State Of The Map 2011/Bid/Tallinn

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Applicant

Jaak Laineste

Local Organizing team

EE OpenStreetMap Estonian chapter: registered in August 2009, funded by state (KÜSK). maakaart.ee - local community portal.

Proposed venue

Tallinn Tallinn, Estonia Tallinn (Wikipedia)

Program outline

  • Proposed timing: July, 8.-10.th, 2011.
  • The usual program - Friday business, community weekend
  • Proposed warm-up workshop day on Thursday
  • Pre- and after-conference program: excursions in Tallinn, trips to Estonian beautiful nature and countryside (e.g. Saaremaa island tour). Boat tour to "Womans' island" next to Tallinn, full of soviet military stuff. A lot of actual mapping options.
  • Nice weather, white nights
  • Estonian sauna. It's technically like the Finnish one, but at least the locals have it mixed (and naked).
  • Just a week before conference (July, 1.-3.th) there is the famous Song Festival in Tallinn. Up to 40000 youth singers are singing as one choir, about 10% of Estonians are coming to see it. It could be once in a lifetime experience. There is a movie about it.

Why Tallinn is the best

T2 raekoja platesv.jpg

  • Low costs. Read: much more parties, nice dinners and other events for the same price.
  • Well connected by budget airlines
  • UNESCO world heritage listed very nice medieval old town
  • Tallinn is the European Capital of Culture 2011, so many cultural events happening there.
    Tallinn 2011
  • White nights
  • Most of you have not been there yet
  • The city is not yet fully mapped - bring your GPS!

Local map

http://www.umapper.com/maps/view/id/78894/

Information about the city

How to get there:

  • Tallinn Airport is in 40-min walking distance from the old town. Seriously!. There is also local bus #2, every 20 minutes, takes 15 minutes to the center (1.02€/1hr ticket). Taxi could be ~10€, if you take trusted Tallink or Tulika taxi or just use TaxiPal mobile app.

Current low cost options serving Tallinn:

Destination Airline Frequency
London (Stansted) EasyJet Tu,Th,Fr,Sa,Su
Liverpool EasyJet Tu,Th,Su
London (Luton) Ryanair Daily?
Edinburgh Ryanair Daily?
Oslo (Rygge) Ryanair Daily?
Stockholm Skavsta Ryanair Daily?
Düsseldorf (Weeze) Ryanair Daily?
Milan (Bergamo) Ryanair Daily?
Dublin Ryanair Daily?
Italy:

Catania (Cicily), Forli (Bolognia), Palermo

Wind Jet http://www.volawindjet.it  ?
Gothenburg + connecting http://www.cityairline.com 4 days/week
Norway:

Alesund, Bardufoss, Bergen, Oslo, Rygge, Stavanger, Tromso, Trondheim

Norwegian.no Varies

Alternative options:

  • AirBaltic - a lot of cheap connections from Europe to Tallinn, typically via Riga. e.g. from Hamburg to Tallinn currently offers about 100€/1way.
  • Riga airport is also served by Ryanair. Bus Riga-Tallinn is 4 hr trip, ~21 €/1way, 3 trips/day. Express bus info and tickets
  • Helsinki Airport is served by several low cost airlines
  • Ferry from Helsinki - about 15+ trips/day takes 1.5-3hr (depending on ferry type), from ~20 €/1way. Online tickets.
  • Stockholm-Tallinn ferry every night. From ~35€/deck/1way, by Tallink
  • Rostock - Helsinki Tallink ferry (26-hr trip, from ~98€/deck/1way) Rostock-Helsinki ferry
  • Car trip, via Baltics (but avoid roads of Poland if you can) or Sweden.
  • Train - currently overnight international connections take to Moscow only. Train to Riga rumored to start some nice day.
  • Bus - There are daily services to Russia and Europe by Eurolines and Ecolines. E.g. Ecolines Warszawa->Tallinn one-way ticket is 24 €

Where to stay:

There are about 100 hotels and hostels in Tallinn. Following are example options, all of them are <10 years old. It includes range from decent low-end hostels and the top-end Radisson Blu (where presidents stay during state visits).

Hotel Price idea Location
City Hotel offer: 23€/single, 29€/double with breakfast center
City Hotel Portus offer: 33€/twin with breakfast center
Meriton Old Town Garden offer:from 35€ old town
Meriton Grand Conference & Spa Hotel Tallinn from 80€ old town
Hostel 16 EUR from 25€/room, 10€/dorm center
Radisson Blu Tallinn from 73€/room center
Boutique hotel Schlössle from ~140€/room old town

Public transportation

There are bicycle rentals, trams, buses, trolleybuses and taxis available. However, I would not really suggest to use any of these, the services are not really friendly for visitors, and there are very few bicycle tracks. We would rent own shuttle buses instead. The good news is that the city center is tiny, so most probably you need only your feet.

Conference venue options

Map of Venue options and other important places

All the listed venues have big room fitting 200-300, plus smaller ones, have modern technical equipment, can organize lunch etc. Free WiFi is standard almost everywhere in Tallinn (hotels, bars, restaurants, shops etc).

Venue price estimates are given typically here per day/room, or as total. Some places have made quotes, other have informed list prices which are negotiable. The cost does not depend on number of conference participants.

Brotherhood of Black Heads
  • 1. House of the brotherhood of black heads (Mustpeade Maja) - medieval building with class in the old town. Biggest room fits over 300, list price for big room 770 EUR/day, smaller ones 160-520 EUR/day including equipment Some English info here.
  • 2. Estonian National Libary (Location]). Pro: In city center, next to old town. NB! Closed in July for summer vacation. Can be used in August, confirmed to be available in 2 first August weekends. They have done specific offer: all rooms (1 big, 3 smaller, for 3 days total) + projectors 3500 EUR (avg 290 eur/day/room, ~10 EUR/person), full catering for 250 pers/3 days 8900 EUR (i.e. ~12 EUR/person/day for lunch + 2 coffebreaks/day). Catering in other places would be expected to be similar.
  • 3. Tallinn IT College Homepage. New building, therefore quite popular place to make IT-related events. Main limit: non-central location, about 30-minute public transport from the city center. Room rent price list: about 350 EUR/day/room + equipment rental 250 EUR/day (total 600 eur/day/room)
  • 4. Tallinn University Conference center Homepage. University rooms, big one 320 EUR/day, auditoriums for about 50 ~213 EUR/day/room. Total for 3 days/1+4 rooms 4218 EUR. Projectors, mics, screens included.
  • 5. Clarion Hotel Europe [Location] next to the old town. Main room rental, all the equipment included: list price est. 400 €/day/room. Food would be extra.
  • 6. Swissôtel Tallinn [claims to be the "Estonia's leading hotel"] is also near old town. Well, they are new and nice. Largest room fits 300+ in largest setting, two others 50 and small meeting room 10. They offered that if we take full catering for minimum price of 6900 EUR/day (2 breaks+lunch is 27.16€/person/day, so "break-even point" would be ~250 persons), then whole conference center would be free of charge. They are available for 8-10.11.
  • Full service conference package from a local organizer: I've got offer for about 30.000 EUR (place, registration, invoicing, materials, staff, project management, translations, lunches etc included) for up to 300 person 3-day conference. They did not specify where it would be.

Kaleva travel has put together nice list of Conference facilities in Tallinn. Other conference hotels are estimated to be in the same cost range as listed Hotel Europe above (or a bit more). Larger ones, which have 10+ seminar rooms could just mean that there could be other parallel events in the same place.

Local state support option

It is possible that almost all direct conference costs (e.g. place rental, marketing etc) would be covered by a Estonian state program. NGOs can apply for support for international conferences and culture events in Estonia. Support range is 16000-32000 EUR per event. Next application round is expected to be opened in January 2011. All the formal minimum conditions should be fine for us, just there is quite high competition expected. [Official information (Estonian only)]. Example of a supported IT-related event (they got 50000 EUR): http://www.ccdcoe.org/conference2010/

And the journey continues...

I guess many of you are not just coming to a 3-day conference. Some tips:

  • Car rental in Baltics starts from ~25 €/day. Avis, Budget and others are present. Car rental tends to be a bit more expensive than in Western Europe, gas is cheaper (currently 1.1 €/l).
  • Estonian highlights: Saaremaa island, resort town Pärnu, Lahemaa national park, Soomaa "land of bogs".
  • Train system is not very advanced in this part of the world, locals use buses which are ok and in some routes equipped with free WiFi.
  • St Petersburg "florence of the north" is 360 km, 7-8 hr bus ride away, there are about 10 buses per day, tickets start from 25€. see timetable
  • Riga (captial of Latvia and Baltics) is 300 km away.
  • Helsinki and Finland - 2 hr ride by boat, see above.
  • Stockholm and Sweden - overnight ferry ride, check also cheap airline options.