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Latest updates: The Safety and security tab was updated - removal of U.S. Travel Alert for the holiday season.
Estonia - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Estonia. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Violent crime occurs, but foreigners are not usually targeted. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, also occurs, particularly in Tallinn’s Old Town and during the summer tourist season. Thieves often work in small groups and target tourists in airports, train stations and other public areas. Avoid parks, poorly lit streets and certain areas of Tallinn after dark, including Kopli and Lasnamäe.
Theft of vehicles or their contents is common. Keep vehicles locked and in guarded parking lots overnight.
Individuals have sometimes been harassed for reasons of race or foreign-looking appearance.
Travellers have been approached by young women at reputable bars with invitations to socialize at a nearby bar. Once at the new bar, some travellers have fallen victim to criminal activity or been presented with very large bills for drinks and entertainment. You should always check prices before ordering any food or drinks.
Credit- and debit-card fraud occurs. Pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others during payment processing.
See Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations are rare. Nevertheless, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, as they have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Road travel can be hazardous. Country roads are poorly lit and animals sometimes wander onto the road. Driving can be especially dangerous in winter, when roads are icy and snow-covered.
Use only officially marked taxis and make sure that the taxi meter is in use and that prices are posted. Whenever possible, call for a taxi instead of hailing one on the street. The taxi companies Tulika Takso and Tallink Takso can confirm the type, number and colour of the car when you call.
City buses are reliable but often crowded. Rail service is usually good but is limited to local connections around the main cities in Estonia.
Bus, plane and ferry services to neighbouring countries operate frequently. Relatively good highways connect Estonia with Latvia and Russia.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Exercise normal security precautions. Do not show signs of affluence or carry large amounts of cash on you. Ensure that personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Estonian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Customs officials may require you to present proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
Estonia is a Schengen area country. Upon arrival, Canadians are required to present a passport that must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from the Schengen area. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
For stays longer than 90 days, customs officials may ask you to show proof of adequate health insurance upon arrival. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Estonia for further information.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Transit visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Canadians do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any country within the Schengen area. If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for longer than the 90 days in any 180-day period, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel. For more information, see Schengen area.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 28, 2016 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Eastern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Eastern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in Eastern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Standards of medical care in Tallinn and Tartu are comparable to Canadian standards. However, this may not be the case in other areas of Estonia. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and Estonia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Estonia to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Estonian authorities.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Estonia. If local authorities consider you an Estonian citizen, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services, thereby preventing Canadian consular officials from providing you with those services. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present an Estonian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Carry adequate identification at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport, in case it is lost or seized.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
An International Driving Permit and a Canadian driver’s licence are required.
Foreign motor vehicles are subject to strict regulations. Drivers should always carry original registration documents. Police checkpoints are routinely set up on major roads; drivers should pull over when asked.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol: the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.00 percent.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
Seat belts, and car seats for infants, are mandatory for all occupants of a car, including the driver.
Headlights must be on at all times. Vehicles must be equipped with winter tires from December 1 to March 1; alternatively, studded tires can be used from October 1 to May 1. These dates are subject to change.
In the event of an accident, motorists must contact police to file an official report.
Other traffic laws
Pedestrians are required to wear small reflectors from dusk until dawn. The reflectors can be purchased at most stores and are usually pinned to coats or bags. The law is mostly enforced in rural areas, where lack of lighting makes it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians; however, pedestrians anywhere in the country could be fined for failure to wear a reflector, particularly if involved in an accident.
The currency of Estonia is the euro (EUR).
Foreign currency is easily exchanged. Some banks accept Canadian dollar traveller’s cheques. Automated banking machines are widely available, and credit cards are widely accepted in urban areas as well as by larger establishments in remote locations.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU) with at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible asset. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU country sites, visit the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union’s cash controls page.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Heavy flooding can occur in spring.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Tallinn - Office of the Embassy of Canada
Stockholm - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the the Office of the Embassy in Tallinn and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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