Roughly halfway between Tallinn and Narva, Rakvere is a thoroughly pleasant place for a pit stop or an overnight stay. The vibe here is upbeat, youthful and modern – quite unlike Narva. An interesting castle and a very large sculpture overlook the small town centre, which is grouped around the expansive Turuplats (market square). For a Soviet-era plaza, it’s pretty cool – with big, orange, concrete lamps arching over pebble circles and fountains. Arvo Pärt, Estonia’s most famous son, went to school here; look for the statue of the composer as a young boy on the square.
Rakvere’s also known for a more unusual musical tradition, the Estonian Punk Song Festival (www.punklaulupidu.ee): you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard Anarchy in the UK sung by a heavily accented mass choir sporting novelty technicolour mohawks. Started as a protest against the conservatism of the national festival, it’s held every few years and was last staged in 2011.