Estonia Travel Guide
Estonia is a country located in east Europe with name that begins with letter E. With an area of 45,000 square kilometers and 1.3 million residents, Estonia is the smallest of the three Baltic states that gained independence from the USSR in 1990/91. Almost half of the flat land is covered by forests, mostly birch forests. Estonia borders Latvia to the south, Russia to the east and the Baltic Sea to the north. The traditionally strong ties to Finland – Helsinki is only 80 km away as the crow flies – are also strengthened by the Estonian language, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family and thus differs significantly from Latvian and Lithuanian, which belong to the Indo-European language family. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter E.
Like Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia belongs to the Schengen area. A valid passport or identity card is sufficient for the stay in the country.
The climate on the Gulf of Finland is rough to moderately continental. The often frosty winters last a very long time, the summers are comparatively cool with average temperatures of + 17 °C in July.
Food and drink
The Baltic cuisine is down-to-earth and hearty. The centuries-old trade relations with Germany have been immortalized in the Baltic menus in the form of pork with sauerkraut. In addition, Scandinavian and Russian influences can be found in the eating and drinking habits – the latter in the form of vodka. A real Estonian specialty is the herbal rum Vana Tallin, which was already popular in the times of the USSR.
The social interaction with guests is characterized by reserved courtesy. Everything loud and extrovert is traditionally alien to people. In the conversation, understatement is the order of the day, as you can soon be a show-off if you boast too much about your achievements. Sensitivity is also called for in historical questions, because the history of the Baltic States over the past 100 years is largely a history of political outside determination – by Soviets, but also by Germans.
The health infrastructure in Estonia is at EU level. The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs draws attention to the occurrence of ticks in Latvia. Sometimes ticks can transmit diseases: You can get vaccinated against TBE, the only thing that helps against Lyme disease is to remove ticks from the skin as quickly as possible and consult a doctor for treatment if the bite is noticeable. If you have any doubts or questions, please ask your family doctor.
The security situation in the Baltic states is good. Unfortunately, thieves are often out and about in places that are popular with tourists. You should therefore only take the required amount of cash with you on site visits. If you are traveling by car, you should park it in guarded parking lots.
It is forbidden to take photos near the border and in the case of military objects.
Climate and travel time
In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the climate is harsh to moderately continental. The often very cold and frosty winters are relatively long, the summers are comparatively cool with average temperatures of 17 degrees in July.
All about money
Euro (in all three countries)
When visiting the restaurant, please note that the tip is already included in the price, but tips are still welcome. When taking a taxi, for example, a tip of 10 to 15% is common.
Other essential information
The time zone in all 3 Baltic states is uniformly UCT + 2, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are one hour after Central European Time.
The electrical voltage in Latvia and Lithuania is 220 volts, in Estonia 230 volts. The sockets and plugs are two-pole in all three countries such as in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. You therefore do not need an adapter to use your electronic devices.