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Not many people I have met have been to Estonia. This is a shame because the country is amazing.  The country has found a fantastic balance between modern technology, history, and nature.

I highly suggest adding Estonia to your bucket list and here is why!

10 Reasons to Add Estonia to Your Bucket List

Landscape Rules

  Estonia Bog

When people picture Northern Europe, they tend to envision barren tundra’s coated in thick layers of ice, or the fjord lands of Norway. However, Estonia’s landscape is vastly different. Something people don’t realize about Estonia is how much diversity there is throughout the countryside.   For example, during the sunny seasons in Estonia are lush.

Imagine dense green woods and flat grasslands stretching over the horizon. The sounds of waves crashing along the sandy shore of the endless coastline, as you stare out at the small islands in the ocean. These are just a few of the splendid treasures that Estonia’s landscape holds.

This experience makes Estonia a clear choice for those who would rather spend their vacation in nature and untouched landscape. I promise you the more time you spend outdoors in Estonia, the greater the chance you’ll never want to leave this incredible country.

The locals genuinely respect their land.  A good starting point for an adventure in Estonia is by checking out one of the 5 national parks.

Estonia National Parks are

  • Lahemaa
  • Kõrvemaa
  • Soomaa
  • Matsalu
  • Vilsandi

Personally, visiting all 5 is on my Estonia bucket list.

Estonia Isn’t Flooded with Tourist.

Visiting countries like France and Italy is a staple of any trip to Europe. However, sometimes it’s nice to venture away from the cramped crowds, and long lines. Get more value for your time by venturing into the lesser known countries.

A perk of visiting countries like Estonia is that you get to experience Europe without the hustle and bustle some of the touristy places in Europe.

A person could even argue that you experience more “real” Europe because the country hasn’t been affected by tourism as much. Estonia is real, and while picking up in popularity, retains its charm.

The Architecture

The Architecture Building Estonia

All across the country are Cathedrals and Churches that are hundreds of years old. Let’s take a look at some of the most remarkable architecture in Estonia.

 Rakvere Castle – This well-preserved castle is over 800 years old. It has a deep history and has stood the test of time from the Danish Kings, Knights, and even monks have called this castle home.  Today you can walk around the towers and walls of the landmark for free and there are a lot of fun events such as horse backpack riding, archery, and making your own coins.

If you are headed to picturesque Lahemaa national park, then Rakvere should be a stop on your way!

Haapsalu – From beautiful stone towers, buildings, and city walls you can’t help but admire the buildings in this small seaside town.  The town has well-preserved building dating back almost 800 years. This makes it one best place to enjoy the architecture of Haapsalu.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – This cathedral was built in the 1300’s and is a site that shouldn’t be missed in Estonia. Another example is Olaf’s Church. At the top of this tower you can see a stunning 360 degree view of Tallinn.  This church is over 400 years old and was once the tallest building in the world. Pretty cool right?

Song Festival

Song Music Festival Estonia

Music festival lovers will want to pay a visit to the impressive Song Music Festival. It’s so special I doubt it there is anything else like it across Europe. The festival features various choirs and member from all over. These choirs perform on their own and in large groups to over 80,000 people in attendance.

Music is a massive part of Estonia culture. Witnessing the upbeat songs and atmosphere that can only be brought from a quirky and fun that embodies the Song music festival is an experience you won’t want to miss.

The Cities

estonia-cities

Cities like Tallinn might not have the famous monuments of some its other peers. But it is a city you shouldn’t underestimate.   Tallinn has the most well preserved medieval town in Northern Europe. Standing in the city square is the Old Town Hall. This impressive 13th-century building is the oldest town hall across the Baltic and Scandinavian regions of Europe. It is a prime example of Gothic architecture is one of the most beautiful town halls in all of Europe.

Another area of Tallinn you cannot miss is the famed wooden districts like Kalamaja.  It is easy to fall in love wandering past these colorful wooden houses or lose yourself in vibrant bohemian cafes, theaters and restaurants.

If you are like me the stone cobbled streets, medieval town centers, and old churches will have you swooning.

Estonia might have the world renowned sights like the Eiffel Tower, or Colosseum. However, they are special in their own right and win travelers over.

The Price

I’m a big fan of saving money while not having to limit my experiences while traveling. This is why I love getting off the beaten path. Estonia is a great country because there are a lot of adventures for travelers without destroying your bank balance. Choosing to spend your time in Estonia will cost you a lot less than some of its European counterparts.

The Culture

10 Reasons to Add Estonia to Your Bucket List

Estonians are very proud of their culture and history. National pride runs deep throughout the country.

For example, look the century-old tradition of Seto Singing. This singing tradition is centuries old and famed singers we able to remember 20,000 rhymes and songs. This tradition is a way to pass memories and stories to the future of the country.

A perfect place to experience Estonia’s rich culture is Kihnu Island. This small island off the west coast has a population of fewer than 700. Because they have remained so small, they have kept living by traditional ways of life. They still use old looms and make their bright and vibrant clothes by hand. Kihnu is like taking a time machine to the past and experiencing Estonia’s old culture.

A cool thing about the cities in Estonia is that everything is connected. Everything from elections to healthcare is online.

While everything in Estonia is connected, they have not forgotten their past. Many Estonia’s still live a simple life. They go out to pick their own mushrooms and berries. Many locals use natural remedies when feeling ill instead of taking pills or heading to a pharmacy. Estonia’s have a deep respect for the land, history, and traditions making the country feel very special and unique.

It is worth it to add Estonia to your bucket list just to immerse yourself in the wonderful culture.

Kiiking

Estonia invented a sport that gives me flashbacks to my childhood on the playground.

If you were like me as a kid, I would always try to swing as high as possible in the hopes of making a loop around the entire swingset.  Estonians must have felt the same as me and invented Kiiking. The essence of Kiiking is a massive swing with long poles in which you try to loop around the entire thing.

Adventure

estonia-adventure

For adventure junkies like myself, Estonia has some great choices. Take a retro safari through the scenic landscape and small villages, explore the rocky coastline by boat, or test your limits at the adventure park. Estonia is waiting to give you an adrenaline rush.

The Wildlife

Estonia’s have always held a reverence for the land. Even today 50% percent of the country is thick forest.

It is easy to see why Estonia is a land that calls to nature lovers. The landscape of sea, woods, and marshes not only makes from breathtaking views but also for an exotic mixture of wildlife.  A few of these animals include wolves, lynxes, bears, beavers, flying squirrels, elk and several bird species.

Estonia is often an underrated country. However, don’t let that fool you. The country is welcoming and friendly. Estonia has a great balance between nature, cities, and adventures. These are just a few reasons Estonia should be on your bucket list.

This post was brought to you by VisitEstonia but all opinions are my own.

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