Visit Estonia: Between the Baltic sea and the Nordic countries
A small country full of charm, surrounded by the Baltic sea and very close to different places as Saint Petersburg or Finland: Estonia has also an interesting history behind: The only country that gained the independence of Soviet Union singing, celebrates every four years a unique event, called Laulupidu, in where more than twenty thousand people sing and dance together to rememorize this date.
If you are planning to visit Estonia, maybe the first place in where you go can be the capital, Tallinn. The main touristic attraction here is the old town, one of the middle age cities best persevered in Europe! Walking around her streets is like walking around a fairy tale! You can surround the walls and medieval towers till arrive to the main spot in the centre: the town hall square, Raekoja Plats: Full of terraces and cafes during the summer, host also an interesting Christmas market during the winter! In one of her restaurants, Draakon, you can taste the traditional reindeer soup in a Middle age environment.
Also in this square the oldest pharmacy in Europe is located. Set up in the XV century, the Raeapteek has an interesting museum in where you can discover the strangest medicines used in old times with a free entrance!
Then, you can take a walk by Viru Street, full of souvenirs and handicraft shops, or you can climb by Pikk Jalg Street and arrive to the main Russian orthodox cathedral Alexander Nevski. In that area, you can admire the best views of the city and the harbour by the Patkuli Platform. From there, you can take wonderful pictures of the city crowned by the tower of Saint Olav´s church, the tallest tower in Tallinn.
If after sightseeing in old town you have time to visit something else, you should go to Kumu art museum. Located in the biggest green space in Tallinn, Kadrioru Park, this museum offers an interesting contemporary art collection. In fact, in 2008, Kumu received the European Museum of the Year Award. Did you know that with your European Youth Card you can get the cheapest ticket for only 1.60 Euros? I think is more than worth it, isn´t it?
Besides this, if you want to visit Tallinn with a local tourist guide, you can attend to the free walking tour that departs every day from the tourist information office at 12 AM. For a little tip you can listen here in English the most interesting anecdotes and stories of the different spots at the city.
But Estonia is not only Tallinn. If you are interested in medieval architecture, don´t let to visit the city of Rakvere with her medieval castle or the city of Viljandi, with the ruins of the Livonian Castle and the Folk Music Festival, the largest annual music festival in Estonia, held during the month of July.
If you come to Estonia during the summer, apart from pass by this festival in Viljandi, be sure to visit Pärnu, a city well known for her beaches. Close to this town you have also interesting spots to visit as Kihnu Island or Soomaa National Park, in where you can canoeing or explore amazing wild places!
And finally, if you consider yourself as a young person, don´t forget to visit Tartu, the second city in Estonia and also the capital of students. Tartu has a wonderful old town full of sculptures, as the monument to Oscar Wilde or the well known sculpture of kissing students in the main square. You should also pass by the University of Tartu, the oldest university in Estonia, founded in 1632 and take a picture to show your friends at the main building!
To summarize, a lot of things to do and see in this small and charming country, choices for all tastes: sightseeing, beaches, music, sports or culture...are you still hesitating to visit Estonia?