Things to do in Estonia

Photo by: Sek Keung Lo
Photo by: Sek Keung Lo

The Eastern European country of Estonia is one of the Baltic States, and a former part of the USSR. There are many fascinating things to do in Estonia, and it is a charming country with a real sense of individual identity. It combines gorgeous beaches with intriguing medieval cities and splashes of Soviet influences. There are also some nice national parks and natural areas, as well as some picturesque islands. It is a fairly cheap country to explore, and one that has thus far escaped the influences of mass tourism. Travelling around Estonia is easy, with a vast and easy to use public transport network.

Some of the best things to do in Estonia are as follows:

Tallinn

Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn is a wonderfully historic city with a modern pulse. It is one of the country’s top draws. The medieval buildings are very well preserved, and the Old Town is a great place to lose oneself in the narrow and charming streets. Delights can be found around every corner, and there is a rich blend of architectural styles. Influences from Scandinavia, Russia, and Teutonic Knights have all left an imprint on this dazzling city. There is a great selection of places to stay, a mixture of places to dine, and a fairly exciting and vibrant night scene. You will be able to pick up some fantastic souvenirs in some of the small shops that are invitingly tucked away.

Islands

With over 1,500 islands, Estonia’s coast line is a real joy. The beaches have a more authentic, rustic, and unspoiled feeling. The largest island is Saaremaa, where you can explore the medieval castle. Locally produced beer is a speciality, and the stone walls, windmills, and thatched cottages all add to the delightful appeal. Hiiumaa Island is another popular choice, with pure natural beauty, the Hill of Crosses, and several lighthouses. Muhu, Kihnu, Ruhnu, and Vormsi are other islands that are well worth a visit.

Manor Houses

Many historic and grand manor houses were built all over the country from the 13th century and onwards. Many of these are still in great condition, with numerous others having been carefully and lovingly reconstructed to show case their former grandeur. These make for great viewing.

National Parks

Photo by: The Conservation-Volunteers
Photo by: The Conservation-Volunteers

Karula National Park is small, but very popular. It is a lovely place to enjoy nature. Bird watchers in particular will enjoy spending time at Matsalu National Park. It is one of the biggest and most important resting places for various migratory bird species in Europe. Lahemaa National Park combines sweeping bays and pristine forests. In Soomaa National Park you can see an unusual peat bog that was created when a glacier melted thousands of years ago. Some of the bogs are clean enough for swimming, making for a unique bathing experience. The Vilsandi National Park covers numerous islands and islets, and is a great sea and land area.

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