Cost of living

Estonia Flag General feedback from visitors who have spent time in Estonia is that whilst living conditions tend to be similar to those across Western Europe, expenses are generally lower. A Graduate survey carried out in 2011 shows that international students think the cost of living in Estonia is much more affordable than elsewhere – scoring  it 24% higher than the global average satisfaction with living costs.

Rough estimates about what it costs for one person to live in Tartu for a month  :

  • Housing, including heating, electricity, water: 80-120€ for student dormitories, 250-400€ for rental apartments
  • Estimated pocket money, groceries, etc:, 300-500 Euros
  • Public transportation: 8€

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Money and banking

Estonia adopted the Euro in January 2011, which makes it especially easy for those  coming from the Euro area.  You can pay with debit or credit cards in most places, even at kiosks and on trains. In order to make everyday shopping easier, you may want to consider opening an Estonian banking account. Anyone can open a bank account in Estonia, but many banks ask for a minimum deposit. Photo identification is also required as well as some proof of address and employment.

Estonia’s main banks are Swedpank, SEB, and Sampo Bank (new name is Danske bank), they are the most accessible for foreigners as they make a policy of serving tourists and less paperwork is  required to open an account.

Most banks are closed on weekends and their office hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00 am till 4 pm.

All major foreign currencies can be easily exchanged at currency exchange offices.  These can be found at the port of Tallinn,  the airport, railway stations and on every street corner in city centres. Estonians don’t have any unwritten rules about tipping, they tend to do it when the service is especially good. Bargaining is not a deep-rooted habit either.

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Travelling costs

Travelling costs in Estonia generally tend to be cheaper than those in Western Europe, however these are no longer the bargain basement prices of the 1990s. Particularly in touristy areas, prices may be at Scandinavian levels – for example in Tallinn Old Town.

Transportation outside of the main towns is generally cheap, particularly if you use the local buses. However, some more rural areas are less well connected and require a car. Car rental is affordable and usually offers a good choice of options, however, most vehicles tend to have a manual gearbox, so if you have only an automatic driving license you need to check availability of an automatic car in advance.

Since Estonia (and particularly Tallinn) is a very popular tourist destination, there are a lot of low cost flights available from many European countries – such as Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

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Flights to Estonia:

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