We have to admit, Estonia isn’t usually at the top of most travelers’ vacation itineraries. With the glaciated mountains of Sweden and the vast wilderness of Finland nearby, it’s no wonder so many people think Estonia fails in comparison.
This small Baltic country actually has a lot to offer, from its historical museums to the medieval castles in the capital of Tallinn. A simple search on the web will pull up even more reasons why you should plan a visit, but knowing what not to do is just as important. Here are 13 things to keep in mind when traveling to this Northern Europe country.
1. Don’t Be General
When speaking to an Estonian, play close attention to the way you ask questions. They’re usually very straightforward, so beating around the bush won’t do you any good. Be specific with all of your questions and inquiries, and you’ll be much better off in the long run.
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If you’re like most Americans, you hear the word “Croatia” and your mind immediately jumps to the same pity-inducing images of left-behind Russian nations. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. This diverse, gorgeous, inspiring country on the Adriatic is a great place to spend your travel time. Shoppers, hikers, beach lovers, even TV fans will love a trip to Croatia, a country that’s got so much more going on than you could comprehend. If you’re thinking about spending a few weeks in Croatia, however, here are some destinations, customs, and general knowledge to keep in mind to make sure that your time on the Adriatic is well spent.
1. Don’t Just Drop the Top With Abandon
Croatia’s pristine beaches welcome topless sunbathers in a lot of cases. On some specially-designated beaches, travelers can even go completely nude. Before you bare it all, however, keep in mind where you are. Different parts of the country tend to have competing social values. A beach in the south of the nation, for example, may not appreciate you doffing that top while their kids are playing in the water.
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When venturing out to the Balkan nation of Bulgaria, you’ll likely be visiting Devil’s Bridge and taking a selfie in front of the Bulgarian State Monument. But as for the things you shouldn’t do, you might be a bit clueless. Just like any travel destination, there’s a list of things you should do and a list of things you should avoid. Here are a few things you should avoid that will make your stay in this cultural melting pot more enjoyable.
1. Don’t Crack Jokes
We’re not saying you should completely leave your humor at home before you visit, but be mindful of the kind of jokes you crack in the presence of a Bulgarian. By nature, they love making self-deprecatory jokes, but when the tables are turned, they don’t appreciate being the butt of a foreigner’s jokes. To be sure you don’t cross the line and come off as insensitive or downright rude, go easy on the humor.
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Rwanda’s history of ethnic tension and genocide suggests it wouldn’t be at the top of most travelers’ list of places to visit. But why wouldn’t you want to delve deep inside this landlocked country and traverse its lush greenery, scenic lakes, and fascinating wildlife? Not only does this East African country experience the best weather all year long, but it’s one of the safest destinations in the world. If you need even more reasons to visit Rwanda, we have 10 of them for you.
1. Foodie Heaven
If you’re looking to eat your way through an entire country, look no further. Delicious Rwandan cuisine can be found in just about every small café, restaurant, and luxury resort, such as Kigali Serena Hotel in the capital city. With several restaurants on-site to choose from, you can feast on food from all corners of the world, including Spanish, Malaysian, Mongolian, and of course, Rwandan dishes.
Many of the country’s traditional food includes simple meals made with locally sourced fruits and vegetables from the markets. With a diet that consists mainly of sambaza, plantains, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava, in Rwanda you can eat to your heart’s content.
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As the first Soviet country to leave the USSR, Lithuania is still trying to regain its sense of self and flourish. However, that doesn’t mean this destination should be left off of your bucket list. The Baltic nation thrives on its influences from its history with Poland, its gorgeous palaces, and its quirky museums. As you walk down the cobblestone roads in some of the country’s most historical cities that date back to the 1400s, don’t forget to take part in these 13 things during your trip:
1. The Dead Dunes
This landmark in the resort town of Nida offers panoramic views of the coastline. Miles of sand and the lush forests can be found in this area on the Curonian Spit between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. It’s considered a protected, national park that comprises the Nagliai Nature Reserve, and visitors can travel down the wooden boardwalk and view the remains of the granite sundial that was destroyed during a 1999 hurricane.
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Whether your usual travel partner can’t get the time off from work or you just feel like traveling someplace by yourself, New Orleans is the perfect destination to have some solo fun. In a city that’s known for its rich cultural history, delicious food, and the non-stop party on Bourbon Street, there’s an array of things to do in this tourist destination. Here are a few things you must add to your itinerary that’ll keep you so busy, you’ll forget you’re flying solo!
1. Eat a Bunch of Seafood
When it comes to dining, the city is a fusion of various cuisines – from Southern comfort foods, creole dishes, and, seafood. It really doesn’t get any better than the chargrilled oysters at Desire Oyster Bar. And at $1 each during their happy hour special, you can’t beat that price. Make sure to eat at the bar so you can watch them shuck the oysters right before your eyes, and the bar is usually where you’ll find other solo travelers so you can make some new friends during your stay!
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Montenegro may be a small country on the Adriatic coastline, but there’s no shortage of things to do. The twisty mountain roads will guide you to mausoleums, breathtaking monasteries, and cultural museums. Here are the 10 most popular things you should see and do while visiting this majestic destination.
1. Cats Museum
In Old Town Kotor, you’ll find the Cats Museum – and yes, it’s dedicated to cuddly, furry felines. The surrounding medieval town has a high cat population with various breeds. The animals initially entered Montenegro on the small ships of the Romans back in 168 BC. When the ships were left behind at the port, the cats decided to make the city their home. This museum is perfect for animal lovers who adore all things cat-related.
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Supposedly, iconic labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez once said, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him — the people who give you their food give you their heart.” If you’re the kind of person that hears that statement and gets a sudden urge to shout, “Preach it!” then you came to the right place. One of the best ways to experience a people and their culture is to visit their homeland and sit down for a traditional meal. You can learn so much by simply letting your taste buds do the walking. If you’re a lover of people and a lover of all things delicious, then you just might be a born traveling foodie — but where to take this wanderlust? Allow us to offer a few suggestions on where to go to sate your need for travel and your need for the best food in the world.
1. No Matter Which Coastal Country You’re in, Try the Lobster
Let’s kick things off with some general advice — try the lobster. From Maine to Thailand, talented chefs the world over have put their own mouth watering spin on lobster and you owe it to yourself to try every nation’s take on this naturally delicious animal.
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