How to Survive Summer in Estonia in 5 Easy Steps

by Maria May 19, 2017

Whenever Estonian summer rears its head, no one at Jobbatical HQ knows how to deal with it. So whether you’re new here or a local who needs a quick reminder, follow these steps to make the most of summertime in Estonia!

Observe the Estonian in its natural habitat — indoors. Image via Shutterstock.

1. Keep your expectations low and accept that summer is always going to happen while you’re at work.

Low expectations = no disappointments, ever! Estonian summer tends to be a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of deal. But come on, guys. You’re in Northern Europe. It’s lucky we have any sunlight at all. If you think about it that way, anything more cheery than polar night is going to be a blessing.

2. If, miraculously, summer occurs while you’re NOT at work, run TOWARDS the summer.

There’s no time to lose. Get a flexible job if you can, because you might need to adjust your schedule to cater to the whims of the weather. Mercifully, the sun sets late in summer, so if it’s a really nice day, you can still catch it after regular working hours. Be ready to make a lot of last-minute plans, because planning ahead is going to result in way too many rain-soaked clothes and miserable barbecues.

(Also check out this post on the effects prolonged daylight can have on productivity.)

Estonians at 8PM (only a slight exaggeration). Image via Shutterstock


3. The summer can sense your fear. Approach the summer casually, as if you didn’t even care it’s there.

As much as you want to make the most of the nice weather, take a moment to pretend you haven’t been waiting for this one fleeting hour of sunlight all week. For the sake of your pride, make a point of staying indoors for a few minutes. You have important stuff to do around the house, such as nonchalantly tracking down your sunglasses and the shortest shorts you own. But, like, for totally unrelated reasons.

4. Enjoy the summer responsibly…

In terms of natural disasters, Estonia is one of the safest places to live, and the climate is fiercely unremarkable. But sunburn is a thing even here. Ticks roam the countryside. We have one entire species of venomous snake. Mosquitoes love our cool wet summers. So equip yourself with sunscreen, insect repellent, sensible footwear, and—of course—all the umbrellas you can carry, and you’ll be just fine.

5. …But mostly just enjoy the summer.

It’s really not that bad at all. Estonia’s bogs, forests, beaches, lakes, islands, and that one hill we’re so proud of (no, seriously) are all worth a road trip. Towns come alive in summertime. If a café only has room on the sidewalk for one outdoor table, then by god, they’re putting that table out there if it’s the last thing they do! Sometimes people even smile in the streets (don’t get your hopes up, though—that’s still a tall order).

In summer, Tallinn’s Old Town is 80% outdoor seating. Image via Shutterstock.




For more detailed instructions and survival tips, contact your nearest Estonian (or me).

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