Tallinn

Paldiski

more than a year ago

If you’re looking for a day trip that’s… well… different, then Paldiski’s your place. Before 1994, this little port town was a busy Soviet military base, home to nuclear rockets and submarines, and at one point, 16,000 military personnel. After the military had gone, the population was drastically reduced (now hovering at about 4,200) and Paldiski descended into a nightmarish state of decay. When the Swedish creators of the dark film “Lilya 4-Ever” were looking for a generically depressing post-Soviet setting, they picked Paldiski. None of this sounds like a good reason to go, but it is. Combine the forlorn look of the emptied apartment blocks with the hulking remains of Soviet military infrastructure, and you’ve got a fascinating spectacle. Additionally, you can see how Paldiski is now finally coming around, with new investments and development, particularly in its port area. And there’s another reason to make the trip - the Pakri peninsula on which it sits is home to some beautiful natural scenery and some rare wildlife. If it's the soviet ruins and depressing side of Paldiski you are looking for however you'd better act fast, the ruins are slowly being torn down to make way for a brighter and in our opinion more boring town.

Getting there
Paldiski is on a peninsula, 45 km by road from Tallinn. The easiest way by far to get there is by car; just follow Paldiski maantee out of town and turn right at the petrol station in Keila. The ride takes 40 minutes.
Alternately you can take bus N°145 which leaves from a bus stop behind the Balti jaam train station, ride takes about an hour. The train leaves from Balti jaam and it will take precisely an hour to get there.
Without your own wheels, once there you should be prepared for several kilometres of hiking if you want to see all the sights.
However you arrive, when you do you should definitely head to a downtown shop to pick up the invaluable red Paldiski map, which has all the sights marked. Most sights can be accessed by the same main road.

History

Comments

Connect via social media
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Take your guide with you Download a pdf or order a printed issue Browse our collection of guides
Put our app in your pocket
Top
City Essentials

Download our new City Essentials app

download 4.5