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A lot of people like travelling through Europe and exploring it. France, Germany, Spain, Italy – all of them are regulars on the travel map. However, their popularity makes other smaller countries less favourable, even though these places, too, have so much to offer and are equal in beauty. Estonia, for example, is one those lesser known countries.
Situated on the shore of the Baltic sea, and surrounded by its Finnish and Russian neighbours, Estonia is tiny, but full of interesting bits and pieces. You could come here for history, nature, and even technology – if you didn’t know, Estonia is nicknamed e-Estonia, but more about this later on.
Even though it is a part of old Europe, the country is not that affected by mass tourism. There are tourists, but not as much as in France, for example. You can easily walk around, and there is no waiting in long lines to see the main sites. For this reason, Estonia is the perfect choice. There is nothing better than leisurely strolling through the streets, on your own terms, and quietly enjoying the place. This is definitely one of the reasons to head to Estonia, and the following article will offer you even more.
Explore the Medieval Old Town of Tallinn
Estonia has a rich and diverse history. Up until their independence in 1991, they were always under a foreign domination. The Estonians were ruled by the Swedes, Danes, Russians and Germans. These changes resulted in a culturally diverse population, as well as architecture. All through the country, and especially in the capital, Tallinn, you can witness these historical remains.
For example, the most popular location in the capital would have to be the Old Town. It was built in the medieval times and has remained the same ever since. You could wander around the small alleys and streets, being surrounded by historical buildings which have all kept their original looks. Moreover, visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was built in the Russian revival style. Other places worth seeing are the Town Hall Square, St Catherine’s Passage and Toompea Castle.
When it comes to getting around the city, going with public transport is always a nice solution, or you could even get a cab, rent a car or, if you are travelling in a bigger group, rent a van in Tallinn. For distant travel, busses are the best option.
Visit the open natural spaces
More than half of the country is covered in forests. Also, they have a lot of water surfaces such as bogs, in addition to having access to the sea. Estonians have always been fond of nature and have a close connection to it. For example, the oak tree is considered sacred. Additionally, they have fine national parks and numerous natural reserves. Obviously, the people take care of their land.
One of the most popular activities for tourists, and especially adventurists, is going on a hike in a bog. Viru Bog is really popular because of its beauty, and it being one of the most accessible bogs in the country. You could go on an organised tour, with experienced guides.
It is a super connected country
Estonia was the first country to introduce online voting and the vast majority of the population does banking online. They are really tech savvy with free Wi-Fi all over the country. You could even get connected while on the bus or a ferry. Moreover, the people are very open to technology, with a vast number of startups and investments. For instance, Skype and Hotmail were created by Estonians.
The country is clear proof that a lot can happen in just about 20 years. They went from foreign rule to independence, to being a modern, digital society. Estonia should be a lesson to the rest of the world on how to develop a country.
Hopefully, these reasons would be enough to make you visit Estonia during your next vacation. There is a lot this northern country has to offer, and you should see it all. It would be a pity to miss out on something as enjoyable as Estonia.
Nemanja is an enthusiastic researcher and avid writer with interests ranging from martial arts, weight loss, fitness and cooking, to interpersonal communication, motivation, technology and productivity. When he’s not busy reading or training, he scribbles a few articles at MyCity-Web and tries to get around to writing a short story.