Estonia

1 M
Population
Euro
Currency
Safety and security

Crime  

There has been an increase in tourist-targeted crime, particularly petty theft. Be aware of the risk of pick pocketing and mugging, especially in bars, pubs, nightclubs and hotels in Tallinn’s Old Town. Since 2015 there have been some reports of drink tampering to assist robberies. Be vigilant in bars, take sensible precautions and avoid unlit side streets and parks at night. If possible, leave your valuables in a hotel safe.

You should report any theft in person to Tallinn Central Police Station, Kolde pst 65, 10321 Tallinn, telephone: +372 612 5400. You will need to obtain a police report if you have lost your passport.

Public transport

A plastic smartcard and e-ticket system is in use in Tallinn for buses, trolls, trams and inner-city trains. Information on buying and using smartcards can be found on the Tallinn Tourism website).

Taxis are widely available and reasonably priced. Lots of different apps like Taxify, Taxigo and Uber are also widely used. Make sure there is a price list on the back window of the taxi, a visible meter and that it’s being used. Don’t use taxis that are unmarked; they are illegal, unsafe and usually cost a lot more than registered taxis.

Road travel

Roads and pavements may become very slippery during spring. In accordance with the Estonian Traffic Act, all pedestrians walking on the road at night time or in inadequate visibility are obliged to wear a safety reflector. These are normally pinned to your coat or handbag and can be bought locally.

You can drive on a UK driving licence. However, your UK licence isn’t valid in Estonia if it was issued on or after 1 May 2015 and, according to the road administration, if you were living in Estonia when the licence was issued.

By law, headlights of vehicles must be on at all times, including during daylight hours. Winter tyres must be fitted from 1 December to 1 March every year, but if there are severe weather conditions outside these dates (likely in most years) the dates will change accordingly. Check local conditions if you are driving in Estonia between October and April.

Do not drink and drive. The legal limit is zero. Those found over the limit face a fine and possible imprisonment.

In 2015 there were 67 road deaths in Estonia (source: Department for Transport); equating to 5.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population. This compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2015.

See the European Commission, AA and RAC guides on driving in Estonia.

Winter travel

Be prepared for extremely cold and possibly hazardous weather in the winter (October to March). There is likely to be snow on the ground and temperatures may drop to -25 degrees Celsius or below. 

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

Don’t use, buy or possess drugs: sale and distribution is illegal and the possession of even the smallest quantities can lead to up to 10 years imprisonment.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Estonia. 

Visas

British Citizens do not require a visa to enter Estonia. Holders of other types of British passports may require a visa. Contact the Estonian Embassy for further information. If you intend to live and work in Estonia you will need to obtain a residence permit from the Estonian Citizenship and Migration Board.

Holders of a UK Convention Travel Documents

If you are a holder of a UK Convention travel document, it may say on page 30 that you do not need a visa for short visits to Estonia. This is no longer the case and you will always need a visa to visit Estonia using a convention travel document. More details are available from UK Border Agency.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

If you’re visiting Estonia you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC isn’t a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Estonian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC won’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

The 2014 World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the global AIDS epidemic estimated that around 12,000 adults aged 15 or over in Estonia were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 1.3% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.25. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Money

The currency of Estonia is the Euro.

ATMs dispense Euros. The currency is easily exchangeable.

Any person entering or leaving the EU must declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders, etc. This does not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.