What makes Estonia Unique

Estonia stands out as a travel destination due to its distinctive blend of history, technology, nature, and culture. Here are some factors that contribute to Estonia's uniqueness:

  • Digital Society: Estonia is renowned for its advanced digital infrastructure and e-governance. It was one of the first countries to offer e-residency, allowing entrepreneurs to establish and manage businesses online from anywhere in the world. This tech-savvy approach is evident in everyday life, from digital signatures to efficient online services.
  • Medieval and Modern Architecture: The capital city, Tallinn, boasts a captivating blend of medieval charm and modern innovation. The well-preserved medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is contrasted by contemporary architecture and a burgeoning start-up scene.
  • Baltic Sea Coastline: Estonia offers a diverse coastline along the Baltic Sea, featuring picturesque coastal villages, sandy beaches, and stunning cliffs. The Lahemaa National Park and the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are popular destinations for nature lovers.
  • Saunas and Wellness: Sauna culture is deeply ingrained in Estonian tradition. Exploring the country's saunas, many with unique features like smoke saunas or seaside views, is a relaxing and authentic experience.
  • Natural Beauty: Estonia is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Around half of its land is covered in forests, and the country is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and wetlands, making it a prime location for birdwatching and outdoor activities.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Estonia has a rich cultural history that's reflected in its folk music, traditional festivals, and handicrafts. The Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn, where the famous Song Festival takes place, are a symbol of national identity.
  • Soviet Legacy: Estonia's recent history is marked by its Soviet past. Exploring remnants of this era, such as the Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison, provides insight into the country's journey to independence.
  • Winter Magic: Winter transforms Estonia into a winter wonderland. The picturesque town of Viljandi, in particular, is known for its enchanting winter landscape and annual winter folk festival.
  • Estonian Cuisine: Estonia's cuisine is a fusion of traditional and modern flavours, incorporating local produce and influences from neighbouring countries. You can savour dishes like black bread, sprats, and traditional sauerkraut.

Estonia's combination of historical depth, technological innovation, natural beauty, and unique cultural offerings make it a distinctive and rewarding travel destination that caters to a wide range of interests.

Top Highlights in Estonia

Patarei Sea Fortress-Prison

A Soviet-era sea fortress turned into a museum, providing insight into Estonia's history during the Soviet occupation.

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Estonian Open-Air Museum

Located near Tallinn, this museum showcases traditional rural architecture and authentic village life from different regions of Estonia.

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This coastal town is a popular summer destination with its sandy beaches, charming wooden architecture, and vibrant arts scene.

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Hiiumaa Island

Known for its unspoilt nature, lighthouses, and maritime heritage, Hiiumaa offers a serene escape with beautiful beaches and a peaceful atmosphere.

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Saaremaa Island

Explore Estonia’s largest island, known for its unique culture, medieval castles like Kuressaare Castle, and the famous meteorite crater at Kaali.

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Lahemaa National Park

Just east of Tallinn, this national park boasts diverse landscapes including forests, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Visit Viru Bog, Palmse Manor, and the picturesque fisherman's village of Altja.

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Kadriorg Palace and Park

Located in Tallinn, Kadriorg Palace is an exquisite baroque palace surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. The Kadriorg Park offers a peaceful setting for strolls and picnics.

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Tallinn Old Town

The charming medieval Old Town of Tallinn, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit. Walk through cobbled streets, admire well-preserved city walls, and explore landmarks like Toompea Castle, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and the Town Hall Square.

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Travel Ideas for Estonia

Classic Baltic Tour

Experience the unspoilt scenery and capital cities of the Baltic States on this Classic Baltic tour through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. From UNESCO old towns to quirky neighbourhoods, hidden delights await. Visit colourful markets, get immersed in local culture and traditions, and take part in authentic experiences. Join us to discover the rich history and fascinating customs of this region on our journey from Vilnius to Tallinn.

This Classic Baltic Tour itinerary was created by a local expert to give you the best chance to see the highlights of the Baltic States.  It is ready to be customised to suit your budget, interests and tastes so you can make the most of your trip on your own terms, departing whenever you choose.


  • Explore the UNESCO old town of Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn
  • Admire medieval Trakai castle
  • Wander around Rundale Palace and Park
  • Visit the UNESCO listed Hill of Crosses
  • Visit Romantic Kuldiga
  • Get active in a bog on bogshoes
  • Discover the pristine nature, culture and food of the Baltics
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Active Baltic Adventure

Embrace the thrill of our Active Baltic Adventure Package! This journey is tailor-made for those seeking an active holiday amidst the stunning natural landscapes of the Baltic States. Discover UNESCO old towns and immerse yourself in the national parks of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Glide on bikes, paddle kayaks, don bogshoes, or trek through breathtaking paths. Your adventure starts here – join us on a voyage from Vilnius to Tallinn, discovering history and nature alike.

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Complete Baltic Holiday

Discover the Baltic States and Southern Finland like never before with our Complete Baltic Holiday. From UNESCO treasures to hidden gems, this 16-day adventure takes you through winding streets, sandy beaches, and enchanting villages. Immerse yourself in local culture, explore medieval castles, and savour the pristine nature of the region. Crafted by a local expert, this itinerary blends highlights and off-the-beaten-path wonders for an unforgettable journey from Vilnius to Helsinki.

Your journey begins in Vilnius and winds through Klaipeda, Riga, Pärnu, Tallinn, and ends in Helsinki. This isn't just a trip; it's an experience. Book from May to September and embark on your Baltic adventure.

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Estonia depends on your preferences and the type of experience you're seeking, with each season offering its own unique charm and activities. The summer months offer the warmest weather and the most outdoor activities, while the winter months provide a unique experience with winter sports and festive celebrations. Spring and autumn provide pleasant temperatures, beautiful natural scenery, and a more peaceful atmosphere. 

Here's a breakdown of what you can expect during different times of the year:

  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Estonia. The weather is relatively warm, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The days are long, allowing for extended exploration and outdoor activities. Coastal areas, such as Tallinn and the islands, become vibrant with festivals, events, and beach-related activities. This is an ideal time for enjoying the parks, forests, and coastal landscapes. It's also a great time for birdwatching and exploring Estonia's many islands. Bear in mind that popular tourist spots might be more crowded during this season.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F). The autumn foliage in forests and parks is stunning, making it a picturesque time for hiking and nature walks. September is a good time to visit, as the weather is still pleasant and the summer crowds have started to thin. This season is also a good opportunity to experience cultural events and festivals.
  • Winter (December to February): Winter temperatures can be quite cold, ranging from -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F). Snowfall is common, making it a beautiful time for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. The winter landscape, especially in Lahemaa National Park, offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The holiday season brings festive markets and celebrations, particularly in Tallinn's Old Town.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring is a transitional season, with temperatures gradually warming up from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). The snow melts, revealing the vibrant green landscapes and blooming flowers. This is a great time for cultural exploration, as museums and historical sites are less crowded. Wildlife starts becoming more active, making it an interesting time for nature enthusiasts.

Important Information for Your Travel Plans

Special Travel Tips from our Experts

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Where to Stay

Estonia offers a selection of high-end accommodation options for travellers seeking luxury, comfort, and personalised service. Here are some of our favourites:

Hotel Telegraaf, Autograph Collection (Tallinn):

  • A luxurious 5-star hotel located in Tallinn's Old Town.
  • Offers elegantly designed rooms and suites with modern amenities.
  • Features a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and a historic atmosphere.

Swissotel Tallinn (Tallinn):

  • A 5-star hotel with stunning views of Tallinn's Old Town and the Baltic Sea.
  • Offers spacious rooms and suites with contemporary design.
  • Features a spa with panoramic pool, upscale dining options, and conference facilities.

Schlössle Hotel (Tallinn):

  • A boutique 5-star hotel nestled in Tallinn's Old Town.
  • Offers individually designed rooms and suites with a blend of historic charm and modern comfort.
  • Features an upscale restaurant, a wine cellar, and attentive service.

Hotel St. Petersbourg (Tallinn):

  • A historic 5-star hotel located in the heart of Tallinn's Old Town.
  • Offers well-appointed rooms and suites with a classic and elegant ambiance.
  • Features an award-winning restaurant, a cosy library, and personalised service.

Three Sisters Hotel (Tallinn):

  • A boutique 5-star hotel comprising three medieval merchant houses in Tallinn's Old Town.
  • Offers individually decorated rooms and suites, each with a unique character.
  • Features a gourmet restaurant, a courtyard garden, and a historic ambiance.

The von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn (Tallinn):

  • A 4-star hotel located near Tallinn's Old Town and Toompea Hill.
  • Offers cosy rooms and suites with a blend of modern and historic elements.
  • Features a wellness centre, a garden terrace, and a unique atmosphere.

Pädaste Manor (Muhu Island):

  • A historic 5-star manor hotel on Muhu Island, just off the coast of Estonia.
  • Offers luxurious rooms, suites, and private cottages in a picturesque setting.
  • Features gourmet dining, a spa, and various outdoor activities.

Padise Manor (Padise):

  • A 4-star manor hotel set in a medieval monastery complex in the Estonian countryside.
  • Offers comfortable rooms and suites in a historic setting.
  • Features a restaurant, a spa, and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Getting Around

Travelling around Estonia is relatively easy and there are a variety of transportation options to suit your preferences. Here's a guide to help you navigate transportation within the country:

  • Buses: Buses are the primary mode of public transportation between cities and towns. They are well-connected, comfortable, and offer routes to both popular tourist destinations and remote areas.
  • Trains: Estonia's train network connects major cities like Tallinn, Tartu, and Narva. Trains are known for their comfort and scenic routes, particularly the Tallinn-Tartu line.
  • Trams and Trolleybuses: Tallinn has a modern tram network that's convenient for getting around the city. Trolleybuses also serve various routes.
  • Rental Cars: Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore Estonia's remote areas and smaller villages at your own pace. Major international car rental companies have offices in Tallinn and other major cities.
  • Bicycles: Estonia is known for being bicycle-friendly. Many cities and towns have dedicated cycle lanes, and cycling is a great way to explore both urban and rural areas. Some accommodations offer bicycle rentals, and bike tours are available in certain locations.
  • Ferries: Ferries connect the mainland to the islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu. They offer a scenic and unique travel experience, especially during the summer.
  • Domestic Flights: While Estonia is relatively small, there are domestic flights connecting Tallinn to the island of Saaremaa and other cities, which can save time if you're covering longer distances.
  • Taxis and Rideshares: Taxis are available in cities and towns. Rideshare services like Bolt and Uber operate in urban areas. Taxis are generally reliable, but make sure the metre is running and ask for an estimated fare before starting the ride.
  • Walking: Many cities and towns, especially Tallinn's Old Town, are pedestrian-friendly. Walking is an excellent way to explore historic areas and discover hidden gems.
  • Tourist Information Centers: Tourist information centres provide maps, guides, and information about local transportation options. They can assist you in planning your routes and itineraries.
  • Language and Signage: Most transportation information and signs are in Estonian, but in major tourist areas and transportation hubs, English-language signage is also common.

When planning your travels around Estonia, consider the distances between destinations, the modes of transportation available, and your preferences for exploring different regions. Public transportation is generally efficient and well-connected, making it a convenient option for most travellers.

Travel Themes Most Common for Estonia

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Local Cuisine

Estonian cuisine is a reflection of the country's history, geography, and cultural influences. It's characterised by simple yet flavourful dishes that often use local ingredients, including fish, game, potatoes, and various grains. Here are some traditional Estonian dishes and foods you should try during your visit:

  • Black Bread (Rukkileib): Dark, dense, and slightly sour rye bread is a staple in Estonian cuisine. It's often served with butter and cheese or as a base for open-faced sandwiches.
  • Kama: A traditional Estonian dish made from roasted and ground barley, rye, oat, and pea flours. It's mixed with buttermilk or kefir and often served as a porridge or dessert.
  • Mulgi Kapsad: A hearty dish of sauerkraut cooked with pork and barley, representing the traditional Mulgimaa region's cuisine.
  • Verivorst: Blood sausage made from pork blood and barley or other grains, seasoned with onions and spices. It's a popular dish during the Christmas season.
  • Hapukapsasupp: Sauerkraut soup with pork or sausages, often seasoned with bay leaves and black peppercorns.
  • Kartulipuder ja Klimbid: Mashed potatoes served with a topping of small boiled dough dumplings, often accompanied by a sauce or gravy.
  • Kiluvõileib: An open-faced sandwich made with black bread, butter, sprats, and onion rings. It's a popular and simple snack.
  • Räim (Baltic Herring): Herring is commonly enjoyed in various forms, including marinated, smoked, or fried.
  • Leivasupp: A sweet dessert soup made from black bread, dried fruits, and spices, often served cold.
  • Karask: A dense barley bread or flatbread that can be served sweet or savoury, often accompanied by butter and cheese.
  • Estonian Cheese: Estonia produces a variety of cheeses, including the popular "kohuke," a sweet curd snack covered in chocolate or powdered sugar.
  • Smoked Fish: Due to its coastal location, smoked fish such as salmon, trout, and eel are popular and delicious.
  • Marinated Mushrooms: Forests in Estonia provide an abundance of wild mushrooms, which are often marinated and enjoyed as a snack.
  • Sõir: A traditional Estonian cheese dish made from curdled milk, often mixed with fresh herbs and spices.
  • Local Beverages: Try local drinks like Kali (a fermented bread drink), Kama smoothies, and various herbal teas.

When dining in Estonia, don't miss the chance to explore both traditional and modern interpretations of the country's cuisine. Many restaurants offer contemporary twists on classic dishes, making the culinary experience in Estonia diverse and delightful.

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Festivals & Public Holidays

Estonia celebrates a variety of festivals and holidays that reflect its cultural heritage, traditions, and historical significance. Here are some of the most interesting:

  • Independence Day (Iseseisvuspäev): Celebrated on February 24th, this holiday marks Estonia's declaration of independence from Russia in 1918. It is a national holiday with various events, ceremonies, and cultural activities.
  • Midsummer Day (Jaanipäev): Celebrated on June 24th, Midsummer Day is one of the most important traditional holidays in Estonia. It marks the summer solstice and is celebrated with bonfires, singing, dancing, and traditional dishes.
  • Song Festival (Laulupidu): Held every five years in Tallinn, the Song Festival is a grand cultural event featuring choirs from all over Estonia singing traditional and contemporary songs. It's a symbol of Estonian identity and unity.
  • St. John's Day (Jaaniõhtu): Celebrated on June 23rd, this holiday is associated with Midsummer Day and involves traditional customs like lighting bonfires, dancing, and enjoying special foods.
  • Victory Day (Võidupüha): Celebrated on June 23rd, Victory Day commemorates the victory of the Estonian forces over the Baltic German Landeswehr in the War of Independence in 1919.
  • Christmas (Jõulud): Christmas is celebrated on December 24th and 25th with festive decorations, gatherings, and traditional foods. Many families attend church services and exchange gifts.
  • New Year's Day (Uusaasta): Celebrated on January 1st, New Year's Day marks the beginning of the year with fireworks, parties, and festive meals.
  • Easter (Ülestõusmispühad): Easter is celebrated with various traditions, including decorating eggs, attending church services, and enjoying special Easter foods.
  • Mardi Gras (Vastlapäev): Celebrated in February or early March, Mardi Gras is a pre-Lenten festival with traditional activities like sledding, eating sweet buns called "vastlakuklid," and dressing up in costumes.
  • Kalevipoeg Day: Celebrated on April 23rd, this day commemorates the national epic "Kalevipoeg." Various events and activities celebrate Estonian mythology and folklore.
  • Estonian Song and Dance Celebration: Held every five years, this event brings together thousands of singers and dancers from Estonia and beyond. It's a vibrant showcase of Estonian culture.
  • Rakvere Hanseatic Days: Held in Rakvere, this festival reenacts the medieval Hanseatic period with markets, performances, and historical reenactments.

These festivals and holidays provide a glimpse into Estonia's cultural richness, historical significance, and vibrant traditions. When planning your visit, consider timing your trip to coincide with these events to immerse yourself in the local culture and celebrations. Keep in mind that specific dates and events may vary from year to year, so it's a good idea to check the latest information before your trip.

When to Start Planning your Trip

Currency & Payment

The official currency of Estonia is the Euro (€).

  • Currency Exchange: You can exchange your currency for Euros at banks, currency exchange offices ("valuutavahetus" in Estonian), or at designated currency exchange kiosks found in major tourist areas. Banks generally offer competitive exchange rates.
  • ATMs: ATMs (known as "sularahaautomaat" in Estonian) are widely available in cities, towns, and tourist areas. You can withdraw Euros using your debit or credit card. Major credit and debit cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted at ATMs.
  • Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards are commonly accepted in shops, restaurants, hotels, and tourist establishments. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards. American Express and Diners Club cards might have more limited acceptance.
  • Contactless Payments: Contactless payment methods, including cards and mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, are widely used in Estonia. Many merchants have contactless payment terminals for quick and convenient transactions.
  • Cash Payments: While card payments are widely accepted, it's a good idea to carry some cash, especially in rural areas or smaller establishments where card acceptance might be limited. It's a good idea to carry some coins for small purchases and public transportation.
  • Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory in Estonia, as a service charge is usually included in bills. However, rounding up the bill or leaving a small tip for good service is appreciated. In tourist areas, it's more common to tip.
  • VAT Refund: Visitors from outside the European Union can often claim a refund of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on eligible purchases. Look for participating stores displaying the Tax-Free Shopping logo and follow the necessary procedures to claim your refund when leaving the country.
  • Banks and Opening Hours: Banks generally open from Monday to Friday and might have reduced hours on weekends. Larger cities and towns have more flexible banking hours, while smaller towns might have more limited hours of operation.
  • Currency Restrictions: There are no currency restrictions for entering or leaving Estonia if you're travelling within the European Union. However, if you're arriving from or departing to a non-EU country, you need to declare sums exceeding 10,000 Euros.


Estonia is a safe destination with a low crime rate. By using common sense, staying informed, and being respectful of local customs, you can enjoy a secure and memorable trip to this beautiful Baltic country.

Personal Belongings:

  • Keep your belongings, including passports, wallets, and electronics, secure at all times. Use hotel safes for valuable items.
  • Be cautious in crowded areas, as they can be potential spots for pickpockets.

Transportation Safety:

  • Choose well-lit and populated areas when using public transportation, especially at night.
  • Only use authorised taxi services or reputable rideshare apps like Bolt or Uber.

Nature Safety:

  • If you plan to explore natural areas or go hiking, inform someone about your plans and routes. Estonia's forests and coastal areas are generally safe, but basic precautions apply.

Emergency Services:

  • The emergency phone number in Estonia is 112. This number can be dialled for police, fire, medical, and other emergencies.

Local Laws and Customs:

  • Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs. Respect local traditions and cultural norms.

Digital Safety:

  • Estonia is known for its digital innovation, but take precautions with online transactions and public Wi-Fi usage. Use secure networks and avoid sharing sensitive information on public networks.

Weather Precautions:

  • If travelling during the colder months, be prepared for cold temperatures and changing weather conditions. Dress appropriately and check weather forecasts before heading out.

Visa & Immigration Rules

Estonia is part of the Schengen Area, which allows for passport-free travel between many European countries. The visa and immigration rules for EU citizens visiting Estonia are:

  • Visa Requirement: EU citizens, including citizens of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) member states, do not need a visa to enter Estonia for short stays (up to 90 days in a 180-day period). This applies to tourism, business, and family visits.
  • Valid Travel Document: EU citizens need a valid passport or national identity card to enter Estonia. The document should be valid for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Duration of Stay: EU citizens can stay in Estonia and the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The 180-day period is calculated backward from the day of each entry.
  • Health Insurance: While not a formal requirement, it's recommended to have valid health insurance that covers medical expenses during your stay in Estonia. EU citizens can also use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for emergency medical care.
  • Border Checks: While there are no routine passport checks within the Schengen Area, occasional spot checks might still be conducted at borders. Always carry your passport or national identity card with you.
  • Travel Advice: Before travelling to Estonia, it's a good idea to check the latest travel advisories and entry requirements from official sources, such as the website of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, your country's embassy in Estonia or your Tripedeo travel expert.

Health & Hygiene

Estonia generally maintains high health and hygiene standards, making it a safe and comfortable destination for travellers.

  • Medical Facilities: Estonia has modern medical facilities and a good healthcare system. Major cities like Tallinn and Tartu have well-equipped hospitals and clinics.
  • Travel Insurance: It's highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergencies. This ensures that you're financially protected in case of unexpected health issues.
  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): If you're an EU citizen, carry the EHIC to access necessary healthcare services during your visit. The EHIC allows you to receive medical treatment on the same terms as Estonian residents.
  • Pharmacies: Pharmacies, known as "apteek" in Estonian, are widely available in cities and towns. They offer a range of over-the-counter medications and healthcare products.
  • Tap Water: Tap water in Estonia is safe to drink and meets high hygiene standards. You can confidently drink tap water in most places.
  • Food Safety: Food hygiene standards in Estonia are generally high. However, follow common-sense precautions, such as eating at reputable restaurants, avoiding undercooked meats and seafood, and practising good hand hygiene.
  • Vaccinations: There are no specific vaccinations required for entering Estonia. However, it's advisable to ensure your routine vaccinations are up to date before travelling.
  • Personal Hygiene: Maintain good personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently, especially before meals and after using public transportation or visiting crowded areas.
  • Prescription Medications: If you're carrying prescription medications, make sure to bring an adequate supply for your trip and keep them in their original packaging.
  • Insect Protection: In the warmer months, especially in rural or forested areas, consider using insect repellent to protect against ticks and mosquitoes.
  • Sun Protection: If you're visiting during sunny periods, use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.

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