Estonia Risk Report
Security travel advice for Estonia
Threat level: Low
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. It is particularly high in bars, pubs, nightclubs and hotels in tourist hot spots like Tallinn’s Old Town during the summer tourist season.
Recent security risk events
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, although tourists are not necessarily a target. Tourists may be of enhanced risk by petty criminals which work in groups that operate at busy locations such as the airports, transport hubs and other public areas. 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.
You should always check prices before ordering any food or drinks and report any suspected unauthorized transactions to your credit card.
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.
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 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.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time now in Tallinn:
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.
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.
Other health risks
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.
U.S. Embassy Tallinn
Telephone: +372 668 8100
Telephone: +372 667 4700
Other useful info
Emergency services: 112