Please see the Venue & Access page for details.
Please see the Venue & Access page for details.
During the conference it will be spring, although pollen seasons of different plants arrive later in Estonia than in Central Europe. If you have a pollen allergy, check with your doctor about possible medication during your trip to Estonia. Unfortunately there is no updated pollen forecast for Estonia, but you can consult the Finland pollen forecast from the University of Turku.
The contamination levels for Southern Finland should be similar to the ones in Estonia-
If you have any food allergies, please inform the local organisers (mentioning it on the registration form will do).
Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9.00 - 16.00. Most banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Currency exchange offices are open from Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 18.00 hours; on Saturdays from 09.00 to 15.00 hours. Some are also open on Sundays. If you want to change cash or cash traveller cheques, it is highly preferable to do so at a bank.
ATM machines are widespread in Estonia.
The climate in Estonia is like the one in Scandinavia, but slightly more continental, characterised by warm summers and fairly severe winters. The weather is often breezy and humid (average humidity in May 74 %) due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea. The average overall temperature in May is 8° C, the average max temperature being 15°C and the minimum 4°C. Precipitation in May amounts to 40 mm, with 12 wet days on the average. Bring your umbrella and a light raincoat in case of occasional showers. Please note that there will be Nordic twilight during the meeting (see below).
Tallinn is not any more dangerous than the average European capital, but occasionally tourists do get robbed. As always, common sense is in order: be careful who you drink with and how much, and do not wander into unfamiliar areas (especially not those with dubious "gentlemen's clubs") alone, especially after dark. The most common problems to hit foreigners are pickpocketing (Viru tanav is especially notorious) and car break-ins. A special way of (legally) ripping off male tourists has been reported: Attractive women lure them into posh bars where they are asked to buy them grossly overpriced "Ladies' cocktails".
If you want to report a crime, contact the central police station, Parnu mnt. 11, tel. 612 4200. For emergencies call 110. The non-emergency local number for the Estonian police is (+ 372) 612-3000. Although many operators speak English, at times those answering this line may have minimal English speaking skills.
Estonians are fond of beer, Le Coq and Saku are two of the leading brands. There is no significant amount of grape wine grown in Estonia, but fruit wines (apple, pear) are often on restaurant's menues. A traditional sweet herb liquor is Vana Tallinn. The bread beer "Kali" also remains popular, as well as vodka (Viru Valga).
Tallinn has a very busy nightlife and has unfortunately become a bit of a prime destination for stag's nights and hen parties.
Many rules on driving resemble those in the Nordic Countries. For example, car headlights must be lit at all times (even during the day and the Nordic twilight). Traffic drives on the right. Speed limit is 50 km/h in built-up areas and 90-120 km/h elsewhere. Drivers who have had their licence for less than two years must keep below 90km/h. Your vehicle must carry a warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and wheel chocks. Seat belts are compulsory in front and rear seats.
DO NOT drink even minute amount of alcohol before and during driving. The legal limit of alcohol in the blood is zero and drink-driving is punished by heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
Parking is a problem in Estonia. Illegally parked cars will be clamped. Heavy fines can be imposed for unlawful parking. It is recommended to park in guarded car parks. The hotel offers parking places for conference guests for EUR 5,- per 24 hours.
Credit cards are accepted at most petrol stations.
112 is the general emergency line throughout the European Union (similar to 911 in the U.S.) The number can be dialed from any phone, and the call is free. The police has an additional emergency number, namely 110.
Estonian cuisine shows influences from Germany (from the Hanseatic times), Sweden, Russia and other countries, although there is a distinct Estonian cuisine.
Popular starters are selections of sausages, meats and potato salad. Other appetizers are rosolje (bettroot, meat and herring), räim (Baltic herring) and pirukad (pastries with different fillings). Soups (bean soup, cabbage cream soup, fish soups) are often eaten after the starter.
Pork in many forms (with sauerkraut and potatoes) is a very common main course, often with a rich gravy. Popular dessert are kama ( mixture of roasted barley, rye and oat flour served with milk or kefir), and kissel (a fruit soup).
Rye bread is served with almost every meal. It is said that some Estonians instead of wishing "bon appetit", say jätku leiba ("May the bread last").
Estonia is an associate member of the Schengen agreement which exempts travelers from regular personal border controls between 13 European Union (EU) countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) and two European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Norway and Iceland). People living in Great Britain and Ireland are subject to personal border controls upon entry to the Schengen area. Border controls can, however be imposed on travellers from all states.
A list of countries whose citizens DO NOT need a visa to visit Estonia can be found here.
If you need a visa, please start the paperwork AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not only can handling times be long, but it might be difficult to find the embassy responsible for citizens of your nationality and location. In many cases, Estonian embassies do not hold consular offices and the visa applications are handled by embassies of other countries.
It can be said that Estonians are a bit of IT freaks. The Soviet Institute for Cybernetics was located in Tallinn and Skype was invented in Estonia. Free Wifi is available in even the most rural areas (although it can be congested and thus slow in cities). Also the hotel offers wireless connections. Internet cafés with high-speed connection Internet are common in Tallinn.
The conference hotel also offers free Wi-Fi.
In case of emergency, call 112 (general emergency). The medical service is quite good (better than its reputation with many Estonians). Pharmacies are widespread in Tallinn.
Opposite the Town Hall, there is one of the oldest continuously running pharmacies in Europe, Raeapteek, which has always been in business in the same exact house since about 1415.
Estonia has the Euro since 2011. Notes of the old Estonian "kroon" currency are still exchanged to Euros at some leading banks in Tallinn, but they are no longer accepted as payment. Cash machines (ATMs) are never hard to find in Tallinn. Currency exchanges, however, are more elusive, especially after business hours. Tavid at Aia 5 runs an all-night exchange window that will do in a pinch. Their night rates are not as good as what they are during the daytime, but this is still better than the only other after-hours option, which is changing money in a major hotel.
During the conference it will not get dark in Estonia. Although the hotel has curtains, some people might find it hard to sleep. So some sleeping cover for the eyes could be a good thing to bring. On the other hand, the NOdic Twilight makes romantic night walks to the Old City possible.
Post offices are generally open during normal shopping hours: from 09.00 to 18.00 hours on weekdays, and 09.30 - 15.00 on Saturdays. The Central Post Office in Tallinn is at Narva maantie 1, phone 661 6616. Opening hours for the Central Post Office: Mon- Fri 07.30 to 20.00 hours and from 08.00 to 18.00 on Saturday.
Buses, trolleys and trams operate regularly from 6 to 23.
Information about lines and timetables are available at the City of Tallinn web site.
Bus, trolley and tram tickets can be purchased at newsstands for 1 EUR or from the driver for 1,6 EUR. You can also buy a 10 ticket package for 8 EUR. The Tallinn Card holders may use unlimited public transportation free.
Punch your ticket right after entering at a machine located throughout the bus, trolley or tram. Note that you must punch your ticket immediately upon entering. Passengers travelling with false tickets or without tickets will be fined.
Tallinn public transport offers also 1-hour tickets as well as 1, 3 and 5-day tickets. These tickets can be bought only at newsstands and not from the driver. A 1-hour ticket costs 1,20 EUR. A day ticket (24 h) costs 4 EUR, a 3-day (72 h) ticket costs 6 EUR and a 5-day (120 h) ticket costs 7 EUR. Electronic devices for registering these tickets are situated at the first and second door of the vehicle and will print the time and the date of validity on the ticket.
A bus service no 90K starts operating between the Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and centrally located Tallinn’s hotels (including the conference hotel)running from 8am until 6pm every 30 min throughout the week. A one way ticket costs 2 euros. Bus schedules can be found here.
Tallinn is a very attractive city. Most sights are also at close walking distance of the conference venue. For further information check the official website of Tallinn Tourism. If you want to see more than one place, consider buying a Tallinn Card, which offers free entrance to a lot of attractions. The main tourist office in Tallinn is at Niguliste 2 / Kullassepa 4 (see map),
EE-10146 Tallinn, phone: + 372 645 7777, fax: + 372 645 7778,
Shops generally open 09:00 - 18:00 (Mon to Sat). Some department stores and shops in tourist areas stay open later. Some are also open on Sundays.
Most popular souvenirs are:
- Estonian liquor (Vana Tallinn, Valga Viru).
- Pickled food, honey, mead candles and bee wax products.
- Handicraft items such as hand-knitted woolen sweaters with traditional Estonian folk patterns, carved wooden beer mugs, juniper coasters and carved limestone product.s.
- Original art such as graphic prints, handmade jewellery, colourful glassware or fine ceramics.
- CDs of Estonian composers of international acclaim (Tormis, Pärt, Tubin, Tüür).
- Dark, bittersweet Estonian chocolate and other local sweets produced by the Kalev confectionery.
- Hand-painted marzipan.
A lot of shops sell amber in Tallinn, however, most of the raw material is imported from other countries bordering the Baltic Sea, since not a lot of this stone is found in Estonia.
Taxis are safe and cheating tourists is not very common. A ride inside Tallinn should not cost you more than EUR 10,- . However, it is wise to remember the following points:
Prices are not uniform, taxi operators can set their own rates. Take a close look at the yellow price list, which is posted on the right side rear door. Here you will find rates for the base fare (usually 2 EUR-5 EUR),the waiting charge (usually 6,40-19,20 EUR/hr), and
the pre-kilometre charges (both usually 0,50 EUR-1 EUR/km).
Anything much more than these is considered high. Make sure that taxi driver holds an operator's card - a white plastic card with the driver's photo and name, attached to the middle of the dashboard.
When setting off, the taxi's meter should be turned on. It is illegal for driver to smoke or to allow others to smoke in the taxi.
The driver is not allowed to ask for more than what is on the meter. The driver must be paid in Euros. Ask the taxi driver for the receipt from the meter's printer. If the meter or printer is out of order, the driver should not be in service and you have the right to refuse to pay the fare.
To lodge complaints or make suggestion, contact the Tallinn Transport Department's Taxi Commission, email@example.com, +372 6833613 or phone the 24-hour City Advice hotline, 1345
For calls to Estonia: Dial +372 (the country code for Hstonia), then the area code and the subscriber's number. If you want to male a call from Estonia, dial 00 + the country code + area code + the subscriber's number.
For local calls: Pay phones accept phone cards. If you wish to make a call within Estonia, first dial the area code and the number. Phone cards may be purchased from hotel reception desks, tourist information offices, post offices, newsstands and some shops. Telephone cards are also convenient for longer and/or more expensive phone calls (e.g. calls abroad) or if you are going to be making phone calls over a longer time period and do not want to have to worry about having coins handy at all times.
The GSM network works on frequencies of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz (dependent on the carrier) . If you are taking your mobile phone with you, make sure that it is able to work on these.
Eastern European daylight saving time (GMT + 3) will be in force during the meeting. There an one hour time shift between Germany, France and Estonia and a 2 hour time shift between London and Prague. If it is 1 o' clock in London and 2 o'clock in Frankfurt it is 3 o'clock in Tallinn. Daylight saving time is in force in Tallinn during the meeting.
Tipping is less common in Estonia than in the rest of Europe. In restaurants, service is included in the bill, but if you get a good service in a restaurant where the bill is sent to the table you can tip 5-10 %. In case of bad service it is OK to give nothing.
A triangle pointing down signifies the gentlemen’s room (sometimes also marked with "M or Meeste"), while the triangle pointing up is the ladies' room ( sometimes marked with "N or Naiste").
The Old Town’s most central public toilet, and the only one with facilities for the disabled, is right on the square, Town Hall Square 15, housed in the foyer of the Troika restaurant. Other public toilets can be found near the Viru Gate on Valli and in the underground crossing on Vabaduse valjak. The high-tech, Swedish-built automatic WC on Toompea hill. Find it next to the Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
Please see the Venue & Access page for details.
The electricity supply in Estonia is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use. European plugs work in most sockets, but a few Soviet-era buildings still require the thinner-pinned Russian version.
Estonia uses the metric system.
All the information given above is to the best of our knowledge. However, we cannot accept any liability for inadvertently false or incomplete information on this site.