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Small but perfectly formed, Estonia exudes a gentle grace that will charm any visitor

Outside Tallinn, the country's fascinating capital, great swathes of this sparsely populated country are made up of pristine countryside, including the Sooma, Karula and Matsalu national parks.

Although Estonia borders Lithuania and Latvia and shares much of their history, it also has very close links to Finland, just 80 kilometres away across the Gulf of Finland. Fairytale Tallinn, with its enchanting walled city, has a beguiling skyline of palaces and church spires. Stop for coffee in Raekoja plats, Tallinn's sunny old town square, tour the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or visit the impressive Kumu art gallery.

 

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Top holidays in Estonia

Culture and history

Traditional music is important to Estonians: the country has one of the largest collections of folk songs in the world and stages a national song festival featuring tens of thousands of singers. Estonians love watching plays and there are many small theatres. Every town and many villages have a museum or art gallery.

Occupying a strategic position between East and West, Estonia has seen many invasions over the centuries. Denmark, Germany, Russia and Sweden have all battled it out for control of the region, and this diminutive country fell under the rule of each of them for varying stretches of time. Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1920 after their War of Independence, which began in the aftermath of World War I.

However, at the onset of World War II, the Soviet Union moved in once more, before being ousted by Germany and regaining control in 1944. After the collapse of the USSR, Estonia regained independence in 1991 and became part of the European Union in 2004.

Things to do

Book a Baltic cruise and take in the famous capitals of the region, from Poland and Sweden, all the way to St Petersburg in Russia. If you don't feel like unpacking your sea legs, then a tour of the Baltic's city highlights could be the holiday for you, travelling to Estonia, Finland and beyond.

Discover the enchanting city of Tallinn, explore famous St Olaf's church, browse craft shops in Catherine's Passage and sample the capital's burgeoning restaurant scene.

Flight time

It takes about two-and-a-half hours from London to Tallinn.

Currency

Euro - They use the euro in Estonia.

Passports and visas

It’s a good idea to carry a copy of your passport. You do not need a visa.

Phrases

Don’t speak Estonian? Then here’s a few words to get you started…

Yes – jah

No – ei

Please – palun

Thank you – tanan

Hello – tervist

Do you speak English? – kas te raagite inglise keelt?

Where is the toilet? – kus asub tualettruum?

Timezone

Estonia is two hours ahead of GMT.

Electricity

Mains voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). All sockets take small, round two-pin plugs so you’ll need an adaptor to use British appliances. Bring one with you as you’re unlikely to find one here.

Language

Estonian - Estonian is the official language, which is similar in derivation to Finnish. Many Estonians also speak Russian, Finnish and (thankfully!) English.

Tipping

Estonians are casual about tipping but 10% of the bill is polite if you’ve received good service.

Tips are not allowed to be automatically added to the bill.

Climate

Average temperatures in Tallinn range from -4 ºC in winter to 17 ºC in summer, with cool springs and long rainy autumns.

Health

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Around 1.3 million live in Estonia, which is the same as the number Brits living in Australia. Estonia is roughly the same size as Switzerland.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all public places and on public transport, although you may find smoking rooms in some bars and restaurants.



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