Europe » Estonia
Gay Guide Estonia
Estonia is the pioneer of the Baltic States in terms of tolerance - and in 2014 it became the first former Soviet republic to introduce a registered civil partnership. In Estonia, consensual same-sex relationships among adults are legal. The full age of consent is 18 years (and with parental consent between 14 and 17 years). In Estonia there has been legal protection against discrimination for lesbians and gays since 2004, which was modified in 2008. After a rapid increase in the rate of new HIV infections in Estonia in the early 2000s, a slow decline can now be observed. Nevertheless, the number of fresh infections is still high and 1.3% of the Estonian population carries an infection. Had it been drug addicts to catch the disease in the past, the main way of infection is by sexual intercourse in these days. Society is generally open and tolerant towards gays, but men holding hands in the streets are still an unusual sight. There is quite a lot of nightlife for gays in Tallinn, but unfortunately rather few join it. Gay life mainly takes place on weekends when clubs are open till the small hours. In summer the gay scene is more lively and international. Tallinn is filled with tourists from all over the world and these can exceed the number of locals. But the quiet tolerance of the Estonians makes it easy to feel welcome and to become part of gay life. With a few drinks under your belly it does not appear as quiet as it seemed first sight. Gays are ignored by the majority of the population and their sexuality is more or less private. The Estonian capital Tallinn is one of the most beautiful cities in the country with its charming location by the sea - the old town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At irregular intervals the Baltic Gay Pride Parade takes place in Tallinn: an estimated 1800 people joined the festivities in the last one in 2017.
Cities in Estonia
Location: Northeastern Europe
International country code: 372 (no area codes)
International access code: 00
Religions: 21% Evangelical Lutheran and Russian Orthodox
Climate: Estonian winters (Dec-Mar) are servere. The best time to visit is spring (Apr & May) or summer (Jun-Sep).
Important gay cities: Tallinn