WHY TO VISIT ESTONIA
Estonia is located less than 100 km Finland, and its small size does not prevent it to offer the traveler a lot of charm and authenticity. Between tradition and modernity, you will discover full of originality sites.
First of Tallinn, the capital, which has retained its medieval appearance, between spiers and turrets, paved streets where one loses. Nevertheless, it has constructions in modern architecture, comfortable hotels, art galleries, which contrast with the wealth of historical traces of the city, whose perfectly preserved city wall.
You can see also the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevski Cathedral; Toompea Castle, the seat of parliament; the Estonian art museum housed in a former mansion of the 18th century; Baroque Kadriorg Palace and its park abounding lilac, chestnut and oak trees; instead of the City Hall full of cafes and restaurants in the summer.
The island of Hiiumaa is twenty kilometers of land, and you may appreciate its peaceful environment and its coastline, especially the ornithological reserve of the Bay of Kaina. Saaremaa, a little further south, is the largest island of the country, but it has kept its wild appearance because of its small population and is the much sought shot by tourists.
Do not miss the national parks: the Lahemaa, in the north, is the most extensive, and you will discover cliffs and deep forests, lakes, waterfalls and mansions, beautiful villages and fishing port. That of Soomaa houses marshes where legend has it that witches lurk, but you will however be able to camp and fish there without fear, and even take classes to learn how to build your boat and leave with!
Finally the island of Abruka, as beautiful as tiny, sparsely populated, houses the zoological and botanical reserve that opens only in summer and offers horseback riding and guided tours.
WHAT TO SEE IN ESTONIA
Top destinations in Estonia are:
- Lahemaa National Park
- Soomaa National Park
WHEN TO GO TO ESTONIA
Weather in Estonia
Best period to visit Estonia is from June to August.
The best time to visit the Baltic States is late spring or summer, when there’s usually enough fine weather to allow you to stroll around the cities and make significant forays into the great outdoors. On the whole though, the only thing that’s predictable about the Baltic climate is the deep, dark winters – in all other seasons the weather can be changeable in the extreme.
Summers are relatively short (roughly mid-June to late August), and although you may well experience a string of hot, dry days during this period, showers and chilly nights are equally likely. Remember to pack a waterproof jacket and warm sweater alongside your T-shirts.
Temperatures cool down rapidly from mid-September onwards, although autumn can be an extraordinarily beautiful season in which to visit, with the golden brown leaves of deciduous trees contrasting with the dark-green pines.
The first snowfalls can come as early as mid-November, and by early to mid-December winter sets in with a vengeance. Average daytime temperatures can remain below zero right through until March, plummeting to minus 15–20°C in particularly cold spells. Winter can of course be a magical time, with lakes, rivers and large expanses of the Baltic Sea freezing over, and crunchy snow cover adding an air of enchantment to medieval city centres. However, rural areas can be difficult to get to without a four-wheel-drive vehicle (only the main highways are showploughed), and you’ll have to be well togged up in order to endure anything but the shortest of walks. Wherever you are in winter, some form of hat or head covering is absolutely essential.
Even when the spring thaw sets in, the countryside can remain grey and barren until well into April (or even May in northern Estonia), when a sudden explosion of colour transforms the landscape. The countryside takes on a green lushness, drawing cattle and horses out from their winter barns, while city-dwellers indulge in a frenzied stampede for the pavement cafés.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Estonia
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH ESTONIA
by plane, main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON ESTONIA
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+2 (+3)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN ESTONIA
typical food in Estonia
- Sült (jellied veal).
- Valmistusained (Sauerkraut, usually served with Verivorst, black pudding sausage).
- Täidetud vasikarind (roast stuffed shoulder of veal).
- Rosolje (vinaigrette with herring and beets).
- Verivorst (blood sausage).
- Kiluvõileib (sprat and egg sandwitch).
- Mulgipuder (Potato and groats porridge typically served with bacon).
- Kohuke (freshly pressed sweet curd covered in chocolate or caramel).
- Black bread
- Saku beer
- Eesti Kali (fermented drink made from bread).
souvenirs from Estonia
- Handicrafts dishes, glass, pottery or knitwear
- Chests and wooden toys and woodcrafts
- Wool sweaters of the jacquard
- Linen hats, pants and shirts
- Embroidered tablecloths
- Amber and silver jewelry
- Soviet memorabilia
- Klarett spiced wine, Vana Tallinn liqueur, Johvika cranberry-flavoured liqueur
How are you?: Kuidas sul läheb?
Thank you: Aitäh
What is your name?: Mis su nimi on?
How much is it?: Kui palju see maksab?