Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the coast of the Baltic Sea, are the Baltic States. After the Council of the Baltic Sea States, established in 1992, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Poland, and Russia started to use the Baltic States term. Although Denmark, Norway, and Iceland do not have a coast to the Baltic Sea, they are among these countries because they are members of this council.
Given all these political nomenclatures and classifications, the Baltic countries are Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, given the cultural and geographic commitment.
Although these three countries have lived various pressures throughout their history, they have succeeded in transferring a specific cultural heritage of their own to future generations. When the culture of the countries is read under the German and Russian influence, more meaningful results can be achieved. We can also talk about a serious Polish influence, especially in Lithuania.
Tourism is an indispensable source of income for the Baltic countries. Thanks to their natural and historical beauties, we can count these three countries among the leading tourism destinations. Estonia has around 1,500 islands and islets, and it can be one of the favorite holiday destinations of tourists with its coastline.
Lithuania is a serious tourism country that will not miss attention with its natural beauty. One important fact that you should never forget about the Baltic countries is that you should never confuse the Balkans and the Baltic States. Both culturally and politically different, these two people do not like to be mixed.
Why are These 3 Countries Together?
These three countries share the same geography as well as share the same historical fate. When they entered the Soviet occupation after World War II, their fate was the same and they gained their independence after the cold war. Alongside these, the three states have almost taken their place among the world states as democratic, modern nation states.
For centuries, Estonia and Latvia have been fighting the Danish, German, Swedish, Polish and Russian forces to protect the Baltic Sea ports. Historically, Lithuania dominated a little larger geographies, but these three states fought almost the same enemy and struggled to survive together. The tyranny of Tsarist Russia in the 18th century, the struggle for independence after the First World War, and the Soviet occupation are the main elements that can be the common destiny of these nations.
What are the Differences of These Countries?
It is possible to talk about the many partnerships of these countries, but they also have very different characteristics. At the beginning of this feature comes the languages of these countries. In Estonia, while the Finno-Ugric language is spoken, the Indo-European languages are spoken in Lithuania and Latvia.
Estonians are stubborn, loyal, beautiful singers. Latvians are known as easy-to-understand, talkative and unstable, while Lithuanians stand out as warm-blooded, poetic, romantic, Latin, and incredibly zealous people against nature, compared to other Baltic nations. Estonian women are strikingly beautiful, the Latvians are in the middle as usual, and the Lithuanian men are remarkably handsome.
What is left of the Soviet Union in these countries?
It is possible to say that these countries have largely rejected the Soviet heritage to fully integrate themselves into the west. On the other hand, in the case of tourism and culture, the Soviet heritage and the remains of that period are treasures. For example, Estonia did not stop making propaganda for being a former communist country to win the Eurovision Song Contest.
The Baltic capitals Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius won back their Soviet-era heritage as stylish hotels, boutiques and bistros, and overflowing cafes. Those who want to remember Soviet times can find evidence of the old days in phantom regions, such as the abandoned military base of Paldiski in the west of Talin. But when it comes to political issues, we can classify the Baltic countries as full western countries, rather than English menus, instead of Russian.
Are These Countries Cheap?
It is possible to answer this question both yes and no. If you are interested in the possible expenses to be paid on business visits or famous brands, these countries do not serve less than other European countries. However, local services, food, beverages, taxis, and many other services that you can take advantage of, such as public transport, create attractive opportunities for those who want to visit these countries.
Tourism has a very important place in the economy of these countries, so visitors can find different options for each budget. It is up to you to witness a low budget on the streets of Riga alongside a luxury Talin holiday.
When Should You Visit Baltic Countries?
It would be the best choice to visit these countries from April to October. July the hottest of these countries. If you want to witness “The White Nights” and the “St. John Night’ festivals (June 23) that everyone is curiously waiting for in the summer, June can be a great choice for visiting. During this festival, bonfires are burned, traditional drinks from each village can be tasted, songs are sung by flames, dancing and leaping through the bonfire, and the longest day of the year is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the Baltic countries.
From Where Should You Start to Travel Baltic Countries?
Those who plan to visit these countries for the first time should definitely start by seeing the three capitals. The historical city centers and the rich cultural heritage can be very good options to visit.
Tallinn is one of the world’s best medieval cities. Pointed silhouette, orange castle towers and pastel-colored houses, the upper city with trees, dreamy sea views and the gulls surrounding the walls are totally adorable. Riga‘s Old Town is also beautiful, but the strongest side of the city is the vibrant nightlife and amazing concentration of Jugendstil buildings.
Vilnius is a dreamy Baltic capital, where two rivers meet. The Old Town is warm and soft: the houses in the red color, the wrought iron shop signs, the exaggerated baroque structures and the attractive maze of inner courtyards, are more commercial and more bohemian than other cities in the north.
Can you Swim in the Baltic Sea?
The clean beaches obtained as a result of the struggles against pollution can be an alternative option for swimming thanks to the different atmospheres both calm and pine trees. In three countries, many beaches have blue flag status. Although there are concerns in some areas of accidents and pollution, the answer to the question is definitely yes, swimming in the Baltic Sea.