Estonia is a European country so it may not come as a huge surprise to learn the country uses the euro. This does make life a little easier if you have visited other European countries already and have some euros you can use when you visit Estonia.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
As is the case across all the countries that use the euro, the currency is decimalised and is divided into 100 cents. Sometimes they are called eurocents but now it is more likely you will simply hear them referred to as cents.
There are plenty of coins available including the one euro coin and the two euro coin. The rest are denominated in cents, starting from one cent and going through 2, 5, 10, 20 cent coins until they reach the 50 cent coin.
Let’s move on to the banknotes now, of which there are several. You may not see them all though because the €100, €200 and €500 notes are not often used. One of the reasons for this is that they are prone to forgery because of their value. Aside from these notes you will see the €5, €10, €20 and €50 notes and these will likely be the ones you will use most often.
From past to present – the history of the euro
The euro first came into being in 1999 and became the cash currency in the member states that joined it early on in 2002. However it was sometime after this that Estonia joined the single currency. This occurred in 2011 when the Estonian kroon was replaced by the euro.
How to get hold of the Estonian euro
As you might expect this is pretty easy, since the euro is one of the most widely used currencies in the world. You can easily order some from your local bureau de change before you leave home, and there are also plenty of opportunities to get hold of the currency when you arrive in Estonia.
The best course of action when paying for goods is always to carry some euros with you because you never know if you will buy something small or whether you should tip someone. Aside from that you can happily use your credit cards to pay for things whenever you need to. Just make sure you apply the usual rule of keeping it within sight at all times, especially when paying.
You’ll be able to get more euros from cash machines around the country, and this is particularly easy to do in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. If you have some of your own currency you’d like to convert you can simply pop into a bank to do this as well.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Estonian euro
All you need is a currency converter to do this, and you should find even the most basic converter with the fewest currencies included on it will give you the euro conversion. If you can find one that updates every few minutes, so much the better. Remember you can also use it when you are away so you know what the exchange rate is.
London has an Estonian Embassy but you don’t need to go there to find out more about Estonia and its relationship with the UK. You can go to the website at http://london.vm.ee and find out more there.
Travelling safely with the Estonian euro
Estonia has perhaps become a little more popular in recent years as a destination for tourists. However only some 35,000 people head there from the UK annually, so it is still largely to be discovered. The good news is there isn’t much trouble there. Petty crime is the most problematic thing to be concerned with and even then it is not a major problem.
Take good care of your money, your cards and your passport in particular, and remember to use your hotel safe if you are fortunate enough to have one. Generally speaking you should avoid areas that are badly lit or off the beaten track a bit, since these can present good opportunities for pickpockets and muggers to lurk unseen. You shouldn’t be too worried about the prospect of crime anywhere in Estonia. Providing you take reasonable precautions you can look forward to a great time in the country, no matter where you go.
Where to spend your euros in Estonia – and what to spend them on
We already know Estonia is in Europe, and you may know it is in Northern Europe. However you may not realise it only shares a border with two other countries. These are Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. The northern part of the country faces the Gulf of Finland (with Finland just across the water from it) and the western part faces the Baltic Sea.
We also know that Tallinn is the capital city, but what can we expect from a visit there? You will find it in the north of the country, and as is the case of several other cities in this part of the world it has an Old Town as well as the more modern parts of the city. Indeed the Old Town has been recognised by UNESCO for its history and heritage and is now a World Heritage Site. Roughly a third of the entire population of the country lives in its capital city.
The Old Town has many delights within it. One of the best things you can do while you are in Tallinn is to explore this part of the city, as it holds so many secrets. The original city wall is still relatively unharmed by time and inside you will find a completely different world compared to the more modern one outside. Make sure you don’t miss the Bastion Tunnels, many of which were built in the 1600s. These snake around underneath the city roughly where the walls are located, and while you cannot see all of them you can go and visit some on a guided tour. It is well worth doing.
Elsewhere in Tallinn you can visit Tallinn Zoo. This is an incredibly popular zoo and one that has been open since 1939. There are thousands of animals here including crocodiles and hippos among others. It makes for a good day out especially if you have children with you, but in any event you’ll find plenty to fascinate you.
You don’t have to go too far from Tallinn to discover more great attractions to visit. Perhaps most notable of all is the Estonian Open Air Museum, which will provide you with an amazing experience and a great insight into what life would have been life in the 18th century in this part of the country. The site itself is quite large and there are no fewer than 74 houses to be explored. Add to this the presence of farms, an inn and several other community buildings and you can see just how realistic it is.
One of the most fascinating things about the country is that there are all kinds of areas and types of landscape to enjoy. If you want to see a popular area of the countryside you can head for a place called Taevaskoja, which is to be found in the south-eastern part of the country. This is a nature park and it has plenty on offer for those who want a breath of fresh air. Many Estonians come here regularly and it is easy to see why. You can enjoy walks, hikes and even biking through the park, and you will probably want to do all three!
Estonia is certainly a fascinating country. About 20% of it is bog and marshland, and there are more than 1,000 lakes across the entire country. As such if you would prefer a more sedate holiday in the middle of nowhere, Estonia can provide just such a holiday for you.
As you can see Estonia does have a lot to offer, although it may be more of a surprise than you would think. The more you discover about this country the more you will want to visit it. The capital city is definitely a great place to visit, as is much of the north coast but you can also venture further south in the country to discover even more rural areas as well.
With the euro as the chosen currency you won’t have any problems getting hold of it or indeed finding ways to spend it. Estonia is still relatively unknown in terms of European countries but this won’t last for long. The more people find out about Estonia and what it has to offer, the busier it will get throughout the year. If you want to book a holiday there now before it really becomes popular, you’ll get to see it as it should be – and to make the most of it as well.