Estonia lies along the Baltic Sea, just below Finland. Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city is only about 40 miles south of Helsinki, across the Gulf of Finland. Sweden is Estonia's western neighbour across the Baltic. Russia is to the east, with St. Petersburg just across the north-eastern border. To the south is Latvia with its capital city Riga. You can depart from Tallinn's international airport and in less than two hours be in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Riga, Moscow, St. Petersburg, or Vilnius.
Why Go To Estonia?
Pärnu is a small town situated on the banks of the Pärnu River where it emerges into the Gulf of Riga. Established in the 13th century, the town is known as a seaport and a health resort. Among its attractions are its theatre and its 2 mile long sandy beach, which is very popular with Estonians. Tartu is the second-largest city on the Emajõgi River. The city has a very old university and other sights include the Vyshgorod Cathedral, the Town Hall and the university’s Botanical Garden.
Who Is Estonia Popular With?
If you're keen on skiing, skating and ice fishing and an inspired birch-whipping, winter is a great time to visit Estonia. Besides the cold, snow-clogged streets, ice-glazed pavements and roofs laced with killer icicles, the main drawback to visiting during winter is the limited number of daylight hours. Estonia is popular with Stag and Hen parties visiting Tallinn.
When To Go To Estonia?
The climate in Estonia is temperate, characterised by warm summers and fairly severe winters. The weather is often breezy and humid due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea. Average temperatures range from 20° C in summer to - 8°C in winter. Although occasionally the temperature may rise to 30°C and above in summer or sink below - 23°C in winter, it is very usual at our latitude. Bring your umbrella and a light raincoat in case of occasional showers.
Estonia - The Place
Estonia is an unspoilt, sparsely populated country, nearly half of which is covered with forests. Wetlands, together with primeval forests, represent preserved communities which have for the most part been destroyed in Europe. More than 1,000 lakes dot the countryside, which is relatively flat - almost two thirds of the territory lies less than 50m above sea level. 7,000 rivers and streams carry rainwater to the sea bogs and wooded swamplands of different types cover over one fifth of the country.
An ancient Hanseatic city and the capital of Estonia, Tallinn has a wealth of historical and architectural monuments, particularly in the old town centre which is dominated by the soaring steeple of the medieval Town Hall, the oldest in northern Europe.
More than two-thirds of the original City Wall still stands and a superb view of the narrow streets, the gabled roofs and the towers and spires of old Tallinn is afforded from Toompea Castle, situated on a cliff top. A favourite recreation spot is Kadriorg Park, which contains the palace built for Peter the Great. The Open Air Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the way of rural life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Lahema National Park is one of Estonia’s three national parks, with almost totally unspoiled and untouched forest and swamps, picturesque old fishing villages and historic manor houses. The other two national parks are the Soomaa National Park and the Vilandsi National Park. There are also several nature reserves and protected areas.
Tallinn is the place to be. Partying, clubbing, the best nightlife spots, the best restaurants, adrenaline based activities like kart, gun shooting, paintball, old cars racing, limousine tour, hotels, high standard apartments and more are waiting for you!
Estonia is not Paris or London, but the Estonian capital does offer a much better range of shopping opportunities than it used to. The variety of goods here has certainly improved by leaps and bounds. What a difference a decade makes. Since the welcome collapse of the Soviet empire, the shopping scene has changed almost beyond recognition. There’s been a mall explosion in recent years: For arts and craft’s the old city’s your best bet. One especially quaint shopping zone is along the Katariina passage, off Vene street . A string of tastefully done craft studios/shops in medieval buildings sell handmade wares that are made on the spot, from leather and hats to glass and quilts. This place is a must for tourists on the prowl for high-quality souvenirs. Lühike jalg has a range of tasteful craft stores featuring the work of Estonian artists.
Traditional Estonian food has its roots firmly in the countryside, relying heavily on pork, potatoes and garden variety vegetables. The main culinary influences were from Germans, who ruled over Estonia for so many centuries. The Estonian restaurant scene is now amazingly diverse, especially in Tallinn. There are Indian, Tex-Mex, Thai and Georgian restaurants, as well as Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese and Greek ones.
Local Estonia Customs
Tipping hasn't yet developed into an exact science here in Estonia, so many visitors end up following the tipping custom of their home country.