7 must-have Estonian experiences by Kerli

Source: Aron Urb

7 must-have Estonian experiences by Kerli

Source: Aron Urb

Written by:

KerliMusician 

These activities will give you a taste of the best Estonia has to offer, including health and wellness for the body and mind. 

Sauna

It is no coincidence that sauna plays a huge part in our culture, as it is as healing and cleansing for the spirit as it is for the body. Back in the old days, sauna was the place of childbirth as well as the place where people went to die. In the more modern days, Estonians freak out when they don't get to visit the sauna at least once a week. We take our sweet time during the Sunday sauna, using "kaseviht", a bundle of birch branches with which we beat the body to eliminate toxins, to give ourselves or each other a massage of sorts. The sauna is especially epic if you find one with a body of water near it - you sit in the sauna until you can't take the heat anymore and jump into the cold water right after. Orgasmic is the word that comes to mind. A must-try when in Estonia!

Camping

When visiting Estonia, pack a tent and some sleeping bags, get a rental car and go explore the nature which is always free and open. You can basically put your tent up anywhere in the country and we even have little shelters built in the forests where people can spend the night. You can have a romantic, starlit picnic on some of the more remote beaches with some nice wine (no annoying rangers or laws against it) and fall asleep right there. I used to hate camping as a kid but I have found a whole new appreciation for how accessible the nature in Estonia is as an adult.

Free to roam

There are free campgrounds in many of Estonia's nature reserves and national parks.   

Photo by: Sven Zacek

Laulupidu - Estonian song and dance celebration

Imagine more than 30,000 singers performing stunning national music to more than 80,000 listeners. This is basically what this event is all about. It is held every 5 years, with the tradition dating back to 1869. Choirs and dance groups all over the country rehearse the songs and dances independently all year to be a part of this epic experience. Music plays a very important role in our culture in general - so much so that during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians formed a singing, human chain spanning the three Baltic countries to declare their independence.

Estonian song and dance festival 

Without a doubt, the largest cultural event in Estonia, gathering people from across the country and the globe. 

Photo by: Jarek Jõepera

Berry and mushroom picking 

You know the old days when berries and mushrooms didn't only grow in plastic boxes on the shelves of supermarkets? In Estonia, it's so easy to teleport back in time and go harvesting some of nature's finest from any forest. In the summertime, any woodsy area (which is basically 51% of the country) is filled with blueberries, raspberries, wild strawberries and mushrooms. What better way to get your vitamins? Plus it's free. Plus it tastes otherworldly. Plus it's probably the cleanest food your lips will ever touch.

Sunrise in the bog

I really think that the sunrises in Estonia are special, especially if you witness them in the nature, like in a bog. There's mist, quirky plants and magic all around. I am usually more of a sunset person but I do make an effort to experience sunrises every time I'm back home.

Golden mornings 

Approximately one fifth of Estonia is covered by bogs, which should make it easy to find one to spend a morning in. 

Photo by: Sven Zacek

Medieval Old Town Tallinn

The ancient burial grounds, churches and fortresses are sprinkled all over the country but the best way to see some old stuff in a more confined way is to visit the Medieval Old Town in Tallinn. Dating back as far as the 11th century, it is beautifully preserved with grandiose buildings and cobblestone streets, making it a really nice all-day destination for shopping, authentic meals and architecture viewing.

Beauty services

Believe me when I say there is no better place in the world for getting pretty than Estonia. The beauty services in most salons are insanely high quality and insanely cheap. I always pamper myself with hair extensions, nails and facials when I'm there.

Last updated : 29.03.2017

In category: History & Culture, Nature & Wildlife

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