Estonia is a small country in the Baltic region of northern Europe. Covering 45,228 sq km (17,413 sq mi), Estonia is bordered by Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. The Gulf of Finland is to the north of Estonia, the Baltic Sea is to the west while Lake Peipus straddles the border of Estonia and Russia.
Estonia is a parliamentary republic headed by a president and a prime minister. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn. The country has a population of 1.3 million people. The official language of the country is Estonian. Ethnic Estonians form close to 70% of the population, ethnic Russians form 26%, and the rest are minority groups.
Estonia is in the Eastern European Time zone, two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2), and three hours in summer (UTC+3). Estonia uses the Euro (EUR) as its legal tender. Traffic is driven on the right. The phone IDD code is +372. The electricitiy is 230V/50Hz using European plug.
In 2009, Estonia had a nominal GDP of $19.123 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $14,266. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $17,908.
Estonia is in the temperate climate zone, with areas in transition between maritime and continental climate. Its four seasons are of near-equal duration. Warmest month is July, with average temperature of 16.3DEGC (61.3DEGF) on the Baltic islands to 18.1DEGC (64.6DEGF) inland. The coldest month is February, when average temperature drops to -3.5DEGC (25.7DEGF) on the Baltic islands and -7.6DEGC (18.3DEGF) inland.
Estonia was ruled by neighboring powers including the Danish, Teutonic, Polish, Swedish and Russian. It was part of the Russian Empire until 1918, when it declared independence. During the Second World War, it was annexed by the Soviet Union. Estonia regained its independence on 20 August, 1991.
Preparing Money for Estonia
The currency used in Estonia is the Euro (EUR).
Planning your visit to Estonia
Estonia is today a member of the Schengen Agreement, so visitors from EU and EFTA do not need to bring a passport – an approved ID card will do. Visitors from other countries which do not need a visa include the citizens of Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela.
The Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (TLL) is the gateway into Estonia. It receives direct connection with major cities in Europe such as London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
Recommended Travel Guidebook
My favorite travel guidebook for further reading in preparation of your trip is the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania Eyewitness Guide, because it follows a format that I find useful to users, not to mention I have also contributed to some of the titles in the Eyewitness series of guidebooks.
Major Cities in Estonia
1. Tallinn – capital
Places of Interest in Estonia
2. Karula National Park
3. Lahemaa National Park
4. Matsalu National Park
6. Soomaa National Park
7. Vilsandi National Park