Practical A to Z
Practical A to Z
- Eating out
- Embassies and consulates
- Getting around
- Public holidays
- Social etiquette
The most popular restaurants sport a traditional, rustic decor, where young lasses in traditional costume serve large portions of local dishes or platters piled high with cooked meats, cheese and pickled vegetables, all of which washed down with mugs of beer.
Cafés: 9am to 10-11pm.
Restaurants: 12noon to 10-11pm.
It is customary to leave a 10% tip if you are satisfied with the service.
Standard two-pin European plugs (220V, 50Hz), so slip an adaptor into your suitcase.
Embassies and consulates
British Embassy – Wismari 6 - 10136 Tallinn - t 372 667 4700 - http://ukinestonia.fco.gov.uk/en/
Irish Embassy – Vene 2 6 10123 Tallinn - t 372 681 1888 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Faster, cheaper and often more frequent than coach services.
An efficient (if rather slow) and economical means of exploring the country.
Major towns are well equipped with bus, trolleybus and tramlines.
Avoid any unpleasant surprises and drink bottled or filtered water.
Rural areas and forests are infested with ticks from April to October and several people die of tick-borne encephalitis each year. Always wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers and check your skin regularly. This disease can be prevented by vaccination. Mosquitoes are omnipresent in summertime, particularly in the lake district.
The Euro (€), is subdivided into 100 cents.
Banks / Exchange
Banks, open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm, are the best places to change foreign currency. Exchange offices (kiosks or basic counters) are also widely available. It is preferable to ask for small banknotes in good condition.
Traveller’s cheques can be difficult to exchange outside large towns.
Visa and MasterCard/Eurocard are compatible with most automatic teller machines, which are widely available in large towns, although less common in rural areas. Commissions can be high.
Estonia is not a cheap destination, but substantial differences exist between the capital and the countryside and depending on the time of year. Average budget: between €55 and 100 per day for a couple.
Post offices, postkontor, are open Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm, Saturdays 9am-3pm. Allow between 3 and 4 days for letters to reach home.
1 January – New Year’s Day
24 February – Independence Day
Easter – Good Friday and Easter Sunday
1 May – Labour Day
May / June – Whitsun
23 June – Victory Day
24 June – Jaanipäev: Saint John’s Day
20 August – Day of Restoration of Independence
25-26 December – Christmas and Boxing Day
Shops are generally open Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-3pm.
Make sure that the price tag includes VAT.
Antiques and art
Most cities have a fair number of antique dealers selling silverware, furniture, icons and vintage paraphernalia and art galleries are also multiplying fast.
Arts and crafts
Ceramics and painted eggs, glassware (jewellery and stained glass), leather (luggage, antique bound books), wooden objects, wickerwork, lace (by Orthodox Setus) and hand-knitted mittens, pullovers and socks.
Black rye bread, jams and smoked fish are readily available. Keep an eye open for Kalev chocolate from Tallinn, tins of (spicy) sprats and kama, a sour powder. On the beverage side, two Estonian delicacies are Vana Tallinn, a thick, sweet liqueur, and Metsa Maasika, even sweeter.
A handshake or nod of the head suffice as a greeting. If invited to someone’s home, take a small gift, such as a bunch of flowers (odd number of flowers only), even to men. Remove your shoes on entering private homes and wait until you are invited to sit down at the table. Avoid sensitive issues, such as relations with the Russian speaking community. Don’t whistle indoors.
To call Estonia from abroad
Dial 00 + 372 (country code) + city code + number of the person.
To call home from Estonia
Dial 00 + country code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + number of the person (without the first 0).
National calls from town to town
Dial 0 + town code + number of the person.
Dial 0 plus the number. Most mobile phone numbers start with 50-57.