Estonia is one of the 3 countries that make up the Baltic states together with Latvia and Lithuania. It is also regarded as a digital nation because a lot of governmental services are offered online nowadays.
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is known for its cozy Old Town and has plenty of churches to see, like the St. Nicholas church. You can also go to Tartu where you can see the Kissing Students fountain. The Lahemaa National Park is certainly a must-see attraction, and you can find more castles and lighthouses in Kuressaare. You will not be bored in Estonia.
What may not be fun is getting a high bill from your operator because you decided to roam with your provider (unless you are from the European Union/EEA – then you can roam for free in Estonia with certain conditions). Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a local SIM card in Estonia.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Estonia. Let's get started.
Telecom Providers in Estonia
Estonia is a digital nation, which can be noticed when comparing the coverage of the three operators. Coverage and speeds are about the same with all operators. Of course, one operator may be a bit faster than the other in certain places, but you do not have to worry about coverage unless you go to extremely rural Estonia. Then, you may notice that only 1 or 2 operators are active in that region. Luckily, the chance of you experiencing this is low.
Also, each operator has 2 prepaid brands. The differences between the two are usually the price of the SIM card and the prices you pay for the packages.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Estonia? If you want to buy a SIM card in Estonia, I would recommend going with any operator because all of them offer low prices and have good coverage throughout the country.
However, to get the most out of €1, you can get a Super SIM card (by Telia) for €1 that comes with 50 MB and will get you 1 GB for free if you confirm your email address through the Super app. The €1 can be used for 200 MB, meaning that the max. amount of data you can get for €1 is 50 MB + 1 GB + 200 MB = 1250 MB.
RELATED: Make sure to check out my Estonian SIM card reviews as well. I tested Super by Telia, Tele2, and Elisa when I was in Tallinn. I also made the Ultimate Estonian SIM card review where I reviewed the 3 providers at once!
SIM cards are called Kõnekaart and are available in official stores, R-Kiosks, and supermarkets.
Like some countries in Europe, you do not need to show your passport when buying an Estonian SIM card.
You will notice that data rates in Estonia are low (like all Baltic states and some countries in Eastern Europe). Estonia is part of the European Union. As of June 2017, a new regulation has been enforced, which is known as roam at like home, meaning that those with a European Union (or EEA) SIM card should be allowed to use (some) of their data allowance in other EU/EEA countries without a surcharge.
Because domestic data rates are so low in Estonia, the Estonian operators have opted-out from this regulation, meaning that they are not required to give those with an Estonian SIM card free roaming allowance. Instead, some operators have a Fair-use data roaming policy, sell roaming packages, or allow you to roam for relatively low rates.
Normally, I do not recommend buying SIM cards at airports because they charge you a tourist premium. In the case of Estonia, however, I would recommend getting a SIM card at the airport (if flying into Tallinn Airport). None of the operators have stores at Tallinn Airport, but there is an R-Kiosk that sells SIM cards. They sell them at standard prices, so there is no need to wait until you get to town to buy an Estonian SIM card.
With that being said, let’s see what Estonia has to offer to us.
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
Estonia SIM Cards Video Review
Want to watch the video review where I introduce the Estonian operators and do a speed test with them? You bet! Check out this video:
Telia Estonia (Super & Simpel)
Telia Estonia, just Telia, is a popular operator in Estonia, together with Tele2. To be fair, all operators are popular in this country because the subscriber numbers are almost the same with each operator.
Telia has 2 prepaid brands: Super & Simpel. Remember, the difference between the two brands is mainly the names, prices for the SIM cards, and the prices for the data packs.
You can get Super and Simpel SIM cards in Telia stores, R-Kiosks, and many supermarkets. It is better to buy a SIM card or get a top-up voucher from an R-Kiosk or supermarket because Telia charges a €1 administration fee per top-up. When I tried buying a Super SIM card in the Viru Mall in Tallinn, the salesperson told me to get my SIM card and recharge voucher from the R-Kiosk across the store because the kiosk does not charge you a fee.
Initially, I thought the salesperson could not be bothered to help me out and wanted me gone. However, I later learned that they were trying to save me money (even though it is just €1). So yeah, I was not annoyed anymore.
A Super SIM card is sold for €1 in various stores and comes with €1 in credit. You can also order it online, although that has to be a SEPA transfer (transfer from within the European Union). Since these SIM cards are so accessible, I would not bother ordering your SIM card online. There are so many R-Kiosks in Estonia, so why wait for the delivery?
As mentioned earlier, the SIM card comes with €1 in credit. €1 is enough for 200 MB (standard data rates). However, for a few euros more, you can get more data.
Do note that if you download the Super app and confirm your email address, you will get 1 GB for free. That, together with the initial 50 MB and 200 MB you can use with the starter credit, you can get 1250 MB with Super for €1, which is the best deal you can get for 1 GB in Estonia.
Before you can use your SIM card, you need to make a call to an Estonian number. I would recommend calling Telia customer service at 7010 1104 for free so that you can keep the €1.
The Super app on Android is sleek. As I do not have an iPhone, I have no idea if it is any good on iOS, but I assume it is too.
The following Super combo packs are available. The data allowance can only be used in Estonia. All plans are valid for 30 days:
- €2: 2 GB, unlimited calls to Super numbers, and 100 SMS. Activation: Super App
- €3: 5 GB, 130 minutes, and 500 SMS. Activation: Top up at least €3 (auto-activation)
- €6: 4 GB, unlimited calls to Super numbers, 75 minutes to other Estonian numbers, and 200 SMS. Activation: Super App
- €8: 5 GB, 130 minutes, and 500 SMS. Activation: Top up at least €8 (auto-activation)
- €12: 5 GB, unlimited calls to Super numbers, 200 minutes to other Estonian numbers, and 600 SMS. Activation: Super App
There is also the Super X plan. Super X is advertised as the plan for travelers. It costs €3 and comes with unlimited calls and messages in Estonia and the EU. For data, you will pay €0.002 per MB and €1 per 500 MB. After that, you will not pay anything more for the remainder of the day. Not a bad deal, I would say.
You can check your balance in the Super app, which I highly recommend you to download when getting a Super SIM card. You do not even have to create an account to use the app. The only thing you need to get started is your Super phone number. Else, you can dial *123# to see your data consumption or *143# to see your general balance. You will, however, be charged €0.06 for this service.
If you only want data, then you can get one of the following monthly Telia data packs:
- €1: 250 MB. Activation: dial *147*250#
- €2: 1 GB. Activation: dial *147*1#
- €3: 3 GB. Activation: dial *147*3#
- €5: 5 GB. Activation: dial *147*5#
- €8: 10 GB. Activation: dial *147*10#
RELATED: If you are interested in getting a Super SIM card, do not do so yet without reading my Super review. I tried Super out when I was in Tallinn for a few days. I had a pleasant experience, but the question is how good is Super? You will find out after reading my Super review.
Simpel is the other prepaid brand of Telia. A Simple SIM card costs €2.95 and comes with €2.95 in credit and 50 MB. The standard data rate is €1 per GB, which is also your daily Pay-As-You-Go data limit. But you can get another GB by texting DATA to 9123.
The following Simpel combo packs are available. They do come with an EU data allowance, which will be mentioned clearly. All packs are valid for 30 days:
- €4: 1 GB, max. 1 GB EU cap, 3000 minutes/SMS to Telia numbers (including Super). Activation: dial *599*4#
- €9: 4 GB, max. 3.34 GB EU cap, unlimited calls to Telia numbers, 600 minutes to other Estonian numbers, and 600 SMS to all Estonian numbers. Activation: dial *599*9#
If you solely want data, then you can add one of the Telia data packs. You will notice that the allowances and prices are the same offered to Super. The difference between the Super and Simple data packs is that Simple offers an EU cap, while Super does not:
- €1: 250 MB (max. 250 MB EU data). Activation: dial *147*250#
- €2: 1 GB (max. 0.8 GB EU data). Activation: dial *147*1#
- €3: 3 GB (max. 1.5 GB EU data). Activation: dial *147*3#
- €5: 5 GB (max. 1.9 GB EU data). Activation: dial *147*5#
- €8: 10 GB (max. 3 GB EU data). Activation: dial *147*10#
Elisa Estonia (+ Zen)
Elisa Estonia, just Elisa, is originally from Finland but is also active in Estonia. Elisa also has a prepaid direct to the youth called Zen. The main difference between Elisa and Zen are the prices and allowances.
Elisa SIM cards are sold in official Elisa stores, R-Kiosks, and many supermarkets for €1. The SIM card comes with €1 in credit as well. Top-up cards are sold in many stores too, including the post office (Eesti Post). You activate the credit by dialing *135*VOUCHER CODE#. If your activation code is 123456, you would dial *135*123456#. You can check your balance by dialing *135*1#. Dial *135*923# first to change the system messages from Estonian to English.
The following Elisa combo packs are available:
- €3: Unlimited calls to Elisa numbers and 3 hours to Telia and Tele2 numbers (note: no data or SMS). Activation: call 95003
- €6: 1 GB, unlimited calls to Elisa numbers, 6 hours to Telia and Tele2 numbers, and 100 SMS. Activation: call 95006
- €9: 5 GB, Unlimited calls to Elisa numbers, 9 hours to Telia and Tele2 numbers, 1 hour to EU nation numbers and Russian numbers, and 100 local SMS. Activation: call 95009
If you only need data, then the following Elisa data packs may be of interest:
- €1: 500 MB for 1 day. Activation: text NET4G1 to 95000
- €5: 2 GB for 7 days. Activation: text NET4G7 to 95000
- €7: 8 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30 to 95000
- €7: 15 GB (at 2 Mbps) for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30L to 95000
- €10: 12 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET30 to 95000
- €20: 25 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30XL to 95000
Officially, none of these data packs include an EU roaming allowance. However, when I tried using my Elisa SIM card in the Netherlands as a test, I was actually able to roam with Elisa, even though I was not supposed to. The standard roaming rate is €0.72 per MB or €7.24 per GB, but I used more than 1 MB when trying the SIM card in the Netherlands (I still had my €1 initial credit, so I was not consuming that).
Either way, I would not count on roaming to work every time, but you can always give it a shot.
RELATED: I recently tested out an Elisa SIM card when I traveled to Estonia. You can read my entire review in this post.
Zen is the youth brand of Elisa. You can get a Zen SIM in many stores, including Elisa stores and R-Kiosks, for €3, and you get €3 in credit as well.
As mentioned before, the main difference between an Elisa or a Zen SIM card is the price for the SIM cards and some of the packages. Zen has different combo packs than Elisa, but you can buy the same data packs as Elisa customers. You can find the Elisa data packs in the section above.
The following monthly Zen combo packs are available for purchase. All plans come with unlimited calls to other Zen numbers
- €4: 250 MB and 400 minutes. Activation: call 95004
- €5: 1 GB, 500 minutes, and 300 SMS. Activation: call 95005
- €8: 5 GB, 600 minutes, and 600 SMS. Activation: call 95008
- €15: 15 GB, unlimited calls, and 600 SMS. Activation: call 95015
If you are only interested in speeds, then the Zen internet passes are available:
- €1: 500 MB for 1 day. Activation: text NET4G1 to 95000
- €5: 2 GB for 7 days. Activation: text NET4G7 to 95000
- €7: 8 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30to 95000
- €7: 15 GB (throttled to 2 Mbps) for 30 days. Activation: text NET10 to 15300
- €10: 12 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30L to 95000
- €20: 25 GB for 30 days. Activation: text NET4G30XL to 95000
Zen has different roaming packages for those who wish to roam within the EU or to other countries.
Tele2 Estonia (+ Smart)
Tele 2 Estonia, just Tele2, is the last operator in Estonia. It launched another prepaid brand called Smart in addition to its regular prepaid brand called Tele2. Recharge cards are sold in many stores. Change the operator messages from Estonian to English by dialing *109*2#. To check your balance, dial *245# (€0.05 fee applies).
A Tele2 SIM card is sold for €4 in Tele2 stores, R-kiosks, and many supermarkets. The starter pack comes with 3 GB, 300 minutes, and 30 SMS. You can add one of these three combo packs:
- €4: 3 GB, 300 minutes, and 300 SMS. Activation: text KH395 to 95002
- €7: 6 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS. Activation: text KH695 to 95002
- €10: 12 GB, 1000 minutes, and 1000 SMS. Activation: text KH995 to 95002
You send the activation code to 95002 for €0.05 per text to activate your plan of choice.
Tele2 charges you €0.05 per text for activating a data pack through SMS. If you would like the combo pack to auto-renew, remove H from the activation code. For example, if I wanted the €7 pack to auto-renew, I would text K695 to 05002 instead of KH695.
Only need data? Then these Tele2 data packs may be for you:
- €2: 1 GB. Activation: text D195 to 95002
- €5: 5 GB. Activation: text D495 to 95002
- €8: 7 GB. Activation: text D795 to 95002
- €20: Unlimited data. Activation: text DALL to 95002
You activate your plan by sending the activation code to 95002 for €0.05 per text.
None of these plans have an EU cap. You will pay €0.005 per MB or €5 per GB if you decide to roam within the EU/EEA with Tele2.
You can also get a Tele2 data-only SIM card, Prepaid Internet, for €4 that comes with 5 GB for a week in Tele2 stores. The standard rate is €1 per day, up to 1 GB. The following data packs can be added to Tele2’s prepaid internet SIM card:
- €3.50: 5 GB for 7 days. Activation: text DATA5 to 95002
- €9.50: 15 GB for 30 days. Activation: text DATA15 to 95002
- €15: 30 GB for 30 days. Activation: text DATAXL to 95002
As you already know, you send the activation code to 95002 (€0.05 fee per text).
RELATED: Check out my Tele2 review. I tried Tele2 for a few days when I was in Tallinn and wrote a review about my experience. Worth the read!
Smart SIM cards are sold for €1 in various stores and come with €1 in credit and 250 MB to be used within 30 days. You can add regular Tele2 data packs to your Smart SIM card, which have been listed in the section above.
Which Estonian SIM Card is the Best?
Now that you know everything you need to know about telecom providers in Estonia, you may be wondering which SIM card is the best for you. I made an Estonian SIM Card comparison article where I go through Elisa, Telia, and Tele2 more in-depth, comparing their packages, speeds, and coverage.
It is a good read where I take certain scenarios into account that may apply to you (such as spending a certain amount on data packages like €5, €10 and €20, wanting to roam within the EU, and speeds).
Be sure sure to check out the Best Estonian SIM Card comparison post.
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Estonia
So far, you have been informed about the SIM card options in Estonia. However, that is not the only way to be online in Estonia I have already briefly mentioned that you can roam with your provider, although it can be expensive in most cases. Besides that, you can use free WIFI connections, mobile hotspots, or international SIM cards.
Roaming in Estonia with Your Provider
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is TDC from Denmark, then you would be roaming with TDC in Estonia.
You may have read horror stories of people coming back from a lovely holiday, only to be confronted with a roaming bill in the thousands. This can still be the case if you do not review your roaming options before going on a holiday. Luckily for you, I have written about the roaming options you have with various providers around the world, which you can read here.
Some operators offer roaming plans. Others allow you to roam for free in Estonia, while several operators let you use your plan’s allowance for a daily fee. As you can see, roaming does not have to be a horrific experience. If your provider is generous and lets you roam for free in Estonia, then you do not even need a local SIM card (although I would still recommend doing so, as your connection speed will be much slower as a roamer than someone who is a customer of the network).
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Pay As You Go roaming should be avoided, as that is how travelers get high roaming bills. One provider charges you about 1000 USD per GB in certain destinations, which is insane. If you really want to roam, check whether your provider has attractive roaming plans. Else, you will be better off with buying a local SIM card.
Using Free WIFI connections in Estonia
This does not require a lot of explanation, but using free WIFI connections is the cheapest way to connect to the internet because you do not have to pay anything. Nothing beats free stuff, right? Well, not so fast.
First, you need to find hotspots in Estonia. In some countries of cities, you will find so many hotspots that you can try them out one by one and find the one with the fastest speeds. In other places, however, WIFI connections do not seem to exist.
In the case of Estonia, you can find plenty of hotspots in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Some hotspots are extremely slow, though.
Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. They are a prime target for hackers to steal your data and use it for illicit purposes. That is I use, and would recommend you to start using, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to a public hotspot. What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your subscription now or learn more about NordVPN.
Using a Pocket WIFI (Mobile Hotspot) in Estonia
Pocket WIFI is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam and Vision Global Wireless are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Both services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
Getting an International SIM card for Traveling in Estonia
International SIM cards are, as the name implies, SIM cards for international use. Well, that does not explain anything. Although most providers allow you to use your card abroad, some actually restrict this possibility. An international SIM card lets you go abroad without having to change SIM cards when visiting multiple destinations. They have been made with the traveler in mind.
All of this sounds lovely, but international SIM cards are much more expensive than local SIM cards in Estonia. Not only that, some offer poor service as well for high rates. Some reputable companies I know are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
International SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. Some countries in Europe require you to register before you can use a SIM card, which can be a hassle for some. Additionally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some travelers, which is why an international SIM card can be handy. You order it before you depart and can use it in various destinations.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple ones, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Estonia
Getting a SIM card from any Estonian provider would do you well when considering an Estonian SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
What about other places in Europe? My Europe SIM card buying guide covers all destinations in Europe, including those not part of the European Union/EEA, such as Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my SIM card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Estonia
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Estonia. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Estonia drop.
Travel by Train within Europe with InterRail or EURail
Although low-cost carriers are a big thing in Europe, they are not the best way to experience Europe. Everyone knows that the European railway system is awesome. InterRail/EURail makes it much easier to explore Europe by train by having one ticket for participating countries instead of having to buy multiple tickets per country. InterRail is for European citizens and EURail is for non-European citizens.
Book Your Accommodation for Estonia
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Estonia. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in an Estonian hotel. I recommend staying with Edvard in the Old Town of Tallinn. His apartment is close to the city, is cozy, yet spacious, and it is one of the cheaper places out there! Use this link to €34 off your first trip with Airbnb!
Get Your Travel Insurance for Estonia
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Estonia, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Euros for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!