Northern Europe only has one A-category film festival, in the leagues of those in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Warsaw, and it is the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Screening over 250 feature films and 250 shorts in late November each year, this event should be on any film lover’s list.
Age-old ingredients, totally new flavours
Estonian food, though it shares some common elements with Russian, German and Eastern European cuisine, combines traditional ingredients and imaginative cooking techniques to create a distinct style.
Estonians’ love affair with black rye bread goes back at least 7,000 years, but just like their mysterious language, they are happy to teach anyone about it who is interested. Grab some friends and learn how to bake black bread in one of the many workshops offered across the country! Or if you prefer something more 21st century, visit a new-age drink producer like Nudist winery, which uses quirky ingredients like rhubarb and white currants to make their bubbly.
The tastiest time of year to go hiking in Estonia is the late summer or early autumn when you can forage wild blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cloudberry, and golden chantarelles mushrooms. Dishes in restaurants during this time also revolve around these star seasonal ingredients, and menus generally change throughout the year based on what is fresh.
A taste of adventure
With some of the cleanest air in the world according to a 2018 WHO report, it’s no wonder that Estonians have found countless different ways to spend time outside. Starting close to Tallinn, you can sail to the nearby islands of Naissaar or Aegna for a picnic. The coast is also a great place for birdwatching; 380 bird species can be spotted throughout the year, making Estonia one of the top three birdwatching destinations in Europe.
Former industrial landscapes make for some of Estonia’s most popular sports attractions, like the manmade hill at Kiviõli Adventure Park, which has been transformed into a downhill ski park in winter and a 700-metre-long zip line in summer. Nearby, you can also explore a kilometre’s worth of tunnels at the Estonian Mining Museum in Kohtla-Nõmme. Rummu Quarry, another former mine and prison, is now submerged in crystal-clear water and a magnet for scuba divers.