We are very happy that you found Hansaguides’ website. We are a small travel agency based in Estonia and our mission is to promote tourism to Estonia and present the features of the country that makes us love it.
This guide is built up in a Q&A / FAQ manner and has the answers to the most common questions related to travelling to and staying in Estonia or its capital Estonia. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, feel free to contact us through Skype or e-mail!
Travelling to Estonia
Q: Is Estonia a grim and depressingly grey Eastern-European country?
A: Definitely not! Estonia is a beautifuly cozy and warm country in Northern-Europe which resembles Scandinavian countries a lot. Culturally, Estonia is related the most to Finland, although centuries of German, Russian and Swedish influences have given it a bit of a twist. Tallinn is one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities in Europe which was a flourishing Hanseatic league member in its time. Outside of Tallinn, Estonia is caracterized by vast forests (50% of the country is forest), more coastline than Sweden, thousands of islands and many bogs and swamps boasting extraordinary wildlife.
Q: What is the best period of the year to visit Estonia?
A: If you like sun and warm, long days, then July is the way to go for you. The month is caracterized by very few rainy days, lots of sun and very long days which almost don’t end at all. You could also consider visiting slightly earlier, around de 24th of June, when midsummer is celebrated all over the country.
Except for June and July, August is also still a good summer month to visit. September is a great month for bird watchers, because the great exodus of birds to the South starts then. However, it might also get slightly colder and rainier.
Winter, however, can also be very beautiful. Especially at Christmas time you may feel like you travelled to a fairy tale land with snowy rooftops and cozy Christmas markets. Temperatures then are still acceptable at 0 to -10 degrees. February is the coldest, but also the driest and sunniest winter month. Temperatures can plummit to -30 degrees centigrade at night, but if you can stand the temperatures you can enjoy great blue skies and sunny days in an amazing winterlandscape. At the end of February and beginning of March, the ice roads usually open, which is very unique in Europe.
Q: Which airlines fly to Tallinn?
A: Estonian Air will bring you comfortably from among others Brussels, Amsterdam, Oslo and Stockholm straight to Tallinn. People with a lower budget can rely on Ryanair which has seasonal flights to Tallinn from Scandinavian, UK, German, Italian and Spanish airports. There are also direct flights from Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey. More information on our page about Travelling to Estonia.
Q: How do I get from the airport to the city center?
A: You can find reliable taxi’s at the taxi stand just outside the terminal which will cost about 10 euros to bring you to the city center. There is also the local bus nr. 2 which costs 1,60 euros when bought from the driver and will bring you to the city center at walking distance from the old town. More information on our page about Travelling to Estonia.
Q: How much does a taxi ride cost in Tallinn?
A: Taxi companies are regulated by the city government which requires all taxis to have a clear taxi sign on the roof and yellow rate sheets visible on the passenger seat and window. The rates however are not regulated, so for the same distance you can pay 5 euros at one company and 10 euros with another. For tourists we would suggest taxis from Tulika Takso or Tallink Takso. These are modern and reliable taxis. Make sure to check the rate sheet before getting in a taxi though. Some companies charge 3 euros starting fee and 3 euros per kilometer. That would make a 5km taxi ride as expensive as a meal for two in a Tallinn pub. If you want it cheap, check out the list of taxi companies on taksod.net (click on “see more” on the right). Most operators speak English, so you can book a taxi yourself by calling the number.
Questions when in Estonia
Q: Are attractions outside of Tallinn accesible by public transport?
A: Some places are remarkably well connected to Tallinn by public transport, but rather by chance. In most cases, sites outside of Tallinn will have one or two daily bus connections which are slow and limit your freedom. If you just want to visit cities and villages, public transport is fine, but if you want to visit nature parks, castle ruins etc, you’re better off renting a car. Thankfully, renting a car is dirtcheap in Estonia, find more information on our page about cheap car rentals in Estonia.
Q: How much does renting a car cost in Estonia?
A: Through Hansaguides you can book car rental for as low as 14 euros per day. That price is however for a rental period of over a week outside of the main season. Still, for a recent (2011) car during high season it can be as low as 35 euros per day. Read more on our dedicated page about renting a car in Estonia.
Q: What is the average price of a meal in Tallinn?
A: Lunch menu’s in Tallinn can be found for as cheap as 2,50 euros for a main course. The St-Patricks pubs particularly have good quality daily offers on workdays at 2,70 euros or 3,20 euros including a juice. For dining, count on an average of 8 euros for a main course in pubs, 10 euros in bistros and 14 euros in restaurants. If you really want to eat on Town Hall Square, be ready to pay up to 25 euros for a substandard meal (very few places on Town Hall square offer good food). Read all about Tallinn’s food culture ranging from cellar pubs to fine dining heaven on our Tallinn food guide!