Estonia is fast becoming a teeming tourist hot spot for a well-needed city break but there's a whole lot more to this picturesque country than its capital. We ventured on the road less travelled to discover the real Estonia.
Where to stay?
The uber luxe St. Petersbourg Hotel is situated a teensy jaunt from the main square where you'll find the hustle and bustle of Old Town Tallinn. It's medieval charm and plush contemporary rooms have super comfy beds to fall into and large baths to soak your tired self after a long day of exploring.
Another awesome place to stay in the capital is the Savoy Hotel, situated where the city meets the old town walls. Its tradish rooms, art deco style and delish buffet brekkie make for a comfy stay.
Eat and drink?
Cru Restaurant is a chic establishment with modern cuisine or Merineitsi which hosts the Starlight Cabaret (wacky but an all-round giggle fest), which provided an epic à la carte menu, perfectly timed between performances. Or try Restaurant NOA for haute cuisine at its best, overlooking a calm port.
And for something more chilled, try Restaurant Mull, owned by the famous Estonian model, Beatrice, who wined and dined us all evening at her quirky, candlelit home.
Things to do
Aside from the very informative old town city tour and the museums, why not try something more off-the-wall like climbing into the submarine Lembit, at the Seaplane Harbour Museum. Come face-to-face with bears and wolves while bog walking at Soomaa National Park while eating cranberries fresh from their stalks and getting a great workout in your snow shoes.
Canoe a short while up a calm stretch of water to a wooden cabin where you'll be rewarded with a feast of warming homemade stew, and gooey apple crumble in traditional wooden crockery.
The best times to go
Estonia gets proper seasons, so every time of year has its own unique charm. Sunbathe on the beach in the summer or why not frequent the Christmas Market which is listed as one of the top markets to visit. In the winter, there's usually loads of snow and if the ice is thick enough they open up the ice roads allowing you to drive across the sea to the nearby islands.
Other fun activities
Sail to the Malusi Islands with Tallinn Day Trip to watch frollicking marbled seals, sample warming mulled wine and a tradish herring sandwich. We walked the long strand of pristine beach of Estonia's favourite sea side resort of Parnu and experienced amazing steaks at the 150 year old log house, Supelsaksad, which is stylishly decorated, with colourful furniture and pretty vintage touches.
While in Parnu, we stayed in Frost Boutique Hotel, a Scandi decor lovers paradise.