Hands up if you don’t know where Estonia is? Thought so. There’s lots to find out about this tiny but fascinating country. Why not explore the medieval old towns or perhaps spend a week hiking in the forests that cover almost half of the country? Travel is cheap, the food is varied and where else in Europe could you expect to encounter wild bears and wolves? And if that’s not enough – it also has a highly ranked university! What are you waiting for?
Estonia has a surprisingly small population with just over 1.3 million inhabitants – of whom nearly 500,000 live in the Capital city Tallinn. Estonia borders the Baltic Sea, the south of the Gulf of Finland, Russia and Latvia.
Estonia is a parliamentary republic. The Government consists of a coalition of Res Republica (centre right) the Reform Party (Liberal/right of centre) and Peoples Union (Left-wing rural Party). The head of state is the President elected by parliament; elections take place every five years.
While small, Estonia has already made its mark on the world economic stage. Known as ‘The Baltic Tiger, it majors in electronics and communications and its economy is growing. Almost the entire country has wireless connectors and SKYPE was designed by Estonian developers (bet you didn’t know that!). Tourism is also a pretty big industry – and Tallinn’s beautiful old town attracts many visitors each year from all over the world.
Estonia is divided into 15 counties known as Maakonnad. Each county is subdivided into municipalities – there are 227 nationwide. Estonia adopted the Euro as its official currency on January 1st 2011. It’s got to be said, you might need to be a bit adventurous when it comes to local food. Marinated eel, tongue, jellied meat and the scarily named ‘blood sausage’ are all local delicacies. Yum!
Estonians are proud of their culture and their national heritage, and visitors should take care to respect this sense of national identity.
At a glance facts
- Language: the main spoken language is Estonian
- It has a tiny population – 1,306,788 (2018)
- International dialling code: 372
- Timezone: 2 hours ahead of UK GMT (CET)
Want to study in Estonia? Find out more on our Study in Estonia page
Europe, member of the EU