9 Lies People Tell You About Living in Estonia

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Lies about Estonia

1. It Is Cheap to Live in Estonia

Well, it used to be…

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I think that the prices have grown exponentially in Estonia.

I wouldn’t say it’s expensive to live in Estonia, either, but it sure isn’t cheap anymore.

2. Estonians Are Cold

I honestly disagree!

I’ve heard that Estonians and the Nordics/Scandinavians in general are closed people, who do not make friendships easily, and as a result prefer to stick to the people they already know.

I have actually experienced the opposite. Most Estonians I met are warm, open to communication, funny, as well as interested in meeting new people.

3. Everyone Speaks English in Estonia

When I moved to Estonia, I was under the impression that everyone speaks English.

Soon I realised that this is not really the case. Yes, it is true that most young people in the bigger cities, such as Tallinn or Tartu, speak English at least at a basic level. However, it’s far from my expectations.

I faced many situations where people did not speak English at all, and even got irritated by the fact that I didn’t speak Estonian or Russian.

The worst is when this happens at the doctor’s office…

…fun times.

I now speak Estonian at a basic, conversational level and I am improving every day. I sure hope that soon enough I’ll be fluent, but I have a long way until I get there.

Related: A Guide to Learning Estonian Fast [2018]

4. It Is Difficult to Find a Job in Estonia

They say that if you’re in IT, you won’t have any issues finding a job in Estonia, but any other field is a challenge.

This is another point I highly disagree with.

I think that, at the moment, it’s an “employee’s market” in Estonia.

It’s very difficult for companies to find talent and even more difficult to retain it.

With the right skills, experience and attitude, I dare say you can easily find any job in Estonia.

5. Estonian Weather Sucks

It’s cold most of the year.. that’s a reality. I mean, I feel like my soul is frozen from October until April.

BUT!

Estonia offers all four seasons and they’re all beautiful in their own way.

The snow and fairytale-like winter vibes…

The nature coming back to life during beautiful spring…

The beach and the sea in the summer…

And the gorgeous autumn colours!

6. Tallinn Is All There Is to Estonia

Most people think that Tallinn is the only place worth visiting in Estonia.

While it is a beautiful city indeed, there’s so much more to Estonia than Tallinn.

Pärnu, located in the southern part of Estonia with its beautiful beaches and relaxing spas…

Tartu with its cosy atmosphere, brilliant architecture, hills and lakes…

Otepää, the winter capital of Estonia, perfect for winter sports…

Haapsalu for its old town and gorgeous castle…

Viljandi with its medieval atmosphere and breathtaking lake…

Oh the list could go on!

7. Estonians Invented Skype

There’s lots of drama around this topic and although not technically a lie, there’s a little more to Skype’s story.

Skype was founded by a Swede (Niklas Zennström) and a Dane (Janus Friis) in 2003. The Skype software, however, was indeed created by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn.

8. Estonia is Digital

Every article about Estonia talks about the digitalisation of the country. The e-citizenship, digital signature, the possibility to do everything online…

Well, this is not a lie 😀 Estonia is as digital as they say it is! I just love the fact that you can basically do everything from the comfort of your home (signing contracts, proving your identity, etc.)

9. Estonians Are Slow

This one I’d say is half truth, half lie. I did meet some people who seemed to take things (too) easily and move / talk reaaaaaaaaaaally slowly (well, in a funny way). However, I think that’s maybe a personality matter, rather than a nationality thing.


What were you told about Estonia that turned out to be a lie? Let me know in the comments!

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