Where to stay in Tallinn [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

Where to stay in Tallinn, Estonia: Your guide to the best hotels, neighborhoods, and activities

Tallinn, Estonia is a beautiful blend of both medieval and modern, a city at the intersection of Scandinavia, Russia, and central Europe.

Nonetheless, Tallinn is still pretty new to the tourism scene, at least in comparison to neighboring Stockholm and Helsinki, for example, which means it might be difficult to know where to stay in Tallinn as a visitor. We’ve got you covered. 

Evening scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town architecture in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is perhaps best known for its enchanting Old Town: a cobblestone-lined, stone-walled neighborhood of narrow winding roads and medieval architecture. Stepping into Tallinn’s Old Town transports you to another time.

As one of the best-preserved old town areas in all of Europe, it almost feels surprising that there aren’t knights and nobles roaming the streets alongside you. 

Although most famous for its Old Town, Tallinn has far more to offer outside the walls of its medieval city centre. Beyond Vanalinn (the Old Town), you’ll find abundant nature, breathtaking views, sweeping parks and palaces, and incredible culinary options.

❤️ Best Area first timersRotermanni
💸 Best Luxury HotelIglupark
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesSeaport Apartment
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelMerchants House Hotel
🛏️ Best Budget HotelMyApartments
✨ Best HostelSüda Hostel

As a neighbor of Russia and former member of the Soviet Union, Estonia’s culture simultaneously embodies its Soviet past (with plenty of quirky Soviet-era attractions for visitors), while making strides to establish itself as fiercely independent.

With an impressive culinary scene, sophisticated shopping, and a lively outdoor scene, visiting Tallinn is sure to delight travelers of all types.

We’re here to help you decide where to stay in Tallinn, no matter what activities pique your interest. For each neighborhood we recommend, we’ll also outline some of the very best hotels in Tallinn in that area. 

Below are 10 of the best neighborhoods in Tallinn to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best suburb to stay in Tallinn for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible.

We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Tallinn so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Vanalinn/Old Town – Best area to stay in Tallinn, Estonia

For those of you wondering where to stay in Tallinn for the first time, you needn’t look any further than the Vanalinn district, which is Estonian for “Old Town”. 

Why stay in Vanalinn (Old Town Tallinn)

Visiting Vanalinn, Tallinn Old Town, is like stepping into a real-life fairytale. With its winding cobblestone streets, stone architecture, and enchanting history, you’ll have to pinch yourself to believe that it’s real.

This neighborhood is our number one pick for any first time visitors to Tallinn, Estonia, due to the nearby tourist attractions, the walkability of the area, and how simply beautiful it is to stay here.

Things to do in Vanalinn

The Vanalinn district of Tallinn City has no shortage of tourist attractions and culinary delights, so you’ll be sure to find plenty within walking distance to keep you occupied here. Here’s a rundown of things to do in Old Town Tallinn, Estonia.

  • Book a walking tour of Old Town Tallinn

Why not leave it to the pros? To ensure you’re getting the most out of your visit to Vanalinn, consider booking a walking tour of the area.

Local guides will help you discover lesser-known food and attractions, and they’ll be able to give you tips for the rest of your stay. We love this 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Tallinn and this Estonian food, drinks and history tour

  • Start your day in Town Hall Square

Begin your adventure in the Town Hall Square, considered the city centre of Old Town Tallinn. Take a moment to soak in the sights: the people, the colorful architecture, the cobblestone pathways.

Having served as the heart of Old Town since the 13th century, the Town Hall Square hosts many a market, festival, tour group, concert, and more.

If you’re visiting in the winter, you’ll find a gorgeous Christmas market set up here, and in warmer months, you’re likely to stumble upon a farmer’s market. 

Glance down at the cobblestone until you find a circular stone that’s marked with a compass. Stand right there, and you’ll be treated with a near-perfect view of the five most historic church towers in Tallinn.

Snap a few photos, because this is a special sight. Also, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Town Hall itself. Built in the 1400s, this impressive Gothic structure isn’t just the oldest in Estonia; it’s the oldest in all of Northern Europe. 

  • Visit the Viru Gate

Once a focal point in the city’s walled defense system, the Viru Gate is now a welcoming entryway to visitors of the Old Town.

The Viru Gate towers date back to the 14th century. Today, they are perched atop Viru Street, one of the busiest pedestrian areas in Old Town Tallinn.

Take a walk through the gates and be sure to stop by one of the many nearby cafés and explore the shops.

While at Viru Gate, be sure to take a walk around the city walls that still encircle the city to this day. Not only are they some of the very best preserved city walls in Europe, but there’s even a small portion you can walk along, complete with impressive views of Old Town from above.

  • Travel back in time at St. Catherine’s Passage

Like something out of a movie, St. Catherine’s Passage is seemingly as untouched as the day it was built.

With its narrow cobblestone road enclosed by stone archways and buildings on either side, you’ll feel as though you’re stepping back in time.

Pay a visit to the shops along the passage, where you can find high-quality souvenirs, and finish your visit with a break at one of the cafés along the passage, each serving up an impressive medieval atmosphere.

  • Treat yourself to a medieval lunch

A visit to somewhere so fairy tale-like as Old Town Tallinn wouldn’t be complete without an authentic medieval meal.

We love the Olde Hansa restaurant, where you won’t just have a great meal, but also an authentic medieval experience to boot. This restaurant cooks up local dishes using recipes that date back 700 years.

There’s live music, waiters dressed in medieval costume, and locally-brewed honey beers and flavored spirits, all of which come served in old-time pottery mugs. Make a reservation; you won’t want to miss this place.

  • Check out one of Europe’s oldest pharmacies

For a quirky bit of Estonian history, pop into Raepteek, one of the oldest continually operating pharmacies in all of Europe. Here you’ll find a small museum and also be able to sample home-brewed herbal teas. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Old Town Tallinn

Best places to stay in Old Town Tallinn

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Old Town Tallinn

Budget accommodation in Old Town Tallinn

Mid range accommodation in Old Town Tallinn

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Affordable Luxury accommodation in Old Town Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia - Towers of Viru Gate at the entrance to the old town of Tallinn, Estonia

Tatari – Where to stay in Tallinn on a Budget

Just a stone’s throw away from Vanalinn, the Tatari neighborhood is a solid option for Tallinn visitors on a budget. 

Why stay in Tatarai

While Tatarai might not be as atmospheric as Old Town Tallinn, the location is superb, plus it offers fantastic accommodation options for travelers on a budget.

Tatarai is also home to some tourist attractions of its own, and an easy 10-15 minute walk will land you right in the heart of Old Town. 

Things to do in Tatari

  • Visit the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom

For a sobering side of Estonian history, take a quick 10 minute walk from Tarai to the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom.

This museum is dedicated to Estonia’s long-fought struggle for freedom against the Soviets and Nazis. 

  • See a Russian-language show at the Vene Theater

The Vene Theater is a gorgeous red-roofed building dating back to 1948, and it’s home to the country’s only Russian-speaking theater group. Take a look at the theater’s upcoming roster of shows, and try to book one during your stay. 

  • Play a unique game of mini-golf

Need a break from everyday tourist attractions? We wouldn’t blame you. Why not switch it up a bit, and try your hand at mini-golf?

The CityJungle Golf course in Tatari has rave reviews from visitors, who say it’s one of the most unique mini-golf courses they’ve ever been to.

Complete with fascinating artwork, lights, and sound effects, this is a great option if you need a break from typical tourism.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Tatari

Best places to stay in Tatari

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Tatari

Budget accommodation in Tatari

Mid range accommodation in Tatari

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Small street in the Old Town early in the morning. Tallinn, Estonia

Rotermanni – Where to stay in Tallinn for Tourists

Location, location, location! The Rotermanni neighborhood is a fantastic option for visitors to Tallinn, especially anyone who’s looking for something a bit more modern than Old Town. 

Why stay in Rotermanni

Did we mention location? Rotermanni is directly adjacent to Old Town, allowing for a quick 5-10 minute walk to many of the best attractions there.

Rotermanni also borders the Tallinn port neighborhood, where you’ll find ferry terminals and waterfront views within just a few minutes’ walk.

As if that wasn’t enough, Rotermanni also houses tons of accommodation and dining options, plus an abundance of mainstream shopping options such as Bershka.

Things to do in Rotermanni

  • Shop ‘til you drop

We hope you packed an extra suitcase, because the Rotermanni neighborhood has no shortage of shops.

For anyone visiting from outside of Europe, you’ll be especially excited to find stores that you might not have at home (i.e. Springfield and Bershka), plus fun local shops such as A.G.A.N. OÜ, a second hand shop with a boutique feel. 

  • Visit the Rotermanni Soolaladu salt storage building

The Soolaladu is a well known building in the Rotermanni neighborhood made entirely of limestone.

What used to serve as an industrial structure for storing salt, today the Soolaladu is an exhibition center that hosts many interesting events throughout the year.

While inside, you’ll be able to see (and maybe even taste in the air) the salt that still lingers within its infrastructure.

  • See what life was like under Soviet rule

Ever wondered what it was like to live in the Soviet Union? Stop by the Hotel Viru & KGB Museum to get a feel for how the Soviet occupation affected the lives of everyday Estonians.

You’ll get to see genuine Soviet-era artifacts and even top off your visit with one of the best views over Old Town Tallinn. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Rotermanni

Best places to stay in Rotermanni

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Rotermanni

Budget accommodation in Rotermanni

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Tallinn, Estonia -  View Of Historical Rotermann City In Evening Illuminations. Rotermann Quarter Includes Old Industrial Buildings With New Function And Modern Architecture.

Port of Tallinn – Where to stay in Tallinn with Family

For those of you traveling to Tallinn with family, look no further than the Port of Tallinn neighborhood, our top family-friendly pick.

Why stay in Port of Tallinn

Though slightly further away from Old Town, the Port of Tallinn is truly an ideal option for any traveler to Tallinn, but especially those with children.

First, the location is superb: just a short walk from both Old Town and Rotermanni, and perhaps best of all, it’s right on the water, offering up both views and water-focused attractions.

This neighborhood’s waterfront location allows visitors to swim, stroll, and explore the coastline right outside their door, perhaps offering a much needed reprise for kids who grow weary of touring medieval churches and cobblestone streets. 

Things to do in Port of Tallinn

  • Enjoy sunset views at the Linnahalli Rand

Known for having some of the best sunset views in all of Tallinn, this cityside beach is a must-visit at dusk. 

  • Play at the Seaplane Harbor Playground

If the kids (or the adults!) need to blow off some energy, be sure to stop by the Seaplane Harbor Playground, a maritime-themed playscape that’s sure to tire them out. 

  • Take the kids to the Energy Discovery Centre

At the Energy Discovery Centre, both kids and adults alike can delight in exciting science exhibits. This is the perfect place to visit with stir-crazy kids who might have grown tired of Tallinn’s tourist attractions. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Port of Tallinn

Best places to stay in Port of Tallinn

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Port of Tallinn

Budget accommodation in Port of Tallinn

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EUROPE, TALLINN - Sea port berth cruise ships on the background of the oldtown of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, Europe

Kalamaja – Where to stay in Tallinn for Foodies

Step into the Kalamaja district, and prepare to be surprised. What was once a seedy industrial neighborhood with Soviet origins has gone through a revival, and today, it’s one of the most fascinating areas of Tallinn. 

Why stay in Kalamaja

Kalamaja, Tallinn (Estonian for ‘fish house’) has an intriguing history: From the 1400s to the late 1800s, it served as the city’s primary harbor and fishing dock.

This changed in the late 1800s, with the introduction of a railway connecting Tallinn to St. Petersburg, at which point this neighborhood turned industrial, and eventually, a bit seedy.

Kalamaja stayed this way for a while, until recently, as locals have been transforming the Soviet-era factories and warehouses into shops, restaurants, galleries, and beer gardens.

The result? Today, Kalamaja is considered one of the most ‘dynamic’ neighborhoods in Tallinn, and probably in all of Northern Europe. Kalamaja is perhaps best-known for Telliskivi Creative City.

Things to do (and eat)  in Kalamaja

  • Try inventive ice cream flavors at La Muu

We’re willing to bet you’ve never tried raspberry Prosecco flavored ice cream. At La Muu, a creative ice cream shop in Kalamaja, you can try this and many more flavors you’ve probably never heard of. Bonus: they’re all homemade and organic.

  • Grab a vegetarian bite in a great atmosphere at F-hoone

Local experts say that F-hoone, a vegetarian and vegan focused restaurant in Kalamaja, has been a driving force for the neighborhood’s transformation. Not only is the food fantastic, but the atmosphere is funky and inviting, too. 

  • Find your latest read at Püant Books

A cozy shop with a small, but intentionally-selected variety of books and poetry, you won’t be able to walk out of here without a new book in hand.

  • Shop like a local at Balti Jaama Turg

 Another recently-transformed establishment, the Balti Jamba Turg covered market will really make you feel like a local.

At this massive three-story market, you’ll find everything from locally-produced caviar to liqueur to used clothing and jewelry. There’s even a street food section that serves up affordable takeaway. 

  • Step into Soviet times at Depoo

Arguably one of the coolest spots in Kalamaja, Depoo is a street market where old storage containers have been converted into food and shopping stalls.

Be sure to stop by Peatus, two decommissioned Soviet-era trains that have been repurposed as a restaurant and bar.

  • Sip on craft brews at Põhjala

Continuing with the artsy/quirky vibe of Kalamaja, we have Põhjala, a craft brewery and beer lover’s delight.

Stop by for a variety of freshly-tapped brews, from IPAs to chocolate porters, to barrel-aged wine. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live music. You can also book a brewery tour and stop by the shop for souvenirs. 

  • Grab some of the best souvenirs in Tallinn at Tali Design Shop

Tali Design Shop is a sleek and intentionally-curated souvenir shop where everything is locally made and sourced. This isn’t your average souvenir shop, so be sure to pay it a visit while in Kalamaja.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Kalamaja

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Budget accommodation in Kalamaja

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Tallinn, Estonia - Old Water Tower at the Kalamaja Park in Tallinn city

Kristiine – Where to stay in Tallinn for Shopping

Shopping lovers, look no further. Kristiine is home to one of the largest shopping areas in Estonia–we just hope you left extra room in your suitcase.

Why stay in Kristiine

Although a neighborhood in its own right, Kristiine is mostly known for the Kristiine Shopping Centre, one of the largest in all of Estonia. The shopping mall has over 170 stores and plenty of restaurants and cafes. 

Things to do in Kristiine

  • Shop at one of Estonia’s largest malls

The Kristiine Shopping Centre has just about every European (and some non-European) shops you can imagine.

If you happen to be visiting Estonia during the rainy or cold months, a visit here is especially mandatory. For those of you craving physical activity, there are several parks and a gym right on the property. 

  • Enjoy easy transport to the rest of Tallinn

While not as centrally located as other neighborhoods we’ve recommended, Kristiine has a cozy, suburban-type feel, and it’s well-connected by public transport.

A few minutes’ walk from the mall, you’ll find a tram car that’ll deliver you right to Old Town in about 15 minutes. 

Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Kristiine

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Tallinn, Estonia - People resting and walking at the modern shopping mall Kristiine Shopping Centre

Kadriorg – Where to stay in Tallinn for Relaxation

One of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Estonia also happens to be one of the most charming and relaxing. 

Why stay in Kadriorg

For travelers looking for a slower-paced vacation than central Tallinn offers, Kadriorg may just be the perfect choice.

As one of the most posh neighborhoods in all of Estonia, Kadriorg boasts tree-lined avenues, gorgeous apartments, and an entire palace to boot. 

Things to do in Kadriorg

  • Get lost in the Kadriorg Palace and gardens

Kadriorg Palace is a bright and beautiful, stately structure nestled among acres of perfectly-manicured gardens.

Built by the Russian Tsar Peter I in 1718 in honor of his wife Catherine, the palace was meticulously designed by an Italian architect and features some of the most impressive architecture in all of Europe.

The gardens are modeled after Versailles, and you can spend hours wandering and relaxing among the flowers. 

  • Explore cafés and shops like a local

As one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in all of Estonia, Kadriorg has its fair share of incredible cafés, restaurants, and shops. A stay here might even make you feel like a posh Tallinn local yourself. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Kadriorg

Best places to stay in Kadriorg

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Budget accommodation in Kadriorg

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Tallinn, Estonia - Kadriorg Palace building by Tsar Peter I, in Tallinn, Europe

Uus Maailm – Where to stay in Tallinn like a Local

Perhaps less posh than Kadriorg but certainly no less charming is Uus Maailm, another hotspot neighborhood for locals to call home. 

Why stay in Uus Maailm

Visitors to Tallinn who are looking for a relaxed vibe that feels authentically local should opt for Uus Maailm.

As a purely residential neighborhood, Uus Maailm has plenty of accommodation offers and all of the local amenities that go along with it (plenty of supermarkets, cafés, and restaurants). 

Things to do in Uus Maailm

A stay in Uus Maailm is more so about the atmosphere and accommodation options than the attractions.

Staying here will give you a glance into what it’s really like to be a Tallinn resident. You’ll find lively parks, loads of restaurants, plus easy transport into central Tallinn. 

Top 3 favorites accommodation options for Uus Maailm

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TALLINN, ESTONIA - Rotermann City Quarter with Restaurant Terrace Covered in Snow. Newly Opened Cosy Urban Environment in Historical Location. Shopping District and Hang Out Place.

Lasnamäe – Where to stay in Tallinn near the Airport

Planning a quick trip to Tallinn? If so, staying near the airport might be your best bet. Although easy to get to from the rest of Tallinn, you simply can’t beat the 10 minute drive from Lasnamäe to the airport.

Why stay in Lasnamäe

Saying no to that absurdly affordable (yet absurdly quick) trip to Tallinn is a little harder when the airport is just 10 minutes from your accommodation.

So, go ahead, book that discount flight, and you’ll practically be able to roll right out of bed and onto the airplane.

Interestingly, Lasnamäe is the most densely populated area in Tallinn, and it was once considered a model Soviet-style neighborhood. 

Things to do in Lasnamäe

Similar to Uus Maailm, a stay in Lasnamäe is more so about the location than the attractions. However, Lasnamäe does have some sights of its own.

Lasnamäe is home to the only ferris wheel in the Baltics, a wealth of parks and walking trails, ice rinks, and even an old stone quarry with incredible hiking trails and views from the top.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Lasnamäe

Best places to stay in Lasnamäe

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Lasnamäe

Budget accommodation in Lasnamäe

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Residential high-rise buildings on sunset in Tallinn, Lasnamae

Pirita – Where to stay in Tallinn for nature lovers

Visiting the capital of Estonia doesn’t mean nature has to be out of reach. In fact, the Pirita, Tallinn neighborhood is well-known for being a nature lover’s paradise, and it’s just a 15 minute drive to Old Town.

Why stay in Pirita

Looking for the perfect balance between city and nature? Look no further than Pirita, the nature-lover’s paradise just outside of central Tallinn.

Not only are there gorgeous waterfront accommodation options, but endless outdoor activities to keep you active for your entire stay. 

Things to do in Pirita

  • Stroll and swim at the sandy beach

Relax and unwind at the Pirita rand, a two kilometer-long sandy beach, complete with volleyball courts, beachside restaurants, and plenty of space to spread out and swim. 

  • Indulge in nature at the Tallinn Botanic Garden

The Tallinn Botanic Garden is open year-round and houses hundreds of plant species, as well as a full calendar of interesting events. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

  • Tour ruins of a 15th century convent

For something slightly off the beaten path, consider renting a canoe or rowboat and paddling across the Pirita River to St. Bridget’s Convent.

The convent ruins date back to the 15th century; today, they’re used for outdoor events, and the convent is housed in a modern building nearby. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Pirita

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Pirita Convent was a monastery dedicated to St. Brigitta, located in the district of Pirita in Tallinn, Estonia

Areas to Avoid in Tallinn

While Tallinn is generally a very safe city, local guides suggest sticking to the above neighborhoods to stay as safe and comfortable as possible during your visit.

Travelers to Tallinn should not overly concern themselves with safety, however, there are definitely some areas to avoid in Tallinn.

Experienced Tallinn guides recommend steering clear of Kopli cape in the Põhja-Tallinn area, a popular hangout for pickpockets and junkies.

It is also recommended to ride only in the official city cabs, called “Tallink”, as they’re far less likely to overcharge tourists.

View from tower of Saint Olaf Church on old city of Tallinn and roofs of old houses. Tallinn Estonia.

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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