Take part as Tallinn becomes the world capital of song and dance from July 4–7, 2019, when they host the XXVII Song and XX Dance Celebrations. This festival takes place every five years and has become a symbol of Estonian culture and identity, with thousands of singers and dancers participating. Pair it with visits to Tallinn's historic Old Town, museums, and culinary hotspots for a five-day cultural excursion you won't forget.
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The best time to visit the Baltic States is late spring or summer. Spring begins in late April (or late May in the north) and the countryside takes on a green lushness, drawing horses out from their winter barns and city-dwellers out in droves to sidewalk cafés. Summers are relatively short (mid-June through August). You may experience a string of hot, dry days during this time, but showers and chilly nights can also be expected.
Temperatures cool down rapidly from September onwards. Autumn can be a beautiful season, as the golden leaves of deciduous trees begin to contrast with dark green pines. The first snowfalls can come as early as mid-November, and by December winter sets in with a vengeance. Average daytime temperatures can remain below freezing until March. That said, winter can also be a magical time, with lakes, rivers and large expanses of the Baltic Sea freezing over, crunchy snow cover adding an air of enchantment to medieval city centers, and cross-country skiing in the southern hills.
Where should you go?
Dive into the cultural center of Tallinn, the easily-navigable capital city filled with historic churches, cobblestone streets, palaces, museums, and galleries. One or two days will be enough to explore Tallinn—perfect for a weekend. You'll also want to visit the AHHAA Science Centre in Tartu. The biggest science center in the Baltic States, this family-friendly spot offers excellent exhibitions and a planetarium. Narva Castle is also a must-visit: Founded in 1256 by the Danes, it's the most impressive and best-preserved defense castle in the country.
How many days do you need?
Travelers with 7 days will have enough time to tour Estonia or check out the highlights of the three Baltic capitals—Tallinn, Riga (Latvia), and Vilnius (Lithuania). With 10 days, you can combine an in-depth Latvia tour with stops in Riga and Vilnius, and two weeks is enough to see all three countries, including rural places and hidden gems.
Explore the beautiful scenery of the Baltic States national parks on this packed 11-day trip. Visit the medieval capital cities of Riga and Tallinn, explore beautiful nature in Lahemaa National Park, and relax on the white sand beaches of the Curonian Spit. Tour the fairytale Trakai Castle, discover regional architecture in ethnographic museums and see a vast variety of wildlife and plants at Panemuniai Nature Reserve.
This 9-day itinerary is the perfect introduction to three of the most popular Baltic States. You'll begin with some of Estonia's most charming medieval sites in Tallinn, head to the quirky Finnish capital of Helsinki, and end your trip with some of Russia's most opulent landmarks and artworks in St. Petersburg.
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