Estonia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Estonia in 2024
Welcome to Estonia

Estonia is located in Europe, Latvia borders south Russia in the east, and it shares maritime borders with Finland; therefore, it is not a landlocked country.

Geography

The country is in the northern Baltic, covering an area of approximately 45,340 square kilometers and a total coastline of 3,794 kilometers. Its land area is approximately 180% of the area of Maryland. It is, therefore, the 24th smallest country in Europe and 133rd in the world. The country is dominated by flat coastal regions, hilly inland, especially in the southern part, and has the most extensive forest cover, nearly half of its mainland. Vallamagi is the highest mountain and peaks at 304 meters; several rivers and lakes flow within the region. River Parnu is the longest, stretching about 90 miles (145km).

Climate

The country generally has a cold climate with four seasons of near­equal length. The average temperatures range from 17.8°C (64.0°F) on the Baltic islands to 18.4°C(65.1°F) inland in July, the warmest month. In February, the coldest month, the temperatures are between ­1.4°C on the Baltic islands to ­5.3°C in inland. The main factors influencing the weather in Estonia are its strategic geographical location between maritime and continental climates and its large mixed forest. The mean annual precipitation ranges between 550­mm to 700mm and 520mm in some islands to 750mm in the uplands. Seasonal variation in the rainfall is similar throughout the country, with the driest months being February and March. The country is also prone to Cyclone Gugrun, which causes miserable flooding in western and eastern coastal parts of Estonia.

Population

The current population of Estonia is approximately 1,328,983. The diverse population has various ethnic groups, cultural backgrounds, and languages. Two ­thirds of the people are Estonians, and Russians are the Paramount minority comprising about ¼ of the citizenry. Prominent among other ethnic groups are the Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Finns. The country also has a handful of Africans, around 414, accounting for about 0.0315% of the population. The population of Estonians is relatively old, with the median age being around 42.4 years. The infant mortality rate is meager at 1.766 deaths per 1000 live births. Life expectancy is also high at approximately 78.35 years.

Languages

The country is diverse, with various people from various cultural backgrounds, contexts, and various languages being used. Throughout Estonia, people speak different languages, such as English, Finnish, and Russian, the most spoken languages across the country. In addition, other languages are being used, such as French, German, or Swedish. Minor languages include Voro, Seto, Ukrainian, Polish, Finnish, and Russian sign languages. The official language is Estonian.

Religion

Estonia is the least religious-affiliated nationality. Only 17% are affiliated with a religion, while 70% are non­believers. Lutheranism remains the most famous religious group among the ethnic Estonians 11% are Lutherans, while 2% are Orthodox. Mostly non­indigenous Slavic minorities mainly practice Orthodoxy.

Government

Estonia is a parliamentary republic. The president is the head of government, who nominates the prime minister, and they are in charge of the executive power vested in the government. The president, the head of state, is elected by the parliament or the electoral college after five years. The current constitution of Estonia was adopted in 1992 after a referendum, and it established the state order as that of a democratic republic where the supreme power is vested in its citizens. The national assembly in Estonia is unicameral, with 101 members of parliament. Estonia’s court system consists of three levels: county and administrative courts of the first instance, district courts or courts of appeal of the second instance, and the supreme court is the court of final (cassation). The Judiciary is also independent of the executive and legislative arms of the government.

Economy 

Estonia is one of the advanced economies and a part of the European Union and the Eurozone. Its economy relies heavily on the export of machinery and equipment at 33%, wood, and paper at 15%, textiles at 14%, food products 8%and furniture at 7% of all exports annually. They also export metals and other chemical products.

Culture

Being a highly multicultural country, the culture of Estonia combines an indigenous heritage, represented by the country’s Finnic national language Estonian. The country’s culture is considered to be highly influenced by the Germanic-speaking world consisting of Nordic and German cultural aspects.

Recent History

The sinking of Estonia was a disaster that occurred in the country on 28th September 1994 when the Estonian ferry sank in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people and is among the worst 20th-century maritime disasters.

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Before entering the territory of Estonia, individuals of Indian nationality are required to have a visa. Visas are available at the Estonian embassy or consulate located in India.

The earliest one can submit their details is two months before the intended travel date.

Validity goes up to 90 days for the first 180 days.

It can be issued for work, studies, family reunification, retirement, or investment.

Not available, mainly for EU and Schengen countries.

Traveling checklist

  • Valid passport
  • Valid Estonia visa
  • Confirmed return ticket
  • Contact details of relatives
  • Proof of accommodation