A Melting Pot of Cultural Influences

Estonia sits within the Baltic Sea EU macro-region, which also includes Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Estonia’s culture features Balkan, Western European, Scandinavian and Eastern European influences. And as a former member of the Soviet Bloc, it is no surprise that Russia, which borders the country to the east, has left its mark here too.

Historic attractions abound in Estonia, from medieval castles out in the middle of nowhere to graceful town centres lined with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. While tourists often visit Estonia in search of the quaint, traditional image promoted on the international stage – where peasant customs are kept alive – Estonia’s urban population is extremely forward-looking and tech is highly important here. On Estonia’s two cultural routes, you can venture back hundreds of years to the Hanseatic period, or discover a mix of old and new design in the country’s atmospheric cemeteries.

How to get there?

You can reach Estonia by car, bus or plane. Taking the ferry to Tallinn from Helsinki or Mariehamn (Finland) or from Stockholm (Sweden) is also a popular choice. Tallinn Airport is the main international airport, but some flights from Helsinki also come into Tartu Airport. Estonia is generally fairly flat and there are dedicated cycling paths in many areas. EuroVelo Route 10 runs around the scenic Baltic coastline for 981km.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +2
  • Population
    1.3 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    € or EUR

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Estonia

Cultural Routes in Estonia

There are two cultural routes with itinerary points in Estonia. Both are very long routes, and each takes in multiple countries both within and outside the Baltic Sea EU macro-region. One is the European Cemeteries Route, which connects an amazing 20 countries. The other is The Hansa, which features 190 cities in 16 different Northern European countries.

The Hansa

In the 13th century, the formation of the Hanseatic League saw around 225 member cities in Northern Europe join together to exert enormous influence over trade and politics. Today, The Hansa cultural route brings together many of the cities that played such an important role during this golden age of trade in the region. Many of the cities on the route are UNESCO-protected, and all are rich with cultural significance and sites of historic importance. Estonia has five cities which feature on The Hansa itinerary: Narva, Tallinn, Pärnu, Tartu and Viljandi.

European Cemeteries Route

The European Cemeteries route seeks to showcase the central role cemeteries and burial rites play in European culture and heritage. The route links together cemeteries in 20 different countries across four macro-regions. In visiting itinerary points on the route, travellers will uncover the wealth of architectural and historical riches held in Europe’s remarkable cemeteries. Two Estonian cemeteries appear on the route: Siselinna Cemetery and Metsakalmistu Cemetery, both located in Talinn.

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