Estonia

Estonia

Etymology

In the Estonian language, the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning “country people” or “people of the land”. One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia is that it originated from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania (ca. 98 AD). The historic Aesti were allegedly Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric. The geographical areas between Aesti and Estonia do not match, with Aesti being further down south. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Kontena Tallinn – Kontena is an open source, developer friendly container and microservices platform to run applications and services packaged as Docker containers. It’s easy to setup, easy to use, scalable and works on any cloud; private, public or hybrid. Through full automation, it requires no maintenance. [meetup]

Machine Learning Estonia – A meetup to talk about all things related to machine learning, data science and finding value in data. Learning focused group at intermediate and advanced level. [meetup]

New Finance Tallinn – Founded in 2011 in the emerging London Tech City scene as a grass roots Meetup for those interested in Financial Technology, NewFinance has grown to become the leading Global FinTech Business Network. [meetup]

Tallinn Startup: Idea to IPO – Never before has it been more possible for anyone from anywhere, with a great idea and a burning desire to succeed, to make it big, and in the process, change the world in a relatively short period of time. HP, Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, Google, Facebook and many, many, many other iconic companies all started with just an idea. [meetup]

Tallinn Startup Venture – As Organizer of the Tallinn Startup Venture, I am inviting you to become a member of a meetup group which mission, is to help to facilitate the start of profitable startups that will make both news and history.  [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo.com – A massive worldwide online dating site launched in 2006, Badoo is an OK option for Estonia. If you do a search of active people over the last month, you will turn up a lot of people in your search results. The problem with Badoo is the same problem you will have using this site in any country…you will have to browse through a lot of poor quality profiles in order to find your princess (or prince). [visa hunter]

Mamba.ru – Mamba.ru has been in the online dating game for years and is popular in both Russia and Ukraine. It is the only site worth using if you find yourself lonely in Estonia and eager for a date. [visa hunter]

Tallinn Singles – With free membership you can create your own profile, share photos and videos, contact and flirt with other Tallinn singles, visit our live chat rooms and interest groups, use instant messaging and much more! [metrodate]

Tea For Two – In today’s fast-paced world, high-achieving professionals seek experts to assist in a myriad of personal and professional goals. However, when it comes to finding love, many busy, successful singles continue to take a haphazard approach when seeking a romantic partner. Is it any wonder that methods like Internet dating, frequenting bars usually fall short of your expectations? [tea for two]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Est Adventures – We’ve been sharing our love for Tallinn and Estonia with travellers from around the world for over a decade. [est adventures]

Estonian Experience – Enjoy a delightful stroll along the romantic cobblestone streets of the old Town with its charming red roofs and medieval towers. [estonian experience]

Tours by Locals – Discover the legends and most interesting sights of Tallinn with a knowledgeable local guide. [tours by locals]

Traveller – Who said tours can’t be fun? Join our young guides for a walk on the centuries old streets of the Tallinn Old Town as they tell you colorful tales of the city, its history and its people. Estonia’s story is a complex one, but the young guides know how to lay down the wisdom without getting stuck in the dizzying world of numbers and figures. [traveller]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Admire the beauty of Alatskivi Castle – Dating to the sixteenth century, Alatskivi Castle was reconstructed somewhere around 1876 and 1885 by Baron von Nolcken contracted by the imperial home of Balmoral in Scotland. With its prominent towers with cone-shaped rooftops, the building is a standout among the most stunning neo-gothic villas in the Baltics. [always wanderlust]

Explore the Seaplane Harbour Museum, Tallinn – Tallinn’s award-winning Seaplane Harbor Museum is one of Europe’s most attractive museums. Bridges link the museum’s displays, which combine icebreakers and seaplanes. One of the museum’s top attractions is the only surviving warship of pre-war Estonia, the British-built submarine Lembit. [always wanderlust]

Get cultured in Viljandi – The little town of Viljandi in southern Estonia overlooks a pristine lake and is home to the noteworthy hilltop ruins of the castle of the Teutonic Order. Viljandi’s enticing boulevards are decorated with eight large concrete strawberries that point to the gallery of painter Paul Kondas, where the artist’s brilliant works are in plain view. [always wanderlust]

Meet Old Believers at Lake Peipsi – Members of the Old Believers, a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, fled Russian domination in the seventeenth century; they settled on the edges of the Russian kingdom along the shorelines of Lake Peipsi. The lake is Europe’s 5th largest and is on the border between of Estonia and Russia. [always wanderlust]

Reminisce at the Toy Museum, Tartu – The magnificent Toy Museum is in one of the most established surviving wooden structures of the city of Tartu. On display is an abundance of objects including Estonian farm kids’ toys, handcrafted wooden pastoral animals, and Soviet toys that were instructive. [always wanderlust]

Ride a Stagecoach at the Estonian Road Museum – This Museum follows the history and developments of the world’s most seasoned form of communication, roads. The outer section of the museum allows visitors to walk through time and perspective development of the roads throughout history. [always wanderlust]

See artists at work on Estonia’s many handmade crafts – Handicrafts and folk arts have key influence in the country’s cultural legacy and Estonia has a few, including icon painting, the art of stained glass, wooden toy production. [always wanderlust]

Ski, sled or snowboard in Otepää – Otepää is a wonderful spot to relax in the summer and spring months. Home to the stunning Lake Pühajärv it offers the ideal setting for walks in the area’s low hills. While the area may not have soaring mountain tops, it does get a lot of snow and surrounding landscape turns into a winter wonderland attracting skiers and snowboarders alike. [always wanderlust]

Take a lesson at the History Museum, Tallinn – History Museum is in a magnificent fifteenth-century building. With its advanced woodwork and large cellars, it’s worth the visit for the architecture. The basement exhibitions shed light on the building’s former days dating to the mid-eighteenth century. [always wanderlust]

Festivals

Festivals

April Music Festivals – Throughout the month of April, a number of music festivals are held all over Estonia, starting with the International Choir Festival, which heralds the arrival of the spring season with a choral competition. Estonian Music Days is another month-long celebration that recognizes the most prominent symphony composers and chamber music. Harpsichord Days Festival happens mid-month, and is celebrated in various towns like Tartu, Parnu and Viljandi, while the Jazzkaar Festival fills Tallinn Town Hall and Sakala Center with soothing sounds. [iexplore]

August Dance Festival – The August Dance Festival commences late August. It celebrates the different types of genres enjoyed by Estonians and the Baltic region. [iexplore]

Baroque Music Festival – A celebration of classical music, this is one of the most highly anticipated festivals in the region, attracting orchestras and musicians from across Europe. The event tours the most prominent venues in Tallinn between January 28 and February 6. [iexplore]

Day of Tallinn – This annual Estonian holiday on May 15 commemorates the birth of one of the most beautiful and historic European capitals, Tallinn. [iexplore]

Christmas Jazz – Christmas in Estonia is celebrated through a series of jazz concerts held at theaters and churches in Tallinn in December. [iexplore]

Christmas Market – Held early in December, the Christmas Market features all kinds of traders selling their wares and goods around the Tallinn Town Hall Square to a backdrop of live entertainment. [iexplore]

Christmas Village – This seasonal December event features traditional Christmas caroling, folk dancing and fairs at the Estonian Open Air Museum. [iexplore]

Midwinter Night’s Dream – Held from mid- to late December, this film festival celebrates sci-fi and other cinematic works with futuristic themes. [iexplore]

Old Town Days – Held throughout the month of June, this festive is marked by medieval celebrations, parties, street entertainment, markets, and live folk music. It celebrates the rich old town Heritage of Tallinn’s downtown district. [iexplore]

Ollesummer – This July beer festival is one of the most popular in Estonia and is held alongside many of the town’s musical events. Local groups perform, while beverages overflow on the Tallin Song Festival Grounds. [iexplore]

Parnu Opera Days – Held in mid-July, this event features stunning operatic performances at the Parnu Concert Hall, celebrating classic opera and its heritage. [iexplore]

RainbowJazz Festival – The Rainbow Jazz Festival is a series of concerts and performances by young artists competing for the prestigious title. This event often falls in mid-October. [iexplore]

St. Martin’s Day Fair – This Estonian fair is celebrated in mid-November. It features folk music, costumed dancing, feasts of local specialties, and handicrafts exhibits. [iexplore]

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival – Held from November to December, this festival eases long winter nights with good theater. The highlight is a competition recognizing the best of Estonia’s filmmaking industry. [iexplore]

Tallinn FoodFest – The Tallinn FoodFest is held throughout November, attracting all kinds of restaurateurs, bakers and wholesalers who show off their goods to hungry foodies and visitors. [iexplore]

Tallinn Pride – A week-long event in mid-August, Tallinn Pride is marked by festive parades through town. [iexplore]

Tudengijazz Festival – This jazz and blues festival kicks off many other musical events across Estonia, especially in Tallinn, Tartu and Viljandi. It is held early in the year, between January and February. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus, streetcar and trolleybus – The bus, trolleybus and streetcar network is wide, punctual and reliable in Tallinn. Public transport operates from 5 am to midnight and tickets can be bought on the vehicle (single fare only). However, you can travel more economically when buying a prepaid travel card from an R-Kiosk (found in most shopping centres and urban areas). You can top it up with cash, use it for tickets and unlimited passes, and just have to swipe it when entering your chosen form of transport. [work in estonia]

Taxis – There is no standard or regulated meter rate in Estonia. You need to order a taxi or choose one from a rank, rather than hail it from the street. You can choose any available taxi from the rank, and don’t have to pick the first one from the line. [work in estonia]

Trains – Trains in Estonia are run by Elron (domestic services) and GoRail (services to destinations in Russia). You can buy tickets online, at relevant train stations or through an agent. Tickets can also often be bought on the train (sometimes only with bank cards). Train within Tallinn is free to Tallinn residents. [work in estonia]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Coding Dojo Tallinn – Code dojo is a training event for programmers who want to learn to write better code and get invaluable experience of seeing some surprising solutions finalizing kaasharjutajate hand. [meetup]

Magento Estonia Meetup Group – Are you located in Estonia? Are you running an e-store on Magento already? Are you developing Magento extensions or implementing Magento? Are you trying to set up a new Magento store? Are you going to certificate yourself as Magento developer? [meetup]

Node.js Tallinn – Goal of the group is to engage Node.js developers community and spread the word about Node.js in Estonia. Explore what Node.js technology can do and network with fellow Node.js developers, discuss about Node.js projects, experience, hacks and tools. [meetup]

Python Tallinn – This is group for anyone interested in Python. [meetup]

Tallinn WordPress meetup – Using WordPress for your blog or business? So am I – and we should find a way to share our knowledge about WordPress … so we can spend more time with whatever we were doing when we chose WP as platform and have the most user-friendly CMS experience possible. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Country Guide: Estonia – Captivating Estonia is a land where medieval architecture transports you to the past. A green landscape awaits nature lovers, while Tallinn will enchant with its ancient towers and cobbled streets. Eat like the Estonians and try elk sausage or bear meat! [expat focus]

Expats in Tallinn, Estonia – If you’re an Expat in Tallinn, looking for a network. Join us! [facebook]

Work in Estonia – International students make up a fairly large proportion, alongside families living in Estonia due to their work at diplomatic and NATO missions. There are many expats who have arrived in Estonia for business, for working at startups, fondness for the country – and, of course, love. [work in estonia]

Your Expat Community in Estonia – Tere tulemast and welcome to our expat community in Estonia! InterNations is a platform created to serve expatriates around the globe, helping you to navigate the process of moving to a new country or city. We have many members in Estonia who have made use of the expat resources available on our platform while relocating and to make settling in a little easier on arrival. We value contributions from all of our members, so please feel free to share your own experiences of life in Estonia. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Baltic Pride – The Estonian LGBT Association is a non-profit organization for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) people. [estonian lgbt association]

GayMap.ee – Official Gay Travel Guide to Tallinn – The City, Surrounding Areas and Holidays in the Estonian Countryside! [facebook]

Resources

Resources

Places in Estonia

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