So, have you heard of Estonia? Land of the fair-skinned, blond-haired, sauna-loving, alcohol-guzzling, penny-pinching, meat-jelly-devouring, shy but unbelievably cordial hypochondriacs? No? Well, let’s get acquainted, with this Estonia Travel Guide.
Estonia Travel Guide – Where is Estonia?
Estonia is a country of about 1.3 million citizens situated in northern Europe, just opposite Finland. The whereabouts are not-quite Baltic, not-quite Scandinavian, not-quite Eastern European, giving the nation a flavor not-quite like anything else.
The Baltic side is evident in Estonia’s vast nature preserves and temperate climate. The Scandinavian side is seen in Estonia’s gorgeous, colourful architecture, modern fashion sense, and excellent social services (for example, you will enjoy free wifi everywhere….literally). And the Eastern European side is experienced with Estonia’s insanely low prices.
Check out the insane aerial shot of Estonia and be amazed!
Overall, Estonia is the gem of the Baltics, offering an unbelievable travel experience for even the most budget-conscious travellers. Here is the Estonia Travel Guide and 7 ways to get the most out of your experience.
You May Also Like: Driving Europe On A Shoestring
Go back in time
Tallinn’s historic Old Town is a must see for tourists, and for good reason. Ancient cobble-stone streets wind and intersect in unpredictable ways, just begging travelers to get lost in them. Each street corner reveals yet another breathtaking view. Bring some good walking shoes and your camera – you won’t want to miss these shots.
Sweat it out
Estonia is known for its sauna culture – you know, sitting inside a 110-degree (Celsius) human oven while you beat yourself with a leafy branch, then jumping into an icy pond before repeating the process again. Who could resist? Seriously, though, the experience is worth it. The best saunas are wood-burning, like our favorite at Kurgjärve Sports Camp, but there are plenty of options throughout Estonia for those more-adventurous travelers.
Get outta dodge
It’s easy to get stuck in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, but a great escape lies just a few minutes outside of town. Estonia is one of the least-densely populated countries in the EU, meaning there is tons of wildlife to explore. Just 40 minutes east of Tallinn is one of the most beautiful wetlands around: Viru Raba. Go for a quick glimpse at the wilderness, or walk the whole 3.5 kilometer trail. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
You May Also Like: Guide to Cheap Air Flights to London
No, not that kind of high. Travel UP! There are many great views in Estonia, but for one of the best, head to the top of St. Olaf’s Church, where you’ll be able to look out over Old Town and take in the best view around. The cost is just €3 per person, but be sure to wear your FitBit – there are 232 steps to the top! For the evening crowd, check out Lounge24, a rooftop bar and café on the top of the Raddison Blu hotel. Go around dusk, grab a drink, and enjoy one of the sunsets in the world.
Once a land of dry pork and potatoes, Estonia has flourished in recent years to become a culinary powerhouse, offering fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, a variety of ethnic flavors, and a wide range of vegetarian/vegan options. For a quick bite, don’t miss the Mothertrucker at Vegmachine (€5 for a massive vegan burger), or for a nicer meal, try the restaurant Aed (less than €20 for a cozy dinner).
You May Also Like: Best of Santorini
(Most Detailed Guide Ever)
Estonia has some of the cleanest, least-polluted air of anywhere in the world. This is largely thanks to the numerous bogs and nature preserves which dot the landscape (see #3 above). The air is so pure that some entrepreneurs are bottling it up and selling it to foreigners. So when you’re here, remember to breathe deep – your lungs will thank you.
Sleep it off
When the day has taken its toll and you’re feeling an afternoon slump, head straight to Kadriorg Park for a nap in the shade. Tallinn is full of beautiful parks, but this is one of the most expansive and beautiful. (If you want to stay closer to Old Town, relax in Toompark, a gorgeous space situated around the original castle moat.)
Journeying through a foreign country is inherently unpredictable, and when confronted with an unusual situation it’s best just to use the friendly phrase: “Jah aitäh!” (Yes thanks!). You may end up being served pork jelly or joining the locals for some early-morning skinny dipping in an icy lake – but your experience will be all the better for it.
You May Also Like: Traveling in Romania
Debunking the Dracula myths
About the Travelers
We are Trashiell, a travel team made up of one Estonian (Triinu) and one Texan (Dashiell). We are married and live together in Tallinn.
Travel has been a pivotal part of both of our lives. We met in Germany and have since lived together in England, Scotland, the US, and Estonia. We’ve been traveling for as long as either of us can remember and have visited over 40 countries combined. Our travel philosophy is undoubtedly “Say yes.” Travel requires a sense of adventure, and often the best experiences come from plunging yourself into the unknown.
You can reach us at @trashiells_travels on Instagram. Happy trails, y’all 🙂