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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z


Eating out

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.

Opening hours

Cafés: 9am to 10-11pm.

Restaurants: 12noon to 10-11pm.

Tips

It is customary to leave a 10% tip if you are satisfied with the service.


Electricity

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 - tallinnembassy@dfa.ie


Getting around

By train

Faster, cheaper and often more frequent than coach services.

By coach

An efficient (if rather slow) and economical means of exploring the country.

Urban transport

Major towns are well equipped with bus, trolleybus and tramlines.


Health

Drinking water

Avoid any unpleasant surprises and drink bottled or filtered water.

Diseases

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.

Emergencies

T 112


Money

Currency

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

Traveller’s cheques can be difficult to exchange outside large towns.

Credit cards

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.

Budget

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

Post offices, postkontor, are open Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm, Saturdays 9am-3pm. Allow between 3 and 4 days for letters to reach home.


Public holidays

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


Shopping

Opening times

Shops are generally open Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-3pm.

VAT

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.

Gourmet souvenirs

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.


Social etiquette

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.


Telephone

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.

Mobile phones

Dial 0 plus the number. Most mobile phone numbers start with 50-57.

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