Estonia: the land of thousands of islands
Estonia is the smallest, yet the best developed, Baltic state which despite its unquestionable charm, isn't particularly popular among holidaymakers. Fortunately, the situation changes by the year and there is an increasingly greater number of tourists who pass Estonian borders in order to discover its scenic recesses. What exactly does Estonia offer for travellers? Castles, museums, art galleries, churches, national parks, and botanical gardens are only a few options from a plethora of possibilities. After all, Estonia can boast approximately 1,500 islands so there's a great diversity of highlights indeed!
Road infrastructure in Estonia is pretty well-developed and the traffic volume is rather low. Thus, it's worth taking advantage of it and travelling to Estonia in a rental car. Local car rental companies offer a variety of vehicles, starting with luxury cars and finishing with economy and family vehicles. If you are travelling to Estonia in the summer season, consider hiring a vehicle well in advance - that way, you can count on a wider choice and lower prices.
After fulfilling all formalities and taking your place behind the wheel, don't forget to turn on automotive lighting - in Estonia, it is obligatory around the clock, regardless of the season. What's worth seeing and what traffic regulations to follow to make your journey easy and pleasant? You'll learn the answers to these questions below.
Discover Road Trips in Estonia
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What's worth seeing in Estonia?
Many tourists coming to Estonia limit their exploration of the country to Tallinn. Without a doubt, the capital is a place that just can't be missed, but other cities are as attractive as Tallinn itself. A great example is Tartu, the second largest city in the country. Not only can it boast an array of wonderful landmarks, but also the city offers interesting museums and a particularly scenic botanical garden.
Narva, the third largest city in Estonia, is famous mostly for its charming location. You can take a walk along the river bank or take a tour around the local attractions, including the Resurrection of Our Lord Cathedral or the Narva waterfalls, considered a unique natural landmark. Special attention should be also paid to Rakvere, which can boast a towering stone castle and a charming old town characterised by medieval architecture.
While taking a break from Estonian landmarks, you can relax in one of its resorts. An excellent holiday options is Pärnu, known as the summer capital of Estonia. It has a several-kilometre-long beach with multiple restaurants and a long promenade. Another popular resort town is Haapsalu, famous for sea mud with medicinal properties, and Kuressaare, enchanting visitors with its beaches, restored tenement houses, and extremely well-kept greenery.
State of Estonian roads
Estonia has around 15,000 kilometres of roads, out of which 115 kilometres are toll free motorways (in case of vehicles that do not exceed the weight of 2.5 tons). The roads are usually wide and very well marked. Of course, there are a number of gravel roads, but most of the time you'll be driving along one-lane asphalt roads. You won't face any problems while driving even in the winter season - roads are usually drivable and kept in an immaculate state.
Estonia: necessary documents and equipment
Each vehicle driving around Estonian roads should have appropriate equipment. Obligatory pieces include a first aid kit (in case of company cars), a fire extinguisher, a reflective vest, 2 warning triangles, wheel chocks, and tyres. It's also worth carrying basic spare parts, such as spark plugs, a belt, or a set of bulbs.
During all road check, you can be asked for the following documents: driver's licence, an ID or a passport, liability insurance, registration document, and vehicle inspection certificate. Before your trip, buying accident insurance is worth considering.
Speed limits on Estonian roads
The maximum allowed speed is 50/90/110 km/h. The first amount applies in built-up areas, the second applies in urban areas, and the third applies on motorways. It's worth knowing that the speed limit on some road sections can be modified by the road signs so it's important to stay vigilant. Motorists who have less than 2 years of driving experience mustn't exceed the speed of 90 km/h, even on motorways.
Tickets in Estonia
Tickets for breaking traffic rules are usually very high in Estonia - and that is true for all offences. Especially severe consequences can be expected for exceeding the speed limit - penalty payment can amount up to a few thousand Euros and speed control is a frequent thing to see on Estonian roads.
For what other offences can you expect to get a ticket? Of course, for drinking and driving, even with a low blood alcohol level, talking on the phone while driving (you can use hands-free sets), and travelling with children who are younger than 12 without a special child seat. If the toddler is travelling on the front seat, it's vital to deactivate the air bag. It's also worth remembering that tickets in Estonia are imposed in fine units (1 fine unit = €4) and are on the spot fines.