Find old Europe charm in Estonia
Estonia has it all…Tallinn retains all its 14th century medieval charm with a cosmopolitan vibe and…the Baltic coast is dotted with attractive villages, all with something different to offer …and the interior of the country is covered with woodland and is ideal for hiking. If you like fresh air, you’ll love it!
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- Population: 1,266,375
- Capital City: Tallinn
- Climate: Maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Language: Estonian, Russian
- Country Code: 372
- Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
For decades the Iron Curtain divided Europe in two. Folks in the U.S. and Western Europe were afforded only glimpses of life in the Eastern Bloc. The political situation severely restricted travel. And half of Europe became an uncharted and unknown land. Then the Berlin Wall fell and a dozen or so nations opened up, embracing new freedoms. Visitors were welcomed and discovered a history going back thousands of years, regions of untouched natural beauty, and a seriously low cost of living.
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia have now joined the Schengen border-free zone. Border posts and checks will be lifted in these countries on Dec. 21 except at airports—these will be lifted as of March 2008. This will make trade between these countries and the rest of the EU smoother. Foreign visitors can travel freely to all Schengen states on a single visa, and this expansion of the Schengen treaty members is expected to boost the tourism sector.
US$1 equals 12.95 Estonian kroon Drab Eastern Europe? Think again. Estonia refutes any notion that a former Soviet Socialist Republic must be ineffably dreary. I’m in Parnu, on Estonia’s southwest coast, and its wooden villas are delightful. Ticking off the pastel colors–powder blue, old gold, blush pink, sage green–you feel like you’ve stumbled into a […]
Having explored Lithuania this May, I’ve now experienced all three Baltic countries, so it’s easier to get a handle on what unites them-and what separates them.