I’m doing an internship in Tallinn: where can I travel during my internship abroad? Welcome to this family blog to give you some ideas for cheap trips to do during your work placement in Estonia. Tallinn has a lot to offer if you want to get your little butt out of the capital at the weekend, and maximise your work placement in Europe by taking advantage of the surrounding towns and countries! As well as Tallinn, there are some really nice towns to do in Estonia: Parnu, Tartu (European Capital of Culture in 2024!) and Narva, located at the far end of the country on the Russian border. Then there are a few more countries to visit in the surrounding area, with some absolutely exceptional cities, including St Petersburg and Riga to name but two! There are plenty of opportunities to travel during your work placement in Estonia: make the most of them!
Estonia’s second-largest city, Tartu is not only pretty but also very dynamic. Yes, Tallinn is the centre, but Tartu is also a great place for sightseeing and partying. In France, Paris is THE city for partying, but Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes and even Lorient manage perfectly well: it’s the same over there. You have your doubts about Lorient and you think I’m being chauvinistic? After all, we’ve got one of the biggest festivals in the WHOLE WORLD: the Festival Interceltique! Anyway, enough rambling. Tartu is all about culture: the city has been transformed for its representation as European Capital of Culture, and there’s a huge amount of entertainment. Tartu is also home to the AHHAA Science Museum, which is a really great place for adults and children alike, with something for everyone. The displays are fun and dynamic, so it’s well worth a visit! The train is really cheap to get there, and it’s a 2-hour journey, so you can easily fit it into a day.
Narva at the border!
Narva is a small town on the Russian border, and well worth a visit! The town was built on the shores of Lake Narva, which divides its waters between Estonia and Russia: lovers of old towns and hikers alike will appreciate the setting. The town has quite a background due to its geographical location; the ‘Battles of Narva’ are as numerous as the wars: 1700, 1944 among others. As a strategic point, the town retains its historical vestiges, and it’s culturally very interesting to learn about the Second World War in a country under Soviet rule: it’s a drastic change from our Western European point of view, and makes us aware of the atrocities that took place in the East. As for Tartu, the return journey takes around 2 hours and the trains are fairly regular and inexpensive, so you might as well treat yourself.
Finland: an essential stopover
When you’re doing a work placement in Tallinn, one of the easiest countries to get to is Finland – which we also offer as a work placement abroad, by the way! And if you book in advance, there are ferries for €20 1/R that will take you to Helsinki in Finland. You can enjoy a tour of the Finnish capital in just a few hours, and it can be done over a day or a weekend. There are even night ferries, where you can have a good time before arriving in Finland! And Finland is well worth a visit! As well as its long-established reputation for contemporary art, the country is absolutely incredible, in both summer and winter. In winter, it’s vast expanses of snow, white forests, frozen lakes where you can skate, very long nights (up to 3 hours of daylight only!) and absolute silence. In summer, the country is transformed: lots of sunshine, ultra-short nights and big electro or metal festivals: there’s plenty to do! The ferries are very regular: the Finns often come to Estonia to do the big shopping trips or to stock up on alcohol: it’s much cheaper than at home, and it’s worth taking the ferry just for that! Finland’s big drawback is the budget: it’s expensive! Angela, who went on an internship in Finland with International Horizons, left us a testimonial, which you can read without moderation! By the way, if you want some information about the country, ask Sébastien in the team: he’s been there for 6 months, so he’ll be able to tell you about it for hours: Helsinki, Turku, Rovaniemi, Mikkeli… he’s chatty ?
The other Baltic countries, Lithuania and Latvia
I’m doing an internship in Tallinn: where can I travel during my internship abroad? Very cheap: you can find buses for €10 return that will take you to either Vilnius or Riga. And that’s a gift! The two capitals are not expensive, and Vilnius is certainly the cheapest of the three. We advise you to book a little couchsurfing or airbnb, so you can stay the whole weekend and enjoy the capitals; the nightlife is pretty lively, especially when the fine weather arrives. If you’re going away in winter, check out the best clubs and bars before you go: nobody stays out, so the internet will be your best ally in finding the trendiest places. Riga is absolutely superb: the architecture is astonishing, and very different from Tallinn, which is medieval. The country has preserved traces of every era, and the mix is sumptuous. I loved going there, just as I did in Prague in the Czech Republic, you get a real buzz out of it, it’s top notch. The only downside was the food: I really struggled to get to grips with certain culinary specialities ? Vilnius: transformed in just a few years. I’ve been there several times, the last of which was just four years ago (and I’m going back in September, mate, because it’s important that we can keep you up to date with the news!) The streets are magnificent, the people much more open than before, and you’ll enjoy wandering around Vilnius, which has adapted a lot to tourism, so you’ll enjoy your stay as much as anywhere else! These two capitals are definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re doing a work placement in Estonia: it would be a shame to be so close and miss the opportunity. In Lithuania, I’d add the Museum of the Victims of Genocide: I think it’s the hardest museum I’ve ever been to. But it’s very, very interesting, and I was really impressed. I won’t say any more, but really: you have to go there, it’s hard, but very rewarding.
The war in Ukraine isn’t stopping you from going; I wouldn’t advertise it out of conviction, but St Petersburg is a really essential city to visit, at least once in your life. What’s more, if you’re in Tallinn, you can get a visa to go there. At the moment, the atmosphere between the countries is not at its best, but the conditions have been tightened.
Doing a work placement in Europe or abroad is often a great adventure, so make the most of it by visiting as many places as you can, learning about different cultures and coming away from this extraordinary adventure even stronger! And doing a work placement in Estonia, particularly Tallinn, is no exception: the capital is hot, with lots to do. As a French equivalent, in terms of dynamism, I’d be bold enough to compare it to Nantes, even though Nantes is bigger. I’m doing a work placement in Tallinn: where can I travel during my work placement abroad? As well as Tallinn, as you’ll have realised, there are a huge number of cities to visit in the country, as well as on its direct borders: Tallinn is relatively central, so you can discover several countries during your work placement abroad. And, for once, before you contact us, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do in the company: what kind of work are you interested in? You’ll need to make a compromise between your desires, the educational expectations of your school and your language level, in English in this case: someone with a C2 level, for the same placement, will have more complex and interesting assignments than someone with an A1 level. As soon as you’re ready, contact us and the International Horizons team will find you the best internships in Estonia to complete your international experience! Don’t wait any longer, contact us 😀
For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.