Lithuanian National Museum, Vilnius

You can for sure spend months in the Baltic states to enjoy the beautiful landscape. But they are gives you also the chance to easily visit three countries in one week: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And it is not one homogenous area without differences – that can easily be observed in the capital cities: Tallinn with its wonderful old city fortifications, Rīga with its fantastic art nouveau quarter and Vilnius with its nice baroque style buildings and more than 50 churches.

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St. Peter, Rīga

When you’re travelling through Estonia and Latvia you can see many remains of former German residents – like inscriptions on houses. As these regions were never part of Germany, how to explain this? In the 12th century CE the Livonian Brothers of the Sword conquered the pagan Baltic area. With them German settlers arrived known as Baltic Germans (or ‘Deutschbalten‘).

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From Tallinn to Rīga

Tallinn to Rīga

After visiting Tallinn, Estonia it was time to continue my trip to Rīga, Latvia and there are not too many options for that as the railway system is not as good as in other European countries. As often as in eastern Europe long-distance busses replace trains and there is a very good infrastructure for them. You can easily book this trip online with different platforms and operators. And you can choose different quality classes of transit.

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Airport, Tallinn

I really like the Estonian language. It sounds nice, it reads cute and it feels like they have too much vowels in Estonia. Or how do you explain words like ‘bussijaam‘ (bus stop)? Looking at the languages of the Baltic states you can see that Latvian and Lithuanian have some commonalities (even though they are very clearly different languages), Estonian is absolutely different.

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Tallinn, Estonia

Starting my trip to the Baltic states at Tallinn, Estonia (formerly also called Reval) was a perfect idea. Relaxed and rather quiet people, a wonderful city with a well-preserved old-town (Vanalinn, a UNESCO world heritage site), the Toompea hill and the parks around it and a tech-savvy nation that makes travelling easy. It already starts with the fantastic and small airport that is really welcoming and the cute Finno-Ugric language.

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Kadriorg, Tallinn

In the northeast of Tallinn, Estonia you can find the city quarter Kadriorg or Catherine’s valley. When in the year 1710 CE tsar Peter the Great conquered Estonia which was by that time under Swedish reign he named this area after his second wife Catherine I of Russia and created his summer residence there. Still today you can find Kadrioru loss, the Catherine palace here – a nice baroque style palace with a beautiful palace garden and a vast park surrounding it.

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Botanical garden, Tallinn

Outside of the city centre of Tallinn, Estonia and close to the teletorn (TV tower) you can find the Botaanikaaed – the botanical garden. It is a vast park with different sections and many green fields. It includes an arboretum, a beautiful rosarium and a greenhouse with succulents and tropical crop plants. Distributed throughout the park you can also find some interesting artworks.

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TV tower, Tallinn

The TV tower of Tallinn, Estonia is 314 meters high and was opened in 1980 – for the olympic summer games in Moscow, Russia. It is the second highest free-standing building in northern Europe after the TV tower of Rīga, Latvia. On the 21st floor there is a restaurant and an open terrace from which you can also see the Baltic sea. It is located at a height of 170 meters and only 100 persons are allowed to enter the tower at the same time.

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Tallinn zoo

Zoo, Tallinn

The loomaaed (zoo) of Tallinn, Estonia is located a little bit outside of the city center close to the big shopping mall ‘Rocca al mare‘. It is a large area with many animals and a zoological garden undergoing a slow remake. There are a lot of old and empty cages, climbing elements for the animals made of concrete and often a high distance between visitors and animals – but also a lot of new buildings and areas beautifully designed.

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