Thanks to advanced technologies, Estonia is sometimes called the European Silicon Valley: an electronic population census has been held here, parliament can be selected via the Internet, and foreigners are given digital citizenship. At the same time, the main attractions of the capital of the country, Tallinn, are connected not with the technological future, but with the past. Thousands of tourists come here to see the medieval Old Town, castles and cathedrals. Life around learned from the author of the telegram channel "The Seagull from Tallinn" Nikita Shevchenko, what salary in Tallinn is considered minimal, how much it costs a venison dish and buying your own home.
Text: Victoria Lisenko
(40 500 rubles) before tax
(103 000 rubles) before tax
From 2 000-2 500 euro
(147 200-184 100 rubles) before taxes
Moving was a spontaneous decision for me. I studied English and German for many years, as I was planning to move to Germany. But, having been there several times, I realized that this country is not for me - the mentality is too different from ours. I decided to enter Tallinn Technical University with a degree in International Business Administration. To move, you need a category D visa, it is suitable for both study and work. To get a residence permit, I had to provide an official invitation from the university, to collect documents. Moving to Estonia was a challenge for me because I was traveling with zero knowledge of the Estonian language.
The locals will help you only if you really need it, for example, you’ve been injured and not just scattered your papers
After eight years of living in Estonia (five years in residence permit and three years as a permanent resident), you can already apply for citizenship. To do this, you will have to confirm the legality of income in the country, pass exams in the Estonian language, history of the state and the constitution, renounce previous citizenship (dual citizenship is prohibited in Estonia) and acquire real estate.
The stereotype that Estonians are slow is not true, but their detachment and coldness can really be noted. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there is a rather harsh climate and fertile soil. Previously, each house was surrounded by a large garden, respectively, people lived far from each other and rarely saw each other. Maybe this is how the Estonians' craving for personal space appeared. This can be seen even in ordinary situations: for example, when I ride a bus, I notice that almost no one is sitting nearby.
Estonians do not like to conduct small currents - if a conversation ensues, then it will only be about important things. It is not customary to show emotions here either, because it may seem that your listener is indifferent to what you are talking about. Mostly black humor is used in Estonia, and it is considered normal to write about murders in children's books. Another feature: the locals will help you only if you really need it, for example, injured, and not just scattered their papers.
The very center of Tallinn is the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is always filled with tourists. If you want to look at it from above, then two viewing platforms work - Patkuli and Kohtuotsa. Within walking distance from the Old Town is the elite Rotermanni district, a passenger port, a business center resembling Moscow City, a covered market and the Telliskivi hipster district.
In Tallinn there are also Russian regions - Pykhya-Tallinn and Lasnamäe. In general, there are quite a lot of Russians in Tallinn - about 25% of the total population of the city. There are even more Russian speakers: almost everyone, to one degree or another, knows the language. The farther from the old part of the city, the more Estonian can be called Tallinn. So, Kristiine and Mustamäe are considered completely Estonian. The most prestigious and expensive areas are Rotermann and Pirita. The Nõmme district was a separate city until 1940, and now it is also one of the most expensive areas with private houses surrounded by forest. But Lasnamäe and Copley are considered to be areas with cheap housing, where the working class settles. There is also the highest crime rate.
Income of citizens
A salary of 550 euros (40,500 rubles) per month is considered low. Estonia also has a minimum hourly rate of four euros (290 rubles). They pay so much, for example, at McDonald's as soon as you get a job there. This is a good option for those who have just moved and have not yet managed to find a normal job: they take absolutely everyone - the main thing is to have a residence permit.
The average income in Tallinn is at the level of 1,400 euros (103 thousand rubles), while in Estonia it is slightly lower - about 1,300 euros (95,700 rubles). But this is a pre-tax salary, people get 20% less on hand. Taxi drivers, managers in initial positions, and teachers at school earn so much.
The average income in Tallinn is 1,400 euros, but this is a pre-tax salary, people get 20% less on their hands
High is considered a salary of 2,000-2,500 euros (147,200-184,100 rubles). So much is paid, for example, to a professor at a university. As technology is well developed in Estonia, good IT specialists are in great demand. The profession of a programmer is considered one of the highest paid. In Tallinn, there are enough large companies that people strive to get into - Skype, TransferWise, Swedbank, Ericsson. I myself work in the local representative office of the well-known inspection and certification company Bureau Veritas, I am engaged in inspecting cargoes on ships.
There are two of the best universities in the country in Tallinn - Tallinn University and Tallinn Technical University. Students come there from all over Estonia, from other European countries and Russia. Usually, while studying, they all work part time at Transcom, which provides Russian-language technical support for Apple, and at Starship, a manufacturer of robots that deliver parcels and food.
Rent a one-room apartment - 200-300 euros (14 700-22 000 rubles)
Buying an apartment in a good area - from 100 thousand euros (7.36 million rubles)
The city has both small houses for several apartments and high-rise buildings, the bulk of which are located in the largest residential area of Tallinn - Lasnamäe. Housing prices vary markedly depending on the area. The most expensive, of course, the center, and cheap options can be found on the edge of Lasnamäe, Ülemiste and Copley - they are farthest from the center.
In summer, housing prices rise significantly, so it’s better to sign a contract for at least six months or a year so that the landlord does not evict you
On average, you can rent a small one-room apartment for 200-300 euros (14,700-22,000 rubles). For utilities will have to pay another 70-80 euros (5 100-5 800 rubles). In summer, housing prices increase markedly, so it is better to sign a contract for at least six months or a year so that the landlord does not evict you in the summer. And if well-known musicians perform in Estonia, then prices simply soar. For example, recently Metallica came to Tartu, and locals asked from 500 euros (36,800 rubles) for renting a bed in a common room for a couple of days.
You can buy an apartment in Tallinn for 20-30 thousand euros (1.5-2 million rubles), but good housing will cost 100 thousand euros (7.4 million rubles). For the money you can find a two-room apartment in a good area.
A basket of products for a week - 20-25 euros (1 400-1 800 rubles)
There are several markets in Tallinn, but locals prefer to shop in chain stores. Major food chains are Rimi, Maxima and Prisma. Rimi points are at almost every turn. Even if you are traveling to the city for a couple of days, you should draw up a regular customer card - it will turn out to be a decent save. At Prisma, products are a bit more expensive and the range is different from budget supermarkets. Maxima is a Russian network, 90% of buyers here speak Russian, prices are low, and even Tula gingerbread can be found on the shelves.
A basket of food for a week costs about 20-25 euros (1,400-1,800 rubles). For five euros (360 rubles) in Tallinn you can buy a kilogram of chicken breasts or cheese, a loaf of bread will cost 60 cents (44 rubles), a kilogram of oatmeal - one euro (73 rubles), a liter of milk - 80 cents (58 rubles). Here, eggs are sold for 15 pieces, such a package costs 1.4 euros (100 rubles). The selection of fruits at any time of the year is very large. For a kilogram of bananas you will have to pay about one euro (73 rubles), and apples - 30 cents (22 rubles).
You can find deer, wild boar and other wild animals from Estonian forests in specialized stores.
In Tallinn there are a lot of types of glazed curds. There are both ordinary chocolate glazed and iris coated with sea buckthorn filling. They cost about 30-50 cents (22-36 rubles) apiece. I especially recommend trying Kohuke cheeses.
In specialized stores you can find deer, wild boar and other wild animals from the forests of Estonia and the Scandinavian countries. Venison and moose meat cost about 20 euros (1,400 rubles) per kilogram, but you still need to be able to cook such meat properly. If you don’t want to bother, you can go to the Olde Hansa restaurant on Town Hall Square and try three types of meat of wild animals at once.
Traveling by public transport - 1.1 euros (81 rubles)
Taxi in the city - three to four euros (220-300 rubles)
From public transport there are trolleybuses, buses and trams. You can get to them not only anywhere in Tallinn, but also in the suburbs. Travel for locals is free, but many tourists also do not buy tickets, since the inspectors come in very rarely - in the last year I saw them only twice. But it’s better not to pay a fine of 20 euros (1,400 rubles) for ticketless travel, but to buy a ticket for 1,1 euros (81 rubles) for one trip or to issue a green card for two euros (147 rubles) at the R-kiosk kiosk. You can put the right amount on it and then spend it on trips. Unlimited travel for a day will cost three euros (220 rubles), for three days - five euros (370 rubles), for five days - six euros (440 rubles) and 30 days - 23 euros (1,700 rubles). Then the card can be returned to the kiosk and get back your security deposit of two euros.
Also in the city there are several taxi companies: Bolt, Yandex and Uber. Travel prices are low: from the center to the airport you can get in just three to four euros (220-300 rubles), to remote areas of the city from the center - for five to six euros (370-440 rubles). There are few personal vehicles in the city, because maintaining a car is expensive. Therefore, there are almost no traffic jams - a maximum of 20-30 minutes per rush hour. And then this usually happens because of another action, which the locals call "blow everything": the police stop almost everyone to check for the presence of blood alcohol. Such checks are held regularly, especially after the holidays. There are bicycle lanes in Tallinn, and they even have special traffic lights. But where there are no paths, many cyclists simply ride along the sidewalks.
Cinema ticket - eight to ten euros (590-730 rubles)
The average check in a cafe is five to six euros (370-440 rubles)
There are about eight cinemas in Tallinn, a ticket costs about eight to ten euros (590-730 rubles). There are discounts for students - a ticket will cost about six to seven euros (440-510 rubles). There are also discounts for everyone: for example, when two tickets can be bought for ten euros (730 rubles). There are also a lot of shopping centers: for 420 thousand citizens there are 20 shopping centers. Next to them and inside you can find free table tennis tables.
There are many interesting museums in Tallinn: the KGB Museum, Tallinn Legends, and Flying Harbor. A ticket will cost about 15 euros (1,100 rubles), and for students - eight euros (590 rubles). There are several clubs in the city, the main ones are Prive and Hollywood. Entrance there costs eight euros (590 rubles), and with a club card - six euros (440 rubles). Free entertainment is also enough, they can be found on a special site.
One of the specific entertainments is riding on a huge swing
From good restaurants I can advise Olde Hansa: they cook deliciously, an authentic atmosphere, but not cheap. For dinner for two you will have to pay about 85 euros (6,200 rubles). There is also a Vintage 17 spot with a good selection of wines. The price for a glass starts at eight euros (590 rubles), but there is wine at 200-400 euros (14,700-29,400 rubles). Inexpensive local cuisine can be enjoyed at III Draakon. There, for five or six euros (370-440 rubles), you can eat venison pie and elk soup, as well as catch salted cucumbers from a barrel for free. There are also good establishments Little India and BabyBack.
Many Estonians love outdoor activities, but such entertainments often have sad consequences: in summer, local hospitals are crowded with people with fractures and injuries from falls. One of the specific entertainments is riding on a huge swing. There is also an abandoned Rummu prison near Tallinn, which was flooded - when the water heats up in the summer, you can go down there with a scuba gear. In winter, when part of the sea freezes, Estonians ride cars on the ice, they even make a special road for this. Often subbotniks are organized in the city, volunteers clean streets, beaches and parks.
Cover: Andrei Nekrassov - stock.adobe.com