Places in Estonia
Average costs in Estonia
Stay – Five star hotels you really only find in the capital, Tallinn. These luxurious hotels cost between €125 and €140 per night. There are regular promotions and offers for four-star hotels, so you can book these for €70 or less per night. On average, the price is around € 90.
A three star hotel starts for as little as €25. A single or double room in a budget accommodation already is a possibility for fifteen euros.
Personally, I always look on Booking.com to compare prices and check availability of hotels.
Eat – Food isn’t expensive in Estonia. Fast food often costs less than five euros, and so I preferred to head to somewhat more expensive and nicer restaurants. For a top restaurant, you pay between €3 and €7 for a starter, €10 to €15 for a main course and about €4 for a dessert.
In a cheaper restaurant you pay eight to ten euros for a main course.
Transport – Public transport in Estonia is excellent. A tram or bus ride costs anything between €1 and €2 per trip. Do you want to take the ferry to Helsinki? Expect to pay at least twenty euros per single boat trip. If you want to take the bus to Riga, it will cost you about the same.
Saving money in Estonia
Use Uber – Chances are that you fly into Tallinn or that you will be visiting the capital at least. Instead of hiring expensive taxis or shuttle buses, you can also use the smartphone app Uber. With this app, you arrange a local driver that comes and picks you up and drops you off at competitive rates. Through this link, you get the first ride for free.
Day excursion to Helsinki – Since you are so close to Finland, you may as well take the boat out to explore this Scandinavian country. There is not much to see and with half a day you really have more than enough time to uncover the secrets of Helsinki. Avoid costly overnight stays and restaurant visits and head back to Estonia in the evening.
Local ciders and dishes – Local foods and drinks are always cheaper, and in Estonia they are also tasty. Estonians love their ciders and I must admit that I too developed a taste for it! The local dishes are very diverse and often is accompanied by a piece of local wildlife at very economical prizes.
Things to do in Estonia
Tallinn – The Estonian capital has to be seen. It is especially Vanalinn that draw all of the tourists, but also outside the old town there are some interesting sights. Be sure to visit some churches in the historic center, the KGB museum at the Viru Hotel, the magnificent Kadriorg Palace, and possibly also the informative Seaplane Harbour Museum.
Day trip to Finland – By boat you arrive in less than two hours in the center of Helsinki. It makes for a bit of variety in your schedule and you immediately get acquainted with one of the most expensive countries in the world. With hanging out for half a day in the Finnish capital you really have enough time, because there is not that much to see.
Lahemaa national park – Always wanted to walk on a swamp without being absorbed? Then go to Lahemaa! This vast park offers tourists the opportunity to walk through the interesting bogs on a well maintained path. The nature is exceptionally beautiful and very different in all four of the seasons. It sometimes seems like you’ve landed on another planet.
Tartu – the second largest city in Estonia is Tartu. The southeastern city is much loved by students and academics and is especially enjoyable during the summer. The center is relatively small, but you can always spend some time and relax in one of the many city parks.
Feel like royals in one of the castles – Across the country you’ll notice that there are a lot of castles and palaces. If you want to see these beautiful buildings from up close, you have to make some choices because they often are quite far apart. Some beautiful castles are the Alatskivi Castle, Kadriorg Palace and the Narva castle.
Estonian song festival – the Estonian song festival has nothing to do with the eurovision song contest, but is equally impressive. Or even more so! Once every five years, about twenty thousand people flock together to give a wonderful outdoor concert. Hundreds of choirs take part each time and if you are in Estonia during this time of the year you should not miss it! The next meeting will be in 2019.
Things to avoid in Estonia
Think That public transport is free – Estonia tried several years ago to make public transport free in bigger cities of the country. Some people still don’t seem to be aware that in the meantime this project has been halted. So don’t forget to purchase a bus or tram ticket if you use them, because the fines can be quite hefty.
Not making reservations – During summers, Estonia is an incredibly popular holiday destination. Hotels, restaurants and some attractions are fully booked really fast. So don’t forget to book a bit in advance if you want to enjoy your vacation at the fullest!