In the last few years, Estonia has become a genuine tech powerhouse. Its administration is 100% digitalized, and you can get electronic residency and start a company without living there. Better still, the picturesque capital of Tallinn is an excellent place for remote workers. On this basis, here is a complete Tallinn digital nomad guide.
Welcome to Tallinn, Estonia: the Baltic Pearl
Tallinn is one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Northern Europe, and its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Founded in the 13th century, the city has been part of various kingdoms and empires throughout its history.
After the First World War, Estonia became independent for the first time before being sucked into the Soviet Union in 1941.
In 1991, Estonia gained independence once again. The country has since seen tremendous political and economic development. As such, many people see Estonia as “the most successful former Soviet republic.”
The country joined the EU and NATO in 2004 and became a tech mecca by digitalizing its entire administration and adopting a business-friendly stance.
Today, Tallinn is the epicenter of Estonia’s tech boom and a charming place to be. It mixes medieval heritage with modern embellishments and high livability.
In this regard, Tallinn is a great digital nomad base for various reasons:
- Excellent infrastructure and high quality of life;
- A great place for nomads who like mid-sized European cities;
- Superb coffee shops and co-working locations;
- Good flight connections to Europe and ferries to Scandinavia; and
- Near-perfect English levels.
On this basis, here is my complete Tallinn digital nomad guide for your stay in the Baltic Pearl.
Where to Stay in Tallinn as a Digital Nomad
The best area to stay in Tallinn as a digital nomad is undoubtedly the Old Town. The center is easily walkable and full of medieval architecture, cozy coffee shops, and bars.
In this context, I prefer the eastern part of the Old Town (close to Tammsaare Park and Viru Gate) as it has more malls and restaurants than the western part (around Vanalinn).
Nevertheless, Tallinn isn’t a large city, so you’ll never be too far away if you’re in the center.
Cost of Living in Tallinn for Digital Nomads
Tallinn isn’t a cheap place to live, and it’s by far the most expensive city in the Baltics. Its prices are comparable to Germany, Spain, and Italy, but below France, the UK, or Scandinavia.
As such, don’t expect Eastern European prices as Tallinn doesn’t have those anymore. Here’s a complete breakdown of monthly Tallinn digital nomad costs.
- Airbnb close to the Old Town: 900€;
- Food and drinks: 500€;
- Transport: 70€;
- Tours and activities: 50€;
- Miscellaneous like hairdressers, coworking, and gym memberships: 80€.
Total Tallinn digital nomad budget: 1,600€ (~1,750 USD)
You could get that budget down by going through a local rental agency – or staying far outside of the city center.
The Best Tallinn Coworking Spaces and Coffee Shops
There are many places to work from in the Estonian capital and numerous cozy coffee shops with high-speed wifi.
Here are some of the best Tallinn coworking spaces and nomad-friendly coffee shops:
- Baltic Cowork: a modern and hip coworking space in the center. Prices are high, so it’s more suitable for long-term residents;
- LIFT99 Tallinn: another excellent Tallinn coworking space with budget-friendly plans;
- UMA Workspace: a bright work area with a coffee shop;
- Workland: with multiple locations and flexible plans, Workland is one of the more accessible Tallinn coworking spaces for short-term nomads;
- Kohvipaus: a coffee shop with different spots across Tallinn – all scoring points with a cozy ambiance and high-speed Wifi;
- Caffeine: a popular coffee shop chain for students and young professionals alike; and
- Epic Coffee Shop: if you’re looking for a smaller, hygge-style coffee shop, Epic is one of the top choices in Tallinn.
The Top Places to See and Activities in Tallinn
There are lots of things to do and places to visit in the Estonian capital. Here are some of the best activities in Tallinn.
The Stunning Old Town
Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. As such, it looks like straight out of a fairytale. Most of Tallinn’s Old Town dates from the 13th century.
Adhering to the Hanseatic architectural style, the Old Town looks similar to places in Nothern Europe and Scandinavia.
You’ll find lots of picturesque medieval structures – such as the Town Hall building, Viru Gate, St. Olaf Church, and Toompea Castle, here.
Toompea Castle and Viewpoints
On the edge of the Old Town, you can head to Toompea Castle and enjoy breathtaking views over central Tallinn.
The two best viewpoints are Kohtuotsa (close to Maiden Tower) and Patkuli. Both offer stunning panoramic views over the city and the Baltic Sea.
The Best Museums in Tallinn
There are many fascinating museums in Tallinn, but my favorite is undoubtedly Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor Museum. It holds lots of planes, boats, and vintage military vessels.
Better still, Lennusadam is home to a real submarine from the 1930s. You can enter the sub, use its periscope, and feel like you’re cruising below the sea.
Apart from the Lennusadam, some of the best museums in Tallinn include the KUMU (modern art), the Tallinn City Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the KGB Museum (inside Viru Hotel), and the Museum of Occupation.
Art Galleries in Tallinn
As an art aficionado, you won’t be disappointed in the Estonian capital.
Some of the best art galleries are the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn Art Gallery, Tallinn Art Space, Tallinn Portrait Gallery, and the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.
Tallinn TV Tower
If you’re looking for the ultimate Tallinn skyline view, head to the TV Tower.
Completed in the 1980s, the 318m (1,043 ft) structure offers stunning views over the city and its surroundings.
Kadriorg is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Tallinn and home to an opulent Baroque Palace.
Built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great in 1725, Kadriorg is a popular tourist attraction and a must-visit in Tallinn.
The Best Day Trips from Tallinn
If you want to see more of Estonia, here are a few recommendable day trips from Tallinn.
Some of these are accessible by train or bus, but the easiest way to travel around Estonia is by car.
In this context, here are some of the best day trips from Tallinn:
- Narva: a Russian-speaking city right on the border that reminds visitors of Estonia’s Soviet past. Read my story of visiting the Soviet sights of Eastern Estonia;
- Prangli Island: the only permanently-inhabited island in Estonia with lots of natural sites and small villages;
- Laheema National Park: the closest nature reserve with mystical forests and shimmering lakes; and
- Tartu: the second-largest city in Estonia with a pretty old town.
Tallinn Digital Nomad Guide: Know Before You Go
To round up my Tallinn digital nomad guide, here are a few FAQs and essential things to know.
Sim Cards and Connectivity
There is free wifi all over the city, so it isn’t even necessary to get a Sim Card. If you want a data-only budget Sim card, check out the company Tele2.
Super and Elisa are other operators that charge a little over 10€ for a Sim Card.
How to get Around Tallinn
The Old Town is walkable, and buses and trams can take you to places further out.
If you want to take a taxi, there are three apps: Bolt, Yandex, and Uber. Personally, Bolt is my go-to as it’s cheap and you never wait for more than five minutes.
In Tallinn, most people have a strong command of English. You won’t have any language trouble here, but if you want to impress the locals, you can learn a few phrases of Estonian.
Is Estonia Safe?
Yes. Tallinn – and Estonia, in general, are supremely safe places, and common sense will suffice to stay out of trouble.
When is the Best Time to Visit Tallinn?
Estonia gets very cold in the winter. So, if you aren’t a fan of below-zero weather and snow, come in summer.
The summer months (July and August) are the busiest. During these months, lots of cruise ships and backpackers visit Estonia, so be prepared.
If you want relatively decent weather without too many crowds, consider May, June, or September.
Is There an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes. Estonia allows non-EU citizens to stay for up to one year if they work remotely and earn at least 3,500€ per month. Find more info on the Estonia digital nomad visa here.
The income threshold is steep, which is why many people will continue to visit on a tourist visa. In that case, you’ll need a regular Schengen visa.
Are There Many Fellow Nomads in Tallinn?
Especially in summer, Tallinn is a digital nomad hotspot. You’ll find lots of remote workers in the Old Town, and there is a thriving community.
Due to the harsh winters, many digital nomads flee Estonia during the colder months.