Estonia may be small but it packs a bigger punch that its 17,000 square miles might suggest. The obvious jewel in the crown is, of course, the capital Tallinn, which is essentially a living, breathing museum. A former stronghold of the medieval commercial (and defensive) federation the Hanseatic League, parts of Tallinn are perfectly preserved from that era, filled with cobbled streets, Gothic steeples and imposing towers. Sitting alongside this majestic timewarp town centre is the former working-class district of Kalamaja, where another page of Baltic history is being written. The former factories and warehouses here were colonised by artists collectives and start-ups, with the epicentre Telliskivi, a colossal creative centre now serving as a national artistic hub home to co-working spaces, theatres and boutiques of all kinds.
Hipsters, craft beers and trendy canteens have completely redefined this part of the city. Nearby, on the shores of the Baltic, Pirita Beach is lined with pine trees and a lovely spot to escape the city in summer. Further afield are some lovely islands, such as Hiumaa, Muhu and Saaremaa where you can indulge in the pleasures of Nordic-style bathing. In short, there’s more to Estonia than meets the eye, but it’s easy to understand thanks to our Estonia travel guide.