Travel Advice

Australian Government advice for Estonia

Flag of Estonia

When travelling to Estonia, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Estonia.


Summary

  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Estonia. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
  • Over the last year there have been significant pressures on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers.  You should monitor local media and other information from transport providers for up to date information on entry and exit changes and delays. See Local travel .
  • There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
  • Although civil unrest is generally not a problem in Estonia, you should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent.
  • Australia has a Consulate in Tallinn, headed by an Honorary Consul, which provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services, the issue of passports or notarial services). The Australian Embassy in Sweden provides full consular assistance to Australians in Estonia.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

Entry and exit

Estonia is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries, which allows Australians to enter Estonia without a visa in some circumstances. See our travel bulletin on the Schengen Convention for more information.

Australians travelling in Estonia should carry their travel documents with them at all times to avoid any difficulties when attempting to depart Estonia, in particular when travelling on ferries between Schengen countries.

Estonia requires visitors to have valid travel and health insurance that covers them for the equivalent of 30,000 Euros (about AUD40,000) for the duration of their stay. Immigration authorities may deny entry to visitors who are unable to provide evidence of adequate insurance coverage.

People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) carrying 10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term "cash" includes cheques, travellers' cheques and money orders. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.

Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia.

Safety and security

Crime

Street crime, including muggings and assault, does occur, particularly during the summer months. Petty crime, such as bag snatching and pickpocketing, has been reported, particularly in the Old Town area of the capital, Tallinn. Travellers at airports, parks, train stations and around major hotels have been targeted, particularly after dark. Thieves often work together in small groups.

Incidents of car theft and theft from vehicles are common.

Credit card fraud and internet-based crime, including internet dating and financial scams, have been reported.

Terrorism

There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.

Civil unrest/political tension

Although civil unrest is generally not a problem in Estonia, you should avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings as they may turn violent. Monitor the media for developments and if you are in an area affected by protests, follow the advice of local authorities.

Money and valuables

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Local travel

Over the last year there have been significant pressures on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers.  Australians should carry their passports when crossing borders, even within the Schengen zone.  You should monitor local media and other information from transport providers for up to date information on entry and exit changes and delays.  Driving in Estonia can be dangerous due to local driving practices, poorly maintained roads and vehicles, and inadequate road lighting. When driving, headlights must be on at all times. Winter tyres are required by law from 1 December to 1 March. These dates may vary according to weather conditions. For further advice, see our road travel page.

Australians wishing to drive in Estonia must have a current International Driving Permit as well as their Australian driver's licence.

Official taxis are marked and have a visible meter. Do not use illegal taxis, and do not allow extra passengers to use a taxi you have hired.

At night, pedestrians must wear reflectors in accordance with Estonian law. Failure to do so may attract a fine. Reflectors are available at most supermarkets and small shops and are inexpensive.

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Estonia.

Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Estonia, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

Penalties for all drug offences, even possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and imprisonment. See our Drugs page.

There is zero tolerance for drink driving. Penalties for driving with a blood alcohol content greater than zero include heavy fines and imprisonment.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Information for dual nationals

Estonia recognises dual nationality in limited circumstances. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Estonian dual nationals who are arrested or detained. We recommend that you travel on your Australian passport at all times.

Australian/Estonian dual national males may be liable for military service if they have a permanent address in Estonia. If you are unsure of your military service obligation, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Estonia .

Our Dual nationals provides further information.

Health

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

The standard of medical facilities at the main hospitals in the capital Tallinn and in Tartu is good. In rural regions, however, facilities may be limited due to a lack of equipment and medical supplies. Many doctors and hospitals will require up-front payment before commencing treatment. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities may be necessary. Medical evacuation costs are considerable.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and rabies) occur. Water contamination may be a problem in rural areas. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice and raw and undercooked food.

Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases. Ticks are common from spring to autumn (March to November).

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

For criminal issues, contact the local police at the nearest police station, or on their national telephone number 110. The national emergency number is 112. You should also obtain a police report when reporting a crime.
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and cannot do to assist Australians overseas.

Australia has a Consulate in Estonia which provides limited consular assistance (not including visa and immigration services, the issue of passports or notarial services). See contact details below:

Australian Consulate, Tallinn

c/- Standard Ltd
Marja 9
EE10617 Tallinn ESTONIA
Telephone +372 6 509 308
Facsimile +372 6 509 344
Email: mati@standard.ee

You can also contact the Australian Government at the Australian Embassy in Sweden for consular assistance. See contact details below:

Australian Embassy, Stockholm

Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Telephone +46 (0)8 613 2900
Facsimile +46 (0)8 613 2982
Email: reception@austemb.se
Website: www.sweden.embassy.gov.au

See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are travelling to Estonia, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate . The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Estonia experiences extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall.

Flooding may occur in spring (March to May).

Additional Resources