Most residents of Western Europe, and even more so Asia and the United States, are unlikely to be able to find Estonia on the world map. But so much the worse for them, because Estonia is not just a small country in the Baltics. Estonia is an amazing Baltic nature, medieval fortresses, numerous museums, amber, the Baltic Sea, as well as balneological and beach resorts.
Geography of Estonia
Estonia is located in the Baltic States, in Northern Europe. In the south, Estonia borders on Latvia, in the east – on Russia. In the north and west, Estonia is washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea. The total area of this country is 45,227 sq. km., including the islands, and the total length of the border is 1,450 km.
55% of the territory of Estonia is occupied by forests. The highest point in the country is Mount Suur-Munamägi on the Haanja Upland, whose height is only 318 meters.
There are a lot of lakes in Estonia, the largest of them are Lake Peipus in the east and Võrtsjärv in the south of the country.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Estonia is Tallinn, which is now home to more than 420 thousand people. Archaeologists believe that the first human settlements on the territory of modern Tallinn appeared about 2 thousand years ago.
The official language in Estonia is Estonian, which belongs to the Finnish branch of the Uralic language family.
About 14% of the Estonian population belongs to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and about 10% of Estonians are Orthodox Christians. The rest of Estonians do not believe in God.
State structure of Estonia
According to computerminus.com, Estonia is a parliamentary republic, headed by the President, who is elected by the country’s Parliament.
The Estonian Parliament consists of 101 deputies who are elected for a 4-year term. Executive power belongs to the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.
Climate and weather
The climate in Estonia is temperate, transitional from maritime to continental. The average annual air temperature is +5.2C. In general, the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea have a decisive influence on the Estonian climate. The average amount of precipitation per year is 568 mm.
Average air temperature in Tallinn:
- January – -5С
- February – -6С
- March – -3C
- April – +3С
- oil – + 8С
- June – +13C
- July – +16С
- August – + 15C
- september – +11С
- October – + 6C
- November – +1С
- December – -3C
Sea in Estonia
In the north and west, Estonia is washed by the waters of the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland). The length of the Estonian coast of the Baltic Sea is 768.6 km. There are more than 1,500 islands in Estonia, the largest of which are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhumaa (Muhu).
The temperature of the Baltic Sea near the Estonian coast reaches +17C in summer. In the bays, the water warms up better in summer, and exceeds +20C.
Rivers and lakes
There are 200 rivers and about 1,500 lakes in Estonia. Rivers in northern Estonia form picturesque rapids and waterfalls. The highest Estonian waterfall is Valaste (30.5 m).
Several beautiful rivers flow through the territory of southern Estonia – Piusa, Ahja and Vyhandu. By the way, Võhandu is the longest river in Estonia (162 km).
There are a lot of lakes in Estonia, the largest of them are Lake Peipus in the east and Võrtsjärv in the ege of the country. In general, lakes occupy 6% of the territory of Estonia. On the shore of Lake Peipsi there is the longest Estonian sandy beach – 30 km.
History of Estonia
People appeared on the territory of modern Estonia about 11 thousand years ago. The first state formations in Estonia began to appear in the 1st century AD. In the 9th-11th centuries, Scandinavian Vikings (mainly Swedes) often attacked the territory of modern Estonia.
Before the adoption of Christianity, Estonians were pagans who believed in a higher being – Tharapita.
From 1228 to the 1560s, Estonia was part of the Holy Roman Empire (it was conquered by the Livonian Order).
In 1629 most of Estonia came under Swedish rule. The first university in Estonia was founded in 1632 in Dorpat (Tartu).
In 1721, according to the Treaty of Nystadt, Estonia was incorporated into the Russian Empire. Only after the First World War in 1918 was the independence of Estonia declared.
According to the 1939 agreement between Germany and the USSR, Estonia is included in the zone of interests of Joseph Stalin. On August 6, 1940, Estonia was incorporated into the USSR as the Estonian SSR.
Estonia’s independence was restored on August 20, 1991. Estonia has been a member of the European Union since 2004.
Estonians, like other nations, are very proud of their culture. The government of the country is making efforts to preserve not only archaeological, historical and architectural monuments, but also intangible monuments. Thus, in Estonia there are currently 7 government programs for the preservation of intangible traditional culture (we are talking about songs, music, dances, etc.).
Back in 1869, the first Estonian folk music and dance festival was held in Tartu. Now the tradition of this festival continues. The Estonian Music and Dance Festival in Tartu is now included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
The most popular holidays among Estonians are New Year, Independence Day, Easter, Midsummer Day, Independence Day and Christmas.
Estonian cuisine is quite simple, there are no gourmet dishes in it. But now Estonian cuisine already includes the most popular dishes of international cuisine. However, in Estonia the most typical products are still black bread, pork, potatoes, fish and dairy products.
We advise tourists in Estonia to definitely try the following traditional Estonian dishes: beer soup, bean soup, soup with dumplings and meat, brawn, black pudding, Baltic herring in vinegar, pike in oil, stewed pike with horseradish, herring casserole, mulgi porridge » with sauerkraut, honey cake, cabbage pie, baked apples.
In Estonia, the traditional non-alcoholic drink is kali made with yeast, to which juniper berries are added.
As for alcoholic beverages in Estonia, this is, of course, beer and vodka. Estonians have been making vodka since about the 15th century, but it still cannot compete with beer in popularity.
Sights of Estonia
Estonians have always been sensitive to their history. Therefore, we advise tourists in Estonia to definitely see:
- Toompea Castle in Tallinn
- Kiek-in-de-Kök tower in Tallinn
- Hermann Castle in Narva
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn
- Rakvere fortress in northern Estonia
- Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn
- Lahemaa National Park
- Oleviste Church in Tallinn
- Dome Cathedral in Tartu
- Open Air Museum in Tallinn
Cities and resorts
The largest Estonian cities are Tartu, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve, Narva, and of course. Tallinn.
In Estonia, on the Baltic Sea, there are several good beach resorts. By the way, the beach season in Estonia usually starts in mid-May and lasts until mid-September. The most popular Estonian beach resorts are Pärnu, Narva-Jõesuu, Haapsalu, Toile and Kuressaare. There are also beaches on the shores of Lake Peipsi.
But tourists come to Estonia not only to swim in the Baltic Sea and see local attractions. There are several excellent balneological resorts in Estonia. The most famous of them are Pärnu, Värska, Kuressaare, Pühajärve and Vimsi.
Tourists from Estonia usually bring handicrafts, iron ashtrays, wooden beer mugs, black Estonian chocolate, marzipan, dolls in traditional Estonian clothes, amber, and Vana Tallinn liqueur.
Some banks are open on Saturdays until 14:00.
Many grocery stores are open from 09:00 to 21:00.
Restaurants in Estonia are usually open from 08:00 to 23:00.
Ukrainians need a visa to enter Estonia.
Estonia is part of the European Union, and therefore the euro is in circulation in this country. American Express, Diners Card, MasterCard, and Visa cards are widely accepted in Estonia.
The import and export of currency in Estonia is not limited, but 10 thousand dollars or more must be included in the declaration. Customs regulations in Estonia are the same as in other EU countries.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Estonian embassy in Ukraine:
Index – 01901, Kiev, st. Vladimirskaya, 61/11
590-07-80 Email: Embassy.Kiev@mfa.ee
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Estonia:
15170, Lahe, 6 Tallinn Tel.:
(10-372) 601 58 15
One phone for all emergencies – 112
Police – 110
There is no difference with Ukrainian time. Those. if, for example, in Tallinn it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is also 09:00 am.
Tipping in Estonia is usually 10% of the bill. Some Estonian restaurants and bars have a special box labeled “Tip” where satisfied customers can drop their money for “tea”.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Estonia, but health insurance is required.
The crime rate in Estonia is quite low. Foreign tourists in Estonia are sometimes pickpocketed and robbed. Therefore, we advise tourists in Estonia to carefully monitor their belongings and avoid unlit parks and perieks after dark.