Estonia Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Estonia
How safe is Estonia?
Threat level: Low
COVID-19 Situation in Estonia
There have been reported cases of the coronavirus in Estonia. As a result of this, Estonia has implemented a series of measures to slow down the spread of the virus including the mandatory use of face masks in indoor public places including in shops and public transport. A 2+2 rule is in place in indoor public places, allowing 2 people to meet in the condition that they maintain social distancing of 2 meters. In catering establishment, the 10+2 rule applies, allowing 10 people to meet in the condition that they maintain social distancing of 2 meters with people outside the group.
Travellers arriving from an EU Member State, a Schengen Convention state and the UK are allowed entry to Estonia providing that they don't present any coronavirus symptoms and that they submit a customer locator form. People from other destinations are not allowed to enter except in exceptional circumstances. When travelling with a high infection rate, a 14-day quarantine period will be imposed but can be reduced by taking a COVID-19 test result.
See our healthcare section to find out about preventive measures against coronavirus.
Security in Estonia
Estonia is a country in Northern Europe that is very culturally diverse. There is a relatively low terror threat but tourist-targeted crime has increased over recent years, in particularly in bars, pubs, nightclubs and hotels in tourist hot spots like Tallinn’s Old Town during the summer tourist season.
Estonia is a relatively safe country, although in some places like Tallinn's Old Town, there has been a growing concern of some violent crimes, but tourists are not necessarily a target. Tourists may be of enhanced risk by petty criminals, who work in groups that operate at busy locations such as the airports, transport hubs and other public areas. The general travel advice for Estonia is th avoid some areas of Tallinn after dark, including Kopli and Lasnamäe.
Some security risks in Estonia are centred around the tourist bars and clubs. Since early 2016, tourists have been victims of drink tampering in bars in order to make them more susceptible to sexual assault and muggings. Although many of the countries bars and clubs are quite safe, it is important to take sensible precaution and avoid leaving your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
Most visits to Estonia are trouble-free and it is a welcoming country for visitors, please note there may be some underlying tensions with regards to Estonians relations with Russia, although this rarely comes to the surface unless a prominent political situation occurs.
Credit card fraud is relatively high and happens quite often in Estonia. Male tourists have reportedly been approached by young women at popular tourist bars to visit nearby bars, where they are grossly overcharged for their drinks. This then leads to extremely large bills and often credit cards being stolen. It is advised that visitors should always check prices before ordering any food or drinks and report any suspected unauthorized transactions to your credit card provider.
Estonia's International Relations
Estonia has been ranked very highly in the Human Development Index, with high performances of economic freedom and civil liberties. It is a country that is highly integrated in the EU, with one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.
As a country, they have established diplomatic relations with many countries, such as Australia, France and the United States. Estonia is also a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United Nations.
Travelling around Estonia
When travelling by car in an EU country, British nationals do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but a motor insurance green card issued by their car insurer is required to drive a UK-registered car in the EU.
If you are driving across the border into Estonia, then, you must have the original V5 C (Vehicle Registration Document) when driving into Estonia. It is also mandatory that headlights of vehicles are switched on throughout the day. Drink driving is not tolerated and the legal limit is zero, thus if found over the limit, you may be forced to pay a fine and can face possible imprisonment.
If driving in Estonia, be prepared for extremely cold and possibly hazardous weather in the winter. Roads and pavements are very slippery during the winter and also during spring. Heavy flooding can also occur in the spring time, so please be aware of this.
When using public transportation such as taxis, be sure that there is a visible meter and that it is being used. The railway service is also reasonably functional but is subject to limitations, as it is only used around main cities in Estonia.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Estonia
Emergency services: 112
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time now in Tallinn:
Consular information for Estonia
U.S. Embassy Tallinn
Telephone: +372 668 8100
Telephone: +372 667 4700
Visa requirements for Estonia
Members of the European Union or a Schengen State do not need a visa to enter Estonia for up to 90 days. Check with your nearest Embassy before travel, as some nationalities require a tourist visa to enter the country.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU, British nationals can travel without a visa to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, to stay longer than 90 days in Estonia whether for work, study, business travel or any other reasons, a visa will be required. Please note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days will be cumulative and will count towards the 90-day limit.
Healthcare and Immunisations
If you are a British citizen, your UK EHIC card remains valid when travelling to an EU country until it expires, providing access to state-provided healthcare in Estonia. After that, British citizens must apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which will cover them for state-provided healthcare in the EU. Nevertheless, you will be required to show proof on arrival that you have travel insurance for your trip.
COVID-19 cases have been reported in Estonia. There is no vaccination against the disease, to avoid contracting the disease, self-isolate, wash your hands regularly, maintain social distancing, avoid gatherings and unnecessary travel.
It is advised that visitors to Estonia are up-to-date with primary boosters, such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis B and Tick-borne Encephalitis. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Medical care in Tallinn and Tartu is of a good standard, when compared to other Western countries, although other areas of Estonia are poor.
Mosquito insects are of a high number in Estonia. You should take extra precaution to reduce your risks by shutting windows at night and using mosquito nets whilst sleeping to prevent bites. A number of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. As with all overseas travel, when travelling to Estonia, ensure you have adequate Travel and Medical Insurance.