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Country Reports

Estonia Country Report

Overview

INTRODUCTION

The small northern European country of Estonia (population 1.2 million), independent for only some 25 years, offers good travel conditions. The most northerly of the Baltic States, densely forested Estonia is particularly reputed for its stability and calm.

CRIME

Potential travelers should nonetheless note that an increase in crime rates, particularly petty crime, has been observed in urban areas. Pickpocketing, carjacking, scams, and credit card fraud are not rare in tourist areas, especially in Tallinn.

Furthermore, cases of racially-motivated violence toward people of African or Asian origins have been reported. Visitors are generally advised against walking around alone at night, even in tourist areas.

POLITICS

The next legislative elections will be held in 2019. The Estonian president is elected by the parliament and local politicians.

Tensions between Estonia and Russia are very high. Following the Russian annexation of Crimea, fears of similar actions in the Baltic area have led many in the country to appeal for more NATO protection. The country also has a large Russian minority (25 percent of the population) that is another source of tension with Russia. Many of the Russians in Estonia do not know the language and some do not even have citizenship, a contentious issue given the country’s history within the Soviet Union.

TRANSPORTATION

With the exception of highways, road conditions throughout the country are mediocre. Driving is often dangerous due to difficult-to-see signs (during the day and at night), limited roadside assistance, poor weather conditions, the aggressive driving habits of many locals, and the occasional presence of wild animals.

Railways are generally run-down. Following EU sanctions on Russia, rail service between the country and Russia is no longer running.

HEALTH

Regarding health and medical conditions in the country, visitors should be aware that while the quality of hospital facilities is relatively high in Tallinn and Tartu, hospitals outside of urban areas are less well-equipped and below western European standards.

OTHER

Estonia has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and is a member of the visa- and border checkpoint-free Schengen Area. It is also part of the Eurozone.

Climate

The climate is continental in the interior of the country and temperate along the coasts thanks to the presence of the Baltic Sea. Summers are relatively hot and winters are cold, sometimes harsh, with temperatures falling as low as -30°C. Muddy conditions are common in the spring due to the melting of winter snows.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +372 Police: 112 Ambulance: 112 Fire Dept.: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

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