Estonia

Estonia is a small northern country on the Gulf of Finland. It is the Northernmost of the Baltic States. There is poverty in the outskirts beyond the cities. Imports are essential but exports are improving including machinery and agricultural equipment, wood and wood products and textiles. The currency is the kroon (plural krooni or kruni). The symbol is EEK. The rate is 100 sents (or sentito) are equal to one kroon.

History

Estonian currency dates back to the Vikings. They, Denmark, Germany and Sweden all contributed their won monetary system towards the development of the nation. Between 1629 and 1710, the Swedish Interlude saw the whole country united under Swedish control. They created an educational infrastructure including the University of Tallinn.

The advancements received a setback with the Pace of Nyad in 1721, giving Estonia to Russia. Serfdom resulted in little use for local currency. The Russian money dominated until a brief moment of Independence in 1918. Unfortunately, for Estonia, Germany invaded. German occupation made the official money the German mark. Only after the end of WWI did the country obtain freedom and its own distinct coinage.

Between 1919, Estonia circulated their own coins, a mark and penni. At the same time, coinage included Notes from the Russian North West Army and the Special Corps of the north Army. In 1928, the kroon became prominent in both paper and coin form, but the Great Depression and WWII saw further changes. In 1940, for example, the Soviet Ruble became popular at 100 rubles for kroon. In 1941, the German reischmark again made its presence felt in Estonia.

After the war, Russia again took over, influencing currency. It was not until 1991-1992 that the kroon made a re-appearance. Today, there are banknotes in (1), 2, 5, 10, 25, (50), 100 and 50 krooni/kruni. Coins appear in 5, 10, 20 and 50 senti as well as in 1 and 5 krooni/kruni.

Obtaining Estonia Krooni

You can exchange your own currency for Estonian money in the banks. The Hansabank and the SEB banks are two such institutions. There are exchange offices who offer good rates, but not if you use them in the evenings or at night. You can also locate moneychangers at airports, the port of Tallinn and at railway stations. ATMs or AMBs are also a source of currency exchange. They are everywhere in the cities and in other centers. Hotels are also available for currency exchanges. They may be convenient, but their rates are not.

Protecting Your Currency

As is usual, thieves target tourists and other visitors. The petty crimes of pickpocketing, purse snatching and mugging, occur. Areas to exert extra caution are airports, trains and public areas. Do not take a walk in the park alone or in poorly lit areas. Ask before you stroll in some parts of Tallinn, including Kopli, Lasnamäe, and Kadriorg after dark. Car theft is high. Keep them locked and store your precious items elsewhere.

Using Your Estonia Krooni

Estonian currency is legal throughout the country. Use it especially outside the larger city centers such as Tallinn. Use it for all the usual purchases. Purchase the special goods from Estonia including ceramics, woolen traditional dresses, sweaters, glassware, woven skirts and felt hats. Buy chocolate or the local wine and beer.

Travel Tips and Warnings

  • Drivers are aggressive in Estonia. There are many instances of ignoring traffic rules.
  • Estonia may have some questionable health standards. Consider drinking only bottled water.
  • The country has zero tolerance for drinking and driving and drugs.
  • If you venture to the forested regions and parks, take precautions against tick-born encephalitis and Lyme disease.
  • That said, you should visit La Hemaa National Park.
  • Go to Haapsalu, gateway to the country’s islands with Africa Beach.
  • The Estonian Islands are worth a trip. You can admire the natural beauty as well as wandering the beaches and visiting the Bishopric Castle.
  • Go to
    Tartu and see Tartu University or visit the capital city of Tallinn. At Tallinn there are cobblestone streets, Castle Square, the toopea Castle and the oldest Town Hall in Europe.

Overview

Estonia is a small northern Baltic country in East Europe. It is a member of the European Union. In 2009, it will change its currency to Euros.
For travel information, see www.inyourpocket.com/estonia.     

Currency Summary

Current currency: krooni or kruni
100 sents or sentito equals 1 kroon
Coins: 5, 10, 20 and 50 senti; 1 and 5 krooni/kruni
Banknotes: (1), 2, 5, 10, 25, (50), 100 and 50 krooni/kruni.

 

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