General tourist information Estonia, including all the useful things to know before departure, for a trip or vacation in this member state of the European Union.
Estonia in a nutshell
- Capital: Tallinn
- Area in sq km: 45,226
- Population: 1,340,263 (first half of 2010)
- Religion: Mostly Lutherans and Orthodox, although most of the population claims not to follow any religious beliefs.
Where is it
Estonia is a parliamentary republic and a member state of the European Union. Its territory extends over a kind of peninsula in the eastern part of the Baltic sea.
It faces the Gulf of Finland to the north and the Gulf of Riga to the west, borders Latvia to the south, Russia to the east (largely within Lake Peipsi).
The country is mainly flat, characterized by the presence of vast swamps and marshes, the highest point being Mount Suur Munamägi (318 m asl), which is located in the south-eastern part of the country. Forests occupy about half of the territory.
The coasts are generally low and sandy, among the many islands that face the west coast, the main ones are Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.
The territory of Estonia is very rich in lakes and rivers.
The main lake is Lake Peipsi, shared with Russia, it is one of the largest European lakes. The second is Lake Võrtsjärv, and is located within the country.
The rivers of Estonia have hilly origins and flow into the sea after short journeys. The major ones are Narva, Emajõgi, Pärnu, Kassari.
Estonia's climate is cold temperate with long, dark winters.
Average winter temperatures are between -3.5 ° C in the islands and -7.6 ° C in the interior of the country (February).
Summers are short with average temperatures ranging from 16.3 ° C on the islands of the Baltic Sea, to 17.1 ° C in the interior of the country (July).Recommended readings
- Tallinn (Estonia): what to see in the capital
- Estonia: useful information
The days are very long in the months of May and June. The rainiest months are August and September, while the driest months are February and March.
The majority of the population is made up of Estonians (approx. 84%).
The remainder is made up of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Finns and others.
In Estonia, the time difference is 1 hour ahead of Italy, even in the period when daylight saving time is in effect.
The official language is Estonian, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric strain and is very similar to Finnish.
There is a minority of Russian-speaking population. In Tallinn, the capital, and in tourist places, knowledge of English and German is widespread.
The economy of Estonia is mainly based on the tertiary sector (financial services, tourism, transport and telecommunications), with an important participation of the four largest Scandinavian banks, which control about 90% of the Estonian banking sector.
The presence of well-equipped ports has always favored foreign trade and the transit of goods, contributing significantly to the country's economy.
The industrial activity that is driven by the sectors of components for the telecommunications industry (in Estonia the Skype system was created) and by the research and development activity, alongside the traditional sectors of the wood and agro-industry, are important.
Estonia is poor in raw materials, in addition to the forests that represent the main natural resource, the country can count on bituminous shale deposits, from which natural gas, resins, oil and chemicals are obtained.
It should be noted that Estonia ranks first in Europe for its consumption of infotechnology and for the coverage rate of its territory with broadband.
The Internet is used to vote in political elections and also to access various public services.
When to go
Considering that the winter is very long, characterized by very cold days and with a few hours of light, the best time to visit Estonia is from May to early September, during these months it is warmer and the days are longer , especially the months of May and June.
Estonia is part of the European Union and therefore for Italian citizens entering Estonia it is sufficient to have a valid identity card for expatriation or a valid passport.
An entry visa is not necessary for Italian citizens who, for tourism, business or official missions, stay in Estonia for a maximum period of 90 days that can be used within six months starting from the date of the first entry.
- To call from Italy to Estonia the international prefix is: 00372
- To call from Estonia to Italy the international prefix is: 0039
The country is covered by the GSM network with a frequency of 900 MHz. Cell phones are widely used and there are many internet access points with wireless connection in the area, especially in Tallinn (many are free).
The electric current in Estonia is 230 V 50 Hz, with -F- type sockets (German 2-pole with lateral earth contacts), therefore it is advisable to have an adapter.
Since January 1, 2011, the euro has been the official currency of Estonia. The most popular credit cards are accepted in the main hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations. Banks and ATMs are widespread.
How to get
Italy is connected to Estonia with direct flights via the Estonian Air and Ryanair airlines.
From Helsinki, Tallinn is easily accessible by sea by ferry.
The journey takes about two hours and is operated by the Tallinnk and LindaLine companies.
No vaccinations are needed to enter Estonia.
The Italian Health Insurance Card is sufficient for Italian citizens, namely the European Health Insurance Card (TEAM).