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18 Amazing Things to do in Estonia

Estonia-2

Few people I have met on my travels know about all the things to do in Estonia. Actually, most people don’t even know about this baltic state

This is a shame because the country is amazing. The country has found a fantastic balance between modern technology, history, and nature.

I suggest adding Estonia to your bucket list and here is why!

So what are we waiting for! Let’s pack for Europe, and head to some of the best things to do in Estonia.

Note About Traveling During Covid-19

We are trying to stay updated with the latest travel restrictions during this crazy time, of the coronavirus, that has hit the tourism industry hard. 

But as rules for visiting a destination change quickly, it is important to check with your government websites to see the latest travel restrictions, requirements, and travel advisories. 

They will have updated information on the latest covid 19 vaccine, whether or not you need to present a negative covid 19 test. 

Travel Plans can change quickly, I’ve had 4 flights canceled, so stay updated with the latest travel advisories before you start booking things in your destination.

Table of Contents

18 AWESOME Things to do in Estonia

Explore the Landscape

When people picture Northern Europe, they envision barren tundra’s coated in thick layers of ice or the fjord lands of Norway.

However, the Estonian countryside is vastly different. And something people don’t realize about Estonia is the sheer amount of diversity throughout the countryside.

For example, the sunny seasons in Southern Estonia are lush and vibrant.

Imagine walking through the dense Estonian countryside, featuring green woods and flat grasslands stretching over the horizon. The sounds of waves crashing along the sandy shore of the endless coastline as you stare out at a small Estonian island. These are just a few of the splendid treasures that Estonia’s landscape holds.

But Estonia isn’t all just a lush landscape. This baltic country has rich cities, like the capital Tallinn Estonia, with a historic old town, and an informative museum. Estonia’s capital is filled with history from the 13th century, 14th century, and 15th century. It’s a haven of traditional Estonian food, and a city center buzzing with life – and in the winter Christmas Market. (But more on that later)

These experience makes Estonia a clear choice for those who would rather spend their vacation in nature and untouched landscape.

I promise you the more time you spend outdoors in Estonia, the greater the chance you’ll never want to leave this incredible country. How many quotes about adventure could be applied to beautiful Estonia?

The locals respect their land.

A good starting point for an adventure in Estonia is by checking out one of the five national parks.

Explore Tallinn Estonia

We touched on Estonia’s capital briefly, but let’s dive a little deeper.

Tallinn is a great base for exploring the baltic country. Tallinn has an incredible city wall that dates back to the 13th century. It’s the best place in this eastern European country to pig out on traditional Estonian foodEstonian cuisine is fantastic – check out the open air museum, and admire street art.

We also have to mention Tallinn‘s old town. This is the major tourist attraction of the city and is stunning.

Make sure to take a day trips to Telliskivi creative city. This is one of the coolest places you’ll find in Northern Europe. Telliskivi creative city is an art-focused area of the city, there are galleries, cafes, bars, trains, and more. The 20th century site is located in an old industrial complex and has some of the best street art in Eastern Europe.

Tallinn is also a great base for any weekend or day trip you might have planned. Head to the baltic sea, take a boat to Helsinki or hop over to Latvia.

Pro Trip: Check out the Tallinn Card to save some money on entrance fees.

Visit A National Park

Estonia is a small yet diverse country with lots to see and do. In fact, it’s one of the least visited countries in Europe.

Not only does it have a stunningly beautiful coastline, is lies within the borders of Scandinavia making it one of the most ideal winter holiday destinations.

What also sets it apart from other European countries is its ability to offer a mixture of traditional European cultures and a countryside filled with lush forests and open spaces.

The Estonian landscape is mostly flat with a few hills and is predominantly covered with forests. The coastline is dotted with thousands of islands, the largest being Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu islands.

Estonia, the land of thousand of lakes has many beautiful national parks. If you are planning to visit Estonia, these are the national parks (or nature reserves) to visit.

The National park is well worth visiting – you can enjoy amazing landscapes, get in touch with nature… There are several beautiful places in Estonia that you can visit but places like Kadriorg park, and lahemaa.

Top National Park in Estonia

  • Lahemaa
  • Kõrvemaa
  • Soomaa
  • Matsalu
  • Vilsandi
  • Kadriorg park

Escape the Crowds

Visiting countries like France and Italy is a staple of any trip to Europe. However, sometimes it’s nice to venture away from the cramped crowds and long lines. Get more value for your time by venturing into the lesser-known countries.

A perk of visiting countries like Estonia lets you experience amazing places in Europe without the hustle and bustle as some other touristy places in Europe.

A person could even argue that you experience more “real” Europe because the country hasn’t been affected by tourism as much. Estonia is real, and while picking up in popularity, keeps its charm.

Personally, this is a massive bonus and because there are fewer crowds means you can do more things to do in Estonia.

There are off the beaten path cities like Parnu, Viljandi that are well worth visiting and showcase architecture from periods like the 18th century.

Explore Parnu

Did you know that Parnu is the summer capital of Estonia and it’s also one of Estonia’s most important seaside resorts?

The city of Parnu is located on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea and is the biggest city on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. The city of Parnu was established in 1785 and offers a unique mixture of summer and winter resorts and a wide variety of activities and experiences for people of all ages.

Admire the Architecture

All across the country are Cathedrals and Churches that are hundreds of years old. Let’s look at some of the most remarkable architecture in Estonia. You have places like Raekoja plats in Tallinn‘s old town.

Estonia has architecture and history from many eras like the 13th century, 14th century, all the way to the 18th century and 20th century.

Rakvere Castle

This well-preserved castle is over 800 years old. It has a deep history and has stood the test of time from the Danish Kings, Knights, and even monks who have called this castle home. Today you can walk around the towers and walls of the landmark for free, and there are a lot of fun events such as horse backpack riding, archery, and making your own coins.

If you are headed to picturesque Lahemaa national park, then Rakvere should be a stop on your way!

Haapsalu

From beautiful stone towers, buildings, and city walls, you can’t help but admire the buildings in this small seaside town. The town has a well-preserved building dating back almost 800 years. This makes it one best place to enjoy the architecture of Haapsalu.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

They built This cathedral in the 1300s and is a site that shouldn’t be missed in Estonia. Another example is Olaf’s Church. At the top of this tower, you can see a stunning 360-degree view of Tallinn. This church is over 400 years old and was once the tallest building in the world.

Pretty cool, right?

Experience the Festivals (One of the best things to do in Estonia)

Music festival lovers will want to pay a visit to the impressive Song Music Festival. It’s so unique I doubt it there is anything else like it across Europe. The festival features various choirs and a member from all over. These choirs perform on their own and in large groups to over 80,000 people in attendance.

Music is a massive part of Estonia culture. Witnessing the upbeat songs and atmosphere that can only be brought from a quirky and fun that embodies the Song music festival is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Wander the Cities

Cities like Tallinn might not have the famous monuments of some of its other peers. But it is a city you shouldn’t underestimate. Tallinn has the most well preserved medieval town in Northern Europe.

Standing in the city square is the Old Town Hall. This impressive 13th-century building is the oldest town hall across the Baltic and Scandinavian regions of Europe. It is a prime example of Gothic architecture is one of the most beautiful town halls in all of Europe.

Another area of Tallinn you cannot miss is the famed wooden districts like Kalamaja. It is easy to fall in love wandering past these colorful wooden houses or lose yourself in vibrant bohemian cafes, theaters, and restaurants.

If you are like me, the stone-cobbled streets, medieval town centers, and old churches will have you swooning.

Estonia might have world-renowned sights like the Eiffel Tower or Colosseum. However, they are unique in their own right and win travelers over. Estonia has some of the best cities in the world .

Save Some Money

I’m a big fan of saving money while not having to limit my experiences while traveling. And I love getting off the beaten path. Estonia is a great country because there are a lot of adventures for travelers without destroying your bank balance. Choosing to spend your time in Estonia will cost you a lot less than some of its European counterparts. This only makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe .

Dive into the Culture

Estonians are very proud of their culture and history. National pride runs deep throughout the country.

For example, look at the century-old tradition of Seto Singing. This singing tradition is centuries old, and famed singers we able to remember 20,000 rhymes and songs. This tradition is a way to pass memories and stories to the future of the country.

A perfect place to experience Estonia’s rich culture is Kihnu Island. This small island off the west coast has a population of fewer than 700. Because they have remained so little, they have kept living in traditional ways of life. They still use old looms and make their bright and vibrant clothes by hand. Kihnu is like taking a time machine to the past and experiencing Estonia’s ancient culture.

A cool thing about the cities in Estonia is that everything is connected. Everything from elections to healthcare is online.

While everything in Estonia is connected, they have not forgotten their past. Many Estonia people still live a simple life. They go out to pick their mushrooms and berries. Many locals use natural remedies when feeling ill instead of taking pills or heading to a pharmacy. Estonian‘s have a deep respect for the land, history, and traditions making the country feel very special.

It is worth it to add Estonia to your bucket list to immerse yourself in the beautiful culture.

Try Kiiking

Estonia invented a sport that gives me flashbacks to my childhood on the playground.

If you were like me as a kid, I would always try to swing as high as possible, hoping to make a loop around the entire swing set. Estonians must have felt the same as me and invented Kiiking. The essence of Kiiking is a massive swing with long poles in which you try to loop around the entire thing. This is a fun and unique thing to try in Estonia.

Create Your Own Adventure

For adventure junkies like myself, Estonia has some great choices.

Take a retro safari through the scenic landscape and small villages, explore the rocky coastline by boat or test your limits at the adventure park. Estonia is waiting to give you an adrenaline rush. These are all great options for those backpacking Europe

Of course, adventures might not be your style of travel. But you can create your own adventure in any Estonian town.

See the Wildlife

Estonia has always held a reverence for the land. Even today, 50% percent of the country is a thick forest.

It is easy to see why Estonia is a land that calls to nature lovers. The landscape of the baltic sea, woods, and marshes is not only made from breathtaking views but also for an exotic mixture of wildlife. A few of these animals include wolves, lynxes, bears, beavers, flying squirrels, elk, and several bird species.

The Estonian landscape is great for seeing wildlife!

Take a Day Trip to Saaremaa Island

In many parts of Saaremaa you can go hiking or biking. The paths are marked with yellow flags sticking up out of the ground. If you want to hike without getting lost it’s best to take a guide.

The year-round ice road crossing the Gulf of Riga, linking the island with the mainland, is also an interesting attraction visually, but not for all ages or abilities; however, it can be crossed any time of year.

Kaali Meteorite Crater

We can’t talk about the best things to do in Estonia without mentioning the Kaali Meteorite Crater.

Located on the island of Saaremaa, lies a massive crater that was the site of a huge meteorite impact over 7,500 years ago. The impact left nine craters, leading the section to become known as the Kaali Meteorite Field.

Most people visit the largest crater. Over thousands of years, this crater has filled up with murky, reflective water. Making it a perfectly spherical pond. That’s a photo-worthy stop for any photographer.

Throughout history, legends have sprung up around this area. The most prominent myth says that ancient cults used this site as a home. And because of recent discoveries by archaeologists, there’s reason to believe that the legend is true.

Estonia is often an underrated country. However, don’t let that fool you. The country is welcoming and friendly. Estonia has a great balance between nature, cities, and adventures. These are just a few reasons Estonia should be on your bucket list.

They brought this post to you by VisitEstonia, but all opinions are my own.

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7 thoughts on “11 Awesome Things to do in Estonia (June 2020)”

  1. Thank you for the beautiful view of your country and of Tallinn, really great to watch all this. Should like to visit, but first have to save money for it. But for sure I am impressed by the beauty and diversity of your country and your cities and villages. Thanks again, and maybe I’ll see you once over there! Felice.

  2. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was not built in the 1300’s, this church has no meaning for Estonians, it is just a coincidence it was built there in 1900. The building that partly dates back to the 12th century is opposite to the cathedral isToompea Castle, now a residence for the parliament of Estonia.

  3. Nice post, thanks! On a side note, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is not from the 13th century, it was built at the end of the 19th century. Orthodox churches don’t have a long history here, so I guess you had another church in mind.

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