Old destination with a youthful glow

Source: Veiko Vaikmaa

Old destination with a youthful glow

Written by:

Piret Saar

While the name might sound new to the ear, Estonia has been around for quite a while and has been enjoyed by nobles from neighbouring kingdoms as a holiday destination since the dawn of holiday travel. These days, Estonia is equally loved by backpackers, families with children and those looking for a touch of luxury in the wild.

Tchaikovsky's Haapsalu

Haapsalu resort town

Haapsalu has been a popular health and wellness destination for over a century.

Photo by: Toomas Tuul

The world-famous Russian composer Pjotr Tchaikovsky stayed in Haapsalu in 1867. While here, he loved to stroll along the coastal town's promenade to watch the sunrise from the shore and marvel the swans. Inspired by an Estonian folk song heard in the town, he developed the melody for his famous VI Symphony. The first notes of the tune are also carved into the dolomite memorial bench equipped with a technical solution allowing you to listen to the composer's music and information related to him. More than a century later, you will continue to hear stories of local and international artists visiting Haapsalu to gather thoughts and inspiration, including musicians such as the legendary Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin for example.

Peter's Kadriorg

Kadriorg park is the marvelled jewel of Estonia's capital Tallinn. Aristocratic yet cosy by nature, here you will find a large manicured park dotted with baroque architecture. The construction of the Kadriorg Palace was commenced by the Tsar Peter the Great of Russia in 1718. It was named Kadriorg (in German Catharinenthal) in honour of his wife Catherine I and its abundantly decorated main hall is one of the most exquisite examples of baroque architecture both in Estonia and in northern Europe. Surrounded with fountains, hedges and flowerbeds, Kadriorg was planned after the model of Versailles and served as an imperial summer residence. Soon the word spread, and Tallinn grew to be a popular summer resort of the 19th century. Today, the palace welcomes visitors as Art Museum of Estonia and has hosted several high profile guests such as the U.S president Barack Obama in September 2014.

Modern day Estonia offers a range of inspiration to different types of travellers, from urban dwellers, history enthusiasts to nature wanderers

The youthful glow

"Easy to explore, there are plenty of quaint historical points, but the place is also brimming with an underbelly of hipness. One moment you're dwarfed by an imposing Russian-style Orthodox church, next you're having coffee in a cool Scandi-style café before heading round the corner only to find a super cool indoor pop-up market. Once you've experienced Tallinn, you're only an hour away from the wild coastline and endless picture-perfect Christmas tree forests that make up so much of this country."

Photo by: Siiri Kumari

Photos by: Kaarel Mikkin, Piret Saar

Last updated : 22.04.2021

In category: West Estonia, History & culture