Major Tourist Attractions: Naissaar, Tallinn Zoo, Tallinn TV Tower, Kumu, Lahemaa National Park
With one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, miles of shoreline along the Baltic Sea and more than a thousand islands, Estonia can be a great European getaway for those looking for something just a little different.
The country has rebounded strongly after years of occupation by the Germans and the Soviets, becoming one of the most technologically advanced countries in Europe. Don’t be surprised when you get a free wi-fi signal while walking down the street or through a park in the capital of Tallinn. Buses run frequently between cities and English is commonly spoken, making it easy to get around.
Estonian culture has been heavily influenced by the Swedes, Finns and Danes, and to a lesser extent, the Germans. As a result, Estonians tend to consider themselves Nordic rather than Baltic. Typical Estonian cuisine goes back to the country’s peasant roots, consisting largely of black bread, fish, pork and potatoes.
Accommodation options around the country range from cheerful hostels to high-end hotels and everything in between. Estonia is more rural than urban, so after spending a few days in Tallinn, many visitors head to the islands or the national parks to enjoy the country’s natural beauty. Winters can be harsh, so the best time to visit is in the summer or early fall.
A few highlights of Estonia you should not miss are:
- Get lost in Tallinn’s Old Town.
- Learn about Estonia’s checkered past at the Museum of Occupation.
- Explore the ruins of the Pirita Convent.
- Stroll through the grounds of Kadriorg Park and visit the Kadriorg Palace.
- Experience traditional Estonian culture at the Estonian Open Air Museum.
- Ride a bike around Saaremaa Island.
- Go for a hike through Lahemaa National Park.
- Enjoy a beer in the university town of Tartu.
- Relax on the beach in Parnu.
- Climb to the top of the bell tower at St. Olav’s Church in Tallinn.
- See how Peter the Great once lived at his house museum in Kadriorg Park.
Address: Consular Section U.S. Embassy