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Basic Estonian Phrases For Travel in 2024

Looking to learn some basic Estonian phrases? You’ve come to the right place!

Estonia, a hidden gem in Northern Europe, offers a unique blend of medieval cities, modern innovation, and untouched natural beauty.

Picking up a few simple Estonian words and phrases will greatly enhance your experience in the country. Whether you’re strolling through Tallinn’s fairytale old town or relaxing by the Baltic Sea, you’ll have a much more immersive and authentic experience.

While many Estonians speak excellent English, making the effort to interact with local people in their language shows respect for the culture. And in my experience, it’s really appreciated.

Basic Words in Estonian

The Estonian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric family, as does Finnish. It’s a lyrical language with deep ties to the country’s history and culture.

Although you might find the pronunciation challenging at first, it’s a fun language to speak. The structure is also fairly straightforward, and many basic words are easy to grasp.

  • Tere – Hello
  • Hüvasti – Goodbye
  • Aitäh – Thank you
  • Pole tänu väärt – You’re welcome
  • Palun – Please
  • Jah – Yes
  • Ei – No
  • Terviseks – Cheers
  • Tere hommikust – Good morning
  • Tere õhtust – Good evening
  • Tere päevast – Good afternoon
  • Vabandage – Excuse me
  • Toit – Food
  • Vesi – Water
  • Vannituba – Bathroom
Tallinn-walls-and-towers

Common Estonian Phrases

These common Estonian phrases are your gateway to daily life in Estonia. They’ll add a local flavour to your interactions, making them more meaningful and engaging.

  • Kuidas läheb? – How are you?
  • Mul on hästi, aitäh – I’m good, thanks
  • Meeldiv kohtuda – Nice to meet you
  • Minu nimi on… – My name is…
  • Vabandan – I’m sorry
  • Vabandage – Excuse me
  • Kas saate mind aidata? – Can you help me?
  • Kui ilus! – How beautiful!
  • Nägemist – See you
  • Näeme hiljem – See you later
  • Edu! – Good luck!

Basic Estonian Phrases for Travellers

Travelling through Estonia becomes even more rewarding with these phrases. They’re tailored for independent travellers and will help you navigate and connect wherever you go.

  • Mul on broneering – I have a reservation
  • Kus on tualetid, palun? – Where are the bathrooms, please?
  • Kuidas ma saan minna…? – How do I get to ___?
  • Kui palju see maksab? – How much is this?
  • Kas te räägite inglise keelt? – Do you speak English?
  • Kus on lähim hotell? – Where is the nearest hotel?
  • Ma olen eksinud. Kas saate mind aidata? – I’m lost. Can you help me?
  • Kas see piirkond on turvaline? – Is this area safe?
  • Kas see piirkond on öösel turvaline? – Is this area safe at night?
Tallinn-Town-Hall-Square

Useful Estonian Phrases for Information

When you’re curious or need guidance, these Estonian phrases will come in handy. They’ll make asking for information much easier.

  • Mul on küsimus – I have a question
  • Kuidas seda eesti keeles öeldakse? – What is this called in Estonian?
  • Kas saaksite rääkida aeglasemalt, palun? – Can you speak slower, please?
  • Ma ei räägi väga hästi eesti keelt – I do not speak Estonian very well
  • Ma ei saa aru – I do not understand
  • Kas saaksite seda korrata, palun? – Can you repeat that please?
  • Mul on vaja teavet – I need information
  • Kus on infopunkt? – Where is the information office?
  • Mida see tähendab? – What does this mean?
  • Mis kell on? – What time is it?
  • Mis on teie e-posti aadress? – What’s your email address?
  • Kuidas öelda ____ eesti keeles? – How do you say ____ in Estonian?
  • Mis see on/see on? – What is this/that?
  • Kas ma võin kasutada teie telefoni? – Can I use your phone?

Useful Phrases for Directions in Estonian

With a sense of direction, a map, and some local assistance, travelling around Estonia is very easy. Adding some Estonian phrases while asking for directions will definitely enhance your journey.

Try some of these out.

  • Kus on…? – Where is the…?
  • Kuidas ma saan minna…? – How do I get to…?
  • Kas saaksite näidata mulle kaardil? – Can you show me on the map?
  • Mine otse edasi – Go straight ahead
  • Pöörake paremale/vasakule – Turn right/left
  • See on lähedal/kaugel – It’s near/far
  • See on nurga taga – It’s around the corner
  • See on nurk – This is the corner
  • Millises suunas on…? – Which way is it to…?
  • Kas ma saan sinna jalutada või on mul vaja taksot? – Can I walk there or do I need a taxi?
Toompea-at-night-atmospheric

Basic Estonian Phrases for Transportation

Navigate Estonia’s transport system smoothly with these helpful phrases. Whether you’re asking for a ticket at a bus station, or finding out how to get to a new city, they’ll help ensure that your journey is easy and stress-free.

  • Kus ma saan takso võtta? – Where can I get a taxi?
  • Kui palju maksab sõit…? – How much does it cost to go to…?
  • Ma tahan minna… – I want to go to…
  • Kus on bussipeatus? – Where is the bus stop?
  • Kus on bussijaam? – Where is the bus station?
  • Mis kell väljub järgmine rong? – What time does the next train leave?
  • Kui kaua aega võtab jõuda…? – How long does it take to get to…?
  • Kuidas ma saan lennujaama? – How do I get to the airport?
  • Kas see buss läheb…? – Does this bus go to…?
  • Ma vajan edasi-tagasi piletit – I need a round trip ticket
  • Kus ma saan pileteid osta? – Where do I buy tickets?

Basic Estonian Phrases About Accommodation

After navigating the winding, cobblestone streets of Estonia’s cities, or exploring its pristine national parks, you’ll want a cozy place to spend the night.

Settle into your Estonian accommodation effortlessly with these phrases. They’ll help you communicate your needs and ensure a comfortable stay.

  • Kas teil on vabu tube? – Do you have any rooms available?
  • Kui palju maksab öö? – How much does it cost per night?
  • Kas hommikusöök on hinna sees? – Is breakfast included in the price?
  • Mul on vaja kahekohalist tuba – I need a double room
  • Kas teil on tuba kahe voodiga? – Is there a room with two beds?
  • Kas siin on tasuta Wi-Fi? – Is there free Wi-Fi?
  • Kas siin on kliimaseade? – Is there air conditioning?
  • Kus on lift? – Where is the elevator?
  • Kus on jõusaal? – Where is the gym?
  • Sooviksin tuba broneerida – I would like to book a room
  • Kas teil on toateenindus? – Is there room service?
  • Tuba on must – The room is dirty
  • Ma tunnen end selles hotellis turvaliselt – I feel safe in this hotel
  • Kas teil on pistikupesa adapter? – Do you have a plug adaptor?
  • Tahan tuba ilusa vaatega – I want a room with a nice view
  • Kas toas on seif? – Is there a safe in the room?
  • Kas te saate mind äratada kell (seitse) hommikul? – Can you wake me up at (seven) a.m.?
  • Mul on vaja beebivoodit – I need a crib for the baby
  • Mis kell on väljaregistreerimine? – What’s the check-out time?
Raekoja-Plats

Helpful Estonian Phrases for Shopping

Estonia has a wide range of traditional markets, vintage shops, tasteful boutiques, and modern malls. Shopping in such varied locations, you’ll get a good glimpse into the country’s culture and daily life.

And it will be even more enjoyable if you understand some basic Estonian phrases and can interact with the locals in their native language.

These phrases are great for browsing, bargaining, and buying, adding a local touch to your shopping adventures.

  • Ma otsin… – I am looking for…
  • Kui palju see maksab? – How much does it cost?
  • Kas on allahindlust? – Is there any discount?
  • Kui suur on allahindlus? – How much is the discount?
  • See on liiga kallis – That’s too expensive
  • Kas te saate hinda alandada? – Can you lower the price?
  • Kas ma saan maksta krediitkaardiga? – Can I pay with a credit card?
  • Ainult sularaha – Cash only
  • Kas teil on seda suuremat suurust? – Do you have this in a larger size?
  • Kas teil on seda teist värvi? – Do you have this in another colour?
  • Ma sooviksin seda tagastada – I want to return this
  • Kus on proovikabiinid? – Where are the fitting rooms?
  • Vabandage, kus on supermarket? – Excuse me, where’s the supermarket?
  • Kus on rõivapood? – Where’s the clothing store?
  • Mul on vaja kotti – I need a bag
  • Kust ma leian kohalikke tooteid? – Where can I find local products?

Helpful Phrases for Dining Out in Estonia

Estonian dining culture blends ancient traditions and contemporary trends. I’ve had some truly world-class meals in Estonia!

Enhance your Estonian dining experiences with these phrases. They help you navigate menus, order your favourite dishes, and immerse yourself in Estonia’s culinary scene.

  • Kas ma saan laua kahele? – Can I get a table for two?
  • Kas te saate mulle menüüd näidata? – Can you please show me the menu?
  • Mis on päeva roog? – What is the dish of the day?
  • Ma sooviksin… – I would like…
  • Kas te saaksite midagi soovitada? – Could you suggest something for me?
  • Mida te soovitate süüa? – What do you recommend to eat?
  • Ma olen allergiline… – I’m allergic to…
  • Kas selles roas on…? – Does this dish contain…?
  • Kas teil on taimetoitlaste/veganite valikuid? – Do you have vegetarian/vegan options?
  • Ma ei söö liha/kala/piimatooteid – I don’t eat meat/fish/dairy
  • Kas see sobib taimetoitlastele? – Is this suitable for vegetarians?
  • Mis see on? – What is this?
  • See meeldib mulle – I like it
  • Kas ma saan arve, palun? – Can I have the bill, please?
  • See oli maitsev! Aitäh – It was delicious! Thank you
Tallinn-restaurant-inside

Estonian Question Words

Fuel your curiosity and conversations with these Estonian question words. They’re essential for engaging with locals and discovering Estonia’s hidden gems.

  • Mis? – What?
  • Kus? – Where?
  • Millal? – When?
  • Kes? – Who?
  • Miks? – Why?
  • Kuidas? – How?
  • Milline? – Which?
  • Kui palju? – How much?
  • Kui mitu? – How many?
  • Kelle? – Whose?
  • Kas see on…? – Is it…?
  • Kas ma saan…? – Can I…
  • Kas teete…? – Will you…
  • Mis see on? – What is this?
  • Kes see on? – Who is that?
  • Kuidas see on? – How is it?
  • Miks see on? – Why is it?
  • Miks see? – Why this?
  • Mis on sees…? – What is in…?
  • Kus on…? – Where is…?
  • Kas seal on…? – Is there a…?

Numbers in Estonian

Understanding the Estonian numbering system is useful in a wide range of scenarios, especially when it comes to transactions, discussing times, and navigating transportation.

Below is a list of simple numbers along with some larger ones:

  • Null – 0
  • Üks – 1
  • Kaks – 2
  • Kolm – 3
  • Neli – 4
  • Viis – 5
  • Kuus – 6
  • Seitse – 7
  • Kaheksa – 8
  • Üheksa – 9
  • Kümme – 10
  • Üksteist – 11
  • Kaksteist – 12
  • Kolmteist – 13
  • Neliteist – 14
  • Viisteist – 15
  • Kuusteist – 16
  • Seitseteist – 17
  • Kaheksateist – 18
  • Üheksateist – 19
  • Kakskümmend – 20
  • Kolmkümmend – 30
  • Nelikümmend – 40
  • Viiskümmend – 50
  • Kuuskümmend – 60
  • Seitsekümmend – 70
  • Kaheksakümmend – 80
  • Üheksakümmend – 90
  • Sada – 100
  • Tuhat – 1,000
  • Kümme tuhat – 10,000
  • Sada tuhat – 100,000
  • Miljon – 1,000,000

To create numbers in between these, combine the tens and units. For example:

  • “Twenty-one” is Kakskümmend üks
  • “Thirty-two” is Kolmkümmend kaks

For numbers in the hundreds, thousands, and beyond, you combine the larger number with the smaller. For instance:

  • “One hundred and twenty-three” is Sada kakskümmend kolm
  • “Two thousand and nineteen” is Kaks tuhat üheksateist

See Also

If you’re interested in learning another Baltic language, check out my post on Basic Latvian Phrases For Travel.

Final Thoughts: Basic Estonian Phrases For Travel

Estonian is a fun and interesting language to learn. Speaking even a tiny bit will greatly enhance your time in the country, and you’ll definitely impress the locals too.

As with any language, the most important part is practice. So, don’t be afraid to try out some of these words and phrases while you’re there.

With just a few words, you can easily make new friends and leave a lasting impression on your hosts.

Lastly, if you want to take your Estonian learning to the next level, I can recommend lingvist.com.

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  • SafetyWing – if you’re a digital nomad like me, it’s essential that you have suitable insurance. It’s super flexible and affordable, you can sign up for as little or as long as you want, and can activate and deactivate it whenever you need to.
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  • I’m Alex Tiffany.  Former corporate city robot; lifelong travel addict.

 

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