Eco-friendly travel guide to Estonia advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Estonia, Europe.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.5 / 5
- Train connections: 4 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$70 - $200
- Budget per day: US$350 - $700
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Estonia, a country in Europe, borders the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia. When you travel to Estonia, you will want to get the best experience out of your travel to be worth all the money you spend. To have a fantastic trip, you need to travel responsibly. Here are some tips and advice that you can choose to follow accordingly to help you travel responsibly and get the best out of your trip. Responsible travel refers to traveling in such a way that your actions don't cause any harm to the local communities or the environment. In the current scenario, you must follow various eco-friendly measures and participate actively in protecting our earth.
The carbon footprint refers to the number of greenhouse gases released into the local environment by your activities. You should make use of public transport and avoid using plastic containers at the most. The next thing that you need to keep in mind while traveling to the country is to minimize your carbon footprint. If you want to travel to the city in the best way possible, you need to avoid any activities that harm the local environment.
If you ignore this vital step, you will be clueless about your environment and not get the best experience. Your responsible travel measures need to start way before you visit the country. After booking your flight, you need to do extensive research about the current country scenario, the culture, things you need to avoid, and the laws you have to follow as a tourist.
After landing in Estonia, you will want to stay at a five-star hotel with a good reputation and luxury facilities. Instead, it would be best if you preferred opting for eco-hotels, hostels, guest houses, and apartments to get the right amount of exposure to the local culture. But, in reality, these hotels are not the best choice if you are a foreign tourist as they will provide you with world-class facilities but will fail to give you proper exposure to Estonia’s culture.
Air Quality and Pollution
The Air Quality of any tourist location or place is a crucial thing to keep in mind because not all tourists can adapt to a country where air pollution is low, and the air quality is good, especially for people who belong to a sensitive group. The country mostly has good air quality, and pollution levels aren't bad. One can say that automobiles' effect is more than that of the people who visit the country. Other than ground transportation, the shipping industry has contributed a lot to air pollution. If you wish to get fresh and clean air in Estonia, prefer visiting the outskirts and the hilly regions. Most of the fuels used in marine ships have a major concentration of sulfur, which is a contaminant.
Respect the Culture
You must show respect towards the local communities, landmarks, culture, and Estonia's local environment. By indulging in cultural or recreational activities, you can learn a great deal about Estonia's culture and history. While exploring the country, make sure to keep your criticism to yourself as Estonian people can take it personally, resulting in ruining your experience. You can befriend a local Estonian to learn about the culture and what you need to avoid to get the best experience. There is a massive food culture here, which makes a lot of sense as there is a ton of food, and it is fantastically scrumptious. Where is the best opportunity to go through a night with a companion? In a decent café that offers an assortment of mouth-watering dishes. Besides, for Estonian, having dinner is a custom. They eat for exceptionally long spans of time, they taste all dishes, and even some immensely significant decisions are made over lunch. Estonian dress like responsible people. Since adults go to work on weekdays, they dress corporately. To avoid looking strange, you should try and fit in with their style. You can wear a trouser and a long-sleeve t-shirt on weekdays. If you like, you can even wear a tie. On weekends, they dress casually. You can wear neat jeans and a shirt. You can also dress differently. You have to avoid stepping out like a thug.
Top 10 Places to Visit
• TALLINN TOWN HALL
Tallinn Town Hall is one of the famous historical landmarks in the city of Tallinn. It is located in Raekoja plats, Tallinn, Estonia. It is one of the famous venues for numerous small festivals or concerts.
• PARNU VISITOR CENTER
Parnu Visitor Center is one of the tourist information centers in the city of Parnu. It is located in Uus 4, Parnu maakond, Estonia. Nowadays, it is becoming a famous tourist attraction.
• KAALI CRATER
Kaali Crater is a popular crater in the city in Estonia. Kaali is a group of nine craters in the village of Kaali. The impact event created the crater.
Abruka is an island in the country of Estonia. The island is located in the Gulf of Riga. The village has a population of 33 and an area of 10.1 kilometers square.
• TARTU CITY GOVERNMENT
Tartu City Government office in the city of Tartu. It is located in Raekoja plats, Tartu, Estonia. It was established in the year 1789.
• HAAPSALU CASTLE
Haapsalu Castle is a famous castle in the city of Haapsalu. It is located in Lossiplats, Haapsalu, Laane maakond, Estonia. The castle was founded in the 13th century.
Kreenholm is a famous island in Narva. The island is 32 acres in area. It divides the Narva Waterfall into western and eastern branches.
• TAHKUNA LIGHTHOUSE
Tahkuna Lighthouse is a famous lighthouse in the city of Tahkuna. It is located in Tahkuna, Hiliu County, Estonia. The lighthouse is shaped in a cylindrical shape with a balcony and lantern. It was established in the year 1998.
• MUHU MUSEUM
Muhu Museum is an open-air museum in the city of Koguva. It is located in Koguva, Saare County, Estonia. The museum was established in the year 1973.
• KONDASE KESKUS
Kondase Keskus is one of the famous museums in the city of Viljandi. It is located in Viljandi County, Estonia. It is becoming one of the famous tourist attractions in the city of Viljandi.
The country has many things to offer apart from the many historical and culturally renowned places packed with tourists. The various parks, beaches, museums, and landmarks will help you get deep insights into the local culture and its beauty. People say that all work and no play would make one dull. This country ensures that it has places that play roles in calming and relaxing the mind. Thus, it is not surprising that people always want to visit this country.
With abundant greenery, this place also offers hiking and another adventurous journey that people can enjoy in their free time. The natural beauty of this place is marvelously exciting and heartwarming. Here are several places with a great amount of nature’s beauty and greenery which you will regret if you don’t go:
- BARCLAY SQUARE (City park in Tartu)
- DANISH KING’S GARDEN (City park in Tallinn)
- HIRVEPARK (City park in Tallinn)
- SUREMOISA PARK (City park in Hiiu Parish)
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and zoos. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the country but are not very far away from the cities.
- LAHEMAA NATIONAL PARK
- SOOMAA NATIONAL PARK
- VILSANDI NATIONAL PARK
- KARULA NATIONAL PARK
- MATSALU NATIONAL PARK
The country of Estonia is famous for its beaches worldwide. The white sand beaches of this country are the gorgeous thing one can see around. It is blessed by one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world. Here are some of the best beaches in the country:
- KURESSAARE BEACH
- VOSU BEACH
- MANDJALA BEACH
- LAKE VEREVI BEACH
- PIRITA BEACH
- PUHAJARVE BEACH
In simple terms, we can say that a landmark is a high or long structure that people can quickly locate, helping them keep track of places. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way. Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the country, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring. Some of the landmarks that would help you in Estonia are:
- TOOMPEA HILL
- VIEWING POINT KOHTUOTSA
- TARTU TOWN HALL SQUARE
- KUMU ART MUSEUM
- TALLINN TOWN HALL
Here are some of the museums located in Estonia, which shows the country's proper culture and the respect that it pays towards its citizen. A few of the best museums you will want to visit while staying in the country are:
- SILLAOTSA FARM
- THE FARM MUSEUM OF C.R. JAKOBSON AT KURJA
- EVALD OKAS MUSEUM
- MUSTVEE OLD BELIEVER’S MUSEUM
- ESTONIAN MUSEUM RAILWAY AT LAVASSAARE
- KAALI METEORITICS AND LIMESTONE MUSEUM
The tour to Estonia is not complete without having some good food in the country. You need to taste some of the country's best and local foods to understand the culture and tradition very closely of the local people. Make sure to buy the foods from local street foods; as a traveler, you will be helping them and supporting them to keep up giving the taste of their culture to the tourist. You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meats. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences.
There is no doubt that Estonian people love to drink regularly, especially on special occasions with friends and family. With the mouth-watering delicacies and the historical monuments, the country of Estonia is rich in culture. The country is also rich in some of the most exotic traditional drinks and alcohol. The streets offering the drinks to taste will help to quench your thirst and keep you hydrated. Undoubtedly, a magical country has a lot of drinks to offer. Also, with the local shops and stalls serving the water at reasonable prices and the water stalls offering services to travelers, the problem of drinking water will not be faced while you travel and explore the country.
The tap water in the country is very safe for drinking. Estonia's country has little water pollution and several top-notch water processing plants, which ensures that the water that comes out of the tap is clean and safe for drinking. The country uses Sodium hypochlorite to treat their water. So it is safe. You can drink and use it for other things. Some bodies monitor the quality of tap-water in the country. The water is so clean that it is even better than the water in mineral water bottles. You can easily find many water taps and public drinking fountains in the country safe to drink, and you will not need to buy mineral water bottles. Such purity in the country's tap water is because of the advanced technology that the water companies use to convert the surface water into pure and drinkable water.
The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them. The country is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. These activities will help you create a memorable time in the country and make your heart race. These activities are the best way to experience the local culture and be a part of it. You may even come across hidden gems of the culture and make your trip even more fantastic than you planned. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit the country as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new country, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. If there is not much to do in a country, then what is the point of visiting there.
Staying in a hotel that provides different services helps you get the best time in the country and have a great experience. You will find many accommodation options in the country from different places, but it's best to book a hotel that is close to the country. As an eco-friendly traveler, you will also get the option of green hotels to make your stay healthy and well. It will help you to reach different attractive spots easily. You can opt for booking a hotel room or set a deal with a couch-surfing host before visiting Estonia to make your trip even more convenient. Although couch-surfing is a recent accommodation concept, it is gaining a lot of popularity in the country.
Hotels are the most highly preferred accommodations. Tourists mostly prefer to stay here throughout their trip. Hotels are incredibly comfortable and have so many facilities for visitors. They can be booked online. They have their details on the site, and from there, tourists can book a room and make the payment. They have all the necessary facilities for every visitor. They give three meals a day, which contains breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tourists can decide the menu themselves and ask them to send the dish they want to eat. They have cuisines in almost every country. They also have swimming pools where tourists can sit and relax. They have small gardens where tourists can go on a walk. They also have a play area where kids can play.
Hostels and Guest Houses
There are some of the advantages of staying in hotels, and one of the main ones is the low price. Compared to hotels, you will need a lot less budget to stay in hostels or guest houses. There are options to share the room with anyone else and further decrease the price of a room. You will find many hostels and guest houses to stay in Estonia in all the major cities. From luxurious guest houses to cheap hostels, this country offers many options to choose from for travelers. You can use the online services to book these hostels or guesthouses to ensure your rooms before entering the country. Booking rooms offline in popular hotels might be a bad idea because they are very crowded with travelers most of the time.
You can either make accommodation plans when you are in the country or before you arrive. It would be best to do whatever works best for you. One factor that a foreigner cannot fail to consider when traveling to a new place is accommodation, as you would need a place to lodge during your stay. It is not about finding a place to sleep, but a comfort zone as you want your stay in the country to be memorable. The country of Estonia has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. With this clear, we know that the next question concerns the pricing as people want to know to plan their budget.
Travelers like to find Couch surfing in different cities, which helps them stay in the country for a long time and save a lot of money. It is easier to discover the hosts before going to the country, and it will help you save time. Couch surfing is a community of travelers from different places worldwide who offers other travelers to stay in their home and roam the country. You will be able to enjoy the country and its culture like the local people. Many people are offering Couch surfing in Estonia that you can take the help of. There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of Couch Surfing mates and companions. The perk of Couch surfing is that it is free. As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the country.
Many tourists like to do adrenaline rushing adventures in different places they visit. Well, the country of Estonia is not only filled with landmarks, parks, and museums; many different suitable spaces give the best camping experience. It is one of the best accommodations that you can choose in Estonia to stay near nature and save a lot of money. You will be able to get the raw adventure in the heart of nature by camping in these places. The people who live in the country are not known to be avid campers, but a few passionate ones are keen on exploring; you could either tag along with such individuals or form your own group or even go solo for camping around the country. Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before.
Here are some perfect places for you to camp in the country.
- CAMPING MEREOJA
- LEPISPEA CARAVAN AND CAMPING LAHEMAA
- VANAMOISA CARAVAN PARK
- TALLINN CITY CAMPING
- MINI CAMPING
- CAMPING ESPLANAADI
- PIKSEKE LTD
Getting There and Moving Around
One of the things you need to keep in mind while planning a trip to the country is the transportation mode to choose. Based on your location or country, you will need to choose the mode of transportation. From most of the countries, the air is the most convenient way to travel to Estonia. You will be able to get many other transportations to travel to the country and railway, water, road, and others. Upon reaching the country, there are plenty of local transportations that are available to move around. From fueled cars to eco-friendly ways, you can choose any of them in the different price ranges. However, try to use eco-friendly transportation as much as you can to keep the country safe from pollution.
You will be able to find flights for this country from most of the other countries, and it will also help you reach faster than others. This country has numerous international airports, and the largest one among them is the Tallinn International Airport. If you do not have much time on your hand, then the flight is the best way to move around different countries. In addition to this, the country is well connected to the airport via trains, buses, taxis.
Many public buses and airport shuttle buses run inside the country areas to help the locals and the tourists get to different locations with ease. The bus journey from different countries might be too hectic for the travelers as they have to change many buses on their way to the country. It is best to avoid the option of a bus if you are traveling from different countries. The bus is always an excellent option to travel to different cities and also it comes with a cheap fare that helps to save a lot of money. If you travel from the other cities in the country, you will get many options to reach the cities as it is very well connected with another country.
This public mode of transport is quite popular amongst the locals as a cheap and convenient mode. The railway station also includes a train line used daily by locals and tourists to reach different country areas. Some people love using buses because it views the landscape while traveling, and they find it exciting. However, others would not like to use a bus because it takes long hours, and there is no adequate space. When this occurs, people tend to get cranky, affecting their mood when they get to their destination.
Estonia is a straightforward place to hitchhike. Hitchhiking is not a common way for locals to travel except when returning to town from the mountains, but there's almost zero fear of hitchhikers, and many locals are happy to help. There is a common perception that hitchhiking is only easy for women and foreigners, but it appears not true. Local people are amiable and usually very honest. Waiting times to hitch are short, and people often don't mind driving a bit further than the place where they needed to be. Most drivers are naturally wary of picking up strangers, fearing carrying robbers and carjackers. While there are exceptional cases of drivers who would be okay with offering one a lift, most of them would not, especially when driving at night.
There is another way to travel or move around in Country Estonia, and those are a taxi or motorcycle ride. These transportation types are advised only in case of emergency because the Country of Estonia is dealing with a lot of traffic, air pollution, and noise pollution. Therefore, you must not contribute to it. Only in case of urgency or when the time is less you can use these types of transportation. You must be aware of the taxi scams while using a rental car service.
You will be able to get some branded eco-friendly stores too in the country of Estonia. A tour of a place is never complete without having good shopping. It helps to give you the best experience and witness the culture up close. You will be able to get many different local shops that sell traditional items. There are many shops and markets in this country that will help you to get recycled items at a reasonable price. Eco-friendly sustainable stores that promote zero-waste are increasing rapidly in the country, and many locals are tying hearse products. Make sure to buy from the local shops to support them and help them make a living. As an eco-friendly traveler, try eco-friendly shops such as recycled or send hand items.
People hurry out of their homes when they hear the music and toss their garbage into the trucks, based on general refuse, raw food waste, cooked food waste, and other categories, including plastic and paper. You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. It is not a perfect system, but improvements and the dialogue about this mean there is hope. The country has become a global leader in recycling, with one of the highest recycling rates.
Changing the behavioral habits of these groups will be instrumental in the success of recycling efforts. Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the waste properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment. Many wastes are polluting the sea and making it hard for sea creatures to survive. Also, these wastes are slowly polluting the whole earth. So, many countries and different cities have started to take care of the environment by recycling things.
The waste segregation method employed here is based on the above-mentioned category system. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the waste properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment. Additionally, people on the move are given free tickets at subway platforms for recycling plastic bottles and cans. You shall find cleanliness in common places to be marvelous, and trash cans are found everywhere. Pollution is not a severe problem in Estonia, and there are many measures that the government has put into action to control it. You will find dumpsters and garbage disposal trucks in every street of the districts in Estonia.
Work and Study Abroad
The education system is one of the best, and you will be able to learn a lot about Estonian culture, history, heritage, and people. As the financial hub, you will find that the educational and career opportunities in the country of Estonia are the best in Europe. All you need to do to get admission is apply to the various institutions and meet their requirements. Estonia country is a trendy country where people worldwide come to study and work at some of the most reputed institutes and firms. There are many available jobs in the country that these students can take and earn a good amount of money. The country of Estonia is very well known around the world in different countries. Apart from that, these students also have a permit to work in the country while studying to earn pocket money and fess. The country is quite developed from different sectors, which include work and study too. When it comes to international students, you will find plenty of them here as Estonia's education system offers higher education at an affordable price.
Many other countries do not have this opportunity and study options like this one. But some students take part in other faraway countries. Exchange student study is getting more and more popular in the country of Estonia as many students are deciding to go to the country for higher study. However, most exchange students that come to the country are from neighboring countries and Asia. There are many exchange student opportunities that are there in the country for students to choose from. Shortly, the exchange student concept is set to grow more and have an excellent impact on Estonia's educational system. There is a specific semester in Estonia that is getting famous and inviting students from other countries.
Estonia has an outstanding higher education system that provides opportunities for international students to study a wide variety of subjects. The diversity of universities' accredited programs and the focus on innovative research make the country an appealing destination for international students. You can choose from over twenty universities and study your favorite discipline at any degree level. The country is home to universities' campuses and Academia Estonia’s national academy that supports the International Graduate Program.
The best chance to stay with some is if they like your company as a foreigner and let you in. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors. Working as an au pair in the country is an ideal experience for someone looking to live in a foreign country, adapt to a new culture and language, and form a close relationship with a host family that you will live with and work with. As an au pair, you will typically be responsible for full-time childcare, as well as other household tasks, such as tutoring, cooking, and cleaning.
This is one of the best options for students and foreigners to stay in the country. People who are planning to stay in the country from different countries can take the help of the au pair in the initial stage to earn money and get shelter. This is a good accommodation option available for tourists also. Au pairing is a relatively new concept in countries where a foreign couple helps out a family meet their responsibilities and manage a household. Maybe if you reach out to a few local people, they will help you navigate and get you in touch with people interested in the idea, and you can stay with a host family like that.
To play your role as a responsible tourist, you can do the best thing to help the local Estonian communities by taking part in volunteering activities. As the country is trying to improve the environment, you can volunteer after visiting the country to keep it clean. Volunteering is one of the best ways to keep the country clean and get to know the local people very well. You will also get help to get your language skill up one notch. There are many different services available that can help you to get volunteering. As a tourist, it is essential to give back something to the community of the country you are visiting. Volunteering is one of the best ways of learning about the deep-rooted problems and needs of the town.
Obviously, in a country of this size, there are plenty of issues to tackle, and you can do your bit for society by volunteering for various endeavors being undertaken, especially by NGOs and service groups. Many volunteering organizations in Estonia are fighting to resolve various cultural, environmental, and social problems such as violence against women and children, child labor, animal protection, environment protection, humanitarian rights, etc. In Estonia, that would probably welcome the help and probably not ask questions about your immigration status, especially unpaid work. Still, it is important to be aware of the legal aspects.