Crime and Law in Estonia - How to Stay Safe

Estonia is a relatively safe country for people to visit and travel around. With tourist numbers growing each year, is there anything to worry about? We take a look.

Photo © Getty Images/Kavalenkava Volha

Crime in Estonia

Violent crime towards travelers rarely occurs in Estonia, however petty crime does exist so take general precautions as you would anywhere you travel such as:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you. Pickpockets can operate in small groups
  • Secure your valuables while traveling and keep an eye on your bags
  • Only take what you need out with you each day
  • Keep an eye on your credit or travel money card at all times. Credit card fraud does happen in Estonia, particuarly in more touristy locations
  • Avoid doing any personal admin transactions e.g banking on public WiFi services
  • Pickpockets and bag snatchings can occur, generally around transport hubs, the Old Town area in Tallin and crowded spots such as markets, clubs, bars and restaurants
  • Avoid walking through poorly lit streets or parks.

Driving Under The Influence

There are strict rules in Estonia against drunk driving. Anyone with a blood alcohol level above zero will face significant penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

Even those driving their cars via ferry can be subjected to breath checks. So despite the enticing alcohol prices, make sure you are zero before you get behind the wheel.

Drugs

It is illegal to use, possess or traffick drugs in Estonia. Penalties are harsh, even a small amount on you can land you in jail for ~10 years.

Photography

As you would anywhere in the world, avoid taking photos of government, military and infrastructure buildings such as airports. It's always nice to ask someone if they mind having their photo taken beforehand to avoid offense.

Drones

Drones for recreational use can be flown in Estonia without a permit however travelers will need to adhere to local drone flying laws.

LGBTQ Safety

Although same sex relationships are legally recognized in Estonia (decriminalized in 1992), same sex marriage isn't. LGBTQ travelers should remain discreet at all times as homophobia does still exist in many places. Despite this, the country has become more progressive post-Soviet Union rule. The Baltic Pride festival takes place each year changing between Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The capital Tallinn will host the event in 2020.

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