Estonia has a cool, coastal climate thanks to the cool Baltic Sea breezes. Summers aren’t overly warm, with temperatures peaking around 32 degrees. Winters can be bitterly cold, with little daylight and lots of snow. Sudden rain and snow storms can happen in both summer and winter.
When to fly to Estonia
The summer months comprise the peak season for flights to Estonia, when the most visitors arrive by plane, train or by ferry from Scandinavia. Estonia is often visited as part of an Eastern Europe tour. Because of its location near the north, many visitors start here in early summer and work their way down through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and so on…
The winter months are the low season, when weather can be miserable. Tallinn, however, is increasingly becoming a year-round short break destination thanks to the introduction of flights here from low-cost airlines based in the UK and Germany.
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Getting around Estonia
Domestic flights are available which connect Tallinn to a few other major cities. These are generally cheap. Avies Airlines flies to Kardla and Kuressaare.
Train service is good, though somewhat slow. The bus network is more extensive than the railway. Most long-distance services start or end in Tallinn.
Hiring a car is the best option if you want to visit the more remote parts of the country.
Estonia insider information
- Most tourism in Estonia is focused on its capital, the port town of Tallinn. For a view of the town, talk a walk on Toompea Hill, in the middle of the old town. In wintertime, especially, when the rooves are covered in snow, this gives one of the most romantic views of the city.
- The town of Parnu on the southern coast is a popular spa and health resort. Many Estonians and Finns take their holidays here. The elegant seaside town has many attractions to entertain tourists, but most popular is the Parnu Mud Baths, situated on the promenade. The neo-classical building houses a selection of mud baths, with treatments for all ailments you could imagine. The baths can be booked up days or weeks in advance, so call ahead and make a booking before you arrive.
- Estonia’s largest island is Saaremaa; its capital Kuressaare. The main attraction here is the spectacular 15th-century stone castle set in an incredibly large moat. Today, it houses the Saaremaa regional museum. Spend a few hours wandering the castle grounds and interior, as well as exploring the museum. The permanent exhibition is about the history and natural history of the island. Temporary expositions are also shown here.
- In the west of the country, Tartu is Estonia’s second largest city and home to its oldest museum. Because of the large student population, this is the best town for nightlife. The Gunpowder Cellar is a popular club, its vault-like environment reflecting its original use.