• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Germany
    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Social Life in Estonia

Behavior

The Estonians are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively.

As a visitor to Estonia, just try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Estonia Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

Traditional dress in Estonia has taken on many meanings over time and there were numerous distinctions from region to region as well. However, in the mid-1800s the traditional dress for many people has been clung to a significant degree. For women this was generally a loose-fitting dress with a long-sleeved white shirt, a belt, and socks. The degree of decoration varied greatly, but jewelry was a popular piece to liven up these outfits; hats were also commonly worn by women at the time. Men's dress also varied by region and over time, but one of the more common forms of clothing for men were breeches, which are pants and a short coat, generally in blue.

Today this traditional clothing is rarely worn as it has been replaced with modern western-styled clothing. Only on special cultural events can this historic dress be seen. As a visitor to Estonia you are free to wear nearly any western-styled clothing, just try to dress for the weather and the occasion. If in doubt, try to dress on the more conservative side as the Estonians are somewhat liberal, but quite modest. Lastly, sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is only permitted in certain places so always be sure to know where this is allowed before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013