Work and Travel in Estonia
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN ESTONIA FOR TRAVELLERS
Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic states, with the smallest population. In order to attract remote workers in the wake of the pandemic, the country has begun marketing itself as an international tech hub.
These factors, along with a lower cost of living than the nearby Scandinavian countries, suggests that Estonia is an intriguing location for those looking to embrace the work and travel lifestyle.
Read our travel guide to Estonia to find out how to make it as a working traveller in the northern Baltics.
1. Restoration work
The Estonian countryside is an undiscovered gem in terms of tourism. Lots of hosts are looking to restore old farmhouses or manors and stone walls. Your masonry and carpentry skills will help you immediately get chosen for these positions.
2. Build wooden sauna-houses
Like much of northern Europe, sauna culture is integral to daily life. A lot of family farms and smallholdings build or restore their own saunas. Those with woodworking or water drainage skills or simply an interest in learning how these unique structures can hone their craft in Estonia.
3. Take care of huskies/sleddogs
Sleddog tours are a common winter tourist activity in Estonia. Working travellers with animal or dog care experience you can find opportunities with these businesses, doing everything from cleaning up poop to taking guests on tours.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR ESTONIA
As part of the Schengen zone, citizens from the EU, UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the US do not require visas for entry into Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania for up to 90 days. See here for more information about obtaining visas and other types of visas such as long-stay visas.
Estonia is one of five countries in the world with a working holiday visa program, which allows young travellers to work and travel in Estonia for up to one year.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN ESTONIA
Estonians actually consider their countries to experience five seasons, since in late March and early April the southwestern portion of the country experiences flooding. This isn’t a natural disaster, however, but instead marks the beginning of the water hiking season, when guided canoeing tours take place.
This is a great time to get work booked up in the tour guiding industry in Estonia, especially if you have watercraft experience.
With the country experiencing incredibly long hours of daylight in the summer months, now is obviously a great time to work and travel on the off-grid farms in the countryside. Along with the planting, watering, and harvesting, you may be picking berries and helping to build or restore the property’s sauna.
Backpackers with gardening/landscaping/fruit picking or building skills will find plenty of active work opportunities in the Estonian summer.
If you want a taste of the urban life in Estonia, head to the capital, Tallinn, in autumn, since this is the start of the academic year.
You can find teaching work, office/tech work if you’re qualified, or bar/restaurant work.
Like the sleddog tours mentioned above, winter is the time to find work in the winter tour guiding industry in Estonia.
Winter hiking in Soomaa National Park, skimobile trips, holiday sleigh rides on horses, ice skating camps, and the ubiquitous ski resorts are just a handful of the places to look for work and travel opportunities.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN ESTONIA
The Estonian government has been pushing to increase tourism and international interest in their previously under-visited country. The attitude, therefore, is extremely welcoming to working travellers. You won’t face problems volunteering or feeling safe or accepted.
We highly recommend getting in before the rest of the backpacking crowds and securing some work and travel in Estonia today.
- Edited on Jun 14 2021 by Lily