Just inside the city limits at the south-western edge of Tallinn is an area that couldn't be any farther removed from the bustle and glass high rises of the metropolis.
Nõmme, a quiet, forested, district filled with 1920s- and 30s-era houses, has the feel of a small country town. It boasts its own historic centre complete with a farmers' market, newly opened cafés and pubs, and it even has its own castle of sorts, not to mention a number of other attractions.
If Nõmme feels like a village that's completely detached from the rest of the city, there's good reason – before being absorbed into Tallinn in 1940, it was just that. The area owes its existence to the Baltic-German landowner, Nikolai von Glehn (1841 - 1923), who not only succeeded in turning his Tsarist-era estate into a real town, but also earned a reputation for being somewhat eccentric. He was, after all, practically giving away land and the castle-shaped manor house he had built flew in the face of convention.
Glehn's Castle, situated about 2 km east of the Nõmme centre, is now a prime Nõmme attraction, as is the park that surrounds it. Among the more bizarre features von Glehn had installed in the park are enormous granite crocodile and a towering statue of Estonia's mythical hero, Kalevipoeg.
Nõmme is also a perfect place for different activities. It’s an area where an adventure park, a sports centre, a swimming pool, and one of the best forest trails for runners, cyclists and skiers are located. Besides all that, there’s the Pääsküla Bog – a perfect trail for nature-lovers.
The frequently running bus no. 36 from downtown takes about 25 minutes to reach the Nõmme stop in the area's centre. Alternatively, you can take a train from Balti Jaam station in central Tallinn to the Nõmme railway station.