Estonia sits smack in the middle of multiple nations and is one of the three Baltic States (Estonia, Lativia, and Lithuania) that had once been occupied by the Soviet Union.
Haapsalu - a town known for mud baths and a 13th century castle
Pärnu - the summer capital of Estonia known for its beaches and parks
Viljandi - a castle town with a beatuiful lake view
Tartu - a city containing the oldest active University, since 1632 and Narva - a border town with a 13th century castle half in Estonia and half in Russia
Language: The national language is Estonian, a Finno-Ugric language and, along with its close relative Finnish as well as Hungarian, is one of the few official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.
Food: Traditional Estonian food has its roots firmly in the countryside, relying heavily on pork, potatoes and garden variety vegetables. The main culinary influences were from Germans, who ruled over Estonia for so many centuries. Throughout history, many other nations who ruled the region – Danes, Germans, Swedes, Poles and Russians – have influenced Estonian cuisine. Among the traditional dishes are marinated eel, blood sausage and sauerkraut stew with pork.
Government: Estonia is a parliamentary democracy with three branches of power: legislative, executive, and judicial.
Estonia has gained a reputation for being at the cutting edge of technology. A June 2007 survey found that 768,000 Estonians - 65% of the population - use the internet. The country held the world's first parliamentary "e-vote" in 2007.
Taxes: In 1994, Estonia became one of the first countries in the world to adopt a flat tax, with a uniform rate of 26% regardless of personal income. In January 2005 the personal income tax rate was reduced to 24%. A subsequent reduction to 23% followed in January 2006. The income tax rate will be decreased by 1% annually to reach 18% by January 2011.
Currency: The national currency of Estonia is called the Kroon and was introduced on 20 June 1992. The Kroon is abbreviated as EEK. The smaller unit is called the Sent, 1 kroon = 100 sents. The kroon is pegged to the EURO at 1 EUR = appr. 15.65 EEK.
The Estonian government is now intending to adopt the euro as the country's currency in 2010. Its economy is rated as "high income" by the World Bank.
Exports: Estonia exports machinery and equipment, wood and paper, textiles, food products, furniture, and metals and chemical products. Estonia also exports 1.562 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
Religion: Religion According to a recent Eurostat poll, in 2005, only 16% of Estonian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 54% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 26% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". This, according to the survey, would have made Estonians the most non-religious people in the then 25-member European Union.
Historically, Estonia used to be stronghold of Lutheranism due to its strong links to the Nordic countries.
Saunas: Estonia is truly sauna-obsessed. In the capital city of Tallinn‘s Old Town, there‘s a Sauna street and a medieval "Sauna Tower."
A sauna is a magical place in Estonian lore - childbirth, dying and healing of diseases were performed here. At nighttime it was visited by both good and evil spirits. People tried to avoid sauna at dark times of the day.