Should you visit Germany or Estonia?Germany and Estonia are two very different countries. Germany is much larger than Estonia, and it's also more expensive. Each country has interesting places to visit, but consider what you're looking for in a vacation, as well as the amount of time you have before you choose where to go.
Germany is a large country with diverse landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, and charming towns. Despite its large size, it is a very efficient country to visit. Trains and buses are reliable and run like clockwork. The cities are very clean and modern and the facilities are comfortable. If you hope to explore Germany in great depth, it's worth having more time. There are so many places worth visiting, even with the efficient transportation, you'll need a lot to time to really soak up the country.
Estonia is in the Baltics, which is a fascinating and affordable part of Europe to visit. The top tourist destination is Tallinn, which is a beautiful place to visit. It's a charming city with a unique history and an impressive and well-preserved old town. The area around the hill of Toompea is covered with cobblestoned streets and charming medieval houses and the lower town spreads out from the foot of the hill. This area is surrounded by a city wall and there are several nice parks outside the wall. Tallinn has many churches and historical sights that you can visit, as well as budget restaurants and a relatively vibrant nightlife scene.
Saaremaa is another popular destination in Estonia. It's the largest Estonian island and it has a rural and "frozen in time" kind of feel. The capital of the island is Kuressaare and there are several charming villages spread throughout. The villages are known for their stone fences, houses with thatched roofs, and windmills.
When is the best time to visit Germany and Estonia?
Winter is also a beautiful time to visit Germany. In general, prices tend to be a bit cheaper during this season, but great off season discounts have become harder to find. Even during the coldest winter months, many hotels have become popular with business travelers or tour groups, which drives the prices up. Deals on airline tickets can still be found during these low times. The holiday season around Christmas can also be a more expensive time to visit as vacationers head to the area.
Estonia is best visited during the warmer months from late spring through summer. This is when the weather is most pleasant and it's a nice time to be outside. The summers are short though, with temperatures starting to cool off as early as the beginning of September. Fall can be a beautiful time of year but expect colder temperatures. Snow can fall as early as mid November and as winter progresses it can become quite frigid. Many tourist facilities close in the fall months and don't reopen again until April or sometimes May.
Why is Germany more expensive than Estonia?Germany is all around a more expensive country to visit than Estonia. It has a higher cost of living which makes accommodation, food, and entertainment all more expensive. Germany is also a significantly larger country, so transportation costs can be significantly higher.
Estonia has a much lower cost of living than Germany, and this helps to keep costs affordable for visitors. Estonia also does not use the euro, so the exchange rate often comes out in the travelers favor. You can expect to pay a fraction of the cost in Estonia for meals, accommodation, and transportation compared to what you might pay in Germany.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Germany and Estonia?
Tallinn is probably the most expensive part of Estonia to visit. It is the most popular destination in the country and prices generally reflect that. That being said, you might be caught off guard in some smaller towns and villages, because there is limited accommodation and the places that are available may not be budget friendly. During the low season the availability is even less, so you may find yourself paying more than you would in the larger cities. Saaremaa can also be a bit more expensive than you expect if you decide to hire a rental car. Even so, Estonia is much cheaper when compared to Germany.
How you can save money when visiting Germany and Estonia?Germany is a large country, so transportation costs can be high. If you travel to less cities you'll keep your costs in check and be able to explore the places you do visit in more depth.
Germany has a variety of affordable food options. There are often food stands where you can buy bratwurst or other local favorites for a fraction of the price of eating in a sit down restaurant.
There is no shortage of accommodation options in both Germany and Estonia. There are a wide variety of hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels, so you should have no trouble finding an affordable place to stay, particularly if you book well in advance.
Eat at local eateries, particularly near universities. Restaurants that cater to students are usually quite cheap and fast. They offer a local flavor for a fraction of the price you would pay in more touristy areas.
Buy locally. Whether you're renting a car or looking for accommodation, find a locally owned place. The prices are usually better and then your money stays in the local economy.