Where is Estonia located?

What countries border Estonia?

Estonia Weather

What is the current weather in Estonia?

Estonia Facts and Culture

What is Estonia famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Estonians are generally well educated and possess a wide range of skills. They like orderliness, hard work and efficiency. Estonians... More
  • Family: It is common for both the husband and wife to work. School children often get home earlier than their parents... More
  • Personal Apperance: Western style clothing is typically worn. Men dress conservatively and wearing a tie is optional.  Women like to dress sharp... More
  • Recreation: Estonians like basketball, skiing, and soccer. There are also many yachting clubs.  Many Estonians especially women like gardening. More
  • Food and Recipes: Sult is often eaten as part of the Christmas dinner. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day with a... More

Estonia Facts

What is the capital of Estonia?

Capital Tallinn
Government Type parliamentary republic
Currency euros (EUR)
Total Area 17,463 Square Miles
45,228 Square Kilometers
Location Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia
Language Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish, other
GDP - real growth rate 1.5%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $38,700.00 (USD)

Estonia Demographics

What is the population of Estonia?

Ethnic Groups Estonian 68.7%, Russian 24.8%, Ukrainian 1.7%, Belarusian 1%, Finn 0.6%, other 1.6%, unspecified 1.6%
Nationality Noun Estonian(s)
Population 1,202,762
Population Growth Rate -0.66%
Population in Major Urban Areas TALLINN (capital) 400,000
Urban Population 69.500000

Estonia Government

What type of government does Estonia have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Alar KARIS (since 11 October 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Kaja KALLAS (since 26 January 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament


president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two thirds of the votes after 3 rounds of balloting, then an electoral college consisting of Parliament members and local council members elects the president, choosing between the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes; if a president is still not elected, the process begins again; election last held on 30 to 31 August 2021 (next to be held in 2026); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament

election results:

2021: Alar KARIS (independent) elected president; won second round of voting in parliament with 72 of 101 votes

2016: Kersti KALJULAID elected president; won sixth round of voting in parliament with 81 of 98 votes (17 ballots blank); KALJULAID sworn in on 10 October 2016 - first female head of state of Estonia
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal; age 16 for local elections
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Estonia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union restoring its statehood
Constitution history: several previous; latest adopted 28 June 1992, entered into force 3 July 1992

amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Parliament members or by the president of the republic; passage requires three readings of the proposed amendment and a simple majority vote in two successive memberships of Parliament; passage of amendments to the "General Provisions" and "Amendment of the Constitution" chapters requires at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament to conduct a referendum and majority vote in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2015
Independence 24 February 1918 (from Soviet Russia); 20 August 1991 (declared from the Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)

Estonia Video

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Estonia Geography

What environmental issues does Estonia have?

Overview Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Its capital, Tallinn, lies about 80 kilometers south of Helsinki, Finland across the gulf of Finland. West of Estonia is the Baltic Sea, and to the east is Russia. Estonia borders Latvia on the south. The smallest of the Baltic States, Estonia covers 17,462 square miles (45,226 square kilometers)

Estonia is located on the Great Northern European Plain. Its topography is typically flat in coastal regions and hilly in the inland southeastern part of the country. The elevation in northwestern Estonia averages 160 feet (49 meters) but rises to 320 feet (98 meters) in the southeast. The highest point in Estonia, at 1,040 feet (317 meters) above sea level, is a hill called "Suur Munamägi" ("Big Egg Mountain") in the southeast.

Estonia’s inland waters include 1,400 lakes and many shallow rivers. The largest lakes are Lake Peipsi in eastern Estonia on the Russian border and Lake Võrtsjärv in south-central Estonia. Estonia’s two major rivers are the Emajõgi, running east-west from Lake Võrtsjärv to Lake Peipsi, and the Narva, that connects Lake Peipsi to the Gulf of Finland. Estonia has substantial areas of bogs and wetlands, particularly in western regions. Forest and woodland, which are usually a mixture of coniferous spruce, pine, white birch, ash, maple, and aspen, cover 47.4% of Estonia.

Off the coast of Estonia sit 1,520 islands that account for nearly 8% of the country’s total land area. The largest islands are Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.


The climate is northern continental, with long winters and short summers. Winter begins in October and lasts often well into April. Snowcover is common from mid or late November to the latter half of March. Cloud cover and slate gray skies are typical between October and early February, when drier and sunnier days arrive. Mean January temperatures are 22°-25°F(-4°-6°C). The Gulfs of Finland and Riga only freeze over during the coldest winters.

In addition to being cold and snowy, winter months are characterized by shortened daylight, a result of Estonia's northern latitude (59°N). When days are at their shortest, daylight is present only between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Prevailing gray skies from November through January make daylight seem even more fleeting. The sun, when it shines, hugs the horizon, thus giving the impression that it is early morning or late afternoon even at midday.

It is often difficult to say exactly when winter ends and spring begins. After the Vernal Equinox (March 21), daylight increases dramatically. Most days in late March, April, and May are sunny. Daytime temperatures, however, may still remain in the 30°-45°F range into late April, and it is not safe to put winter clothing into storage until late May. Occasional snow flurries and light snow are possible even through May.

Summer in Estonia is a short, magical season. July and August temperatures are the warmest, averaging 67°-75°F (19°-24°C). Mornings are cooler and the late afternoon can warm up to the low-80’s. The surface water temperature in the Baltic Sea is from 60°-78°F (16°-26°C). The heaviest rains occur in July and August, but they are usually passing showers. During summer months, Estonia benefits from its northern latitude, with daylight extending long into evening hours and reappearing well before earliest risers are out of bed. From early June to mid-July, there is no real "nighttime."

The short autumn can start as early as late August and is generally cool and rainy.

Border Countries Latvia 339 km, Russia 294 km
Environment - Current Issues air polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; however, the amount of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen steadily, the emissions of 2000 were 80% less than in 1980; the amount of unpurified wastewater discharged to water bodies in 2000 was one twentieth the level of 1980; in connection with the start-up of new water purification plants, the pollution load of wastewater decreased; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas need to be monitored; coastal seawater is polluted in certain locations
Environment - International Agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south

Estonia Economy

How big is the Estonia economy?

Economic Overview Estonia, a member of the EU since 2004 and the euro zone since 2011, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region, but its economy is highly dependent on trade, leaving it vulnerable to external shocks. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda, and sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU.

The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Russia. The economy’s 4.9% GDP growth in 2017 was the fastest in the past six years, leaving the Estonian economy in its best position since the financial crisis 10 years ago. For the first time in many years, labor productivity increased faster than labor costs in 2017. Inflation also rose in 2017 to 3.5% alongside increased global prices for food and energy, which make up a large share of Estonia’s consumption.

Estonia is challenged by a shortage of labor, both skilled and unskilled, although the government has amended its immigration law to allow easier hiring of highly qualified foreign workers, and wage growth that outpaces productivity gains. The government is also pursuing efforts to boost productivity growth with a focus on innovations that emphasize technology start-ups and e-commerce.
Industries food, engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
Currency Name and Code euros (EUR)
Export Partners Sweden 18.8%, Finland 16%, Latvia 10.4%, Russia 6.7%, Lithuania 5.9%, Germany 5.2%, Norway 4.1%
Import Partners Finland 14.5%, Germany 11%, Lithuania 9%, Sweden 8.5%, Latvia 8.3%, Poland 7.4%, Russia 6.1%, Netherlands 5.5%, China 4.8%

Estonia News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Estonia?
Source: Google News

Estonia Travel Information

What makes Estonia a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Estonia is a stable democracy with an economy that is rebounding after facing sharp decline in 2008 and 2009. Tourist facilities in the capital, Tallinn, are comparable to those found in western European cities, but some amenities may be lacking in rural areas. In Tallinn, as well as in other locations frequented by tourists, many people can communicate in English.


Estonia is a relatively safe country, although sporadic crime in Tallinn’s Old Town is an ongoing concern, particularly during the summer tourist season. You should exercise the same precautions with regard to your personal safety and belongings that you would take in major U.S. cities. The most common crime encountered by foreign tourists in Estonia is pick-pocketing. Tourists are often targeted by individuals and small groups of thieves working together. In public places such as Tallinn’s Old Town, in particular the Town Hall Square (“Raekoja Plats”), the airport, train stations, bus stations, and the Central Market, you should exercise special care in safeguarding valuables against pick-pockets. Guard your valuables, especially purses and bags, while visiting busy cafés and restaurants. Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles, and make sure car doors are locked at all times.

From time to time, especially late at night near bars and night clubs, foreigners have been subject to scams, or have become involved in altercations, including some involving violence, with inebriated individuals. Common late night scams involve women enticing tourists in a reputable bar to visit a nearby bar where they are grossly overcharged. Although Estonian police have shut down several suspect bars over the past year, this remains a concern.

On occasion, U.S. citizens have reported that they were harassed for racial reasons or because they appeared or sounded “foreign.” These incidents have generally occurred outside of major tourist areas. Credit-card fraud is also an ongoing concern, as is Internet-based financial fraud and “Internet dating” fraud. You should take precautions to safeguard your credit cards and report any suspected unauthorized transaction to the credit card company immediately. If an incident occurs, you should report it promptly to the local police. The Estonian police agencies are modern, well-equipped law enforcement entities on a standard comparable to most Western European police.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, by purchasing them you may also be breaking local laws.

Criminal Penalties

While traveling in Estonia, you are subject to its laws and regulations. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. If you break local laws in Estonia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what is legal and what is not legal where you are going.

There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods abroad. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and customary international law, if you are arrested in Estonia you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest and to have communications from you forwarded to the embassy.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Although medical care in Estonia falls short of Western standards, Estonia’s medical care is generally good, especially in Tallinn and in some other cities such as Tartu and Pärnu. Estonia has many highly-trained medical professionals, but some hospitals and clinics still suffer from a lack of equipment and resources. While private physicians often speak fair to excellent English, you are likely to find very limited English in hospitals and in emergency rooms. Due to workload, doctors in hospitals spend considerably less time interacting with a patient than is typical in an American hospital. Nurses and other hospital staff are likely to speak little to no English.

You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website, or by calling their hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747). You can also consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

If you plan to visit forested areas of Estonia in the summertime, you should take steps to avoid ticks because of occasional cases of tick-borne encephalitis. Although there is no vaccine against this disease currently licensed for use in the United States, a vaccine requiring a series of injections is available under two different brand names in Estonia, both of which can be obtained from many local physicians. Serious cases of seasonal influenza, including H1N1, have been reported in recent years and you should consider getting a flu shot before traveling to Estonia during flu season.

Safety and Security

Estonian authorities are vigilant in combating terrorism and other threats to security. There have been no incidents of terrorism directed toward U.S. citizens in Estonia. Furthermore, civil unrest is rarely a problem in Estonia. Nevertheless, large public gatherings and demonstrations may occur on occasion in response to political issues; these generally proceed without incident. If you hear of or encounter a demonstration, you should avoid the area and check local media for updates on the situation. You can also contact the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn for current information.

Estonia is quite dark during the winter months (roughly October through April), and Estonian law requires pedestrians to wear small reflectors, which people generally pin to their coats or handbags. Although this law is rarely enforced in cities, reflectors are very important in rural areas where it may be difficult for motorists to see pedestrians. Violators of this law may be subject to a fine of around US$50 or a higher fine up to around US$500 if the pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol. Reflectors are inexpensive and you should be able to find them at many supermarkets, kiosks, and other shops.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Estonia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. In order to drive in Estonia, you must have the correct license. Estonian authorities strictly enforce their rules on driving with a proper license, and many U.S. citizens have been subjected to hefty fines in recent years due to confusion about Estonian rules, so please read the following information carefully. If you are a visitor to Estonia, you may drive only if you carry both your valid U.S. driver’s license and a valid International Driving Permit (IDP). You should obtain your IDP from either the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (part of the National Auto Club) before you leave the United States. These are the only two entities in the United States that are authorized by international agreements to provide IDPs. Other entities purport to offer “international driver’s licenses,” but such documents are not recognized by Estonian authorities. If you are a resident of Estonia, you can initially drive in Estonia with your valid U.S. driver’s license and valid IDP, but upon receipt of an Estonian residence permit or after living in Estonia for more than one year (whichever is shorter), U.S. citizens must obtain an Estonian driving license. However, licenses cannot be issued until you have been in Estonia for 185 days within the past year. All individuals required to obtain an Estonian license must pass both a written and a practical driver's exam. An English-language version of the written exam is available and the Road Administration will ensure that an English-speaking examiner is available for the practical driving portion. Although testing may take place at several locations around the country, it is recommended that you contact the Road Administration headquarters at Mäepealse 19 in Tallinn, tel: 620-1200. Your U.S. license and International Driving Permit must have been issued before your “residency” began, so it is imperative that you obtain these documents before you move to Estonia. If you are caught driving without a proper license, you likely will be subject to a fine and your driving privileges may be revoked. Any U.S. citizen who wishes to obtain an Estonian driver’s license should contact the Estonian Road Administration authority (known by the Estonian acronym “ARK”).

Although road conditions in Estonia are generally good, some roads—especially in rural areas—are poorly lighted and are not up to Western standards. You may find that, compared to U.S. drivers, some drivers in Estonia can be aggressive, recklessly overtake vehicles and travel at high speed, even in crowded urban areas. Despite strict Estonian laws against driving under the influence of alcohol, accidents involving intoxicated drivers are frequent. It is not uncommon for the police to set up checkpoints on major streets and highways; you should pull over when asked by a police officer. You should always remain alert to the possibility of drunk drivers and pedestrians.

Estonian police very strictly enforce laws against driving under the influence. The basic rule is zero tolerance. Thus, you can be subject to severe penalties if stopped by the police and even a trace of alcohol is detected, so please do not drive in Estonia if you have consumed any alcohol whatsoever.

If driving, you must always stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. Some Estonian motorists do not comply with this rule, so if you are walking, you should always be careful when crossing the streets. In rural areas, wild animals, such as deer and moose, and icy road conditions can create unexpected hazards. You should also watch out for dark-clothed or drunk pedestrians walking along unlighted roads or darting across dimly-lighted streets or highways. Winter roads are usually treated and cleared of snow, but you still should remain vigilant for icy patches and large potholes.

You should comply with all traffic rules, including the following: You should always keep your headlights illuminated while driving; the driver and all passengers should use seatbelts; children too small to be secure in seatbelts must use child car seats; you should carefully comply with posted speed limits; you should not be using a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving; and right turns on a red light are prohibited unless otherwise indicated by a green arrow. According to Estonian law, if you are involved in an accident, you should not attempt to move the vehicle to the side of the road until the police reach the scene. 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. For ambulance or fire assistance the number is 112. For emergency police assistance, call 110. Please note that for both numbers, the level of English spoken by the operator answering may be minimal.

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