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New Year, New Adventures: 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Estonia in 2024

Estonia is a place where medieval charm meets cutting-edge technology. Despite its small size, this Baltic gem is a unique and captivating destination with a lot to offer.

Ancient castles and futuristic urban landscapes stand side-by-side. Its fairytale old towns, vast forests, and serene islands make it an ideal place to visit for anyone seeking a blend of tranquillity and cultural richness.

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Estonia in 2024

Estonia has embraced technology so much that today it’s known as one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. And Estonia’s highly progressive society harmoniously coexists with its deep-rooted traditions.

It’s a fascinating place to explore.

If you’re looking for somewhere new, easy, and beautiful to discover in 2024, I highly recommend adding Estonia to your list.

Here’s why:

1. Medieval Charm Meets Modern Innovation

medieval towers and rooftops of tallinn

Estonia offers a fascinating blend of old-world charm and cutting-edge innovation.

It has several amazingly well-preserved medieval towns and cities such as Tallinn, Tartu, and Viljandi. Wandering through their cobblestone streets, lined with picturesque buildings and enchanting castles, feels like stepping back in time.

But the country is also at the very forefront of modern innovation, with a thriving tech sector that’s a hotbed for startups and digital entrepreneurs.

It’s a unique place where the slow charm of the medieval era meets the fast-paced buzz of the modern world.

2. Pristine Natural Landscapes

large open expanse of bogland and wilderness in estonia

Estonia is packed full of pristine natural landscapes. With its lush forests, enchanting national parks, and breathtaking coastal regions, the country is a paradise for nature lovers.

Dense forests cover about 50% of the country. These are a haven for wildlife and provide endless opportunities for hiking, camping, birdwatching, and exploring.

Estonia’s national parks, such as Lahemaa and Soomaa, showcase the country’s diverse ecosystems, from ancient forests to picturesque wetlands.

The coastal areas, including the stunning Baltic Sea coastline and the unique West Estonian Archipelago, offer tranquil beaches, captivating cliffs, and picturesque islands.

3. Unique Cuisine

wild mushrooms growing in a forest in estonia

Estonian cuisine reflects its climate, history, and geography, offering a range of hearty and rustic dishes.

Traditional meals tend to rely heavily on meat and fish. Although an increasing number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants are opening up, especially in larger towns and cities.

There’s a strong focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, with many dishes featuring freshly foraged berries, mushrooms, and herbs. Estonians’ love of bread is evident in their fantastic selection of rye breads, which are a staple in most meals.

Many dishes I tried in Estonia also featured sea buckthorn, a small yellow berry with a distinctive sour taste and many supposed health benefits. And a shot of sea buckthorn juice is typically drunk after a meal as an alcohol-free digestif.

For a sweet ending, try a slice of kringel, a traditional Estonian cinnamon pastry.

4. Rich Cultural and Historical Heritage

tallinn's medieval towers with red roofs lit up at night

With a history dating back thousands of years, Estonia has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires. This has resulted in a fascinating tapestry of stories and local traditions. It may be a small country, but it has a big personality!

Over the centuries, Estonia was ruled by various powers including the Vikings, Danes, Germans, Russians, and the USSR. Each one of these left its mark, from architecture to language and even food, helping shape Estonia’s distinct character.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia rapidly developed itself into a flourishing democracy.

Today, Estonia has a vibrant and liberal society with a high-income economy and one of the highest standards of living in the world.

5. Vibrant Music and Arts Scene

people in traditional folk costumes at a folk festival in estonia

Like so many things about the country, Estonia’s music and arts scene is a vibrant mix of traditional and modern.

Tallinn Music Week showcases everything from indie and electronica to metal, classical, and even traditional folk music. Then there’s the Parnu Film Festival, known for its dreamy atmosphere.

Art lovers are in for a treat too, with many galleries showcasing a wide range of pieces ranging from folk art to contemporary works.

And don’t miss out on cultural gems like the Viljandi Folk Festival, where Estonia’s rich heritage really shines through. It’s a lively feast for the senses!

6. Adventure and Outdoor Activities

sunrise in a forest in estonia with mist hanging above the ground

Estonia is an outdoor lover’s paradise offering countless opportunities for adventure. From picturesque hiking trails to coastal kayaking, skiing, and island hopping, there’s no shortage of fun outdoor activities here.

One must-visit destination for hikers is Lahemaa National Park, located less than an hour’s drive from Tallinn.

This large park spreads out over 725 square kilometres and is home to many excellent trails taking in dense native forests, pristine beaches, and lush wetlands.

With its diverse and captivating landscapes, Estonia is a fantastic place for anyone seeking an adrenaline rush or simply a deeper connection with nature.

7. Accessibility and Sustainability

wooden walkways through a bog in estonia

Estonia is a country that really gets accessibility and sustainability.

With a strong commitment to sustainable tourism, Estonia offers countless opportunities to explore its stunning natural landscapes while minimizing human impact on the environment.

From its well-organised national parks to its numerous eco-friendly accommodation options, Estonia is a leading example of how to foster and encourage tourism while also preserving its natural heritage.

Additionally, the country’s efficient public transport network and well-maintained roads make travel within Estonia easy, convenient, and affordable

Whether you’re drawn to its pristine wildernesses or its vibrant cityscapes, Estonia’s accessibility and sustainability make it a compelling choice for anyone looking for an eco-conscious adventure.

Final Thoughts

Estonia is a country that celebrates its rich history while embracing the possibilities of tomorrow. It’s a unique and captivating destination full of breathtaking natural landscapes and beautiful medieval architecture.

If you haven’t already visited this Baltic gem, why not make 2024 the year that you do? I think you’ll love it!

sunset from the central square in tallinn

Additional Information on Visiting Estonia

Estonia Travel Tips:

  • Estonia is a very safe country for tourists, although you should always be mindful of your belongings, as you would anywhere.
  • English is widely spoken, especially in cities and tourist areas. However, the locals will really appreciate it if you make the effort to learn a few simple words and phrases in Estonian.
  • The country is highly tech-savvy, and digital solutions for transport and services are common.
  • Public transport is extensive and reliable in urban areas.
  • Renting a car is a good option for exploring rural areas and remote beauty spots.
wooden walkways through a boggy forest in estonia

Best Time to Visit Estonia:

  • The best time to visit Estonia is during the summer months (June to August) for warm weather and outdoor activities.
  • Spring and autumn are also pleasant, offering fewer crowds.
  • Estonian winters are long, dark, and cold. Although Tallinn’s Old Town does look even more magical in the snow…
rooftops of tallinn estonia in the snow

Top Destinations to Visit:

  • Tallinn: The historic capital, known for its medieval Old Town and digital innovation.
  • Tartu: A vibrant university city with a mix of historical sites and contemporary culture.
  • Pärnu: Popular beach resort town, perfect for summer relaxation.
  • Lahemaa National Park: Ideal for hiking and experiencing Estonia’s natural beauty.
  • Saaremaa: Estonia’s largest island, known for its unique culture, history, and picturesque landscapes.

IMPORTANT: Never travel without travel insurance!

Here are three companies that I’ve used, and thoroughly recommend:

  • HeyMondo – the best value travel insurance provider on the market. They cover virtually every country in the world, they have an easy-to-use app, and their policies are straightforward and upfront, with minimal (often no) deductibles and excesses.
  • SafetyWing – if you’re a digital nomad like me, it’s essential that you have suitable insurance. It’s super flexible and affordable, you can sign up for as little or as long as you want, and can activate and deactivate it whenever you need to.
  • World Nomads – for adventurous travellers, covers 200+ activities that many other insurers won’t, such as skydiving, heli-skiing, rock climbing, rafting, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and kiteboarding (not available for residents of every country – check here).

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Who Am I?

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  • I’m Alex Tiffany.  Former corporate city robot; lifelong travel addict.

 

  • I’m on a mission to make adventurous travel accessible to all.

 

  • I created this site to inspire, encourage and enable as many people to get outside and explore as much of our beautiful world as possible.

 

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