If you might accidentally be thinking of the Balkans instead of the Baltics, it’s time to travel. You won’t mistake these three countries in northern Europe again. The Baltics – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia – each unique and welcoming, offer medieval and Soviet history, delicious food, and an unmatchable choral tradition. In addition to their shared scenic coastline along the Baltic Sea and the tranquil countryside, they boast some of the best and most charming of European cities, such as Riga and Tallinn (with preserved medieval town squares to boot!). With ferry departures available from both cities, they’re not too far to combine with a tour to Finland, Sweden, or even St. Petersburg in Russia.
Estonian Open Air Museum: Visit more than a dozen separate farms from four different regions of Estonia to learn about history, farm life, bread baking, and even folk dancing. The Open Air Museum is, like just about everything in the Baltics, more varied and fascinating than you ever knew before. Don’t be the last to find out!
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds: Still an active performance venue, the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds were the site of Estonia’s Singing Revolution, a night in 1988 when some 300,000 anti-Soviet Estonians spontaneously came to sing patriotic songs in a nonviolent protest. It was cooler than Woodstock, and you’ll be cooler than your friends for knowing about it.