Today I’d like to take you on a virtual trip to one of the European countries. I’ve teamed up with Kuba, the blogger behind Sądecki Włoczykij. Kuba is a Polish expat discovering and enjoying the beautiful country of Estonia. He has created the list of 10 amazing places (exclusively for you!) and experiences to live in Estonia.
Estonia is a small, beautiful country in north-eastern Europe. It is located between Latvia and Russia and considered as one of the Baltic States. Estonia has long and difficult history, which nowadays we can explore in many places. Moreover, it has extraordinary wild nature with vast swamps and wetlands. Let me introduce you to the 10 places that are worth visiting in this amazing country.
One of the coziest town you can image. Viljandi is located in southern Estonia, near the Viljandi lake. Founded as Hanzeatic city, today it has a very unique, specific atmosphere. The ruins of the castle from medieval-times, old St. John’s Church from XV century, plenty of small, wooden houses and cozy, stone streets make this town one of the most beautiful in Estonia. Viljandi is also considered as Estonian capital of folk music. Every year in July, Viljandi Folk Music Festival is organized, which is the biggest event of this kind in all Baltic region. If you are a fan of good music, history and art, you should definitely visit Viljandi.
It is the second biggest city in Estonian with around 100 thousand people living in. Tartu is famous for the university founded by the Polish king Stefan Batory the 16th century. Today you can see a lot of students hanging out in the city, relaxing in the parks or spending their evenings in the bars. One weekend is enough to see and feel the ambience of the city and enjoy all the attractions: ruins of the gothic cathedra, Town Hall square or National Museum of Estonia. When you come to Tartu, do not forget about Werner Café – they serve the best coffee in the city!
3. Old Town in Tallinn
The capital of Estonia has a lot of to offer, but the old town is definitely the most amazing place to visit. Its unique atmosphere as in the medieval times encourages to visit and attracts plenty of tourists. Sometimes you may feel that it is overcrowded, but don’t worry, the old town is full of silent, tiny streets and filled with cozy cafes and restaurants and stylish buildings. Just be careful about your wallet, because prices are quite high.
(Pssst, did you know that public transport is FREE in the capital of Estonia?? Note added by Bewildered Slavica.)
4. Soomaa National Park
Estonia is the country with third biggest percentage of wetlands in the world (after Canada and Finland). Soomaa National Park is the best place to see huge bogs and swamps. In winter most of them are frozen, but in spring, when snow melts, all the surface is covered with water. It looks amazing, just like a big lake. The most popular time for visiting is summer, when temperature is pretty high and the sun is shining much longer. If you like wild nature, taiga forest and wooden paths over the swamps, come to Soomaa!
5. Peipsi lake
Fifth biggest lake and the biggest transborder lake in Europe. This wonder of nature remains frozen for half a year from November to May. In the summer it is the best place to relax on the sandy beach, walk among the highest cliffs in Estonia or to try fishing. Peipsi lake is also the natural border between Estonia and Russia. It is so huge lake, that you can’t see another side. The most convenient places for tourist to visit are Kallaste and Mustvee – small towns in eastern Estonia.
6. Castle in Narva
Narva is a very characteristic city because of its location and inhabitants. Over 90% of population are Russians. Narva is located near the Russian border. On the river bank you can observe on both sides two monumental castles from Livonian times. One of them is on Estonian side in Narva, second – in the Russian Ivangorod. This city is perfect for fans of medieval history, plus if you want to practice your Russian, come to Narva!
7. Border in Valga
Valga is an interesting town divided between two countries: Estonia and Latvia. It was divided in 1920, when both countries became independent. Nowadays there are three nationalities: Estonians, Latvians and Russians. The border in town is located between private houses, next to the petrol station and behind the shopping centre. Seems interesting? Come to Valga to experience this intercultural atmosphere of the town.
8. Countryside in Suure-Jaani
If you are tired of noise and big city life, you should come to Suure-Jaani. This town in the heart of Estonia is perfect for relax in quite, countryside atmosphere. I encourage you to visit old lutheran church, walk among the streets of wooden traditional houses or to hike around the lake in the town. After a day full of adventures you may chill in one of a few cafes, drink coffee, taste traditional Estonian dishes and forget about everything.
9. Aegvidu winter trails
Estonia is considered as the perfect country for cross-skiing. Aegvidu is called “winter capital of cross-skiing”. It is totally true, because you will find tens of kilometers of nature trails. In winter they are full of skiers and in the summer of hiking tourists. Village is located only 50 kilometers from Tallinn and you can come by train as the connection between the cities is very good. Wild taiga, plenty of snow and everything located in the middle of nowhere. Who wouldn’t like to experience adventure in Aegvidu?
10. Frozen Baltic Sea
Did you ever walk on the frozen sea? The Baltic Sea seems to be the best opportunity to do this in the winter. In Parnu, city in the south-western Estonia, the bay if frozen for countless weeks and you can enjoy a long hiking tour on the sea. You can feel like in the middle of Arctic Sea and think that you go to reach the North Pole!
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