Erasmus · Opinion · Stockholm

Tallinn or bust……

I recently had a brand new experience out here in Stockholm, a booze cruise. I had heard of these mystical and magical events but never for one minute did I think that I would be on one let alone need to be on one with such a burning passion.

Being a typical Irish person immersed in the culture to a near stereotypical level since a young child, it was quite a change for me to move to country where the government control the alcohol industry with such strict guidelines that it is near impossible to have a few quite drinks with friends and a whole other story to paint the town red as it were. All alcoholic beverages over a 3.5% proof are sold in these government owned stores where the taxes are high in the hopes of steaming alcoholism. Well let me tell you only for the booze cruise companies Sweden would be a very sober country.

I was given the opportunity to travel to the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, on one of these infamous booze cruises. I was told there would be all night partying on the boat and cheap alcohol in Tallinn to bring home to Stockholm. There was also the chance to see another city. We set off in the early evening and excitement was running high.

The ship was huge and included a cabaret and night club that was open until the early morning. The duty-free shop on the boat was also quite reasonable and a great Friday night was had by all. We drank and were merry, mischief ensued but no damages were caused. We docked in Tallinn at the early hour of 10am on Saturday morning.

The city left a lot to the imagination. It is quite an ugly industrial city in parts and their statues are interesting to say the least. The below picture may look like harmless art but believe me the eyes are not something you would like to see everyday.

Tallinn’s medieval old town is beautiful though and the snow just made it look more amazing. Many buildings had candles outdoors at the old winding alleys and there are people on every street dressed in traditional medieval costumns. You could probable comfortably see the whole city in a couple of hours but sightseeing was not the primary reason that I ventured to the Estonian city.

After seeing the wonderful old town and getting a gorgeous dinner for cheaper than you ever would in Ireland we ventured back towards the boat to complete our mission. There is a giant cash & carry near the docks of Tallinn called ‘SuperAlko’ which was our intended location.

It is a giant warehouse stocked to the ceiling with as much alcohol as you can imagine! It is every Irish persons dream, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We wandered around the establishment in wonder and awe and bought more than we could carry but it was a highly successful trip. The boat back was not as eventful as the trip there I must admit as everyone was tired but that I guess is just old age creeping up on us.

This trip was not only about saving money that students (like me) are so desperately short of but it also opened my mind as to how other cultures live.


4 thoughts on “Tallinn or bust……

  1. When I read the title I thought it would be about a booze cruise along the waterways of Sweeden, but this also sounds like great fun. I heard the alcohol was expensive there and you’ve enlightened me more to this.
    How is Stockholm in general? I am planning on going there for a few days in a couple of weeks as my eramus uni Utrecht, is doing a hitchhike competition to Venice and we managed to find cheap flights to Stockholm from Belgrade, Serbia so if you could give tips on what’s a must/see do that would be lovely 🙂

    1. Hey Nichola

      Thanks for following. I hope you are having as good a time on Erasmus as I am :D. A booze cruise is definately the way to go to get free drink out here, I also know of people who buy alcohol making sets and make either beer, cider or wine in their homes. I am not sure how hard or easy that is or what the taste is like though. Stockholm is a beautiful city I would highly recommmend that you look around Gamla Stan which is the old part of the city. the buildings are beautiful and the Royal Palace is also close by (I have another blog on that if you want to check it out). When are you coming to Stockholm? The weather is getting quite nice now but if it is warm I have been told to take a boat trip around the archipelago(I am waiting for warmer weather to do this). All locals rave about this trip. I would also recommend the Natural History meusem and Cosmonova show near the Universitetet stop on the Metro. I have seen the nicest things just by wandering around the city and stumbling into lovely buildings and things. There is also a free walking tour of Stockholm if you are interested 🙂

      1. I will be there the 25th March (late) and then leaving midday on the 27th so it’s pretty much only one day, perhaps squeeze in an extra half at a push so the insider knowledge is great.
        I saw the boat trips and considered kayaking but wasn’t sure if it would be too cold for that. I also thought of trying to steal a bike off of our host (when we get one, trying to find a coach surfer atm). But we’ll also be on a tight budget and I know Scandinavia is expensive so I hope we can do the things you suggested on a budget! x

      2. It is hard to do things on a budget over here and even to do things cheaply if you do not have a valid Swedish student card. Like I said there is a free walking tour that is meant to be very good and this way you will see alot of stockholm. There is also this great place if you want to see an overview of the city it is in Slussen you will see a big tower with a digital clock on it and glass restaurant. You usually have to pay 10SEK to go up the tower and look at the view but if you are facing the tower turn right and you will find some steps. It’s a bit of a hike but its free and the view is absolutely amazing(especially at night)!

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