Synonym for Estonia is a charm. Ancient castles and high bastions keep the memory of chivalries, the spirit of romanticism rises up through the cobbled streets to the triangular roofs of houses, the even rolls of waves lull you away, and the kaleidoscope of prehistoric landscapes explodes your imagination. Estonia is the starting point for numerous cruises in the Baltics states. But is that fair? After all, you want to come to Estonia so much and do not want to say goodbye to it.
|Tallinn||1 324 820||Estonian||Euro||45 227 km²|
What to see and where?
The capital of the country is Tallinn. It is a leisurely Estonian city that lives on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. It is truly a city of extremes, and the center of the capital is a real medieval island, clutched in the arms of modern glass skyscrapers. Kadriorg Palace, Great Sea Gate, Town Hall Square, St. Mary's Cathedral, Kalamaja and Nõmme districts will take you back to several centuries. The beaches in the Haabersti and Pirita areas will make your head spin with the sea breeze, while a techno rave in a nightclub will remind you that you are in the XXI century. And make sure you climb the observation deck of Patkuli, which is on Toompea Hill. After all, the best way to admire Tallinn is from a height.
If you travel to Estonia in summer, it is a crime not to go to Pärnu, the country's main resort. The medieval town will welcome you with a carefree romantic atmosphere. Everything is relaxed here: numerous SPA and a water park, historic-style baths and cocktail bars, wide sandy beaches, and warm sea. In addition to sunbathing, make sure you include a bike ride along the picturesque promenade, sailing and canoe trips to the open sea by the river.
Tartu is the oldest city in the Baltics states and the intellectual capital of Estonia. In a couple of hours, you can see all the sights: Old Town, University, Dorpat Cathedral, "Falling House", Town Hall Square, the embankment of the Emajõgi River. And after that, you will find cozy cafes, craft shops, and sunset on Toomemägi hill with a chic view of the city.
Kuressaare (formerly Arensburg) is the main city of Saaremaa and the "island capital" of Estonia. Kuressaare, with its low-rise buildings, is more like a village with several gems in its box: the Baroque Town Hall, Vazhnya, St. Lawrence's Church, and, of course, the Kuressaare Episcopal Castle, from which the whole city grew up. But historical sights are not all that Saaremaa is rich in. Be sure to include a walk to the "witch's lake", Kaali Meteorite Crater, in your trip plan. Visit the picturesque coastline of the Panga Cliff and the Angla Windmill Park, a symbol of the region.
Rakvere divided the road between Tallinn and Narva in half. This humble city attracts tourists with the ruins of the medieval castle of Wesenberg. The place deserves attention by right: picturesque hills, the weight of fortress walls, cold dungeons, and historical theatrical performances will take you to the Middle Ages. You can test your inner knight's agility yourself. Here you will have an opportunity to shoot with an archer, try on ancient armor, feel the weight of the sword in the forge, and look into the torture chamber.
If you want something Russian in Estonia, go to Narva. The city is on the very border with Russia, so when you walk along the streets, sometimes you get lost: is it already St. Petersburg, or is it still Narva? The question is easy to understand: if you can see the tall tower of Hermann Castle, you are still on the Estonian land. The rich history of the city has left a legacy of fortifications of XIV-XVI centuries, the Baroque Town Hall of 1668, the Orthodox Resurrection of Christ Cathedral, the complex of buildings of the famous Kreenholm Manufacturing Company. If you still have the strength after seeing all the sights, go out to the promenade along the embankment. The city from the river, lit by evening lights, looks simply fabulous.
National peculiarities of the citizens of Estonia
- The first thing that comes to mind for an ordinary citizen of the post-Soviet space when he is told about Estonia is the famous Estonian "sluggishness" and unbreakable calmness. There are whole collections of jokes about this national feature. But Estonians do not lag behind and, in return, invent their own anecdotes about Russians, sometimes quite evil ones.
- But this is just a joke. In general, Estonians are loyal to tourists, always friendly, and ready to help. However, their attitude towards immigrants is distant and restrained.
- Estonians are very technologically savvy. For 15 years now, they have been paying taxes and voting online, signing documents with an ID-card, and can even get virtual citizenship. There will be no problems with the Internet: 4G works even in a dense forest.
- Estonia is a clean country. First and foremost, because they don't leave litter here. The Estonians are pedants, and they strictly follow the order.
- Estonians are considered to be one of the most singing nations in the world. More than 133,000 records are kept in the folk song archive, and every five years, the Estonian Song and Dance Festival brings together more than 200,000 spectators and performers.
- More than singing, the locals like the swings. In Estonia, it's a kind of national sport: a person who makes the most graceful "sunshine". Even people of age enjoy testing their vestibular apparatus by swinging 360°.
- If this sport does not seem strange to you, how about riding on husbands? Despite the fact that this competition has its roots in Finnish tradition, Estonia has won the championship in this competition for 11 consecutive years. Their secret is in a special technique where wives hang upside down on their husbands. But we are not sure about that.
Cities in Estonia
Estonia is a jewelry box of historical sights. Medieval castles and town halls, picturesque parks and open-air museums, palaces, and fortresses — we have compiled a list of places that are inextricably linked to the image of this country.