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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Estonia. Exercise common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources of information for changes to local travelling conditions.
  • There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. See Safety and security.
  • Although civil unrest is generally not a problem in Estonia, avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent. See Safety and security.
  • Australia has a Consulate in Tallinn, headed by an Honorary Consul, which provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services, the issue of passports or notarial services). The Australian Embassy in Sweden provides full consular assistance to Australians in Estonia. See Where to get help.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

Estonia is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Estonia without a visa in some circumstances. More information: Schengen Convention

In other circumstrances, you'll need a visa.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Estonia for the most up-to-date information.

Other formalities

To enter Estonia, you must have valid travel and health insurance that covers you for the equivalent of €30,000 for the duration of your stay. Immigration authorities may deny you entry if you are unable to provide evidence of adequate insurance coverage.

More information: Travel insurance

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia. If your passport does not comply with this requirement, you may be stopped from boarding any aircraft on departure.

Get an entry stamp in your passport from border control staff when you first enter the Schengen area.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Always carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible. You can either:

Money

The currency of Estonia is the Euro (€).

Declare cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling between Estonia and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and travellers cheques. If you fail to declare your cash or you give incorrect information on entry to, or exit from, Estonia, you will be fined. You don't need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.

Safety and security

Civil unrest and political tension

Although civil unrest is generally not a problem in Estonia, avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent. Monitor the media for developments and if you are in an area affected by protests, follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Street crime occurs, including bag snatching, pickpocketing, mugging and petty theft. Airports, train stations, parks, routes to major hotels and the Old Town in Tallinn are prime locations for pickpockets. Pickpockets often work together in small groups.

  • Drink spiking occurs in bars and casinos. Do not leave drinks unattended.
  • Car theft is common, particularly in Tallinn. Use well-guarded and well-lit carparks whenever possible, and do not leave valuables in vehicles.
  • Credit card fraud occurs in Estonia, particularly in places that are frequented by tourists such as shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Keep a close eye on your credit card at all times.
  • Internet-based crimes, including internet dating and financial scams, have been reported.

Terrorism

There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Local travel

Since 2015, there have been significant pressures on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers.  Always carry your passport, including when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area. Monitor local media and information from transport providers for up-to-date information on entry and exit changes and delays.

Pedestrians

By law, pedestrians must wear reflectors at night. Failure to do so may attract a fine. Inexpensive reflectors are available at most supermarkets and small shops.

Road travel 

Driving in Estonia can be dangerous due to local driving practices, poorly maintained roads and vehicles, and inadequate road lighting.

Estonia has some road rules that Australian drivers may not be familiar with: 

  • headlights must be on at all times.
  • winter tyres must be fitted from 1 December to 1 March. These dates may vary according to weather conditions.

There is zero tolerance for drink driving. Penalties for driving with a blood alcohol content greater than zero include heavy fines and imprisonment.

More information: Road travel

Driver's licence

To drive in Estonia, you must have a current International Driving Permit and a current Australian driver's licence.

Taxis

Official taxis are marked and have a visible meter. Do not use illegal taxis, and do not allow extra passengers to use a taxi you have hired.

Air travel

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths, including in Estonia. See the Aviation Safety Network website for more information on avaiation safety in Estonia.

More information:  Air travel

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Estonia, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. 

Drug laws 

Penalties for all drug offences, even possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and imprisonment.

More information: Drugs

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

Estonia recognises dual nationality in limited circumstances. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Estonian dual nationals who are arrested or detained. You should travel on your Australian passport at all times.

Australian/Estonian dual national males may be liable for military service if they have a permanent address in Estonia. If you are unsure of your military service obligation, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Estonia.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart, to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered an illegal or controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. If you arrive without a prescription for medication you're carrying you could be refused entry or prosecuted.

Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in the country you're travelling to.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Ticks

Tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases is a risk in forested areas in Estonia. Ticks are common from spring to autumn (March to November).

Protect yourself against tick-bourne illnesses by:

  • taking measures to avoid insect bites, including using always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • regularly checking your body for ticks during and after visiting forested areas
  • removing any ticks from your body as soon as possible, being careful to remove the whole tick
  • monitoring the tick site afrerwards for any signs of infection.

Other diseases and health issues

Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis and rabies) are prevalent with serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Water contamination may be a problem in rural areas.

  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.

Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities at the main hospitals in the capital Tallinn and in Tartu is good. In rural regions, medical facilities may be limited due to a lack of equipment and medical supplies.

Many doctors and hospitals will require upfront payment before commencing treatment.

If you become seriously ill or injured you would need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation could be very expensive.

More information:

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, tour operator, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Fire and rescue services: 112
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Criminal issues:  112 or contact the local police at the nearest police station.  Always obtain a police report when reporting a crime.

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for information about what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia has a Consulate in Estonia headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services, the issue of passports or notarial services).

Australian Consulate, Tallinn

c/- Standard Ltd
Marja 9
EE10617 Tallinn ESTONIA
Telephone +372 6 509 308
Facsimile +372 6 509 344
Email: mati@standard.ee

You can obtain full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Sweden.

Australian Embassy, Stockholm

Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Telephone +46 (0)8 613 2900
Email: stockholm.reception@dfat.gov.au
Website: sweden.embassy.gov.au
Facebook: facebook.com/Australian.Embassy.Stockholm 

Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the embassy, phone the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Estonia experiences extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall including in major metropolitan areas. This may cause severe transport delays and a temporary shutdown of infrastructure.

Flooding may occur in spring (March to May).

If there is a natural disaster or extreme conditions, use common sense, monitor the news and other local sources for up-to-date information, and follow the advice of local authorities. 

Additional resources