Estonia is one of the three Baltic States, well connected to the countries in the area. You can easily arrive by flight, coach, cruise or ferry and combine your visit with Latvia, Lithuania or Scandinavia.
If you would like to learn about the history of Estonia you should definitely visit the medieval Old Town of the capital Tallinn, a well preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the main attractions here is the St. Olaf’s Church, the biggest medieval building named after the Norwegian King Olaf II Haraldsson. You can also visit the oldest continuously running pharmacy in Europe, established in the early 15th century, which is still selling medicine today!
Visitors interested in the history of the 20th century shouldn’t miss the guided tour of the KGB Museum on the 23rd floor of the Sokos Viru Hotel.
If you are interested in contemporary art and design with an edge, don’t miss the Telliskivi Creative City. Just make sure you have enough time to browse the galleries, cafes, restaurants and contemporary designer stores. Some of the artists offer introductions to their artwork and you might even have the chance to participate in a workshop led by young artists.
You can also enjoy the sea view while having dinner at one of the many restaurants of the capital. As a highlight of your dinner I would recommend that you try the tiramisu (I know this isn’t local cuisine, but just bear with me). In the restaurant I tried, the tiramisu looked like a painting on my plate, showing the seaside with the moonlight over Tallinn! It not only looked amazing but it tasted delicious. Tallinn is a secret destination for foodies and has numerous restaurants listed in the White Guide which contains the best restaurants in the Nordics.
You should also take some time to explore the beautiful untouched nature of the Estonian countryside. Estonia is around 50 percent forest. During your hike in bogshoes (rubber boots on snowshoes without snow) you can learn from experienced local guides about flora and fauna of the forest. You will even have the chance to pick some delicious berries along the way.
Continue your journey to Tartu, the second largest city of Estonia famous for its university. Did you know that Tartu was European Capital of Culture in 2017 and the city is running again for the title in 2024? Have a stroll in the Old Town and you can step into the university building to see an exhibition about the history of the university as well as meet students from around the world.
Only a few minutes’ drive from the city centre, don’t miss the interactive Estonian National Museum. A very modern museum introduces you to the history, language, daily life and achievements of the country. Did you know that Skype was invented in Estonia? Another interesting fact about Estonia is that they held the first legally binding electronic general election over the internet back in 2005, way ahead of everyone else!
No wonder that the country is a paradise for start-ups. Most people are bilingual and often speak English as a second language. You will quickly realise how welcoming and helpful Estonians are when you are visiting their country.