There has been an increase in tourist-targeted crime, particularly petty theft. Be aware of the risk of pick pocketing and mugging, especially in bars, pubs, nightclubs and hotels in Tallinn’s Old Town. Be vigilant, take sensible precautions and avoid unlit side streets and parks at night. If possible, leave your valuables in a hotel safe.
You should report any theft in person to Tallinn Central Police Station, Kolde pst 65, 10321 Tallinn, telephone: +372 612 5400. You will need to obtain a police report if you have lost your passport.
Since January 2013 a plastic smartcard and e-ticket system has been used in Tallinn. Information on buying and using smartcards can be found on the Tallinn Tourism website.
Taxis are widely available and reasonably priced. Make sure there is a visible meter and that it is being used. It is better to phone a major taxi company such as Tulika Takso (telephone: 6120000), Linnatakso (telephone: 6442442), rather than hail one from the street. These companies are usually able to tell you the type, number and colour of the car in advance. Do not use taxis that are unmarked; they are illegal, unsafe and usually cost a lot more than registered taxis.
Roads and pavements may become very slippery during spring. In accordance with the Estonian Traffic Act, all pedestrians walking on the road at night time or in inadequate visibility are obliged to wear a safety reflector. These are normally pinned to your coat or handbag and can be bought locally.
You can drive in Estonia on a UK driving licence. If you intend to drive your own vehicle you must have the original V5 C (Vehicle Registration Document). The Estonian Border Guards will impound your vehicle if you do not have this.
By law, headlights of vehicles must be on at all times, including during daylight hours. Winter tyres must be fitted from 1 December to 1 March every year, but if there are severe weather conditions outside these dates (likely in most years) the dates will change accordingly. Check local conditions if you are driving in Estonia between October and April.
Do not drink and drive. The legal limit is zero. Those found over the limit face a fine and possible imprisonment.
In 2013 there were 81 road deaths in Estonia (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 6.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2013.
Be prepared for extremely cold and possibly hazardous weather in the winter (October to March). There is likely to be snow on the ground and temperatures may drop to -25 degrees Celsius or below.