Viru Gate, Tallinn
Viru Gate, Tallinn
Where Nordic beauty meets quiet Baltic charm.

Estonia Vacations

Your spirit is called to encounter the earthy people of Northern Europe.

Estonia is a small Baltic State in Eastern Europe which borders Latvia and Russia. Its coastline lies on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland and is only 80 kilometres to Helsinki. Along this coastline there is a bay where Tallinn, the capital, is situated. It has a medieval town in it that was built by German crusaders, which stands in magnificent condition with walls and towers almost completely intact.

Though Estonia was occupied by the Soviets for decades, it sees itself more influenced by Nordic tastes and traditions. However, the architecture has obvious design and style influences that came from Germans, Swedes, and Russians over its history.

Today Estonia is a prosperous former Communist state, enjoying high-tech, an open and liberal economy, and a transparent government system. It’s emerging as a tourist destination where you’ll find styles from each of its former occupiers. German, Danish, Swedish, and Soviet eras amalgamated in the architecture, customs, and ambience. From medievel cities to rolling verdant countryside, there is much to enjoy about Estonia.

The capital, Tallinn, has a population of about 450,000 people and is situated 80 kilometres south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm, and west of St. Petersburg. A limestone cliff runs through the city. Be sure to check out the sites in this eight-hundred-year-old city including Kadriorg district. This area recalls the time when Russian Czars ruled – especially interesting are a Baroque-style palace built by Peter the Great, a stadium, museum, and many gardens. One of the tranquil gardens is designed in Japanese style with bridges, ponds with koi, and stone lanterns.

Also, just outside of Tallinn is the Estonian Open-Air Museum in a wooded park overlooking the sea. There is a preserved 18th and 19th century village with over a hundred intact buildings. With old wooden windmills, a fire station, farmhouses and fishing sheds, it gives an awesome window into what life in Estonia used to look like. Visitors can buy handicrafts and try traditional foods in the village tavern.

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Places To Go

Handcrafted Journeys to our Most Popular Places in Estonia.

Tallinn Old Town aerial view from fat Margaret tower at sunset
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The Culture

The people of Estonia tend to be reserved, soft-spoken, and polite, and they’re proud of their cultural identity. The official language is Estonian, but older generations still speak German, and there is a minority of Swedish speakers too. Lutheran Christian and Orthodox are minority religions, but most of the country identify as non-religious.

Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia, after Tallinn, and is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. It was established in 1632 but was closed from 1710-1802. Tartu is considered the intellectual centre of the country and dubbed the ‘City of Good Thoughts’. Other sites to see in Tartu include the Lutheran St. John’s Church, the 18th century town hall, and the ruins of the 13th century cathedral It’s modern buildings of steel, concrete, and glass have been smartly designed, and blend in smoothly with the old world architecture.

The Old Town in Tallinn has Gothic spires, twenty-six watchtowers, winding cobblestone streets, and iron street lamps from earlier times. Some of its buildings date back to the 111th century. You can take a ‘Legends of Tallinn’ tour while you’re there, and learn about the origin of Tallinn’s former name, Reval, among other mythology and lesser known historical stories.

Within the Old Town also lives Toompea Castle. was originally constructed in the 13th century, and rebuilt in the 18th century. The tower is an important national symbol because tradition dictates that whichever nation flies its flag over it, rules Estonia.

Several holidays are observed in Estonia each year. Some celebrate various important historical days of independence like Independence Day, Victory Day, and the Estonian Restoration of Independence. And some holidays mark other globally recognized events like Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Spring Day (Kevadpuha) is the pagan celebration of the return of nature from its rest and is celebrated with picnics on the first Sunday in May. 

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