Should you visit Ireland or Estonia?Ireland and Estonia are two very different countries, but each country has interesting cities and beautiful countryside to explore. Estonia is a much less popular travel destination, and it's also much more affordable. If you're looking for a budget friendly place to visit that's a bit off the beaten path, then you'll likely enjoy a trip to Estonia.
Estonia is in the Baltics, which is a fascinating and affordable part of Europe. The top tourist destination is Tallinn, which is 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 cobblestone streets and charming medieval houses 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 Ireland and Estonia?
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 Ireland more expensive than Estonia?Estonia is a very affordable country to visit, particularly when compared to Ireland. It has a much lower cost of living and this helps keep costs affordable for visitors. You can expect to pay a fraction of the cost in Estonia for meals, accommodation, and transportation compared to what you might pay in Ireland.
In general you can travel with public transportation around most of Estonia. The one exception is in Saaremaa, where it is helpful to have a rental car. In Ireland, most visitors use rental cars for the majority of their trip. This price alone can make Ireland an expensive country to visit.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Ireland and Estonia?
If you hope to explore the Irish countryside, then a rental car is very helpful. Rental cars can be expensive though, so plan your trip accordingly.
Although Estonia is very affordable, Tallinn is probably the most expensive place to visit in the country. It is the most popular destination and prices generally reflect that. That being said, you might be caught off guard in some smaller towns and villages where there is limited accommodation options. 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.
How you can save money when visiting Ireland and Estonia?Find accommodation that is centrally located. Whether you're visiting a larger city like Dublin, or a smaller town, having centrally located accommodation can save you a lot of time and money, even if the upfront cost is very expensive.
Estonia is a relatively affordable country to visit, particularly by European standards. If you want to keep your prices down, find hostels or budget accommodation to stay at. Most places are a fraction of the price you would pay in other parts of Europe.
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.