Estonia Destination Guide & Country Overview
Republic of Estonia | Eesti Vabariik
Estonia is one of northeastern Europe’s Baltic countries, as its north and west borders are the Baltic Sea; its other borders include Russia to its east and Latvia to its south. Finland is but a short, 2-hour ferry ride from the capital and largest city of Estonia, Tallinn.
Estonia is a bit easier to travel to than its other Baltic neighbors, from Europe at least, because it is fully-integrated into the European Union, Schengen Area, and it has adopted the Euro currency.
The country seems small, and the 1.3 million population seems to imply so, but the country is actually larger in size than Denmark or the Netherlands. And with all that land, Estonia does not disappoint when it comes to natural beauty. Almost a fifth of the land area in Estonia is designated as protected land, to preserve the beauty and wildlife. There are numerous natural parks, as well as other recreational countryside destinations.
For those wanting a more urban setting, the capital city of Tallinn is just the ticket. Architecture lovers are offered some wonderful examples of Hanseatic architecture, and the city has plenty of galleries, museums, and restaurants to keep you entertained and busy.
Tartu is another great city, renowned for the Tartu University; it offers many educational institutions, as its population is largely made up of students. Another city, Valga, is quite interesting in itself: this southernmost town was originally half in Estonia and half in Latvia; after its separation in 1920, they are now twin towns, and the Latvian one is called Valka (though they still act essentially as one city).
For traditions and culture, Estonia here also doesn’t disappoint. Check out the famous Song Festival, held in the Song Festival Ground in Tallinn; this interactive event has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Event, and its taken place for almost 150 years now.