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Estonia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Estonia in 2023

Welcome to Estonia

Estonia tourism landscape

Located in the Baltic States in Northern Europe, Estonia has gained popularity as a travel destination because it offers stunning cities and exciting nightlife. Estonia combines the old with the new with its pristine virgin forests, ancient castles, and churches.

This ultimate Estonia travel guide will help you make the most of your trip with practical and inspiring tips on how to discover Estonia.

Document checklist for Estonia

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • Valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and have two blank pages)

  • Sufficient funds to cover your trip

  • Return or onward ticket

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Travel insurance or health insurance that covers medical evacuation

Essential Estonia travel information

  • Currency - The currency of Estonia is the euro (€). €1 is approx. $1.06.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - You should budget for about €81 ($86) per day.

  • Languages - Estonian is the official language of Estonia.

  • Number of travelers per year - In December 2022, 1,466,959 people visited Estonia, up from 562,783 the year before.

  • Socket type - Types C and F. Estonia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Eastern European Standard Time (GMT+2).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Tallinn, Tartu, and Narva.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Tallinn City Walls, Kuressaare Castle, and Tartu Old Town.

Visa information for Estonia

Depending on your nationality, how long you plan to stay, and the purpose of your trip, you may need a visa for Estonia.

There are different visas for Estonia, each of which is valid for specific occasions and reasons. To find out more, you can use our Visa Checker Tool.

The Estonian Schengen Visa explained

Estonia is a member of the Schengen zone. Whether you require a Schengen visa for Estonia depends on your nationality. This visa allows for stays up to 90 days during a 180-day period.

You can use this visa when you visit family members, for short study trips, business trips, tourism, or even for medical purposes.

Whatever your travel purpose, you can use iVisa to apply for your Estonia Schengen Visa quickly and easily online.

Estonian ETIAS explained

All visitors who are allowed to enter the Schengen area without a visa must have an electronic travel authorization system (ETIAS).

The ETIAS is valid for three years until the holder's passport expires. It will be mandatory to have this document from the end of 2023.

Visa difficulty index for Estonia

Accessibility: 4/5

The Estonian Schengen Visa is an electronic document allowing entry to all 27 members of the Schengen zone. Soon you can apply for this visa with our help, from the comfort of your own home.

Time to get your visa: 3/5

The typical turnaround time for an Estonia Schengen Visa is 15 days. It can however take longer for reasons such as missing docs or not filling the form correctly. iVisa can help with this process to lower your chances of waiting needlessly or being rejected.

Costs: 4/5

The visa fees vary depending on your nationality.

Typical costs and budget for Estonia

A guide to what you'll spend on a daily basis traveling through Estonia on a mid-range budget.

  • Daily spending - You should plan to spend around €81 ($86) per day on your vacation in Estonia. This includes:

  • Meals - Allow about €24 ($26) on meals per day.

  • Transport - Prepare to spend approx. €18 ($19) on transportation.

  • Hotel - A couple will spend about €70 ($75) on a hotel. An Estonian trip for two people for a week will cost about €1,129 ($1,211)

Transport and best ways to travel around Estonia

There are many ways to get to and around Estonia, whether by airplane, boat, or road. Here are some tips for navigating the country safely.

Getting to Estonia

The main airport in Estonia is Tallinn Airport. Many airlines offer connections from Tallinn to popular European cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, Helsinki, London, Riga, Paris, and Stockholm.

Airlines that fly here include:

  • British Airways

  • Lufthansa

  • Finnair

  • Scandinavian Airlines

  • Ryanair

Many international buses traveling from the Baltic States, and Central Europe stop in Estonia.

These are some of the major businesses:

  • Eurolines

  • LuxExpress

  • Ecolines

Berlin and Tallinn are separated by almost 1500 kilometers. The fastest route by car is via Warsaw. The Warsaw highway, which is partly tolled, is in excellent condition.

The expansion of the route from Warsaw to the Lithuanian border is still in progress, so there are constant local crossings; depending on the time of day, there may be traffic jams on the highways. You will have to use your international driving permit.

Arrival and immigration tips for Estonia

Traveling to a foreign country can be as exciting as it is daunting. A few tips to make the immigration process smoother:

  • If you are a non-EU national traveling to Estonia you will need to present some documents, such as the Estonia Schengen Visa when you show up at the Estonian port of entry.

  • In addition to checking your documents, the border police may ask you a few questions about your trip.

  • When entering Estonia, please make sure that the border official stamps your passport. If you leave Estonia without a stamp, you risk a fine or imprisonment.

  • Abide by all entry and exit requirements such as making sure you declare 10,000 euros or more in cash.

Travel around Estonia by ferry

Most of the larger islands, such as Hiiumaa, Saaremaa, Vormsi, Kihnu, and Ruhnu are regularly served by ferries. Passenger ferries run regularly between Tallinn and the smaller islands of Naissaare, and Prangli.

Numerous tour companies offer special tours to the small islands. You can change the travel time by buying an e-ticket in advance.

Travel around Estonia by bicycle

Estonia is a popular destination for cross-country bike rides in the summer. The Eurovelo route that crosses Estonia starts at the Latvian border, follows the coast and islands, passes through Tallinn, and then along the north coast to the Russian border.

A variety of local and regional cycling routes are also signposted. When you cycle through Estonia (as opposed to driving), you have a completely different experience. Meadows and forests alternate with settlements and it is perfectly normal to stop at the local farm and ask for a glass of cold water.

Travel around Estonia with a caravan

A caravan is an excellent choice if you have decided to spend more time in nature. Therefore, summer, when most campsites are available, is the perfect time to travel to Estonia in a caravan.

On Saaremaa, the largest island of Estonia, as well as in Western and Northern Estonia, campsites are especially common. Remember that you must always turn on your car's headlights during the day.

Travel around Estonia by taxi

There are numerous ride-sharing services in Estonia. While Uber often enjoys similar popularity, Bolt is currently the most popular taxi app. It is always acceptable to request a receipt when using cab services.

The cost of a cab varies depending on the company. You can find an overview of the inclusive prices and the price per kilometer on the yellow sticker on the right rear window of each vehicle.

Safety in Estonia

Travel to Estonia is safe in most cases. Although there is not much crime there, it is still advisable to be cautious at all times, keep your belongings in a safe place, and drive carefully.

Also, keep the following in mind:

  • Markets can be dangerous due to pickpockets. Please leave your valuables at the hotel and hide your cash from prying eyes as you would anywhere.

  • You must get a receipt from every store. Always accept it and make sure it matches the amount you should pay.

  • For emergency consular assistance, call your embassy in Estonia.

  • You can get help from local authorities. If you are concerned, do not be afraid to speak to them. Most can communicate clearly in English or, if they can not, find someone who can.

  • Always monitor local media for health and safety updates.

Weather in Estonia

No matter what time of year you visit Tallinn, you can be sure that the weather will not be warm. Undoubtedly, there are no scorching summers in Tallinn. Nevertheless, summer is the most popular season for travelers. Summer temperatures are around 70°F/21°C between May and September.

Must do and see in Estonia

Don’t miss these awesome sights on your holiday to Estonia:

  1. You should take as much time as your itinerary will allow seeing Tallinn's Old Town, one of the best preserved medieval cities. Whether your trip to Estonia is a lengthy holiday or just a one-day stop on a Baltic cruise, it’s a must-see.

  2. The moat-ringed Kuressaare Episcopal Castle has stood tall since the 1380s and is one of the best-preserved fortifications in the Baltic region. You can spend the whole day exploring the many characteristic areas of the castle, such as the monastery building, the narrow staircases, and the central courtyard.

  3. Lennusadam Seaplane Port is one of the best sights in Estonia, attractive for both seafarers and ordinary tourists. The world's first large-volume, pillarless, thin-shell concrete dome can be seen at this internationally recognized museum in Tallinn, which displays some 200 genuine maritime objects and ships in a former seaplane hangar.

  4. Pärnu, which is just a two-hour drive from Tallinn, entices visitors with its stunning coastline and cozy atmosphere. When you want to unwind, unwind, and enjoy the sunshine in Estonia, come here.

  5. In addition to several nature reserves and nature reserves, there are five national parks in Estonia, which are home to an impressive variety of bird species and animals. These include Lahemaa national park and Matsalu national park.

Typical Estonian food to try

The history of the Baltic States is inextricably linked with the traditional food and drink from Estonia, hence the food is so delicious. You should definitely try the following dishes:

  • Leivasupp - A classic Estonian dish, is a thick, creamy, and sweet bread soup typically made with soaked and mashed bread, cinnamon, raisins, sugar, and fruit juice. It is often served with milk, cream, fresh fruit, nuts, and traditional hearty rye bread on the side.

  • Rosolje - A well-liked salad and a standard side dish in Estonian cuisine. Pickled herring, bite-sized bits of beet and potato, and a cool, creamy dressing are all used in its preparation.

  • Mulgipuder - A simple porridge prepared in Estonia from mashed potatoes and barley. It often contains bacon and fried onions and is typically served as a main dish with rye bread, sour cream, and other accompaniments, or as a side dish with various fried meat dishes.

Vaccine information for Estonia

It's important to know what routine vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required to enter Estonia before booking your trip. We advise you to check the CDC website for more info about all vaccine requirements and any recommended guidance or medicine lists.

Visit Tallinn’s best museums

Estonia is budding with stunning museums. When you visit this stunning country, be sure to check the following out:

  • The Old German term Kiek in de Kök Museum loosely translated as “a peek in the kitchen”, means just that. This museum offers combo tickets that allow visitors to see 4 towers (Kiek in de Kok, Maiden's Tower, Tallitorn Tower, and Gate Tower) as well as underground bastion corridors. The expositions are well-made, and the location is intriguing to see.

Advice: There is a lot to see, so allow yourself ample time to see it all. If not, stay on the surface and simply explore the towers.

  • Great Guild Hall is situated on Pikk Street, just a minute's walk from the Town Hall Plaza and immediately next to a wonderful gift shop Eesti Esindus. This little museum is a great option if you only have a short time to browse about. It provides a brief overview of Estonian history and features several intriguing artifact collections.

Check their website to see if admission is free. It's also a fantastic choice when it's raining outdoors or when visiting Tallinn in the winter and requiring a place to warm up for an hour or so because of its proximity to the Town Hall Plaza.

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  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://immigration-portal.ec.europa.eu/estonia_en
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