local artisan. So, on the flavor side, we have become quite demanding. Arrived in Tallinn for several weeks, we went in search of a good coffee shop to taste an espresso as we like them. After multiple inconclusive tests we found the good taste of coffee in Telliskivi, at Trühvel. This restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes but above all excellent coffee. Besides, you can buy them beans that they have roasted on site. The prices are very reasonable for this level of quality: € 3 for flat white (coffee latte) and € 2.7 for espresso.