Country guides Europe
The electricity supply in Estonia is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are in use.
Locals speak Estonian, which is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages. English is widely used and understood among the younger generation and those involved in the tourist industry.
The Estonian currency is the euro, and foreign currency can be easily exchanged at hotels, banks and exchange bureaux in the larger towns, at the airport and main railway station. Major credit cards are generally accepted in the larger hotels, main restaurants and shops, but it is wise to check first; ATMs are available in most towns.
Tipping is not a common practice but there is a growing trend to leave tips in restaurants. The amount is generally 10 percent of the bill according to level of service, though some places include a service charge on the bill.
No vaccinations are required for entry to Estonia. Tick borne encephalitis is often reported from April through October and travellers should wear protective clothing if embarking on a nature trip and check themselves for ticks. Estonia's medical professionals are highly trained. Good health facilities can be found at the North Estonia Medical Centre and East Tallinn Central Hospital, though immediate cash payment is expected from visitors requiring care. There is a reciprocal health agreement with most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to free medical and dental treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. Medical insurance is advised for all nationalities.
Visits to Estonia are usually trouble free, but with an increase in tourism there has also been an increase in tourist-related crime. There is a risk of pick-pocketing and mugging around Tallinn's Old Town, at ferry ports and major hotels. Tourists should be vigilant and take precautions such as avoiding unlit side streets and parks after dark.
Estonians are at first glance generally quiet and reserved, and do not like to draw attention to themselves. A handshake is the practised form of greeting.
Business is conducted formally in Estonia, meaning a formal dress code is expected and shaking hands is the common form of greeting for men and women. People should be referred to as 'Harra' (Mr), 'Proua' (Mrs) or 'Preili' (Miss) followed by the surname. Relationships based on trust need to be developed and several meetings may need to take place. Business cards are often exchanged and it is polite to have the alternate side translated. Decisions are not necessarily made during the meetings. Business hours are generally 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken for lunch.
Travellers over 18 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on goods to the value of €430 if arriving by air or sea. The following items are duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco 1 litre spirits higher than 22 percent alcohol volume or 2 litres spirits or aperitifs with alcohol content lower than 22 percent (includes sparkling wines, liqueur wines,) 4 litres wine or 16 litres beer. Goods for personal consumption include 50g perfume, 250ml eau de toilette and medical products for personal use. Travellers arriving with goods purchased in EU countries have more leeway.
The international dialling code for Estonia is +372 and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Estonia is one of the most advanced digital societies in the world, meaning wireless internet is almost everywhere, and is almost always free and speedy.
Passport & Visa
The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. All of these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned countries. Additionally, most foreign passengers entering Estonia must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the country. Passports that have been issued more than ten years prior to the time of travel are unlikely to be accepted.
It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
US citizens must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Estonia. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
British citizens require a passport and visa to enter Estonia.
Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Estonia. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Estonia. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay in Estonia. A Schengen visa is required.
Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon arrival in Estonia. No visa is required.
New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in Estonia. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period.
Estonian Tourist Board, Tallinn: +372 627 9770 or www.visitestonia.com112 (General Emergency Helpline)
Embassies / consulates in other countries
Estonian Embassy, New York City, United States: +1 212 883 0636.
Estonian Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7838 5388.
Estonian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 4222.
Embassy of Estonia, Yarralumla, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 409 798 474.
Estonian Honorary Consulate, Cape Town, South Africa: +27 21 913 3850.
Estonian Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 478 8888.
Embassies / consulates in Estonia
United States Embassy, Tallinn: +372 668 8100.
British Embassy, Tallinn: +372 667 4700.
Canadian Embassy, Tallinn: +372 627 3311.
Australian Consulate, Tallinn: +372 650 9308.
South African Embassy, Helsinki, Finland (also responsible for Estonia): +358 9 6860 3100.
Irish Embassy, Tallinn: +372 681 1870.
New Zealand Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (also responsible for Estonia): +48 22 521 0500.