Last updated: 31 Jan 2019

Estonia

About

The most scenic of the three Baltic States, Estonia is a nation famed for its enormous forests, beautiful wetlands and remote offshore islands as well as for being one of Europe's most friendly and forward-thinking nations.

An extremely popular sport is cross-country skiing and the resort town of Otepää, home of the cross-country skiing world cup, is the place to go if this is your passion.

Estonia's most unusual tradition is its Wife-Carrying World Championships, an ancient Baltic tradition revived in the 1990s and now dominated by Estonia.

Explore the countryside and see unspoilt forest and bogs, picturesque old fishing villages and historic manor houses in one of Estonia's three national parks - Lahemaa, Soomaa and Vilsandi.
Capital:  Tallinn (TLL)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  Estonian. English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas
Dialling code from SA:  + 372
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa) 
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday March to last Sunday October: UTC / GMT +3 (1 hour ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2018: 

Jan 1; Feb 24, Mar 30; Apr 1; May 1, 20; Jun 23, 24; Aug 20; Dec 24, 25, 26

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to Go: April & May
Best for: Medieval Architecture
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Bottled water is available. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Estonians are proud of their national heritage and this should be respected.
Duty Free: Estonia is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Estonia by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 40 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 50g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine (excluding sparkling wine) and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers.
Prohibited Imports: It is not permitted to import meat or milk products into Estonia from outside the EU member states. Contact the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (www.emta.ee) for further information. Also prohibited are unlicensed firearms and ammunition, dangerous weapons, pirated goods, counterfeit goods, narcotics, pornographic materials featuring children, and alien species which may pose an ecological threat.
Prohibited Exports: Prohibited exports include unlicensed firearms and ammunition, dangerous weapons, pirated goods, narcotics, pornographic materials featuring children, and alien species which may pose an ecological threat. You must obtain a licence to export cultural artefacts.

Visa Requirements

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SA Representative

Ambassador accredited from Helsinki, Finland.

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio