Estonia is located on the Baltic Sea and borders Russia and Latvia. The Baltic country has beautiful national parks and is a very interesting and inexpensive travel destination, especially for nature lovers. Estonia sees itself as a digital society from which many Western European countries could learn a lesson. See Andyeducation for education in Estonia.
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Fast facts to know
- Although Estonia is larger than Denmark or Holland, only 1.3 million people live in Estonia.
- Many languages are spoken in Estonia, such as English, Russian, Finnish and German.
- The capital Tallinn is the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe.
- There are more than 2,000 islands in Estonia.
- More than 50% of the country is forested, there are more than 1,400 lakes and 7,000 rivers.
- There is a football pitch at Orissaare Stadium that has a majestic tree growing on it – it was voted European Tree of the Year 2015.
- Estonia is considered a digital society.
- Bureaucracy in Estonia is almost completely paperless.
- In Estonia you can pay for parking meters with your cell phone.
- Religion doesn’t play a big role in Estonia.
- There are more meteorite craters per square kilometer in Estonia than in any other country in the world.
- Folk songs play an important role for Estonians.
- Estonians love saunas.
- The Estonian language knows 14 grammatical cases – in German there are just four.
- Estonia has the lowest debt ratio in the EU.
- German nationals are recommended to register in the crisis prevention list in order to be able to contact them quickly in an emergency.
- The tourist infrastructure outside of Tallinn is mostly simple but satisfactory.
- Basic medical care is guaranteed and usually corresponds to European standards.
Exciting cities in Estonia
History of Estonia
- First settled around 11,000 years ago.
- Since 1219 changing foreign rulers under the Danes, the Teutonic Knights, under Poland-Lithuania, Sweden and Russia.
- 1918-1940 first independence.
- This is followed by occupations by the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and again the Soviet Union, which only ends in 1991.
- In 1990 Estonia declared itself a republic again.
- 1991 The Soviet Union recognizes Estonia’s independence.
- 2004 Accession to NATO and the EU.
- 2011 Euro introduction.
Climate & travel weather in Estonia
- Continental, cool temperate climate with maritime influences.
- Very long, very cold winters with lots of snow.
- Average daily temperatures do not rise above freezing in the winter months.
- Longer, dry periods with higher temperatures in summer.
- Recommended travel time:
- Late spring and summer (midsummer with up to 19 days of daylight).
- Rather unsuitable for autumn and winter (wet, cold, little daylight).
Ideas for trips in Estonia
- Recreation center Vana-Veski
- Rakvere castle ruins
- Alutaguse Adventure Park
- Wellness island Saaremaa
- Narva Castle
- The Leaning Art Museum in Tartu
- Spa house in Haapsalu
- Kuressaare Castle on Saaremaa island
- Kopu Lighthouse
- Scary Rakvere Castle
- Bear watching in Alutaguse
- Canoeing & Moorshoe Hike
- The Treasury of the University of Tartu
Eating & drinking in Estonia
- Cuisine with German, Scandinavian and Russian influences.
- Is considered down-to-earth, hearty and substantial.
- Fish, mushrooms and berries are served alongside meat and sausages.
- Pork is the most commonly eaten type of meat.
- Fruits and vegetables are mostly self-cultivated.
- Estonians love to eat soup.
- In winter there are often sauerkraut, oven roast, aspic, black pudding, hearty soups and stews.
- In summer there is a preference for fresh fish such as fried or smoked plaice, lightly salted whitefish, smoked herring, bream and eel.
- There is hearty black bread with almost every meal (even used for soups (bread soup), as dessert (bread pudding) or as a drink (potash)).
- Traditionally, warm meals are served in the morning (pancakes, potato pancakes, scrambled eggs, omelettes).
- Popular spice: Kama (coarse powder made from roasted barley, oats and rye, peas and black beans).
- The main meal is lunch.
- Favorite side dish: potatoes.
- Warm meals are also served in the evenings (e.g. pancakes filled with meat, quark or mushrooms and potato salad with boiled carrots, peas, pickles, onions, cream and mayonnaise).
- Coffee is common.
- Estonians love beer, but they also drink vodka and liqueurs.
- Popular: Kali (lemonade-like drink).
- Kefir and buttermilk are also very popular.
- Typical dishes:
- Milk soup with fish
- Sült (aspic, pork in aspic).
- Kilud (Spiced Herring).
- Seljanka (meat and sausage soup analogous to solyanka).
- Pannkoogid (savory pancakes).
- Pirukad (dumplings filled with meat and vegetables).
- Hernesupp (pea soup).
- Kapsarullid (cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat).
- Taidetud Basikarind (stuffed roast veal).
- Taidetud Basikarind (Stuffed Roast Veal).
- Rossolye (pickled herring with beets).
- Leivasupp (rye bread soup with honey, apple pieces and raisins).
- Meatball soup (meatballs, with vegetables, small noodles, parsley, leeks and dill).
- Hapukapsabors (borscht with sauerkraut).
- Heeringas hapukoore ja sibulaga (herring with sour cream and onions).
- Mulgi kapsad (stewed pork with sauerkraut and pearl barley).
- Mulgi puder pekikastmega (mashed potatoes with ham broth).
- Saslik (spicy meat skewers).
- Silgurulid (rolled herring with carrots, onions and pepper).
- Verivorst (blood sausage).
- Soomaa National Park
- Lahemaa National Park
- Otepää Nature Park
- Estonia’s beautiful islands: