Should you visit Italy or Estonia?Italy and Estonia are two very different countries. Each has a lot to offer visitors, but the cultures, atmosphere, and costs are dramatically different. Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It has world famous cities and attractions, and there is rarely a time when you won't see other visitors around. Italy offers travelers a world class destination that many people dream of visiting.
Estonia is far less famous, and feels a bit off the beaten path. It's prices are much cheaper than Italy's, and its sights less well known.
Estonia is still an impressive country to visit. There's beautiful countryside that feels untouched by time. There are quaint towns and markets where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere. Estonia moves at a slower pace and it offers visitors a truly unique experience. The most famous city in Estonia is Tallinn. Tallinn has a beautiful old town with charming streets and beautiful churches. Once you head into Estonia's countryside, you'll find quaint towns, stone walls, and small churches. It's worth spending time exploring the whole country.
Because Italy has so many places to explore, it's best to visit when you have enough time to really see the country. Estonia is smaller, with less places to visit, so if you're short on time and money, it is a good option.
When is the best time to visit Italy and Estonia?
Like most countries in the Baltics, Estonia is best visited during the warmer months from late spring through summer. This is the warmest time of the year and is a great time to be outside. The summers are short though. Temperatures start to drop in early September, but fall can still be a beautiful time to visit. Snow may fall as early as mid November and by late in the year 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 Italy more expensive than Estonia?Italy is one of the top travel destinations in the world and prices reflect that. The country is popular with all types of travelers from independent travelers to tour groups and school groups. Cruise ships are also a common sight. This popularity drives up prices and creates an economy that is focused on tourism. There are many restaurants and shops that cater specifically to tourists, and their prices are often higher and the quality a bit less. Despite its popularity, there are still deals available in Italy if you don't travel during the peak season.
Estonia has a much lower cost of living than Italy, 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 Italy.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Italy and Estonia?
Many of the coastal areas in Italy are frequented by cruise ships and the high number of cruise ship passengers cab drive up the price of restaurants and shops. Coastal areas in Italy tend to be quite expensive.
Estonia is more affordable than Italy, but within Estonia you'll find a wide variety of expenses. Tallinn is probably the most expensive part of Estonia to visit. 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, because they offer 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.
How you can save money when visiting Italy and Estonia?Italy is a touristy country and there are no shortage of tourist restaurants and shop around. It's best to avoid the tourist traps and try to get off the beaten path a bit. Eat where the locals eat and you're sure to save some money and enjoy a delicious meal.
If you want to head somewhere a little different and save a bit of money, look into southern Italy. Southern Italy is generally cheaper than Northern Italy and it also has a different character and vibe.
Estonia is a relatively affordable country to visit, particularly by European standards. If you want your money to go even farther, look for a hostel of local budget hotel. There are a wide variety of places to stay, particularly in Tallinn.
Local restaurants are cheaper than chains. If you want to find some interesting and cheap places to eat, find a neighborhood near a university. Restaurants near schools usually cater to students and are often 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.