Estonia: Your Next Travel Destination and a Prosperity Success Story
While Western Europe has the lion’s share of desirable travel destinations, Eastern Europe has become increasingly more popular, with travelers seeking culture, warm hospitality, and cheap cost of living. Eastern Europe is indeed an understated region in the continent.
According to the 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index, Eastern Europe has experienced greater prosperity growth than any other region in Europe. Strong economic opportunities, unspoiled natural environments, and greater personal freedom, after the fall of the Soviet Union, has encouraged renewed travel interest in Eastern Europe.
The region is a treasure trove for travel opportunities. Since the end of the Soviet era, Eastern Europe has become one of the easily accessible travel regions. From its people to its food, this part of the continent possesses some best-kept secrets.
One of those best-kept secrets is Estonia. The most northern Baltic state, Estonia celebrates a colorful history, picturesque locales, and old-world charm. On the prosperity side, Estonia has achieved incredible success.
A picture of prosperity
For 50 years, Estonia fell under Soviet occupation. When it emerged from the Soviet blanket, re-declaring independence in 1991, Estonia embarked on a radical economic agenda. It soon became one of the world’s leading tech hubs, giving birth to Skype and other digital innovations.
Estonia today maintains an open economy, having one of the strongest entrepreneurial environments in the world. Economic diversity bolsters entrepreneurial confidence. Having strong investor protection policies has encouraged many entrepreneurs throughout the region to set up shop in Estonia.
A boom of 21st-century development has seen Estonia continuously improve its dominant tech presence. Today, Estonia holds the top spot for cybersecurity and is in the top 15 percentile for wireless broadband connections.
For travelers looking to connect with friends and family back home, Estonia’s strong technology infrastructure makes it easy to stay in touch.
But, Estonia’s economic success and fast Wi-Fi is not the only reason why travelers are flocking to this Baltic State for their summer holiday. Here are five reasons why Estonia deserves to be on your travel bucket list.
Location, location, location
Aside from having fairy-tale charm, Estonia is bordered by some culturally distinct and inviting countries. Estonia is bordered by Russia to the east, Latvia to the south, and across the maritime borders, Finland and Sweden.
This makes Estonia the perfect jump-off point to explore Scandinavia, Russia, or the other Baltic States. Estonia is an ideal add-on for travelers with an extended holiday. It’s a quick flight to Stockholm, short train ride to Petersburg, or a scenic drive to Riga, Latvia’s capital.
An indelible food scene
Do you consider sampling new food as one of the best parts of traveling? Then Estonia is for you. Regional influences from the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire to Soviet Russia and Scandinavia have influenced the delicious traditional treats and cuisine found in Estonia.
Estonian specialties to satisfy your gastronomic desires include:
- Kiluvõileib: a type of open-faced fish sandwich topped with a boiled egg and sauce
- Mulgipuder: a potato and groat (a type of grain) porridge
- Kama: an ingredient used in traditional Estonian desserts
- Kvass: a traditional fermented beverage
A unique cultural atmosphere
While technology shapes Estonia’s future and the country maintains a vibrant modern culture, Estonia has plenty of old-world charm. Its cities are bursting with wonderful sights. From medieval streetscapes to Soviet-era developments, Estonia is impossibly picturesque.
Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, features ancient churches, bustling squares, and medieval city walls all vying to be explored. Highlights of Tallinn include the well-trodden Old Town, Toompea Castle, Town Hall Square, and Telliskivi Creativity City, Tallinn’s artistic hub.
With a population of 1.3 million and with 50% of the country covered in forests, Estonia is the ideal destination for a city break. As one of the greenest countries in the world, despite being so technologically advanced, Estonia’s natural environment is untouched, yet immediately accessible.
Best value for your money
Because Estonia is still largely undiscovered, it does not command the same prices like some of its neighbors, particularly its Scandinavian counterparts. This makes Estonia accessible to even the most budget-strapped traveler.
By being able to get the most bang for their buck, travelers can make the most of everything that Estonia has to offer.
A prosperity success story
Like countries previously under Soviet rule, Estonia has a painful past. But as the Legatum Institute has shown, Estonia is a model of the importance of policy reform. Providing a platform for economic improvement and entrepreneurial opportunities has clearly impacted Estonia’s economic and social development, despite its difficult history.
For travelers, these economic and social well-being successes mean Estonia is a true European gem that is unspoiled, unique, and ready to be discovered.