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Estonia Travel Guide

Essentials

Business Hours

Banks are open weekdays 9–4, but some open as early as 8 and close as late as 7. Most are closed on Saturday, but some stay open 9–3. Museums are generally open Wednesday–Sunday 11–5. Some stay open until 6. Shops open between 10 and 11 and close between 5 and 7, with shorter hours on Saturday. Most shops are closed on Sunday, except for shopping centers and malls, which stay open 7 days a week, until late.

Hotels

Talinn's hotels run the gamut, but many are modern and luxurious (and significantly cheaper than a comparable hotel would be in any other major European capital). Free Wi-Fi is expected, and some hotels even have Skype phones (Skype was invented in Estonia). Breakfast is usually included in hotel rates, but at cheaper establishments you should verify that.

Restaurants

Estonian cuisine includes elements found in both Scandinavian and German cuisines, and there is still a lingering Russian influence. Menus offer seasonal produce but are often heavy on wild game, but another local delicacy is eel. Restaurant bills always include 20% VAT and service, so an additional tip is not expected in most cases.

Hotel and Restaurant Prices

Language

Estonian, which belongs to the Finno-Ugric family, is the official language. However, many people in cities speak English perfectly. Most Estonians will ignore attempts to communicate in Russian, though the 30% of the population that is ethnically Russian is happy to speak it.

Money Matters

Since 2011, Estonia has used the euro. National banks, with branches in all major and most minor cities, change cash and traveler's checks at fair commissions. There is a good network of ATMs, and credit cards are widely accepted in Estonia, although Visa and MasterCard are more common than American Express.

Telephones

The country code for Estonia is 372. There is no city code for phone numbers in Tallinn. Mobile phone numbers start with a "5" and do not require a special code. Most tri- and quad-band mobile phones should work in Estonia. The mobile service is dual-band and supports text and data services. Pay phones take phone cards. Buy cards at any kiosk. You can use these to make international calls.

Tipping

At restaurants, a 10% service charge is sometimes added. An 18% V.A.T. is also included in the price of dishes on the menu but may be listed separately on your bill. Tipping is not obligatory; for excellent service, add 10%.

Visitor Information

Talinn City Tourist Office (www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng.)

Visit Estonia (www.visitestonia.com/en/.)

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