Exploring the Beautiful Yet Lesser Known Country of Estonia

Estonia is a Baltic state in northern Europe with a small population of just 1.1 million. Despite its small size, Estonia is a parliamentary democracy and member of the European Union. While not as popular with tourists as some European destinations, Estonia has a fascinating culture, unique natural beauty, and advanced technology infrastructure that make it worth visiting. Read on to learn all about this intriguing country.

A Look at Estonia’s Government and Economy

Estonia has been an independent democratic republic since 1991 after leaving the Soviet Union. It joined the EU in 2004 and is the 17th member state. EU membership has benefited Estonians by allowing easy travel around Europe, enhancing well-being and decreasing discontent. Adopting the euro has also boosted Estonia’s economy significantly.

The Estonian economy relies on oil shale energy, metals, chemicals, textiles, information technology, telecommunications, transportation, food and fishing, furniture, and paper. Unemployment benefits provide around 300 euros per month for jobless adults. The average salary ranges from 1,000 to 10,000 euros monthly, with higher salaries going to managers and skilled professionals like software engineers and teachers. Most people work around 40 hours weekly.

Brace for Cold Temperatures

Estonia has a humid continental climate, with heavy influence from the nearby Baltic Sea. Summers average around 17°C while winters average -10°C. It’s cold and snowy for much of the year, so visit during spring and summer if possible. The capital, Tallinn, has an international airport with flights from major European cities. You’ll need a Schengen Visa to enter Estonia.

Geographically, Estonia borders Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. The Baltic Sea lies to the west and Gulf of Finland to the north. Numerous islands dot the Baltic coastline.

The Meaning Behind Estonia’s Unique Flag

The Estonian flag features unusual black, white, and blue horizontal stripes. White represents Estonia’s peaceful nature. Blue symbolizes the proximity to the Baltic Sea. Black recalls past hardships. Overall, the flag embodies freedom, purity, and national vigilance.

Low Cost of Living in Estonia

Despite being a developed European nation, Estonia has a relatively low cost of living. Expect rental prices between 400-500 euros monthly for a one bedroom apartment in Tallinn or up to 1,500 euros for a larger family home. Groceries may cost 250-300 euros per month for one person. Utilities like electricity, gas, and internet add around 100 euros more. Eating out averages 30 euros per meal. Barber haircuts range from 30-40 euros.

Compared to other EU members, Estonia has a competitive minimum wage but salaries for skilled professionals remain strong while enjoying the low taxes.

Working Opportunities in Estonia

Unemployment is low in Estonia. Most people work standard office jobs Monday through Friday. Software engineering and IT jobs are abundant, with opportunities to earn 2,500-3,000 euros monthly. Some people take on side jobs like Uber driving, waiting tables, or delivery couriers for extra income. Getting a Type D work visa allows legal employment for non-citizens.

Fascinating Facts About Estonia’s People and Culture

The official language is Estonian, closely related to nearby Finnish. Estonia boasts the world’s highest literacy rate. Around 80% identify as atheist, one of the highest percentages globally. Nightlife centers around lively pubs and nightclubs.

Interestingly, women outnumber men in Estonia and live nearly 10 years longer on average. Estonian women are known for their beauty with blonde hair, light eyes, and tall, slender builds. Many become models and earn incomes unavailable through regular jobs.

Estonia is extremely technologically advanced, with the world’s fastest average internet speeds up to 41 megabits. Free WiFi is ubiquitous in cities. E-governance handles taxes, voting, and more online. Children receive computer and programming education starting around age seven.

Effortless Transportation Around Estonia

Thanks to its compact geography, Estonians can easily travel between cities in under an hour by train or tram. Public transportation in Tallinn is entirely free. Ferries quickly cross over to nearby Finland.

Unique Facts About the Country

Estonia was the first country to leave the Soviet Union and adopt its own currency. Fishing is a major industry with ample coastline and proximity to the Baltic Sea. In rural areas, animal husbandry of cows, pigs, and calves helps the economy where farmland is limited. Considered one of the world’s most peaceful places, Estonia is an intriguing and relaxed destination to experience something different in Europe.

After learning about Estonia, are you interested in visiting?