Introduction to Estonia

Introduction to Estonia

Source: Jaanus Siim

Estonia connects the dots between Scandinavia, Central Europe and what lies to the east

Hop over!

You can fly, sail, ride or drive to Estonia from anywhere in Europe. Located in northeastern Europe, this small coastal country is a short ferry trip away from Finland and Sweden, a coach ride away from such European capitals as Warsaw and Berlin, and an overnight train from Saint Petersburg will land you at the heart of Tallinn. Tallinn airport and ferry port are both located in close vicinity to the city centre making short city breaks extremely convenient.

A popular way to visit Tallinn for the first time is to take a daytrip from Helsinki, with the ferry trip averaging up to 2 hours per leg.

Photo by:  Nordica, Visit Estonia Flickr

Estonia's capital Tallinn is the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe


Estonia's UNESCO world heritage capital city Tallinn was granted city rights in the 13th century by the King of Denmark. Since then, the streets of Tallinn have seen many world's powers, from the Danes and Swedes to Germans, and tsarist and Soviet Russia. Tallinn Old Town is filled with medieval houses and alleyways and is still protected by the remnants of the city wall. The wealth of architecture in Tallinn means that there are many legends and stories to explore. In addition to the city's medieval core, new revamped areas such as Noblessner, Telliskivi, and Rotermann are popping up at lightspeed, offering even more cool architecture to explore.

Photo by: Kaupo Kalda, Visit Estonia

Estonia speaks well as English, Russian, Finnish and German

No barriers...

Estonians tend to be at least bilingual, and according to recent studies, are among the best English speakers in Europe. There's an ongoing joke that many visitors tend to think that Estonians speak elvish. This magical sounding language is iin fact Estonian, belonging to the Finno Ugric branch of European languages. While the millennials tend to speak 2 languages fluently on average, the older generation of Estonians are often fluent in Finnish and Russian in addition to English and Estonian.

Photo by: Nieminen

Estonia is about 50% forest

Where the wild things are

Estonians love their forests, bogs and all the creatures that live there such as lynxes, brown bears, wolves, foxes, rabbits and deers. It's right to say that Estonians come with a tree hugging trait. In the spring and autumn time, birdwatching is an extremely popular pastime attracting both humans and vertebrates from all over the world.

Photo by: Jürgen Voolaid, Visit Estonia

Estonia has a population of just 1.3 million but is larger than Denmark and Holland

Stretch out and relax

Being among the least densely populated countries in Europe, Estonia makes for a great nature and city break destination for those looking to stretch out their limbs and enjoy some peace and solitude. In the recent five years, immigration has been driving a subtle population growth year by year.

Photo by: Kristjan Lust

Estonia has over 2000 islands

Roots deep within

Estonia is the only Baltic country with far-stretching and deep rooted island culture. Although mostly uninhabited, Estonian islands tend to be rural, with some holding traces of local Viking and medieval culture. Estonia's islands used to be populated by Estonian Swedes, many of whom left the region in the II WW, leaving behind a wealth of culture visible to this day.

Photo by: Mariann Liimal, Visit Estonia

Estonian Song Celebration dates back to 1869, attracting thousands of singers in every 5 years

The singing nation

Estonian Song and Dance Celebration is the local signature event and a reason why Estonians are often referred to as the "singing nation". The uniqueness of this mesmerising event has even earned the song and dance celebration a place at UNESCO's prestigious list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Photo by: Jelena Rudi

Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world

Architectural heritage

While Estonia has a great range of historical churches, only over a quarter of the population are affiliated with a particular religion, with Lutheranism being most prevalent among Estonians in particular.

Photo by: Alari Teede

Estonia is a digital society


From voting to signing documents online, Estonia implements hassle free and modern approach to running one's errands. This means less bureaucracy, while adding more transparency and efficiency in some vital sectors such as healthcare and education. Estonia is the first e-government in the world and offers e-residency to people from all over the world. Some of the recipients of Estonian e-residency include Angela Merkel and Barack Obama. 

Last updated : 03.11.2020