Grab wine, coffee or better still an Estonian crafted beer, and let me tell you Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular. It has to do with the fact that this medieval city in the Baltic States, is a progressive e-society and hence it’s popular name of e-Estonia. Digital Nomads, start-ups and entrepreneurs are flocking to be a part of this advanced society, which I will explain a little later in this article.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

What I will cover in this article, and why you should settle in and read it all

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Tallinn in Estonia is also very popular because let’s face it, Tallinn is a very attractive city, and while many people say that it has become very touristy; that is with good reason. It is a beautiful and very inviting city. It has amazing architecture, great gardens and did I mention that Estonian crafted beer is both cheap and very good.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Why Tallinn, and Estonia are attracting the tourists

Tallinn is a picture-perfect destination of medieval cobbled streets, red roofs, large onion-domed churches, that glisten in the sun, and a walled fortress with towers to complete the picture. It has both an Upper Old Town and a Lower Old Town that will take your breath away with their beauty. Tallinn is a city with a village feel as you meander the streets, the gardens and sit for a local beer in the sunshine and take in all what this country has achieved in a very short time. On the day we visited it was the most perfect day to showcase why Tallinn deserves its popularity.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

The fact that this medieval village was once a Soviet ruled state just 26 years ago, and is now at the cutting edge of technology adds to the intrigue of e-Estonia. And they have a sense of humour, as you will see. As soon as we could, we disembarked the cruise ship, trying to get ahead of the tourists who would and did descend on Tallinn. We wanted it on our own for a little time.

Where is Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia?

Far, far from the maddening crowds, we sailed into a very flat city. It did not look promising at all as we headed into the nether regions of the Gulf of Finland, and one of the former Soviet states called Estonia and to its capital city of Tallinn. Located in Northern Europe, Estonia is in the north-eastern part of the Baltic Sea region. Due to it’s strategic location, Estonia has historical ties to Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia, Finland and other countries.It is 82 kms from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, 280kms for Riga, the capital city of Latvia, and 310 kms from St Petersburg in Russia. Look, let’s face it, this e-society is remote, which makes its dramatic rise in the technological world even more intriguing. For digital nomads like ourselves (well we travel a lot), it promises to be nirvana.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

What Tallin shares with us about themselves

When we left the ship, we were greeted with a large board telling us about themselves.

Tallinn is the home of SKYPE
• Tallinn was previously called Reval until it gained independence in 1918.
• A 2008 Discovery Channel article rated Tallinn amongst the world’s top 10 cities for free wireless internet access.
• Tallinn has the oldest continuously running apothecary in Europe called Raeapteek.
• Chimney sweeps in Tallinn continue to wear the 19th century uniforms. If you come across one, be sure to touch his brass buttons for good luck.
• There is free public transport for anyone who is registered as a resident in Tallinn, and that includes e-residents, which I will explain later. Estonia has over 2000 islands, many mostly uninhabited
• Estonia was the first country to complete electric vehicle charging network with nationwide coverage
• For Estonians, dark rye bread called lieb is very very popular
• Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world with only a quarter of the population having some sort of affiliation with a religion; yet they have some amazing churches.
• Estonians love saunas, and they can be found in houses, apartments, and even on buses

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Why is it known as e-Estonia?

We didn’t know much about Estonia or e-Estonia before our visit. On the night before our visit, I decided to do some homework. Holy shit, these people invented Skype. Like WTF? And I read, and I read. They say that if a child cannot code by the age of 5, well …. trade them in. It is just unheard of; so, advanced are they, in everything to do with technology, that they have earned this moniker of e-Estonia.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

The Republic of Estonia declared independence in 1918, but Estonia’s Singing Revolution, a non-violent struggle, ended the Soviet occupation and Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991. Do Estonia and Russian’s like one another? We asked someone who said, “the Russians love Estonia.” Full stop. On further research, I read that there are predictions that World War 3 could start there.

After Estonia had left the USSR, it’s infrastructure needed to be rebuilt after the Soviet bureaucracy was gone. They decided to embrace the new technology that was just emerging, and that was to get on the bandwagon of the recently released World Wide Web, developed by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

Estonia realized that they needed to reinvent themselves, to get ahead of this new technological game, and they needed to attract entrepreneurs. The Estonians saw the potential to establish an e-state and a digital society, and they did, despite their isolation from the physical world. They jumped in, and it is paying big dividends for e-Estonia.

“Its ‘e-Estonia’ tag is entirely justified: Internet access has been declared a human right, and you’ll find 4G mobile internet just about anywhere you go, even on the most isolated of the more than 2,000 islands that lie off its coast. Its tech-savvy population is accustomed to carrying out a host of tasks online: not just filing tax returns but voting, getting prescriptions and much more, making it a model of e-governance. And its thriving start-up scene is making a mark on the world stage. “Few factors get us as excited as Estonian founders!” tweeted Silicon Valley VC titan Marc Andreessen in 2015.” Source 

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

What is e-residency?

I also learned that we could become an e-resident without ever stepping foot in the country, but as we were visiting, all we needed to do was to visit a police station to get our e-residency and the associated benefits that have made e-Estonia a very popular place. Let me digress for a bit.

E-Residency is a new digital nation for global citizens, powered by the Republic of Estonia. Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency, a government-issued digital ID available to anyone in the world. E-Residency offers the freedom to easily start and run a global business in a trusted EU environment. The Estonian state offers 600 e-services to its citizens and 2,400 to businesses. Utilizing a locally developed Electronic ID card, which effectively acts as an online passport

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Further resources about e-Estonia

To read some more about the development of e-Estonia, I have included some articles.
How did Estonia become a leader in technology?

A Brexit bolthole? For €100 you can become an e-resident of an EU country you’ve never visited

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

A humorous look at Estonia

– 100 ways to know that you are from Estonia

BY ESTONIAN WORLD IN LIFE
Every nation has its characteristics. Some time ago, a few Tallinn-based expats compiled a tongue-in-cheek list that distinguishes Estonians.

You know you are from Estonian when…

1. You use the word “normal” if something is OK.
2. When visiting friends abroad you bring along a box of Kalev chocolate.
3. You attended a song festival at least once either as a performer or as a spectator.
4. You know that going to the sauna is 80% about networking and 20% about washing.
5. You are nationalistic about Skype (it was actually set up in Estonia).
6. Kohuke (Estonian curd snack) belongs to your menu.
7. You declare your taxes on the internet like all modern people.
8. You actually believed for a while that Latvians had six toes per foot when you heard that as a child.
9. You are convinced that Estonia is very strategically located.
10. You spent at least one midsummer in Saaremaa or Hiiumaa, or in one of the smaller islands.
11. You can quote films like “Viimne reliikvia” and “Siin me oleme”.
12. You spit three times around your left shoulder for good luck.
13. Words like “veoauto”, “täieõiguslik” or “jää-äär” sound perfectly pronounceable to you.
14. You have been at least once in your life at Pärnu beach.
15. There can never be too much sarcasm.
16. Buildings taller than 20 floors are sightseeing items where you bring visitors.
17. You are disappointed that Jaan Kross never got the Nobel prize in literature.
18. It would not be surprising for English-speakers to find your name naughty (Peep, Tiit, Andres [sounds like undress]) or hippy (Rein, Rain).
19. You have been to Finland.
20. You say ‘Noh’ (sounds like NO) even when you speak English, just to confuse people.
21. You know the lyrics to “Mutionu” and “Rongisõit”.
22. You are used to customer servants looking at you as if they wanted to give you a good slap.
23. You would agree that wife-carrying is a real sport (at least as long as Estonians are winning).
24. Your best friend’s girlfriend is your English teacher’s daughter and they live next door to your grandparents, who were colleagues with your advisor, who is friends with your…
25. You think any beverage below 20% is non-alcoholic.
26. You think working 35 hours per week is like being on a holiday.
27. You look in both directions before crossing the road, even if it’s a one-way street.
28. You grin very mysteriously when people ask about your national food.
29. Even if you find the music by Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt not exactly easy-listening, you think they are great messengers for the country.
30. Your five-year-old child knows how to code.
31. You cheated on your wife/husband at least ten times but you still think you’re in a good marriage.
32. When someone ask you “where is Estonia?” you quickly reply that it’s located in Northern Europe close to Finland…
33. You think that people who smile too much and are too friendly, must be high on something.
34. Sour cream tastes good with everything.
35. A foreigner speaks to you in broken horrible Estonian and you go on and on about how wonderful their Estonian is compared to “the Russians”.
36. You have ever worn or seen anyone wear “karupüksid”.
37. You have heard the phrase “Estonians are slow” at least once.
38. Sa saad aru, mis siia kirjutatud on.
39. You find yourself continually ignoring the gender in other languages.
40. You say “kurat” as at least every second word.
41. You consider running to the shop at 21:50 on Friday evening to buy some booze a sport.
42. You don’t go on strike or protest when the government screws you.
43. When someone says “Estonians are so beautiful” you answer almost without emotions “I know”.
44. You have tried to explain people that “kauboi” is actually a word in Estonian.
45. You don’t think that “terviSEKS” is a funny word.
46. You don’t find the Estonian equivalent to the expressions “twelve months”, “1002” and “12 buses” remotely funny or rude.
47. Even though you never met Toots, Teele and Kiir you know exact what they are like (literary characters from Oskar Luts’s books).
48. You grin when someone you know says that they bought a BMW.
49. You know how to end the sentence “Kui Arno isaga koolimajja jõudis…” (from Oskar Luts’s book “Kevade”).
50. Verivorst (blood sausage) tastes great (at least once a year at Christmas time).
51. You want truth and justice (tõde ja õigus) to rule the world.
52. You think that the combination blue-black-white is cheerful.
53. You think that Estonian women are the most beautiful in the world.
54. For, you it is totally normal to eat food gone sour (hapupiim, hapukurk, hapukapsas, hapukoor).
55. A language should have at least 14 cases.
56. You know the moves to the song “Põdra maja“.
57. You consider “Õllepruulija” an unofficial national anthem.
58. Everyone in your family has pictures from funerals.
59. You are so proud of every Estonian that you correct foreigners who say that the population is one million, not 1.3 million as it actually is.
60. You know the moves to kaerajaan (folk dance).
61. “Ühesõnaga” (“To sum it up in one word”) means a really long explanation is coming.
62. A mention of a town with a population of a million or more causes you to panic slightly.
63. The phrase “go south, get some sun” can feasibly mean Latvia or Lithuania. The phrase “go north” is semantically null.
64. It’s been years since you’ve seen your paper passport and paper bus pass.
65. And weeks since you’ve seen cash money.
66. And you barely remember that there are other forms of payment except electronic ones.
67. When you come to a city that has a subway, you are prepared to spend a day just riding it.
68. You presume that all other countries also have ubiquitous internet access.
69. Four-digit bus route numbers cause your brain to shut down.
70. You feel that the University of Tartu is among the top five best/largest/oldest universities in the world, and if you’ve graduated from it, all paths in life are open for you.
71. Swimming in +18°C water is a perfectly normal summer activity for you.
72. Although when summer does come around, you tend to be working that day.
73. You will die before finding out if anyone actually does buy all those black and white hand-knit sweaters in the Tallinn Old Town.
74. You can name from memory all the really big musical acts that have performed in Estonia.
75. You don’t give a damn about religion, but get lost in a spiritual section of a bookshop for hours.
76. You know the names of all three black people living in Estonia.
77. You think €1,000 per month counts as a decent salary.
78. A person who speaks three languages isn’t the slightest bit impressive.
79. Your biological clock senses with perfect accuracy the 15 minutes since you’ve parked your car in the centre of town.
80. You wait for a green light at a pedestrian crossing even when there is no traffic to be seen.
81. You like “kiluvõileib” (sprat sandwich).
82. If it takes more than 10 minutes to drive somewhere within the city, you are mildly annoyed because it is too far.
83. You know who Carmen Kass is.
84. Your doctor prescribes a visit to a tanning salon.
85. You take it as inevitable that you will need to go abroad for some things: clothes, footwear, books, theme parks…
86. First-graders with mobile phones no longer surprise you.
87. People who type slowly and carefully using only their index fingers are subconsciously considered to be foreigners.
88. The most difficult subjects you learned at school were Estonian history, Estonian geography and Estonian literature. And Russian.
89. You can speak with pride of Estonia’s tallest mountain(Mountain Suur Munamägi – 318 m).

90. You can at times drink hot tea to hot food.
91. You use a mobile phone to pay for your car parking.
92. On 23 June, you feel the irresistible urge to drink beer, eat barbeque meat, light a bonfire and stay up all night (it is “Jaanipäev” or St John’s Eve).
93. When you hear “Kristina”, you think of Shmigun, not Aguilera.
94. Every year you believe, deep in your heart, that Estonia will once again win the Eurovision Song Contest.
95. Potato to you is the same as rice to a Japanese.
96. You consider summer to consist of three weeks of bad skiing weather.
97. You can’t imagine your life without “Kalev” chocolate and “Viru Valge” vodka.
98. You’re proud that Ernst Hemingway wrote that you can find at least one Estonian in every harbour in the world.
99. Ten months of the year it is too dark to be up and two months it is too light to go to bed.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Toompea

A large part of the Old Town sits on a hill known as Toompea, closely linked to Estonia’s history and legends. Today it is the center of the country’s government and the location of its Parliament called Riigikogu.

Toompea

Raekoja Plats or Town Hall Square

Raekoja Plats has been the center of the Old Town since medieval times. It is the location of the Tallinn Town Hall, the oldest town hall in the Baltics and Scandinavia, dating from 1322. Though it was rebuilt in its current form at the turn of the 15th century. There are lots of cafes, bars, and tourists in this area.

Toompea

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral has the onion domes that is so much associated with this area.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin – the Dome Church

Located on Toompea Hill, the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin is Estonia’s oldest church, also known as the Dome Church. The interior is like no other church we have seen with its medieval shields on the walls where normally you would see religious iconography.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Kiek in de Kok

This museum has hidden tunnels and visually shows the history of Tallin, including its medieval and tumultuous past…and they have a locally sourced cafe.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

Kumu

The Kunstimuuseum is the Art Museum and is the largest art museum in the Baltics. The main collection features Estonian works from the 18th century onward. The seven-story circular building is very modern yet fits very well into the medieval surroundings.

Where to Stay in Tallinn in Estonia

HOTEL PALACE BY TALLINNHOTELS
Hotel Palace by TallinnHotels is an amazing hotel with a prime location. The staff is extremely friendly, buffet breakfast is fantastic, and the location is within walking distance to everything. It’s a great hotel both for business and pleasure, definitely one of the best and well-recommended luxury accommodation in Tallinn, Estonia.

Why Tallinn Estonia or e-Estonia is so popular

SOLO SOKOS HOTEL ESTORIA
Solo Sokos Hotel Estoria offers guests with modernised rooms, with a magnificent view over the Old town. Great breakfast, professional team and has a shopping centre in the same building too. Truly, this is one of the best and well recommended luxury accommodation in Tallinn, Estonia.