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Estonia Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

Electricity

The electricity supply in Estonia is 220 volts, 50 Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are in use.

Language

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.

Travel Health

No vaccinations are required for entry to Estonia. Lyme disease 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 in Mustama and East Tallinn Central Hospital. Immediate cash payment is expected from visitors requiring care. There is a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to free medical and dental treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Medical insurance is advised for all nationalities.

Tipping

Tipping is not a common practice, but there is a growing trend to leave tips in restaurants; generally 5-10% of the bill according to level of service; some places do however include a service charge on the bill. Taxi drivers appreciate the spare change.

Safety Information

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. Be vigilant and take precautions like avoiding unlit side streets and parks after dark.

Local Customs

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

Business is conducted formally in Estonia. A formal dress code is expected. Shaking hands is the common form of greeting for men and women. The person should be referred to as 'Harra' (Mr.), 'Prova' (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 over lunch.

Communications

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). The country has area codes, except for the capital, Tallinn. Pay phones using cards are widely available. Cards can be purchased from hotel reception desks, tourist information offices, post offices, newsstands and some shops. There is a GSM mobile network available. There are several Internet cafes in Tallinn.

Duty Free

Travellers over 18 years arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on goods to the value of €175. The following items are duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1 litre spirits higher than 22% alcohol volume or 2 litres spirits or aperitifs with alcohol content lower than 22% (includes sparkling wines, liqueur wines, still wine), and beer to the value of €175. 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.

Become our Estonia Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Estonia travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Estonia or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

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