The city of Bangkok does not have a lot of green space. Fortunately you can find pleasant parks in the city center. These parks are real breathing areas in central Bangkok. One of the specificities is to see many tall buildings around these parks. It is located near BTS station Asok and MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
Benjakitti Park is one of the most interesting to see because you can walk around an artificial lake. This park is not directly accessible at first glance. On the other hand, it is very interesting. One more time. Located near the Asok MRT station, one can find many expats. Indeed it is the park where I saw the most foreign people walking. An ideal place to breathe, to walk, to run, or to simply relax. The parks are well maintained, are very peaceful, and it is always a pleasure to walk in them to get out of the mass urbanization of Bangkok.
In the middle of the modern and busy Asok area of Bangkok lies the Benjakitti Park, which opened in 2004. This piece of green with a large lake can be found between the tall buildings and opposite the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. In the Benjakitti Park you will find, besides the many flowers and others of course clean, two fountains that are worth a look. In this park you will also find bicycle and walking paths, playgrounds, skate ramps, a centrally located pavilion and a courtyard where you can picnic and rest from your walk.
One of the best place to visit in Tartu is the scenic square in the centre of the city. Raekoja square feels like the heart of the city. This great place square runs from the city’s pretty town hall down towards the Emajõgi River that flows through Tartu. Along each side of the square you’ll find pastel colored neo classical buildings that lend Tartu an air of elegance.
Although the Town Hall Square is a pleasant place to explore, the Town Hall itself will immediately draw you in. This neoclassical gem, built in 1789, is the local seat of government. With its unusual color palette of pink and red, it’s quite a distinctive building. Built to replace the previous town hall that was destroyed in a fire, the design included space for the local prison. Home to a carillon that still chimes several times a day, you won’t want to miss a photo op at Tartu Town Hall.
One of the more unusually interesting neighborhoods to visit in Tartu is the Supilinn neighborhood. Affectionately known as Soup Town, this district, full of old wooden houses, has streets named after soup ingredients like Pea Street and Potato Street. One of the oldest parts of Tartu, it was once poor student housing for the university and many of these traditional houses remain intact.
Just behind the centre of Tartu sits Toome Hill, a small hill with strong ties to Tartu’s history. It was on Toome Hill that early settlers built fortifications in the 7th century. Today the hill is home to Toomemäe Park, a lovely green space filled with statues and beautiful monuments.The park of Toome Hill is also home to two curiously named bridges that link up walking paths, the Angel’s Bridge and Devil’s Bridge. Two of the oldest in the city, it’s said that if you make a wish as you cross Angel’s Bridge for the first time it will come true.
Toomemäe Cathedral Ruins
At the centre of Toome Hill lies one of Tartu’s most important historic sites, Tartu Cathedral. These open-air ruins of the old cathedral certainly have a sense of mystery about them. Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, this large cathedral was destroyed not long after during the Livonian War. The intact part of the cathedral now houses the University of Tartu Museum. The museum is home to permanent and annual exhibitions detailing the history of science and university education. After checking out the museum, a climb up its towers will yield some of the best views Tartu has to offer
University of Tartu
Established in 1632, Tartu University has been the beating heart of the city for centuries. As the oldest and most well-known university in Estonia, it has a great influence on the city of Tartu. Chances are as you explore Tartu you’re going to come across several of the University’s buildings. There’s the elegant neoclassical main university building in Old Town that you’ll definitely want to admire.
After several months in Estonia, the situation does not allow me to go to the places I would like to go. After staying a while in Tallinn, I decided to go for a walk in the second city of the country which is Tartu. Tartu is located in the south east of Estonia, not far from the border of the street. It is a calm city without problems which however has an interesting animation. Indeed, many shops and cafes stay open quite late at night.
To get to Tartu, you have to take the train or the bus in Tallinn. In two hours you will be in the second city of the country for a more than modest cost. Less accommodation possible than in Tallinn but it is possible to find good places on AirBnb. The station is located close to the city center so it is simple to reach the center from the station or to go to an accomodation.
There are many parks in the city of Tartu which confirms the dominance of green spaces throughout the country. There are also differences in level with small hills, which gives a special charm.It is possible to do the entire city center on foot because everything is on a human scale. It is also possible to take self-service bicycles to have some freedom. Lots of cool cafes and bars are located in town centers, all in a charming setting of historic buildings.
Like all the Baltic countries, it is once again a pleasure to walk around Vilnius. The historic city center is very pleasant with many historic buildings and parks of very high quality. Vilnius is one of the greenest capitals in Europe. The historic city center is therefore surrounded by numerous parks. The whole is very clean and it is a new must see destination in the Baltic States.
In 1994 to UNESCO World heritage list was inscribed Vilnius historic centre as having outstanding universal value. It is historic part of the city formed in 14-18th centuries. Today is recognized that on prospering times Vilnius made great influence on all Central East Europe region culture and architecture development. And objects of Vilnius historical centre are extraordinary examples of architectural ensemble and landscape type.One of the most beautiful capitals in Europe since old times was famous for it’s tolerance. In this, most to the east distant Western European cultural centre, coexisted both Eastern and Western cultural traditions. In the city and it’s suburbs settled various confessions and nationalities inhabitants.
In Vilnius old town preserved authentic buildings who served defensive, residential, representative and spiritual purposes. Vilnius old town preserved gothic, renaissance, baroque, classical styles features. This city architecture is unique, because all stiles join in one harmonious esthetical unit. Very special atmosphere in Vilnius panorama create 17th century typical Vilnius baroque school domes of the churches and restrained monumental classical architecture.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and is perhaps the most overlooked cultural capital of the three Baltic states; Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. A picturesque city of historical importance and religious significance, Lithuania’s grim past is deeply embedded in its identity today.
As I continue my tour in the capitals of the Baltic countries, I discover places that I would never have thought of discovering before. One of the peculiarities of Vilnius is its large number of green spaces. You will indeed find green spaces everywhere. The river running through Vilnius is surrounded by green space, which gives it a special charm. A quiet town to visit. The city center of Vilnius, like all the capitals of the Baltic countries, is definitely worth a visit. I was surprised by the number of parks, the cleanliness of the city center, and the quality of life.
The Old Town, historical centre of Vilnius, is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. The most valuable historic and cultural heritage is concentrated here. The buildings in the old town – there are about 1.5 thousand of them – were built in a number of different centuries, therefore, it is a mixture of all European architectural styles. Although Vilnius is often called a baroque city, here you will find some buildings of gothic, renaissance and other styles. The main sights of the city are the Gediminas Castle and the Cathedral Square, symbols of the capital. Their combination is also a gateway to the historic centre of the capital. Because of its uniqueness, the Old Town of Vilnius was inscribed on the UNESCO Worls Heritage List.
Bastion Hill is one of the most romantic places in central Riga, as it features narrow paths, alleys of trees, stone garden, water cascade… The park right next to the Freedom Monument has been a delight to an eye and soul for more than a century. Either it’s winter or summer – special amosphere is always here.The paths run around the hill on different levels; they can take you to the very top where a nice view opens on the evening sun or the busy city or walk you around the hill to show the splendid scenery.Artificial waterfalls, colourful flowers, several sculptures, and benches to take a rest. Pay attention to the small bridges; the just married have left their padlocks here, which, according to belief, brings a long life and happiness.Ducks and swans have beloved the canal. A special swan house is set up here on the bank. If you are lucky, you’ll see the canal’s most interesting residents – badges.But at summertime, a dock next to the park is open to all those who would like to take a river tram or a boat.
Vērmanes Garden Park is Riga’s second oldest public park; the numerous benches are always occupied by Rigans and visitors to the city, the historic open-air stage features various concerts, and children have fun on the park’s playground.Vērmanes Garden Park is situated in the very centre of the city, surrounded by Tērbatas, Elizabetes, Krišjāņa Barona and Merķeļa streets. Riga’s second oldest park was created by donations in early 19th century. It was named after the wealthy widow Anna Gertrud Vērmane (born Ebel, 1750.-1827), who had allocated a piece of land and a great sum of money for the park. Now a statue to the generous lady stands there.Vērmanes Garden Park features various sculptures – splendid four season fountain, majestic stone lions, a monument to the collector of Latvian folk songs – Krišjānis Barons, and a bronze dandy – a monument to Latvian artist and designer Kārlis Padegs – on the other side of the fence. The garden park turns into a fairy tale during a year’s darkest period as it features strings of beaming lamps, music, and giant snow-menThe wooden open-air stage on the Elizabetes Street side is popular with chess players; sometimes it holds concerts and performances of dance groups. Having strolled through the park, relax in the cosy tea house or a night club located in the historic building at the corner of Tērbatas and Merķeļa streets. Now the renovated premises houses the music centre Vernisāža, established by Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls.
Promenade Daugava River
The promenade on the right side of the Daugava River stretches from Old Town all the way to the Ķengarags suburb of Riga. An excellent place where one can be near the water and enjoy a stroll.The section of the promenade adjacent to Old Town is where river boats dock to pick up and drop off tourists. This is also an excellent place to relax on a bench and enjoy the view of the river. Meanwhile, on the section between Akmens Bridge and the Railroad Bridge, there are excellent views of the Latvian National Library building.Furthermore, the section beyond the Railroad Bridge is popular for active residents – it is perfect for a bike ride, jogging and roller skating.
This centrally-located park is 8.75 hectares large, and surrounded by Elizabetes, Kalpaka, Krišjāņa Valdemāra and Brīvības streets.A monument for Oskars Kalpaks, Rainis, the Birth of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Art Academy of Latvia are located in the park. The present greenery was created in 1950 as a partially communicating park.
Kronvalda Park (originally Strēlnieku Garden) is 11.92 hectares in area, with the city canal running through it. Bordering Elizabetes, Kr. Valdemāra streets, Kronvalda and Kalpaka boulevards.The city canal splits the park into two parts. After dismantling the city dikes in 1863, the Union of Riga German Riflemen erected a society house and a shooting-ground on the right side of the park. Later, in 1883, this part was enlarged according to a project by architect Georgs Kūfalts with around 2,000 rosebushes blossoming in flowerbeds and rose-gardens. After 1927 the State handed the whole garden, except for the Riga Congress Centre, over to the city’s inhabitants, and garden architect Andrejs Zeidaks started creating a landscaped park here. During 1930’s the park was named after member of the Young Latvians Movement Atis Kronvalds.
The historic center of Riga is also one of the must see places in Latvia and the Baltic States. There are many streets with typical architecture. One of the pluses is that one can find many parks in Riga right next to the historic center. It is therefore extremely pleasant to walk, navigating between streets as well as in parks. The mixture thus makes it possible to have a very pleasant feeling on the city center. For the rest, a lot of typical street, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and many other things. It is also possible to make the historic city center of Riga on foot.
The Old Town is the oldest section of Riga as well as the center of the city. It is the city’s most popular area with tourists. In 1997, Riga’s historic center was included in the Unesco World Heritage list. The old town has highly diverse architecture, and the majority of buildings have the status of a cultural monument. The city’s architecture represents various periods like Romanticism, Gothic, Baroque, Classicism, and Modernism. After the restoration of the independence of Latvia, many buildings in the Old Town were reconstructed or rebuilt to restore the historic look of the area. The most impressive buildings in the Old Town are the Riga Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church, offering a wonderful panoramic view on the city of Riga from a 72 meter observational tower.
The Old Town’s streets and squares have numerous restaurants and cafes for all tastes. The Outstanding Universal Value to be preserved also resides in the spacious panorama of the Historic Centre of Riga with an expressive skyline. The medieval core of Riga is located on the right bank of the River Daugava, allowing a picturesque view on the skyline saturated with numerous church towers from the different perspectives of the left bank. Historic buildings are relatively low, with only church towers creating vertical dominance. Riga always has had a role in the cultural, scientific, social, artistic, industrial and educational development of the region, being one of the biggest harbour cities and trade centres in the Baltic Sea Region, and thus, providing the exchange of the achievements of Western and Eastern civilizations.
I continue my excursion in the Baltic States. For this reason I am heading a little further south in Latvia to take a tour of the capitals of the Baltic countries. Riga is a larger capital with an interesting history. Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States.
To get around Tallinn and Riga, or between Riga and Vilnius, it is easily possible to take the bus. This is the most direct way. For a very affordable price, it is possible to travel between these capitals over a period of 4 to 5 hours. The bus is even the best way because the train is not direct to make the connection.
The historic city center of Riga is very pretty and very impressive. Although the city is quite large, it has a transport network combining bus and tram. The historic city center can be reached on foot. Apart from the high quality historic buildings in the city center, there are many parks, which makes the whole very pleasant and more peaceful.
For the rest, there are not big differences between the Baltic countries, which means that the operating mode remains the same. Lots of scooters in the streets, a peaceful historic town center, parks, cafes and restaurants. Once again, these capitals are often overlooked but nevertheless offer a good quality of life and many interesting things to see.
Most places worth visiting in Tallinn are just either a medium to a long walk or a short tram ride. Honestly, I walk through most of the city, it’s a city on a human scale. I like to use the electric scooter from time to time for its fun aspect, it also allows you to quickly go to the beaches or along the coast. Trams, trolleys and buses wake up along with the people of Tallinn and start their days at 6 am. Public transport can take you almost anywhere from the city center to small suburbs outside of Tallinn. The buses, trams and trolleys for most lines run regularly and their interiors and users are just as wide in difference as their routes. Public modes of transport usually disappear from the streets a bit before midnight.
To take the tram, it is advisable to take a card. The price per ticket will not be attractive while the offers are very cheap.You can buy a Smartcard to upload either money or e-tickets (1, 3, 5 and 30 day tickets) from points of sale. You can also buy and upload to tourist office in the city center.
2€One-hour ticket (60 min)
1.50€- One-day ticket (24h): 4.50€
Three-day ticket (72h): 7.50€
Five-day ticket (120h): 9€
30-day ticket: 30€
Tallinn Card (includes free entries to museums and sights) (24h/48h/72h): 16€ – 64€
Estonia was lagging most other EU member states in introducing electric scooter rental services. The increasingly popular transportation mode among tourists and residents alike became available in the Estonian capital Tallinn in June 2019 with two providers, Citybee and Bolt, rolling out their models for public use. It is personally one of the means of transport that I prefer for its fun side. It is also a real freedom.
Bolt currently works out the cheapest of the three and has the largest range. Tuul is noteworthy in being all-Estonian – the scooters themselves are Estonian-made, as well as the app. To use the electric scooter, you must register on the corresponding application. Then you will have a view of the different scooters that are available in the city. Then all you have to do is choose a scooter on the application, and scan the code on the scooter.
Bolt : Cheapest unlocking fee at €0.50. Furthest range, as far as Viimsi and Peetri, both outside Tallinn city limits. 15-minute ride will cost around €2.75. Maximum cost in a day – €15. New Ninebot MAX replaced its old fleet from last year. Says it hopes to expand its range over summer.
Tuul : Unlocking fee of €1, after discount during launch days. Smaller range than Bolt but still covers the city center (Kesklinn), Kalamaja, Kristiine, Mustamäe and Haabersti to the west of the city center, Pirita to the east and Ülemiste to the south. 15-minute ride costs around €3.25. The all-Estonian company, including scooter manufacture, which makes use of recyclable materials.
Prime.Bike/Bird : Unlocking fee of €1. Slightly smaller range than the others, covering the city center, Kristiine and Kalamaja, but not Mustamäe or Haabersti. 15-minute ride costs about €3.25. Operates in more than 100 cities in Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Local designers, international high street brands and signature Estonian handicraft can all be found under the same roof in larger Estonian supermarkets. Even though Estonia as a country is one of the smaller ones, the shopping centres are big enough to lose track of time and spend a day there. A day out in a shopping centre can be as pleasant as sightseeing, with many Estonian shopping centres showing off pristine interiors and housing a range of restaurants. Also entertainment like a cinema, skating rink and sport clubs may be found in many shopping centres. And if you get hungry experiencing all this – you have quite wide selection of sushi, pizza and other cafes and restaurants on the spot.
Viru Keskus is more than just a shopping centre – it is Estonia’s fashion mecca, the heart of the city, a great place to meet, an entertainment complex, and the flag-bearer for contemporary culture. You can easily fill a day here – browsing the city’s best stores and most popular brands and enjoying concerts, fashion shows, and a range of other events. Viru Centre is connected to Tallinna Kaubamaja, another big shopping centre.
The modern Solaris Centre is a combination shopping mall and cultural centre located right in the heart of the downtown area. In addition to a number of stores and restaurants, it encompasses a 3D multiplex cinema, an art-house cinema, and the grand Alexela Concert Hall, which seats over 1800 spectators. At Solaris you will also find several design shops offering local Estonian design.
A location close to the Passenger Port D terminal makes this shopping centre convenient for anyone heading out on one of the Tallink ferries. Nautica Centre has approximately 60 shops, new leisure and entertainment facilities and extensive dining options.