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Drinking water in Russia, Estonia

My mom has been told by a couple of her friends that you should drink only bottled water in Russia and Estonia. They toured there just a couple of years ago. Anyone here had any experience to share on the safety of drinking water in these two countries?

Posted by
1068 posts

Was in Russia and Estonia last July. In Russia the water is generally not considered safe to drink (at least we were warned not to drink it.) In Estonia, a given hotel or restaurant may have a filter on their system, but that is hit or miss. Locals "can" drink the water, but I wouldn't generally do it as a tourist. Also, in some countries the taste of the water varies tremendously depending on the specific hotel or restaurant even if it is "safe" I probably wouldn't. When I was there, we drank bottled water.

Posted by
9110 posts

Parts of Russia west of the Urals have heavy metal in the water. It's the only nation where I don't drink the water everywhere in the country.

Estonia is okay.

Posted by
16883 posts

Our guides tell our tour members the same thing - tap water is OK to drink in Tallinn but not recommended in Russia. But if buying a few bottles of water during a short stay in Estonia makes you more comfortable, then that's a small price to pay.

Posted by
988 posts

I've found I have developed a taste for sparkling mineral water......So I think I will continue to drink only bottled water here in Estonia, and maybe Finland too.

Posted by
2317 posts

I spent a week travelling around Estonia last fall and the tap water was just fine.

Posted by
6 posts

In St. Petersburg and most of Russia, avoid drinking the water. You can get a bottle for a little as 10 rubles (30 cents) in a supermarket. I drink the Moscow water in an emergency and have experienced no ill effects.

Posted by
516 posts

The tap water had a very strange smell. Like fish. I stayed with bottled water even for brushing teeth.

Posted by
27 posts

On our RS tour to Estonia, Finland, and Russia the hotels provided bottled water. Play it safe and don't drink the local water. The inconvenience of buying it is much less than getting sick for a few days.

Posted by
5784 posts

Don't drink the water in Sochi. Report on what happen to the Dominica skier where one report said that he was deluged in "brown water" while showering during the Winter Olympics:

“On Saturday, February 8 Gary woke up with severe abdominal cramps so severe he could not walk nor even stand for more than a few seconds. [...] Ultimately he was diagnosed [...] as having a serious bacterial gastroenteritis infection. Our best guess was the water in our lodging as the culprit. The symptoms came and went for over a week. In the best of times he could ski, but felt very weak. At the worst, he was back to the day one misery and barely able to walk or stand.