Estonia is in the Eastern European time zone, two hours ahead of GMT.
The majority of shops, banks and government offices are closed on public holidays. The most important public holidays are:
1 January - New Year's Day
24 February - Independence Day
March/April - Good Friday
1 May - May Day
May/June - Pentecost
23 June - Victory Day
24 June - St John's Day
20 August - Restoration of Independence Day
24 December - Christmas Eve
25 December - Christmas Day
26 December - Boxing Day
As of 1 January 2011 the national currency of Estonia is the euro.
The European Commission gave Estonia the green light to join the bloc's single currency, the euro, on 12 May 2010. With this, Estonia became the 17th member of the euro zone.
Before the adoption of the euro, Estonia's national currency was the kroon, which was then tied to the euro: 1 euro = 15.6466 kroons.
Credit Cards and Traveller's Cheques
Visa and MasterCard/Eurocard are accepted in the majority of larger accommodation, catering and shopping establishments, but it is always wise to check first. When paying by card you are required to provide proof of identity.
The most widely accepted traveller's cheques are Amex, Thomas Cook and Eurocheque.
Estonia's biggest banks are Swedbank and SEB, although various foreign banks also have branches and subsidiaries here.
Banks are open, as a rule, from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. Many banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
ATMs can be used round the clock and will take all recognised bankcards.
Post offices are open during normal working hours from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays.
Prices for sending letters and postcards vary according to destination, but these can be checked in any post office. Mail sent to somewhere inside Estonia will generally be delivered within a day, while to the other Baltic States and Scandinavia it can take from 1-3 days. It rarely takes more than a week for mail to reach countries further away.
When calling Estonia you must first dial the country code, 372. To phone out from Estonia, dial 00 + country code + telephone number. You only need to dial the phone number when making local calls.
Phone cards can be bought from the majority of kiosks, shops, hotels and post offices. Mobile phones and talk time should be purchased from reliable local operators such as EMT, Tele2 and Elisa. You can use your own mobile in Estonia too, as the country's leading operators have roaming agreements with most of the important foreign service providers.
Ekspress Hotline is an English-speaking DA service that is available all over Estonia. The number for the Hotline is 1182 and homepage is www.1182.ee.
The DA lines provide callers with the contact info of all Estonian companies and publicly listed private persons. Information about timetables of trains, ships, buses, flights; currency exchange rates; cinema and theatre programmes, fairs, exhibitions and other amusements; lottery winning numbers; ZIP and trunc codes; etc. are available, as well.
Emergency numbers in Estonia are free of charge regardless of the phone you're calling from.
The number for ambulance and fire is 112.
Call for police assistance using the short number 110.
Before coming to Estonia it is recommended that you take out travel and health insurance covering potential medical costs, theft and other such problems. Entering the country at border crossings, you may be required to show that you have such insurance.
No vaccinations or medical certificates are required to enter Estonia. Over-the-counter medicines are available from all chemists, but it is a good idea in any case to bring your own personal supplies with you for your time in Estonia.
The electricity supply in Estonia is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.
You should always take authorised taxis and ask the driver for an approximate price before beginning your journey. Authorised taxi companies have their cabs display their fare fees on the rear passenger-side window and will, upon request, provide clients with a receipt based on the metre reading. It is always a good idea to ask for the receipt beforehand.
The usual starting fare is ca 2 euros and the rates charged generally depend on the size, age and brand of the car.
It is always best to order a taxi via phone or the Internet because starting prices for taxis waiting on the street (particularly at night) can be as much as 6-10 euros.
Value for Money
Prices in Estonia in comparison with Scandinavia and Central Europe are relatively low. Your average lunch in a pub will set you back about 3 euros, while in a restaurant you'll likely pay between 10-13 euros. Fast food prices usually fall into the 2.5-3 euro range.
Beer (0.5 litres) prices range between 2-4 euros in the restaurants and pubs of Tallinn and other major cities. Prices elsewhere tend to be a bit less.
Accommodation in budget hotels will run to between 16-38 euros, with prices of up to 200 euros in higher-class establishments.
Public transport ticket costs remain below the European average.
A 10% tip is the norm in Estonian cafés and restaurants.