Your guide to being an expatriate in Estonia

Caffeinate Your Estonia Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Estonia, officially known as the Republic of Estonia, is a Baltic country situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea toward Northern Europe. Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and it has become a fully-fledged member of the European Union and NATO since 2004. Estonia's territory covers 45,339 km², making it one of the smallest countries in Europe. The country is characterized by its diverse landscape, ranging from flat plains to dense forests and narrow, rocky coastlines.


Expat destinations in Estonia

Demographics of Estonia:

Ethnic groups

The majority of Estonia's population (69.3%) is ethnically Estonian, with significant Russian (24.7%), Ukrainian (1.5%), and Belarusian (1.0%) minorities.


Estonian is the official and dominant language, spoken by over 70% of the population. Russian is also commonly spoken due to the country's Soviet past, with approximately 25% of Estonia's population speaking Russian.

Religion Overview

Estonia is a country with a relatively low level of religious affiliation, with the majority of the population (65%) declaring themselves as non-religious, and only 12% identifying as Christian. The predominant Christian denomination in Estonia is the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, which represents 2.6% of the population.

Major Religions


Estonia has a humid continental climate, characterized by four distinct seasons. Winters are long and cold, with temperatures frequently dropping below -10°C, while summers are mild and relatively short, with temperatures averaging around 18°C. Estonia's location on the coast of the Baltic Sea also results in frequent fog and moderate winds.

Economy Overview

Estonia's economy is classified as a highly developed, free-market economy, with a low level of government intervention. The country's primary industries include information technology, wood and paper products, and textiles, while services make up the majority of Estonia's GDP. Estonia became the first European state to implement e-residency, allowing foreigners to conduct business in Estonia and access its digital services through a government-issued digital identity.

Key Industries

  • Information technology
  • Wood and paper products
  • Textiles

Major Companies

  • TransferWise
  • Wise Group
  • Mr. And Mrs. Italian Food

Culture and Language Overview

Estonian culture is characterized by its emphasis on nature, simplicity, and self-sufficiency. Estonian traditional arts include handicrafts such as textiles, ceramics, and woodcarvings, as well as music and dance. Christmas, Song and Dance Celebration Day, and Midsummer's Eve are some of the major cultural events celebrated in Estonia.

Cultural Highlights

  • Nature hikes in National Parks
  • Traditional handicrafts markets
  • Listening to Estonian folk music
  • Attending Song and Dance Celebration Day
  • Sampling traditional Estonian cuisine such as blood sausage and kama (dried and fermented mixture of crushed barley)

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Estonia's landscape is varied, ranging from coastal cliffs and islands to dense forests and glacial rivers. The country is home to several unique natural landmarks, including the largest Baltic Sea iceberg formed every winter, which is known as the 'Kalevipea', and the only site in Europe for recognising the rare plant species Pedicularis sibrica.

Notable Landmarks

  • Keila-Joa waterfall
  • Lahemaa National Park
  • Viinaamäe Palace
  • St. Olaf's Church
  • Jöhvi Sea Rescue Tower

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Independence Restoration Day (February 24)
  • Maundy Thursday (March or April)
  • Good Friday (March or April)
  • Easter Sunday (March or April)
  • Easter Monday (March or April)
  • Christian Unity Day (April 26)
  • International Children's Day (June 1)
  • Midsummer's Eve (June 23 or 24)
  • Defense Forces Day (July 25)
  • Independence Day (August 24)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)
  • Independence Regaining Day (November 24)

Political Stability

Estonia is a parliamentary republic with a highly stable political system. Since regaining independence in 1991, Estonia has held regular parliamentary and presidential elections, with multiple political parties representing a diverse range of opinions. Estonia's liberal economic policies, proximity to Western Europe, and NATO membership ensure political stability, although concerns about Russian influence persist.

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