Estonia Travel Guide: Travel Tips for Estonia

Travel guide to Estonian cities and useful travel tips for planning a trip to Estonia.

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Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in northeastern Europe, with a coastline on the Baltic Sea and on the Gulf of Finland. The country became an independent country again in 1991 after it was occupied by the Soviets in the Second World War. Estonia is a Baltic gem offering visitors the chance to see an ex-Soviet country now part of the European Union. Its capital is Tallinn. The country consists of 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea and 15 separate administrative regions located on the mainland.


With its rich history, magnificent natural beauties, countless islands, and impressive landscapes, Estonia offers much more than the traditional European atmosphere. Here are some tips and practical ideas for organizing a trip to Estonia.

General information about Estonia

Area and borders

Estonia is located on the European continent. Estonia, one of the three Baltic countries along with Latvia and Lithuania on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is located in Northern Europe. Surrounded by the Gulf of Finland, Latvia, Russia and the Baltic Sea, the country has the smallest area among the Baltic countries. Despite being smaller than Lithuania and Latvia, the longest coastline of all the Baltic States is here.

Neighboring with the Baltic Sea in the north and west, the Russian Federation in the east and Latvia in the south, Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. 


Estonian population is 1.3 million including 69% Estonians, 25% Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 1% Belarusians, 0.8% Finns and 1.6% others.


Estonian currency is Euro. All major credit cards are accepted in the country and there are enough ATM machines to withdraw local currency.


Since 2007, Estonia has been a member of the Schengen area. This means that to cross the Estonian border you need to have a valid passport and Schengen Visa, which allows you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. You will need to check your visa requirements at the nearest embassy of the destination country yourself.

For EU / EEA citizens, no visa is required before traveling to Latvia. You just need a valid passport or chip ID card as a travel document in Estonia. If the stay is longer than 90 days, you will need to request a residence certificate from the Estonia Migration Service.


The official language of Estonia is Estonian. Russian and English are also widely spoken languages in the country.

Here are some essential expressions to remember:

  • Hello = Tere
  • Thank you = Aitäh
  • Please, you're welcome = Palun
  • Yes = Jah
  • No = Ei
  • Cheers! = Terviseks!
  • Sorry = Vabandust
  • Bye = Nägemist

Weather in Estonia

Estonia accepts tourists all year round, so the best time to get there depends on the purpose of the trip. This region is characterized by cool summers and freezing winters. Estonian summer resorts are popular among Europeans, while in winter the country becomes a real Christmas story.


Summer in Estonia is pleasant. The average temperatures are around 18°C, with peaks at 30°C on the hottest days, but everything can change very quickly. The heat even favors swimming at sea and you can also take advantage of the many highlight festivals held during this period.

With the arrival of autumn, the temperatures quickly soften, but the nature offers beautiful colors.

The late summer and spring are ideal for a trip to Tallinn as during May and September the temperatures are most pleasant, encourage outdoor activities and the city is not as crowded as in the summer months.

In winter, you will appreciate the very cold temperatures, since they can reach -10°C and even in the most extreme cases -30°C. The days only last 6 hours at the end of December but it brings a magical and unique atmosphere to Tallinn, especially during Christmas.


Tourist Attractions in Estonia

The charming capital Tallinn and its medieval old town, overlooking the Baltic Sea, is certainly the unmissable destination of a trip to Estonia. Estonia has several historic sites and architectural heritage that will not fail to amaze you.  The most important places of cultural interest in the city are certainly all concentrated in the old town of Tallinn. The historic center of Tallinn is called Vanalinn and it was declared as the World Heritage Site in 1997. The Tallinn old town is offering the best spots to enjoy the magnificent view, you can check the best viewpoints in Tallinn that are worth remembering. You can also discover the best things to see and do in the capital of Estonia with this complete guide to the top tourist attractions in Tallinn that will give you the in-depth info and inspiration you'll need to enjoy the city.


The Walking Tour with a Local is the most popular walking tour. You will get a welcome to Tallinn from a friendly and passionate local and discover the city like a resident. You will learn about the city's many tips, tricks and best-kept secrets.

Estonia not only shines with medieval sights in the old town, but above all with charming nature. It is recommended to visit Lahamaa National Park which is located 70 kilometers from Tallinn and is classified as the largest park in Estonia. You can see many swamps and take the time to breathe the air of the countryside.

The Lake Vortsjärv, the second largest lake in the Baltic States and home to 35 species of fish, is also interesting place to go.

You can enjoy the sea and spas in Pärnu, a trendy destination during the summer, and explore the city of Viljandi where you can see the castle ruins. You will also have a magnificent view of the river that runs along the city. An excursion to the islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa or Soomaa National Park, aboard a haabja to meet the witches who would be hiding in the swamp should also be part of the trip.

There is a lot to experience in Estonia. To give you a better overview of possible activities, we have put together the best destinations in Estonia for your wonderful trips.


Transportation in Estonia

Find out the best ways of traveling to Estonia, around the country and its capital city Tallinn.

How to get to Estonia

By plane

You can get to Estonia in almost all possible ways but the easiest and fastest way to get there is undoubtedly by plane as Estonia is only a few hours' flight from major European cities. You will then disembark at Tallinn International Airport (TLL), whose official name is Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. This is Estonia's largest airport, located 4km south-east of Tallinn's city center. The airport is made up of a single terminal and arrivals and departures are both located on floor 1.

Tallinn International Airport (TLL) is well connected to all major European cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, London, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna, Vilnius, Helsinki, Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt and others. There are numerous airlines that fly there including airBaltic, easyJet, Finnair, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines and Wizz Air.

You can easily find direct or indirect flight tickets. However, expect flight ticket prices for Estonia to be a bit more expensive compared to other European countries.

How to get from the Tallinn Airport to City Center

Tallinn International Airport (TLL) is located not far from the city, so it is easy to get from the airport to the city center by tram, bus, taxi or private transfer.

By Bus: Taking a bus No. 2 or No. 65 is the most economical public transportation option for reaching the city center from Tallinn Airport. Buses depart from the ground floor of the terminal. The city center is reached in 20 minutes by bus, which runs every half hour between 08:00-18:00, 7 days a week. The ticket price is 2 EUR.

Tram: The tram line No. 4 carries passengers from the airport to the city center every 15 minutes between 05:45-00:45. You can reach the city center in 20-25 minutes by tram. The ticket costs 2 EUR.

By Taxi: There are also many taxis ready to take you from the airport to the city. If you are going to take a taxi, choose a reliable one including Tulika Takso, Tallinnk Takso or Airport Taxi. The journey by taxi should cost no more than 10 EUR. A higher tariff is applied between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00. It is also possible to book Uber or Bolt. The travel time is 10-15 minutes.

Private Transfer: If you want to to travel to and from Tallinn airport in comfort and style, you can hire a Tallinn Private Airport Transfer service. This way you can avoid long taxi lines at the airport, busy public transport, and language barrier confusions.

By Bus

An alternative is to travel by a long-distance bus. However, this also takes a lot of time, depending on where you are traveling from. If you reach Estonia from domestic or international destinations by bus, you will come to Tallinn International Bus Terminal (Tallinna Bussijaam) in the city center.

Buses connect the main cities in Estonia and most of the closest capitals nearby. Taking a bus is quicker and cheaper than a train journey but they often fill up quickly, especially during the summer.

Bus to Estonia

By Train

Tallinn Train Station (Balti Jaam) is the center of Estonian rail transportation. However, train services for traveling to Estonia are very limited. Rail lines from Riga (Latvia) and Moscow or Saint Petersburg, allow you to come by train to Estonia.

By Ship

Another connection option is by ship. Many ferries and hydrofoils serve routes connecting Estonia with foreign ports on the Baltic Sea such as Helsinki, Stockholm, Rostock in Germany, etc. This travel option is very popular even if the journey by ferry takes longer. After all, you enjoy sensational views over the Baltic Sea and its coasts on the way.

Ferry to Estonia

The most popular Helsinki-Tallinn cruise services take an average of 2 hours. There are many companies offering a trip between Tallinn and Helsinki including Linda Line, Tallink Silja, Viking Line and Eckerö Line. The ferry prices for a return trip are ranging from 30-50 EUR per person on average.

You can also enjoy an easy day trip to Estonia's capital Tallinn while visiting Helsinki in Finland. It takes only 2 hours to get there and then you'll have up to 10 hours to explore the charming medieval city with the Return Day Trip Ferry Ticket to Tallinn from Helsinki.

By Car

For those who like to go on a road trip, it is possible to travel by road and come to Estonia by car, via neighboring countries such as Latvia or Russia. The roads are in fairly variable condition depending on the region. In the countryside, some roads are not paved. Maximum attention is recommended, especially when traveling by car in winter. The speed is limited to 50 km/h in the city, 90 km/h on the roads (sometimes a little more), and the lights must be on all the time.

How to get around Estonia

Transportation in Estonia is well organized and affordable, both within and between cities. Buses are a safe option and are a convenient means of transport for both short and long-distance trips.

The train is also a great means of transportation to see some parts outside of Tallinn.

Estonian road network is also suitable for cycle tourism, for those who like to combine the pleasure of cycling with the love of nature and landscapes.

Ferries allow you to reach certain islands, in particular in the west of the country (Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Kihnu, etc.). Connections are quite frequent for the largest, much less for the others.

How to get around Tallinn

To move around the city of Tallinn, you can opt for walking. However, other means of transport are accessible and allow you to visit the city in complete comfort such as buses, trams, trolleybuses and taxis.

Tallinn transportation

In the city, there are 64 bus lines, 4 tram lines and 8 trolleybus lines, which operate every day from 6:00 to 23:00, allowing you to easily reach even the most remote places. The central bus station is located under the Viru shopping center, just outside the Old Town.

The important thing is to remember to always have a valid ticket with you before boarding, otherwise it is also possible to buy it from the driver with a small surcharge. One-way ticket costs 2 EUR.

If you are going to spend a few days in Tallinn, it can be very useful to buy the Tallinn Card for free transportation, discounted city tours, free entry at 40 points and discounts at selected restaurants for a certain period of time.

Prices are as follows:

  • 24-hour Tallinn Card - 35 EUR for adult, 21 EUR for children
  • 48-hour Tallinn Card - 52 EUR for adult, 27 EUR for children
  • 72-hour Tallinn Card - 63 EUR for adult, 33 EUR for children

Otherwise, you can use Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus for exploring the city. Tallinn Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is a bus that lets you board and leave the bus as often as you like on a route specifically designed to show the main sights and attractions of Tallinn.

As for taxi transfers, it is an excellent alternative to public transport, especially if you are moving at night when public transport is stopped.

If you are less adventurous, the ideal is to opt for an organized Estonia tour, by choosing the option of the tailor-made trip that you could create according to your desires.


Accommodation in Estonia

Estonia is one of the jewels of tourist destinations in the Baltic countries so it is possible to find a large number of accommodations, whether you choose a luxury hotel, a mid-range establishment or an apartment.

If you are looking for a hotel in Tallinn, we recommend to read our complete guide to the best places to stay in Tallinn to find the perfect neighborhood and accommodation for your trip.

Accommodation in Estonia

Prices are always variable, depending on comfort and season. Prices start at around 60-70 EUR for a double room in a 2 or 3-star hotel, but many hotels offer good deals. For those who travel economically, there are always hostels and camping.

Accommodation in Estonia

Some of the best rated accommodation in Tallinn, Estonia:

Hotel Telegraaf, Autograph Collection

Swissotel Tallinn

My City Hotel

Estonian Cuisine

Traditional Etonian cuisine has been heavily influenced by German, Russian, Danish and Swedish cuisines that have dominated Estonia for centuries. Meat stew (Seljanka), potatoes, cabbage, seafood, salmon and trout are the main items of Estonian cuisine. Sugary peanuts sold by Estonian girls with their local clothes on the streets are quite a delicious snack. Estonian black bread, which is cooked by almost every restaurant, is very delicious.

Estonian Cuisine

Tallinn Food Tour takes you on a culinary excursion through the Old Town, including stops at the neighboring Baltic Station Market and gives you a chance to experience the smells, flavors and stories of Estonian cuisine. You will be served a soup, various traditional food samples, like black rye bread, traditional Estonian open-faced spiced sprat sandwiches and also samples of modern Estonian cuisine.

Estonia's most famous alcoholic beverage is “Vana Tallinn” liqueur. The most popular beer brands in the country are A Le Coq, Saku and darker Saku Tume. Viru Valge is the most preferred among local vodka brands. Beer House is one of the leading places for getting a drink in the city. You can join Estonian Craft Beer Tasting and try at least 5 kinds of Estonian beer with this unique beer crawl in Tallinn. The types of beer you will try including Saku Hele, Põhjala, Õllenaut, and Vormsi Õlu.

Estonian Beer

Best places to eat in Estonia

There are many restaurants in Tallinn for all tastes.

Olde Hansa: This is the most famous restaurant in Tallinn. Upon entering this ancient tavern, you will experience the medieval times thanks to the decoration, the candlelight and the clothing of the waiters.

III Draakon: This is an authentic medieval tavern in the center of Tallinn Old Town, serving elk soup, elk dried meat and pie.

Restaurant Kaerajaan: A modern version of local traditions in the town hall square. The menu is very small, but the dishes are excellent, at an average price.

Von Krahli Aed: An option for a quick snack and meal under the Tallinn City Hall.

Trattoria La Bottega: A luxurious Italian restaurant serving traditional country dishes and excellent wines and drinks.

Kehrwieder Saiakang Chocolaterie: The lovely cafe in front of the main square of the old town of Tallinn with an excellent coffee selection and treats.

F-Hoone: super trendy and rustic place where food and service are excellent.

Shopping in Estonia

Shopping in Estonia is an endless shopping arcade with a wide variety of products. As in the whole Baltic Region, amber jewelry pieces and winter clothing products are some of the most popular things to buy. It is also worth to buy glass and ceramic products, tablecloths and all kinds of utensils as well as souvenir products made according to medieval samples. Of course, you can also find vodka varieties as well.

Shopping in Estonia

Shopping centers can be found in almost every major city, but most of them, of course, in the capital. The main center of shopping in Tallinn is the famous Viru Street. For its entire length, there are department stores, individual boutiques and numerous shopping centers. Sales times fall on Christmas and sometimes in July. There are many stores built in the seaport area with the expectation of tourists arriving by sea but prices there could be higher than in other places.

Festivals in Estonia

Tallinn Medieval Days

Tallinn Medieval Days is the highlight festival of the whole year, which takes place annually in July. The town hall square is transformed into a medieval market square where merchants and artists meet. While actors and minstrels entertain the visitors, children can take part in archery or go to the knight school.

How many days to visit Estonia?

For your trip to Estonia, we recommend spending at least one full day in Tallinn to visit the most important sights and enjoy the feeling of the city. However, it is better to stay at least 2 to 3 days to also explore the outside of the small capital to get a feel for the country. You can easily make further trips from Tallinn, take note of the places that we recommend here: best tourist destinations in Estonia.

Where to go after Estonia?

To get an overview of the Baltic countries, you can easily combine the three Baltic capitals, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn in your trip. Although they are close by their heritage, their cultures, their histories and their lifestyle, these cities represent its own beauty. You can move between cities by car, bus, train and plane.

If you are planning a trip to the region, do not hesitate to plan a trip to Helsinki in Finland. With about 2.5 hours between two cities by ferry, you could see both capital cities. There are more than 20 departures each day between Tallinn and Helsinki. Prices average 20-30 euro, depending on the operator, the season, the day of the week and the time of day.

On the other hand, you can visit Sweden. In addition to flights, you can get there by ferry from Tallinn. Stockholm itself is definitely worth a look. Several companies operate the crossing including Eckerö Line, Linda Line Tallink silja, Viking Line.


Estonia Travel Tips

Top Tourist Destinations in Estonia: Best Places to Visit

Top Tourist Destinations in Estonia: Best Places to Visit

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Top Tourist Attractions in Tallinn, Estonia

Top Tourist Attractions in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, offers its visitors a superb mix of medieval and modern architecture. If you are thinking of visiting it shortly and wondering what are the best things to see in Tallinn, here you will find the extended list of the top tourist attractions in Tallinn that shouldn’t be missed!

Most Beautiful Viewpoints in Tallinn, Estonia

Most Beautiful Viewpoints in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and one of the most beautiful cities in northern Europe. Many buildings and streets of its old town are kept in a magnificent state of preservation, giving it that characteristic medieval fairytale look, especially when admiring the view from the most beautiful viewpoints in Tallinn.

Where to Stay In Tallinn: Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay In Tallinn: Best Areas & Hotels

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. This scenic city with medieval characteristics of city walls, cathedrals and alleys stands between history and modernity. Planning a trip and not sure where to stay in Tallinn? Our guide to Tallinn best areas will be helpful!

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