Estonia is a country that delights with its beauty of nature and a long and checkered history, which you can explore in old cities, castles and churches. It is located in Northern Europe and it borders with Latvia, Russia and Finland. Its position suggests that this country is desolate and unattractive to tourists, but it is worth to spend some time there, even for the famous white nights and the specific climate. Although it is a very small country it has a lot to offer, so do not hesitate and book a flight to Estonia with LOT Polish Airlines to discover this charming country.
Interesting History of Estonia
Not everyone knows that Estonia as a country was created only after World War I, but traces of the first tribes inhabited this territory dates back to the third century BC. Estonian lands for centuries passed from hand to hand between major powers trying to dominate the Baltic coast. Despite the fact that Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union for almost half a century, you can still feel a strong historical influence of Scandinavia. The country is often called a suburb of Scandinavia. In fact many Estonians feel Scandinavians. This can be seen even in the Estonian culture, which is very similar to Finnish culture.
First stop - Tallinn
Estonia sightseeing usually starts with exploring Tallinn, since all international flights are served by the airport in this city. The capital of Estonia is an important industrial and cultural center. Tallinn means "Danish city" and, as previously mentioned it gives a picture of how Estonians are related to Scandinavian countries. Very unique for this city are white nights, which is the period in which the sun never sets. At first it is difficult for tourists to adapt to this and they often forget about sleeping. There are numerous cafes and clubs open until dawn, that can help you with sleepless nights. Besides, Tallinn is also great for sightseeing. It has very interesting old town. The winding streets, medieval castle and Gothic town hall, numerous churches, museums and fragments of the city walls give the place a unique atmosphere.
Estonia has altogether 1,521 islands. The biggest of them are: Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Muhu Vormsi, Kassari, Naissaar, Kihnu, Vaike-Pakri, Suur-Pakri and Ruhnu. Each of them have its own unique style and something that attracts tourists. The main attraction is the nature, often untouched by man. The most interesting is the island of Hiiumaa and its marshy forests, wetlands and wet meadows. The largest and more civilized is Saaremaa. Here you can spend time on the beach enjoying the view of clean water and fresh air.
Monuments can be found on Vormsi. You can see here the church in Hullo, the Swedish cemetery that contains the original crosses, as well as a lighthouse built in 1864. Lahemaa National Park is considered to be the greatest attraction of Estonia. It was founded in 1971, as the first National Park in the former Soviet Union. It covers an area of 725 km2. A part of the Park goes into the Baltic Sea.
Estonia is a pretty small country located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea. It has only a little over 1.3 million inhabitants. This is why it has only one international airport in Tallinn. Other Estonia airports are very small and they serve only local flights. Currently there are five operating airports in the country: Tallinn and local Tartu, Pärnu, Kuressaare (Saaremaa) and Kardla. Plane tickets to Estonia are offered by LOT Polish airlines. There are direct flights to Tallinn from Warsaw and the journey takes only 1 h 40 minutes. The main international airport in Estonia is located 4 kilometres from the center of Tallinn. It has has direct connections to most major cities in Europe. Every year it handles around 2 million passengers.
Facts about Tallinn airport
Tallinn airport has gained its current look thanks to increasing number of passengers during the years.
In 2008 it was rebuilt and expanded by three times. History of the airport dates back to 1923, when it was constructed on the Ülemiste Lake shore. Due to closeness to the water, planes could land both on earth, and if necessary on the water surface. In 1936, when the whole hangars, runway and radars complex was open, the airport was considered as one of the most modern in Europe. After many years in 1980 the passenger terminal was renovated, because of the Olympic Games in Moscow (During the Olympic sailing competition took place in Tallinn).
How to reach the airport
The airport is located 4 km southeast of the city center, on the shores of Lake Ulemiste. It is possible to reach it by car, taxi or a bus through the road number 2. It takes only 10 minutes to reach the city center. Taxi ranks are located in front of the terminal. The cost of a single journey to the center is around 10 - 15 €. According to the Estonian law, each taxi should have included a price list on the passenger sit. It is always recommended to use only properly labelled taxis, with information of the price.
It is also possible to reach the city center by a shuttle bus no. 2. It costs 1 € and you can buy the ticket at the kiosk located in the terminal or directly from the driver. Transfer to the city also provides a 90K line. The buses depart every 30 minutes from 8 am till 6 pm and the tickets cost is around 1 €. There is also express bus that connects the airport with southern Estonia. It only stops at the selected stops, so it is necessary to tell the driver that you want to get out at the airport.
Tallinn airport has one passenger terminal. It offers passengers restaurants, cafes, shops, post office, money exchange, ATMs. You can use the free Wi-Fi in the whole building. There is also a VIP lounge, where it is possible to wait and relax. There are also facilities for disabled people and for mothers with children.
Very interesting is also a library that passengers can use during the waiting time. Information desk is located in the departure hall of the terminal. It is also possible to rent a car from several companies. Short-term and long-term parking is available in front of the terminal.
Estonia main cities
Estonia is a small country but it has plenty to offer to its visitors. Beautiful landscapes and old cities attract many tourists, however it is still not very popular destination among them. Usually people choose to stay only in Tallinn. The capital is really worth a visit, but you should know that there is much more than that to explore. There is almost 50 cities in this tiny country Estonia main cities and the most interesting ones are, of course, Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu and Otepää. LOT offers cheap air tickets to Estonia. Since direct flight is to Tallinn from Warsaw, you can start you trip from this amazing city.
What to see in Tallinn
The capital of Estonia, is located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. This is where LOT Polish Airlines planes land. Tallinn was a thriving economic center already in the tenth century.
Most of the tourists start sightseeing Tallinn from its famous Old Town. It is known around the world with well-preserved medieval architecture. Certainly worth visiting is the town hall, located in the heart of the old town. It is the only preserved Gothic town hall in Northern Europe, the monument is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Up to these days about 70% of fortifications remained almost untouched. Thanks to this it is possible to admire 1,800 meters of walls and 26 defensive towers with very nice view of the city. After visiting the old town it is worth to have a walk to the coastal district of Pirita, with a beautiful beach and the charming view of the old town and city center. Tallinn has also very modern side with futuristic skyscrapers. The buildings of glass and steel in addition to offices have also many restaurants, comfortable hotels, conference centers, bars and shops of world famous brands.
Going to Tartu
Tartu as the second biggest city in Estonia is also its cultural capital and university city. What’s interesting over 20% of the residents are university students, and another 25% are younger students. The most important place to visit in Tartu is its Old Town. One the Town Hall Square you can see the famous Leaning Tower.
The town was built on wetlands, through which some of the buildings tilted up. Currently you can see there a contemporary art gallery. The central point of the square is the eighteenth century town hall which was built to replace an earlier building that burned down. There are also beautiful parks and gardens in Tartu. Worth visiting is Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu. City has also many interesting museums, including the Estonian National Museum, Toy Museum and the Museum of Brewing.
Enjoy the seaside
The summer capital of all Estonians is Pärnu. For centuries the city was a place of recreation, both for the Swedes (when it was in their possession) and Russians (at the time when it belonged to the territory of Russia). The village has the status of a spa and is a popular tourist destination. There are also several monuments: fragments of defence walls, the seventeenth-century town hall, St. Elizabeth and Catherine churches and the museum, whose origins date back to the thirteenth century. Pärnu hosts many cultural events. You will find here a lot of places to stay, restaurants, taverns and cafes. As you can see Estonia is much more than its capital city. Try to plan your trip carefully, so you will not miss what it has to offer.
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