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Overview

NEED TO KNOW


Language: Estonian
Capital City: Tallinn
Population: 1.3 million
Area: 17,400 square miles
Telephone Calling Code(s): 372
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
Currency: As of Nov 22, 2011:
1 Estonia Krooni = $0.09 US Calculate Other Amounts
Entry Requirements:

Estonia is a member of the European Union and so American passport holders do not need a visa to enter—as long as you are only staying for 90 days within a six-month period.


GOOD TO KNOW


Literature
For an introduction to Estonia's recent history, War in the Woods, by former Estonian prime minister Mart Laar, is an account of the resistance fighters who hid in the forests of Estonia for more than a decade after the end of World War II to battle the Soviet occupation.

Music
Estonian music has come into its own, leading the way in contemporary classical music. Composer Arvo Pärt's works, including Tabula Rasa and Fratres I, have earned comparisons with John Tavener. His work has been described as "mystical minimalism."

Cuisine
Much of Estonia's cuisine is derived from Germany and Russia, both onetime rulers of the land. Meat and potatoes are staples but you'll also find leib, the country's ubiquitous black bread; jellied meats; and blood sausages that may please locals but tend to daunt visitors.

Money
Estonia charges a value-added tax (VAT) of up to 18 percent on every purchase, which can be refunded to tourists at the airport. Until recently, Estonian service workers did not expect tips, but now the general rule is to leave ten percent at restaurants where the bill is brought to your table. There is no need to tip taxi drivers, but make sure you use a reputable taxi company to avoid getting overcharged.

Language
Estonian is far from easy. It's one of the Finno-Ugric languages, quite unrelated to all other European languages with the exception of Finnish, which is equally impossible. Because so few visitors make any effort, those who do are invariably met with beaming smiles.

Hello: Tervist
Goodbye: Nägemist
Please: Palun
Thank you: Tänan


NATIONAL HOLIDAYS


January: 1, New Year's Day
February: 24, Independence Day
May: 1, May Day
June: 23, Victory Day; 24, St. John's Day
August: 20, Independence Restoration Day
December: 24, Christmas Eve; 25, Christmas Day; 26, Boxing Day
Spring: Friday before Easter, Good Friday; Easter

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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