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Estonia
Official Name:

Republic of Estonia

Last Updated: August 1, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tallinn

Kentmanni 20
15099 Tallinn
Estonia

  • Telephone +(372) 668-8128
  • Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(372) 509-2129 or +(372) 668-8169 or you may call +(372) 668-8100 and ask to speak to the “duty officer.”
  • Fax +(372) 668-8267
  • Email ACSTallinn@state.gov
  • U.S. Embassy Tallinn
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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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6 months recommended before departure from Schengen zone

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page per entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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No

VACCINATIONS:

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No

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

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U.S. Embassy Tallinn

Kentmanni 20
15099 Tallinn
Estonia

Telephone: +(372) 668-8128

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(372) 509-2129 or +(372) 668-8169

or you may call +(372) 668-8100 and ask to speak to the “duty officer.”

Fax: +(372) 668-8267

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Estonia for information on U.S.- Estonia relations. 

Visit the Embassy of Estonia’s website for the most current visa information.

Estonia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Estonia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet

  • Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond your stay. 
  • If you plan to stay in Estonia more than 90 days, you may apply for a longer term visa from the Consulate General of Estonia in New York (telephone 212 883 0636).
  • You can find information on residency permits by visiting the Police & Border Guard’s website and clicking on “Services.”
  • You may also obtain additional information about Estonia from the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, DC (telephone 202-588-0101).

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Estonia.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. 

  • Estonia experiences large, peaceful demonstrations related to political issues.
  • You should avoid demonstrations, and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any event.
  • You are required by law to wear small reflectors on clothing during the dark, winter months in Estonia.
  • Fines for refusing to wear the reflectors range from $50 to $500 U.S. dollars.

Crime: Estonia is a relatively safe country, although petty crime in Tallinn’s Old Town is an ongoing concern.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Crimes of opportunity such as purse snatching and pick-pocketing are common during the summer tourism season.
  • Small groups of thieves target places frequented by tourists in Tallinn’s Old Town, in particular the Town Hall Square (“Raekoja Plats”), the airport, train stations, bus stations, and the Central Market .
  • Individuals have reported being harassed for racial reasons or because they appear or sound “foreign”.
  • Be aware of credit card fraud and internet-based financial and dating scams.
  • Be aware of scams in bars and tourist pubs. Pay special attention to drink prices, as they may rise to exorbitant levels for tourists. Management may use force to secure payment. 

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy. 

Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(372) 668-8128. 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line for police, ambulance, or fire in Estonia is 112. Many operators speak English, but there are times when those answering may have minimal English speaking skills.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide information on victim support in Estonia
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Medical care in Estonia falls short of Western standards outside the larger cities such as Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. Many medical professionals in Estonia are highly-trained, but some hospitals and clinics still suffer from a lack of equipment and resources. Many doctors speak at least some English.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Estonia and Estonian Customs Board to ensure the medication is legal in Estonia. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are  prevalent:

  • Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme-disease are widespread throughout the country.
  • Use CDC recommended insect repellents containing either 20% DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to help diminish bites from ticks and other insects if you intend to visit parks or forested areas (even within parks in Tallinn).
  • Tick-borne encephalitis vaccinations are given as a series of three doses, and are not available in the United States. 
  • There are no vaccines against Lyme disease.
  • Hepatitis A is a significant health concern in Estonia.
  • Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Estonia. For further information, please go to the CDC website.
  • HIV prevalence in Estonia is among the highest in the European Union. Estonia’s epidemic is largely concentrated in Tallinn and Ida-Viru county in the northeast.  While transmission from intravenous drug use remains the main infection route, sexual transmission rates are growing.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

  • If you violate Estonia’s laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Estonia are severe. You can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.
  • Your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Estonia. Estonian law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics, and the government generally respects these prohibitions. While the law is not specific regarding the forms of sexual orientation and gender identity covered, in practice all are understood to be included. Despite this, many Estonian LGBTI activists report the authorities are unwilling to aggressively prosecute possible misdemeanors under laws involving incitement to hatred.

  • LGBTI travelers should consider exercising caution when visiting Estonia, especially when expressing affection in public because local advocacy groups report incidents of verbal or physical assault have resulted.
  • See the English-language website of the Estonian visitor’s bureau for specific information regarding LGBTI individuals and activities.  

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Estonian law requires that most new public buildings and others with community space (e.g., shopping centers) be accessible for persons with disabilities. However, many older buildings are not required to meet these requirements. In general, public transport is not accommodating to people with mobility disabilities, although selected Tallinn public buses, trams, and trolleys are specially equipped to assist persons in wheelchairs.

An Estonian advocacy group for the disabled, Freedom of Movement (Liikumisvabadus), has a site that provides specific accessibility ratings for hundreds of businesses and public buildings in Estonia, as well as other useful information.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances: Estonia is part of the Eurozone and only euros are accepted.

  • Bank and currency exchange counters may refuse to accept U.S. currency that is crumpled, torn, discolored, or defaced. Bring newer U.S. bills with you if you plan to exchange for euros in Estonia.
  • ATMs are widely available in Tallinn and in major towns. For security purposes, it is recommended that visitors use ATMs located inside major hotels or shopping malls.
  • Be aware that some ATMs only accept credit cards with computer chips.

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • If you plan to drive in Estonia, you must have both your valid U.S. driver’s license and a valid International Driving Permit (IDP), which you can obtain from either the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance before departing the United States.
  • Other international driving permits are not recognized by Estonian authorities.
  • If you obtain an Estonian residence permit, you must obtain an Estonian driver’s license.

Contact the Estonian Road Administration authority (ARK) for information on obtaining an Estonian driver’s license.

Traffic Laws: Driving while intoxicated is a very serious offense and carries heavy penalties.

  • You must use your headlights at all times.
  • The use of seatbelts, both front and rear, is mandatory in Estonia, as are car seats for infants.
  • Talking on cell phones while driving is prohibited, except when using a hands-free system.
  • It is illegal to turn right on a red light.
  • Do not attempt to move the vehicle to the side of the road until the police reach the scene if you are in an accident. The Eesti Autoklubi (Estonian Auto Club), which is affiliated with AAA, provides emergency roadside assistance. You do not need to be a member to receive assistance, although fees are lower for members. To request roadside assistance or towing service, dial 1888.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is generally considered safe, but travelers are encouraged to select well-marked taxis.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Estonia , the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Estonia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Estonia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select “broadcast warnings”.

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