• Slovakia!

    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

  • Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Finland!

    Finland: Finnish Sauna. Go Now!

    Finland
    Unlike its neighbors, the Finns are unique ethnically & linguistically, but are wholly European in many other ways. Begin Your Journey!

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