Plan A Trip To This Underrated European Country For Fun Festivals

Whether it's La Tomatina in Spain, Glastonbury in the United Kingdom, or Oktoberfest in Germany, it seems there is no shortage of fun festivals in Europe. With 50 countries in the continent of Europe, there are plenty of options to choose from. It might feel natural to want to visit popular tourist destinations like Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and other Western European nations, but for a unique getaway with some of the best festivals on the continent, you'll want to head north to the Baltic states.

The Baltics consists of three countries: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. For a festival-forward getaway, Estonia is a prime destination with plenty of offerings. Much lesser known than its Western European counterparts, Estonia is a tiny but vivid nation with charming towns and cities, immense historic significance, and for a real surprise, a lot of forestry covering the country. If you want to go where many overlook and celebrate a unique festival while doing so, Estonia is calling.

Best festivals in Estonia

Estonia on its own is well worth a visit, but if you want to go for festivals specifically, you'll need to know the best ones to plan your trip around. Locals are especially proud of their annual Song and Dance Festival. The first Song and Dance Festival was held in 1869 in Tartu and is held outdoors every summer, rain or shine. For craft beer aficionados, the Tallinn Craft Beer Weekend in the capital city is simply a must.

Furthering Estonia's love for music, the Tallinn Chamber Music Festival is a celebration of classical music and its significance throughout the country. The festival typically attracts highly esteemed figures throughout the classical music community. 

Moreover, one of the biggest celebrations in the country is also held in the capital, Tallinn. Tallinn Old Town Days is held each year and widely celebrates Estonian culture and tradition over the course of several days. Events include musical celebrations, sporting events, theatrical spectacles, and art displays. This fest is a great way to learn more about Tallinn's history as one of the oldest preserved medieval towns in Europe.

Best times to visit

While you might be planning your trip based around a certain festival, which would naturally determine when you visit, there are two polar opposite seasons around which you'll want to base your visit. Visiting Estonia in the summer guarantees the most crowds since the weather is warmest and schoolchildren are on summer holiday. Due to being so geographically north, Estonia never gets exceptionally hot like other popular European destinations. From June to August, Estonia typically stays between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also due to being so northernly located, Estonia sees close to 19 hours of daylight in peak summer.

You might think you'd want to avoid northern Europe in the winter, but Estonia offers plenty of reasons to head here regardless of those predispositions. While winter occasionally sees less than eight hours of daylight, there's a seriously appealing reason to visit in the cooler, darker months: the country's incredible Christmas markets. The Tallinn Christmas Market, which was founded in 2001, is a charming fairytale-like one-stop shop to buy gifts so great that even Santa would be jealous.