7+ Interesting Facts About Estonia

facts about estonia

I was so amazed by the facts about Estonia that I gathered while trying to learn the Estonian language. I find them too impressive not to share, especially to keen learners like you! While there’s no denying that the language isn’t easy to learn, the country and all it has to offer will make traveling to the place worth pinning at the top of your travel bucket list.

You see, Estonia boasts several impressive features that would captivate anyone considering a visit. These encompass remarkable architectural structures, a deep-rooted heritage and culture, picturesque natural landscapes, and more. Let me tell you all about the factors that make this Baltic nation an ideal travel destination in this post!

Interesting Facts About Estonia

Recently, Estonia has experienced a surge in tourism and has even introduced a Digital Nomad Visa for individuals interested in an extended stay. As promised, here are the top interesting facts about Estonia and the Estonian culture:

three people hanging on monkey bars in the middle of a field

This European Union Country Considers Wife-Carrying A Sport

Ever wondered why most married Estonian men are so muscular? Well, this might be just one of the reasons why! You see, this unique Estonian pastime has made a mark for its highly entertaining feature but hasn’t made its way (YET) to the Olympic Games. As the name suggests, husbands carry their wives and race over several hundred meters with their partners positioned upside down on their backs, legs draped over their necks and shoulders.

The course must include two dry obstacles and a water obstacle that’s one meter deep. Here’s the twist – the carried ‘wife’ must indeed be either the participant’s own spouse or a neighbor’s and at least 17 years old. And yes, this is a legitimate world championship event.

Estonia Is Known As The Singing Nation

The Estonian Song Celebration traces back to 1869, attracting numerous singers every five years. It’s a distinctive local event and a key reason why Estonia is often called the “singing nation.” The event is exclusive to Estonia and has earned a prestigious place on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In addition to traditional choral music, Estonia hosts many music festivals spanning nearly every genre. It’s safe to say that music plays a significant role in the nation’s culture. In fact, the Estonian movement was initiated through music and singing to regain independence; hence, it’s referred to as the singing revolution.

Natural Landscapes Fill Almost Half Of The Country

Among the least densely populated countries, Estonia is a haven for nature enthusiasts because almost 50% of the country is covered by forests, making it one of the greenest nations in Europe. More than half of the country is draped in forest, and almost a quarter is dedicated to protected natural areas. Consequently, Estonia boasts the fourth-best air quality globally. Most Estonians hold a deep affection for their natural surroundings, encompassing forests, bogs, and the diverse wildlife residing within.

Estonia’s Island Abundance

When you hear about thousands of islands, you might envision places like the Seychelles or the Maldives, with palm-fringed archipelagos and pristine waters. Estonia, not typically associated with tropical vibes, has its own collection of more than 2000 islands. However, these islands are a departure from the palm paradise; they remain largely untouched by modern development.

Tallinn’s Timeless Medieval Charm

Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, boasts the title of the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe. This UNESCO world heritage city received city rights in the 13th century from the King of Denmark. Throughout its history, Tallinn has witnessed the influence of various global powers. In addition to its medieval core, modernized districts like Noblessner, Telliskivi, and Rotermann rapidly emerge, adding contemporary architectural splendor to explore.

Locals Enjoy Free Public Transport

A noteworthy aspect of Tallinn is its provision of free public transport for its residents. Unfortunately, this perk doesn’t extend to visitors, but the extensive public transport system is user-friendly and offers cost-effective options for those navigating the city like a local.

Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tallinn’s Old Town is one of them, a testament to its Hanseatic heritage dating back to the 13th century. Estonia’s second UNESCO site is a shared accomplishment with neighboring countries. The Struve Geodetic Arc, the world’s first technical and scientific object to attain World Heritage status, is a series of survey triangulations designed to measure a meridian accurately.

Estonia Is Among The Least Religious Countries

Only 16% of Estonians consider religion an essential part of their lives, reason why it’s included in the least religious countries. Surprisingly, Estonia houses well-preserved religious sites, such as the oldest wooden building, St Madeline’s Church in Ruhnu, constructed from shipwrecked boat wood. St Olaf’s Church in Tallinn, known for being struck by lightning multiple times, is another notable site.


Estonia champions a modern, hassle-free approach to daily activities by offering online services for tasks ranging from voting to tax filing. This approach enhances transparency and efficiency in areas like healthcare and education. Estonia also gives e-residency to people globally, including prominent figures like Angela Merkel and Barack Obama.

In 2005, Estonia became the first country to introduce online voting for its citizens. Renowned for its digital advancement, the country’s widespread WiFi hotspots and online government services make traveling within Estonia remarkably efficient.

Unique Estonian Words For Travelers

Eager to travel to this country? Now that you know these facts, I bet you are! Here are some of the Estonian words and phrases you need to know.

Thank youAitäh
Excuse meVabandust
I’m sorryMul on kahju
BathroomWC (vee-tse)
Train stationRongijaam
How much?Kui palju?
I don’t understandMa ei saa aru

hand cursor placed over estonia flag

Estonians Speak Multiple Languages, So Can You

Did you know that many Estonians are multilingual, commonly speaking Estonian, English, Russian, Finnish, and German? Younger generations are often fluent in two languages

, while older generations might also possess proficiency in Finnish and Russian alongside English and Estonian. This linguistic diversity ensures effective communication across languages.

However, aside from the facts about Estonia, it still pays to know some local words and phrases when you visit. This is where Ling can help. It’s a language-learning app you can download at the Play Store or App Store. It has interactive and fun modules, making the process easier. You can also learn other languages through the app besides the Estonian language, including Finnish, British, Armenian, Dutch, Greek, and more.

Leave a Reply