Should you visit Norway or Estonia?Norway and Estonia are both countries in northern Europe, but each has it's own culture and atmosphere. Norway is part of Scandinavia and it is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. It's also very large. Estonia is part of the Baltics, and it's a relatively small and affordable place to visit.
Norway is a very stunning country with a lot of impressive and beautiful areas. The country is famous for its dramatic fjords and interesting landscape. Because of its large size and vast natural landscapes, it really is essential that you have access to a car if you really want to see the country in depth. Norway also has several interesting cities. Oslo is the capital and largest city in the country and Bergen is the second largest city. Norway is a very expensive country to visit, but if you have the money, it is well worth the trip.
Estonia is a less popular country to visit, but it does have a lot to offer travelers. The top tourist destination in the country 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. 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 Norway and Estonia?
The spring months are a nice time to visit as well because this is when you can enjoy the Sami festivals. Waterfalls are full from the melting snow and wild flowers are in bloom.
Winter is a unique time to visit Norway. It's a beautiful time of year, but there is very limited sunlight and very cold temperatures. This is the the best time to see the northern lights, or aurora borealis.
Like Norway, 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 Norway more expensive than Estonia?Norway is one of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe (and the world). It has a high cost of living and the residents make high salaries, so visitors can expect to pay a premium when they visit. Hotels, food, entertainment, and transportation are all very expensive when you visit Norway. In particular, transportation is very expensive because you really need to have access to a vehicle to explore the country in depth. Not only is renting a car expensive, but so is gas. Although Norway is very expensive, it has a high standard of living and is a very beautiful country to visit. Most visitors feel it is worth the high price tag.
Estonia has a much lower cost of living than Norway, and this can keep costs affordable for visitors. You can expect to pay a small fraction of the cost in Estonia for meals, accommodation, and transportation compared to what you might pay in Norway.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in Norway and Estonia?
Estonia is an affordable country to visit throughout, but Tallinn is probably the most expensive part of Estonia. It is the most popular destination and prices generally reflect that. Rural areas may have very few accommodation options though, so if you're on a very tight budget, your options may be limited. 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 Norway and Estonia?Look into discount cards for specific cities to see if they'll save you any money. Also check out the Fjord Pass in Norway to see how beneficial it is for your specific trip.
Make reservations well in advance, particularly for trains. Prices tend to climb as the date approaches.
Research all of your rental car options. There are often some local places that offer more affordable rental cars.
Taxis can be very expensive, so look into public transportation whenever possible.
Plan to cook some of your own food, as eating out is also a very expensive experience.
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.