Estonia

Questions you would probably like to ask about Estonia:

Where is it?

Estonia is in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea. Its neighbors are Latvia in South, Russia in East and Finland in North. Gulf of Finland separates Estonia from Finland and the capitals of two countries are only 80 km apart.

Since when is it an independent country?

Since 1991 when after the collapse of Soviet Union all three Baltic countries became independent. Towards the end of the 1980s thousands of Estonians took part in the "Singing Revolution", a series of non-violent mass demonstrations which expressed the wish for independence from the USSR.

In 1989, to demonstrate the Baltic States' wish for independence, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians joined hands forming a chain stretching from Tallinn to Riga and to Vilnius.

In 2004 Estonia became the member of European Union and NATO.

Since 2007 Estonia is a party to Schengen treaty

What language do people speak?

Estonians speak Estonian, which is part of the Finno-Ugric family of languages. Russians (about 26 % of the population) speak Russian. English is widely used and understood among the younger generation and those involved in the tourist industry.

What religion do people have?

The Estonian people were converted to Christianity as late as the thirteenth century.
The majority of Estonians is Lutheran but religion does not play an important part in everyday life and very few people are active church goers. Russian- speaking population is Orthodox

Is it safe?

Estonia is a safe country, although small crime in Tallinn's "Old Town" is an ongoing concern, particularly during the summer tourist season. Travelers should exercise the same precautions with regard to their personal safety and belongings they would take in any major cities. The most common crimes encountered by foreign tourists are like anywhere else purse snatching, pick-pocketing, and mugging.

Is it expensive?

It depends with whom you compare. Estonia is certainly much cheaper than Scandinavian countries making it a good shopping destination. It is also known for fact that the more frequented a place the higher the prices – same happens also in Estonia making Tallinn the most expensive and North East the cheapest region.

Prices of hotels and restaurants are greatly influenced by big numbers of Scndinavian tourists but are still considerably lower than in Helsinki.

How long should I stay?

On their first visit people often want to see all the 3 Baltic countries, so they stay 2 nights in Tallinn and then travel on. For the first impression it is enough although you can only have an idea what the capital city is like. In order to explore the whole country one would need to stay for at least a week. Although small country the territory of Estonia is 45,000 km2 that is about same as Switzerland or Belgium and it takes at least 4 hours to travel either from North to South or from North to East. In addition to that there are nearly 1500 islands and the biggest of them certainly merit a visit.

What is it like?

Estonia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.
Estonia is about 50% forest. Hiking trails criss-cross the forests, many of which are protected or part of National Parks. Where else in Europe could you hope to encounter wild bears, wolves, lynx and flying squirrels? Millions of birds stop in Estonia on their migratory paths

Estonia's coastline has hundreds of deserted beaches. Even in the height of summer you can find private space for yourself.

Estonia is a flat country, its highest peak is Suur Munamagi (318 m above sea level), the highest point in the entire Baltic region.
Lake Peipsi is Estonia's largest lake and Europe's fourth largest freshwater lake.
Estonia has 1500 islands. Most are tiny but the inhabited ones offer beautiful, peaceful and friendly atmospheres and a traditional culture that opens a window on how Estonians used to live.

Can I pay in Euros (dollars)?

The Estonian currency since January 1st 2011 is Euro. 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. Some souvenir shops may accept other foreign currencies like US dollars.

Do the 3 Baltic countries have the same currency?

All 3 Baltic countries have different national currencies. The Estonian currency is Euro, the Latvian currency since 2014 is also Euro and the Lithuanian currency is Lit (LIT)

What climate does Estonia have?

Estonia has a temperate climate, with warm summers and severe winters. Being on the Baltic Sea, the air is often humid and weather can change several times every day. The weather may also differ greatly within the limits of the country being warm and sunny in the south and cold and windy in the north. In summer the days are long - the longest summer day stretches to 19 hours - and in winter short when daylight sometimes lasts only six hours. The cold winter does not necessarily mean constant snow; in fact snowfalls are few and far between. When it falls it stays though, and there tends to be a layer of snow constantly on the ground between December and March. Summertime brings unexpected rain showers, so an umbrella and light raincoat are recommended.

Are Baltic countries very similar?

The Republic of Estonia is one of three countries commonly known as the "Baltic States". The other Baltic State countries are Latvia and Lithuania. However the concept of Baltic States is misleading as it implies some sort of political unity between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia which is not the case. 3 countries are very different from point of view of their history, religion and language. Estonia is the most Scandinavian of the three. Its language is very similar to Finnish. As Estonia and Finland are so close and people can communicate easily there are very tight relations between the two countries. Estonians usually know more about important events and news in Finland than what is going on in their two Baltic neighbors. But of course 50 years of Soviet occupation have created similar problems and people in Baltic countries find common language very easily. For communication older generation uses Russian and young people more often English.



Tel +372 627 0500 | Fax +372 627 0501 | Vana-Viru 6, 10111 Tallinn ESTONIA | incoming@holidays.ee | www.estonianholidays.com