International Travel

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Country Information

Estonia

Estonia
Republic of Estonia
Exercise normal precautions in Estonia.

Exercise normal precautions in Estonia. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Estonia:

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Embassy Messages
Alerts
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

3 months recommended before departure from Schengen zone.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page per entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

None

 

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

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

Destination Description

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

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Estonia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. Visit the Embassy of Estonia website for the most current visa information.

  • Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond your stay.  For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
  • 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).

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

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  

Please visit the customs information sheet for customs regulations.

Safety and Security

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 USD.

To stay connected:

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.   

VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

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 United States.
  • 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

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.

Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States. Please remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

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

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Estonia, you are subject to its laws. 

Regardless of local law, you can be prosecuted in the United States under U.S. law if you:

  • Engage in sexual conduct with children or use/disseminate child pornography in a foreign country
  • Buy pirated goods

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested, you should 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.

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 accept credit cards with computer chips.

Customs:

WOMEN TRAVELERS:  If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.                    

LGBTI RIGHTS: 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 the LGBTI community in Estonia.

For more detailed information about LGBTI rights in Estonia, you may review the State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2016.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

PERSONS WITH MOBILITY ISSUES: 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.

Health

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.

Local Health Concerns:

  • 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 consult the CDC's information on TB.
  • 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.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will cover you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

  • Does my policy apply when I’m outside of the United States?
  • Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places,

  • Payment in cash is expected at the time of service. 
  • Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctor and hospital visits in other countries or may not make timely payments for services provided. 
  • Your policy doesn’t cover you when you travel. you should to take out additional coverage for your trip. 

For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

Travel and Transportation

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:

  • 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.

Please refer to 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.

 

Last Updated: August 1, 2017
Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Tallinn
Kentmanni 20
15099 Tallinn
Estonia
Telephone
+(372) 668-8128
Emergency
+(372) 509-2129 or +(372) 668-8169
Fax
+(372) 668-8267
Estonia Map