The beach huts, changing cabins and showers along Pirita Beach on the Gulf of Finland are covered with advertising posters. The sunbathers have long since become accustomed to the market economy and consumer culture. After independence in 1991, the former Soviet republic quickly became part of the European Community and in 2004 the country joined the EU. Estonia was an independent state until 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union. Before that, several countries and kingdoms fought over the territory, including Denmark.
See trips to Estonia
Population: 1.3 million
Estonia was the first country in the world to make it possible to vote via the internet? It was the year 2005.
In the Estonian capital Tallinn, is it free for city residents to use public transport? Visitors, on the other hand, have to pay for the bus ticket.
Estonia has for many years been under Swedish, Danish, German and Russian domination. It is said, among other things, that the Danish flag, Dannebrogen, fell from the skies during the Battle of Lindanäs in 1219 and marked the victory for the Danish king Valdemar II. The Danes still celebrate this today on Election Day on 15 June every year. For many Swedes, Swedish history and Estonia are still synonymous with Charles XII’s victory at Narva in 1700, but our common ties go back further than that. The first Swedes probably settled on the west coast of Estonia as early as the 12th century.
During the Swedish great power era, both the northern part of Livonia and Estonia belonged to Sweden when the Swedish empire was at its greatest. In 1632, Sweden’s second university (after Uppsala 1477) in Estonian Tartu was inaugurated. King Gustaf II Adolf ordered his former teacher to plan for a university in Tartu. The king himself was preoccupied with the Thirty Years’ War and never got to Tartu. He fell into the fog in Lützen, just a few weeks after the inauguration. From a Soviet perspective, Estonia was a Soviet republic from 1945-1991 when Estonia declared its independence, which was quickly recognized by several states, including the Soviet Union. However, it took another two years for the last Soviet (Russian) troops to withdraw.
400,000 of Estonia’s 1.3 million inhabitants live in the capital Tallinn, whose name is a contraction of Taani and Linn, which means “Danish city” or “city of the Danes”. Tallinn is located in the southern part of the Gulf of Finland in northern Estonia. The city stretches around Rakeoja Plats – Rådhusplatsen – with a Gothic town hall, crowded cafés and street musicians on double bass and brass instruments. Tallinn’s old town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of Europe’s most well-preserved neighborhoods. In addition to the City Hall, you can also visit the old Town Hall Pharmacy – Raeapteek – which has been located here since 1422 and is thus one of the world’s oldest, today operating pharmacies. Above the old town is Toompea – Domberget – on a large limestone hill with a number of beautiful and historically interesting buildings such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn Cathedral and Domberget Castle, Toompea Loss, with the large defense tower Pikk Herman´. Here is also the old noble palace Stenbock’s house, which today serves as the Prime Minister’s workplace. A stone’s throw away is the Danish king’s garden.
Estonia’s time under the Soviet Union has left its mark on Tallinn, including in the form of the former KGB headquarters at Pikk tänav and the large television tower near Pirita, which extends 314 meters into the air. The tower was built in connection with the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980. From a 170 meter high viewing platform, visitors can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Estonian capital. Beautiful views can also be obtained in the Oleviste Church or St. Olai Church in the central parts of Tallinn. In Kadriorg Park just outside the central part of Tallinn, there are more Soviet heirlooms with the giant arch on the festival site and the beautiful Kadriorg Palace – both park and palace are designed by Peter the Great as a declaration of love for his wife Katarina I.
Estonia’s other attractions
Also visit the open-air museum Rocca al Mare with its old country houses and the 725 m2 large Lahemaa National Park 50 kilometers east of the capital. Here you will find old mansions, archeological finds from old settlements and a rich flora with over 700 different species. Also visit other parts of Estonia – head west to the old city of Pärnu which winds all the way to the Baltic Sea, northeastern Estonia with the old Danish city of Rakvere and the charming university town of Tartu in southeastern Estonia, which with its 100,000 inhabitants is the country’s second largest.
According to top-medical-schools, Estonia is an extremely convenient holiday destination; with Tallinn as a starting point, it is easy to visit this new of the new EU country as well as Denmark’s old possessions. Also visit the Knights’ Castle in Kuressaare, which was in Danish hands for almost 100 years until Christian IV had to get rid of it after the costly war against the Swedes.
Here you will find practical information in connection with trips to Estonia
- Language: Estonian
- Capital: Tallinn
- Population: 1, 3 million
- Religion: Different forms of Christianity
- Currency: Euro
- Surface: 45,000 km2
Estonia is one hour before Swedish time.
On Albatros Travel’s round trips in Estonia, we usually use a chartered bus. The buses in Estonia are basically the same level as we are used to from Sweden.
If you use public transport in Tallinn, you should know that the city’s own residents do not have to pay anything to travel in the inner city, while the city’s visitors must buy a ticket.
The price level in Estonia is lower than in Sweden. A meal at an average restaurant costs around SEK 150 and a cup of coffee at a café around SEK 20.
On round trips where half board or other meals are included in the price of the trip, you are normally responsible for the drinks yourself.
In restaurants, you normally round the bill up or add 5–10 percent in tips. Hotel staff, taxi drivers and others also appreciate if you express your appreciation. Of course, tipping is always voluntary.
For cruises, other rules apply, see the special program for your trip.
Currency and credit cards
The currency in Estonia is the euro. You can switch both from home and in Estonia. The standard credit cards can be used as a means of payment almost everywhere. In all cities there are ATMs where you can withdraw cash.
In Estonia, 230 V / 50 Hz is used. The connectors are of the same type as we use in Sweden, so it is not necessary to bring an adapter.
Telephone and internet
Estonia’s international country code is +372. It can be expensive to call home and use the internet via mobile phone, so feel free to check with your own mobile operator for coverage and call prices from Estonia. Almost all hotels, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, etc. have wireless internet that you can use. Usually it is free. Internet cafes are not so common in Estonia, but occur in larger cities.
In Estonia, the toilets are much like in Sweden. It may still be wise to carry hand sanitizer in your bag.
Customs and traditions
Estonians are mentally basically on the same wavelength as Swedes and it is not difficult to get around the country.
During flight and transport, there is an absolute ban on smoking. As in Sweden, smoking is not allowed indoors in public places unless there is a special smoking room.
Climate and weather Estonia
Here you can read about Estonia’s climate and weather. See, among other things, temperatures for Tallinn.
Estonia is located right on the border between the mainland climate zone and the coastal climate zone. Winds from the Baltic Sea and currents from the Atlantic give fairly mild winters with an average temperature of between -1 and -5 degrees in February, which is the coldest month of the year. July is the warmest month and offers an average temperature of about 20 degrees.