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Estonia (Bradt Travel Guides) Paperback – 15 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides; 5th Revised edition edition (15 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841621943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841621944
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 858,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A thoughtful and well-written introduction to the country." The Lady "A wealth of practical information." The Yorkshire Post "This guide provides the essential information to prepare a successful trip." Reference Review "A must-have as it covers not only the country, but also offers fascinating information on short trips to the neighbours." The Baltic Times "Excellent on culture and history." Escape Routes "Bradt's Estonia is best - detailed, reliable, and pleasantly opinionated." Conde Nast Traveler, USA

From the Author

Request for further information
A guidebook really has many authors even if only one name appears on the title page. To be good, it needs to be supported regularly by travellers passing on up to date reports and views. I fortunately have the chance to visit Estonia about four times a year but there may be many developments, particularly outside the larger towns, of which I am unaware. I would welcome further comments to add to the one that is already on the site, and perhaps ideas for places and buildings to include in future editions that were neglected in the current book. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicky Gardner on 19 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
It is surely never easy to satisfy within just a couple of hundred pages all the potential users of a guidebook. But Neil Taylor, in his Bradt Guide to Estonia, definitely comes close. Whether it be in Tallinn's turreted old town or in the delicate beauty of rural Estonia, I really found Neil Taylor's insights and writing to be something quite special.
One has a sense of being with the man, with his wry and witty comments on all things Estonian. 'Pleasantly opinionated' is how one of the book cover comments describes the book, and that really hits the mark. It is precisely because Taylor gives opinions that the book is such a good read, and gets beyond the usual bland guidebook routine.
This is a country with a fabulously complicated history, and the fact that Taylor manages to unravel that in manageable terms is much his credit. That he even succeeds in lots of details glossed over by other guidebooks is remarkable. There really are several strands of Orthodox belief in Estonia: the Old Believers, the mainstream Russian Orthodox and the Estonian Orthodox. Taylor (with a talented team of guest contributors) probes these details, and generally gets them right.
The book is at its best in its coverage of rural areas of Estonia - and, in my view, entirely eclipses the English language competition once you get outside the capital. But it's good on Tallinn too, and I'd certainly highly recommend it for city break visitors just jetting into Tallinn for the weekend, as well as for those bent on more serious explorations of this most engaging of countries.
Of course the book deals well with the brick and mortar of modern Estonia, but I also found it excellent in its handling of the intangibles: issues of social mood, cultural identity and popular belief.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hilary Bird on 14 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
I live in Estonia and am now on my indispensable fourth edition of Bradts guide by Neil Taylor.
This is very much a book for the discerning traveller. The 40-odd pages about the general history, economy, geography and culture of Estonia are excellent. No other guide covers these subjects so extensively. The practical information is always up to date (important in a country where so much is changing so fast) as Neil Taylor visits regularly and has good networks `on site'. The travel information is scattered with interesting texts and quotes from such Estonian luminaries as Ants Oras and Lennart Meri, the Welsh/Estonian MP Lembit Opik (who gives an apt 1-page guide to Dos and Don'ts) and British travellers of the 1930's. In addition I can recommend the well planned suggested tours.
This is the only guidebook in English that concentrates on Estonia without lumping it together with the other two Baltic States. This is very much to Bradts credit as the States are far from homogenous and deserve a volume all to themselves. Bradt's Latvia and Lithuania are also recommended.
Bradt's is always growing and changing so, if you're heading for Estonia and want reliable information about the country's natural beauty, turbulent history, what to see, what to do and how much it will cost, don't go without it!
Hilary Bird, Vanemuise, Tartu, Estonia
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Angus M on 30 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This Bradt guide to Estonia is informative and readable, and overall the best guide book to the country I have come across. As well as giving you all the things you expect from a guide - when to go, where to stay, places to eat and drink, entertainment and nightlife (at least, in Tallinn) and so on - it is full of practical advice (eg for disabled visitors) and interesting background information. Some of this is provided by experts (eg the section on sensible health precautions to take before visiting the countryside or coming into close contact with animals) and some is in the form of personal accounts, which give fascinating insights into life in Estonia, past and present. Another excellent feature of the guide is the amount of space devoted to places in Estonia beyond its capital city, Tallinn. I have travelled in and around Estonia over the last 15 years, but I found references to many places which were unfamiliar to me, or which now have facilities and amenities, which I know did not exist in earlier years! The author, Neil Taylor, is clearly very knowledgeable about Estonia, and apart from the occasionally curious turn of phrase - for example (of a small town on the border with Latvia) "Valka is a town dominated by death" (page 218) - writes with a real enthusiasm for the country. This is a guide to read with pleasure before and after your visit, as well as being of great practical assistance while you are there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Thompson on 13 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second time I've used a Bradt guide while traveling, and each time I've found them good for two reasons; firstly they cover places the other guides haven't done in this sort of depth, and secondly, they stick to what they know, and avoid colour and gloss.
On this occasion I bought the edition that's just been replaced with a new, and bigger one, although I noticed the latest claims to have more emphasis on family travel, which I wasn't doing, so I had no concerns. This one's been around for about three years, and is still pretty current today.
The suggested itinerary for walking old-town Tallin is very thorough, and can occupy a day quite easily. The descriptions on museums also give a full introduction to each.
In the provinces, the information is thinner, but still characterises the towns well, drawing on numerous other sources to add depth in galley pieces. Some historical details are occasionally missed, for example the guide portrays Rakvere as a stronghold that never saw much action at war. It might be truer to say that its strategic importance belonged to wars which we don't know well enough.
Bradt also has little to say on Tallinn's nightlife, but it has useful suggestions for further reading if you're looking for something a bit more cheeky.
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