Tallinn, Estonia’s capital on the Baltic Sea, is the country’s cultural and economic hub.

You can explore a historic and medieval city with a bustling square – one of the prettiest capital cities on the continent – without the price tag of Western (or even Central) Europe.

Tallinn’s preserved cobblestoned Old Town is home to cafes and shops, as well as the St Nicholas Church, a 13th-century landmark.

While all of the crowds head to medieval cities like Prague, pay a visit to Tallinn instead!

Tallinn’s culture and charm are catching on; last year this was the most popular city visited in Northern Europe. You may want to get there before the secret is totally out!

We wrote this guide on where to stay in Tallinn to help you navigate the winding streets and find the perfect base for your travel style and interests.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Tallinn, Estonia

  • Where to stay in Tallinn first time – Old Town
  • Where to stay in Tallinn on a budget – Old Town
  • Best area to stay in Tallinn for nightlife – City Centre
  • Coolest place to stay in Tallinn – Kalamaja
  • Best neighbourhood in Tallinn for families – Kadriorg

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN TALLINN

Old Town

Old Town is the crown jewel of the Estonia capital city. It is one of the most beautiful and charming neighbourhoods in the city and is where you’ll find history on every corner.

Places to visit:
  • Take a peek at Riigikogu, Estonia’s Parliament, which is painted a vibrant and cheerful pink
  • Visit St Mary’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Tallinn, which was built in 1229
  • Enjoy birds-eye views of the city as you make your way around the medieval city walls

Where to Stay in Tallinn

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Tallinn.

Best Hostel in Tallinn: Knight House

This small hostel is located on a quiet street in Tallinn’s Old Town, situated within walking distance of the city’s top attractions and activities.

Comprised of 10 rooms, Knight House is comfortable and cozy. It features a fully equipped kitchen, common area, and a sunny balcony.

Best Airbnb in Tallinn: Medieval Studio on Artery of Old Town

This cozy, lovely apartment is situated in the heart of Old Town of Tallinn. Its medieval character mixes seamlessy with modern style of a city studio apartment. It has one bedroom with a double bed, fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with jacuzzi bath, working fireplace, WIFI and washing machine. Rataskaevu Street has 3 of the best restaurants in Tallinn, according to Tripadvisor, and there are 2 supermarkets within 200m, one of them is 24hrs. It is a 2-minute walk to the Old Town Square, the main attraction.

Best Hotel in Tallinn: PK Ilmarine Hotel

Located in one of the trendiest areas of Tallinn, this hotel is close to everything Kalamaja has to offer.

Charming and modern this four-star property features an on-site restaurant, bar, and beauty services as well as free wifi. Each room is outfitted with air-conditioning and modern amenities.

Best Apartment in Tallinn: Kadriorg Park Apartment

Nearby the Tallinn University and Kadriorg Art Museum you’ll find this charming apartment that features a comfortable living space and access to a sauna! (At an extra price.)

Between the king-size bed, sofa bed, and futon bed, there’s a spot for everyone! This is the perfect place for families and groups traveling in Tallinn.

Tallinn Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN TALLINN
Old Town, Tallinn
FIRST TIME IN TALLINN

Old Town

Old Town is the crown jewel of the Estonia capital city. It is one of the most beautiful and charming neighbourhoods in the city and is where you’ll find history on every corner.

ON A BUDGET
Old Town, Tallinn
ON A BUDGET

Old Town

Not only is Old Town the heart and soul of Tallinn, but it’s the best place to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. Located within the walls and winding streets of Old Town are a great variety of accommodations.

NIGHTLIFE
City Centre, Tallinn
NIGHTLIFE

City Centre

The City Centre is the commercial and economic hub of Tallinn. Located to the southeast of Old Town, this neighbourhood is where you’ll find a good number of skyscrapers, restaurants, shopping malls, and supermarkets.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Kalamaja Neighborhood
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Kalamaja

Kalamaja is a neighbourhood known for its wooden houses, Tsarist architecture and laid-back cafes. Home to Tallinn’s student population, Kalamaja is a cool and hip district and one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in the city.

FOR FAMILIES
Kadriorg, Tallinn
FOR FAMILIES

Kadriorg

East of the city centre, Kadriorg is one of the most luxurious neighbourhoods in Tallinn. Home to the Estonia president, this neighbourhood is made up of tree-lined streets and stately homes.

Tallinn is the capital and largest city in Estonia. Situated on the Baltic Sea, it is the cultural, historic and economic centre of the country.

Tallinn has a population of 395,000. Since establishing independence in 1991, Tallinn has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Europe. In 2017 alone, more than 4.5 million foreigners visited the city.

Tallinn is divided into eight administrative districts, each home to a number of distinct neighbourhoods and areas. Every visit to the city should include a trip to three or four neighbourhoods depending on the nature of your vacation.

To help you plan, this guide will highlight the top attractions in each area.

Old Town is the main and most popular neighbourhood in the city. It’s where you’ll find medieval and historical buildings as well as the bustling city square. This area of town is stacked with accommodation options including the best backpacker hostels in Tallinn, some lovely hotels, and even medieval-themed apartments to set yourself up in for your holiday.

The City Centre is Tallinn’s economic and commercial hub. Located east of Old Town, here you’ll find a myriad of restaurants, and shops, as well as the city’s trendiest bars and clubs.

Northwest of Old Town is Kalamaja. Home to a good number of students, Kalamaja isn’t just one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Estonia, but in the whole of Europe. It’s where you’ll find independent shops, hip bars, and cosy pubs.

To the east of the city centre is the charming neighbourhood of Kadriorg. The most expensive neighbourhood in the city, here you’ll find charming old villas, stately homes, and a number of green spaces, all within a short distance of the city.

Still not sure where to stay in Tallinn? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered below.

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5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Tallinn

Tallinn has a decent public transit network that consists of buses and trams. No matter where you stay in the city you’ll be able to reach other neighbourhoods with relative ease.

Depending on the nature of your trip, there’s an area of the city that will be best suited for you. Do you want to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history? Maybe you want to party the night away at Tallinn’s hottest clubs.

Or, maybe you want to indulge in the finest Estonia cuisine on offer. All of these things can be done if you stay in the right place.

Below are the top five neighbourhoods in Tallinn broken down by interest. For each neighbourhood, we’ll also be breaking down the best places to stay so you know just where to book!

1. Old Town – Where to Stay in Tallinn for First Time Visitors

Old Town is the crown jewel of the Estonia capital city. It is one of the most beautiful and charming neighbourhoods in the city and is where you’ll find history on every corner.

This area of the city is where you’ll find the majority of Tallinn’s historic attractions. From medieval churches and towering stonewalls to heritage pubs and old wooden houses, this neighbourhood is packed with great sights to see.

Without a doubt, this is the best places to stay in Tallinn for any and all first time visitors.

Old Town, Tallinn

Things to See and Do in Old Town

– Marvel at the opulence at Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a 19th century Russian Orthodox Church.

– Stand at the centre of Raekoja Plats, the Town Hall Square, and revel in the hustle and bustle of Tallinn’s Old Town.

– Wander cobblestone streets that snake throughout the Medieval Old Town, which dates back to the 15th century and is full of wonderful historic surprises.

– Stare over the rooftops of Tallinn and into the horizon from one of the many viewpoints on Toompea Hill.

– Take a peek at Riigikogu, Estonia’s Parliament, which is painted a vibrant and cheerful pink.

– Visit St Mary’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Tallinn, which was built in 1229.

– Enjoy birds-eye views of the city as you make your way around the medieval city walls.

– Visit the former headquarters of the infamous Russian KGB, where you can explore the old prison cells and see where Soviet-era interrogations took place.

Best Hostel in Old Town: Viru Backpackers

Viru Backpackers is a small hostel located right in the heart of Old Town. It boasts great views of Viru Street and is within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s top attractions.

Comprised of 10 recently renovated rooms, this hostel has a small but full-kitchen for guests to use.

Best Airbnb in Tallinn: Medieval Studio on Artery of Old Town

This cozy, lovely apartment is situated in the heart of Old Town of Tallinn. Its medieval character mixes seamlessy with modern style of a city studio apartment. It has one bedroom with a double bed, fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with jacuzzi bath, working fireplace, WIFI and washing machine. Rataskaevu Street has 3 of the best restaurants in Tallinn, according to Tripadvisor, and there are 2 supermarkets within 200m, one of them is 24hrs. It is a 2-minute walk to the Old Town Square, the main attraction.

Best Hotel in Old Town: Old Town Maestro’s

This hotel is located in the centre of Old Town. Close to shops, bars, and restaurants, it is a short walk to most of the neighbourhood’s top attractions.

This charming three-star hotel features a number of great amenities, including a Jacuzzi and in-house bar, to ensure guests a pleasant stay.

Best Hotel in Old Town: Taanilinna Hotel

Surrounded by shops, restaurants and tourist attractions, this hotel is perfect for first-time visitors to Tallinn. Comprised of 20 rooms, this charming and cosy hotel boasts a continental breakfast and free wifi.

Each room is outfitted with modern amenities and all the essentials for a comfortable stay.

2. Old Town – Where to Stay in Tallinn on a Budget

Not only is Old Town the heart and soul of Tallinn, but it’s the best place to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. Located within the walls and winding streets of Old Town are a great variety of accommodations.

From backpacker hostels to budget hotels, there are housing options to meet every style and budget. That’s why Old Town is the best place to stay in Tallin for both budget travellers and first-timers!

There is also plenty you can do in Tallinn without breaking the bank. Enjoy walking tours and inexpensive food all in the heart of the city.

Old Town, Tallinn

Things to See and Do in Old Town

– Join a free walking tour and learn all about the city’s diverse history and top attractions from a knowledgeable and funny local.

– Make your way through St. Catherine’s Passage, a real medieval alley that makes its way through the city.

– Hike to the top of Linnahall, a former sports palace, and take in the views of the city and the sea.

– Navigate the streets and alleys and make your way to Kohtuotsa and Patkuli Viewing Platforms. There’s no better place to snap pics for the ‘gram.

– Enjoy cheap and delicious authentic fare at Lido Restaurant.

– Browse the stalls and stands of handicrafts, clothes, snacks, and souvenirs at the Raekoja Plats market.

– Rest and relax in Toompark, a delightful green space that borders Old Town.

– Walk along Tallinn’s Culture Kilometer, a 2.5-kilometer stretch that borders the sea and passes by the eerie remains of a former-Soviet prison.

Best Hostel in Old Town: Knight House

This small hostel is situated on a quiet street in Tallinn’s Old Town. It’s situated within walking distance of the city’s top attractions and activities.

Comprised of 10 rooms, this hostel is comfortable and cosy. It features a fully equipped kitchen, common area, and a sunny balcony.

Best Airbnb in Old Town: Comfy and affordable home

This newly renovated apartment is centred right in the heart of medieval Tallinn Old Town, it is only a short walk from Town Hall Square. Close to many nice restaurants, pubs, museums and churches, but located in a quiet inner yard away from street noise. Suitable for couples and solo adventurers as an alternative to a hotel room, having its own kitchen and dining table. It’s an easy walk to the Tallinn Central Train Station and the Ferry Port.

Best Hotel in Old Town: City Hotel Tallinn by Unique Hotels

This modern and eclectic hotel is located in the centre of Tallinn. It has 17 recently refurbished rooms each outfitted with contemporary amenities.

You’ll find a restaurant and day spa on-site. This hostel is walking distance to all of the city’s top attractions, ideal for singles, couples and small groups.

Best Hotel in Old Town: Metropol Hotel Tallinn

Sitting in the outskirts of Old Town, this hotel is nestled between the city centre, cruise docks, and all of the city’s major tourist attractions.

It has comfortable and spacious rooms, each featuring a fridge, seating area and private bathroom. The hotel is surrounded by bars and restaurants, and the city’s club scene is a short walk away.

3. City Centre – Where to Stay in Tallinn for the Best Nightlife

The City Centre is the commercial and economic hub of Tallinn. Located to the southeast of Old Town, this neighbourhood is where you’ll find a good number of skyscrapers, restaurants, shopping malls, and supermarkets.

Here you’ll also find the hottest bars and best clubs in Tallinn. There’s something for every taste and style in this area. Whether you want to enjoy a night of smooth jazz, sample local craft brews, or dance until dawn, there’s a bar or club for you!

City Centre, Tallinn

Things to See and Do in the City Centre

– One of the only clubs of its kind in the city, Philly Joe’s Jazz Club offers great American jazz five nights a week.

– Tucked away in a historic building, Kochi Ait Tavern offers guests a great selection of local and international beers.

– Enjoy a chill and relaxing evening at Grand Shisha, where they serve good food, great drinks, and have a friendly atmosphere.

– X-Baar is a fun and vibrant club in Old Town. This is the place to be if you want to drink and dance the night away.

– Enjoy a number of great bars and pubs by taking a guided bar crawl through the city.

– Sip on spirits and cocktails at G-Punkt Longe & Bar, one of Tallinn’s top alternative nightspots.

– Dance until dawn at IBIZA Nightclub where they play today’s top trance, EDM, and drum & bass hits.

– Enjoy great music, good dancing, and a wild light show at Cellar Night Club.

Best Airbnb in City Centre: Renovated apartment in top spot

This house was built 1343. Yes, even before Columbus made it to America! Carefully renovated rooms have maintained their medieval features in order for you to have all the comfort you need without losing what makes this house so unique, its character. Built in the very center of Old Tallinn, just 2 minutes walk from Town Hall Square. In the same house there is a massage salon. They offer different body treatments, starting from classic massage, and there are special prices for Airbnb guests.

Best Hotel in the City Centre: Tallink City Hotel

This stylish and modern hotel is located at the heart of the City Centre. It is within walking distance of Tallinn’s tourist attractions, as well as bars, clubs, restaurants and shops.

Boasting an on-site gym, sauna and restaurant, this hotel is equipped to provide guests with a comfortable stay.

Best Hotel in the City Centre: Original Sokos Hotel Viru

Stay in the historic Original Sokos Hotel Viru. Home to the KGB Museum, this hotel boasts a rich and interesting history. It is close to Old Town and is surrounded by restaurants, shops and nightspots.

It features a sundeck, bar and its very own nightclub.

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4. Kalamaja Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Tallinn

Kalamaja is a neighbourhood known for its wooden houses, Tsarist architecture and laid-back cafes. Home to Tallinn’s student population, Kalamaja is a cool and hip district and one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in the city.

Well connected to Old Town and the City Centre, Kalamaja is centrally locations. This trendy and vibrant neighbourhood is where you’ll find a great variety of hip restaurants, cultural attractions, and bohemian hangouts.

Enjoy one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Tallinn, and in Europe, by staying in Kalamaja.

Kalamaja Neighborhood
source: Subodh Agnihotri (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Kalamaja

– Peep at the colourful street art as you walk the Culture Kilometer.

– See works of art by alternative artists at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia. Housed in a former office building on the deck of an old boiler house, the site alone is worth a visit.

– Relax on a hot day and enjoy the peace and quiet of Kalamaja Kalmistupark (Kalamaja Cemetery Park), the city’s oldest existing cemetery that is now a public park.

– Enjoy a delicious and cosy meal any time of day at the charming Kohvik Sessoon.

– Sip and sample your way through Balti Jaam Market where you can find everything from fruits and vegetables to clothes and treats.

– Wander the winding lanes and alleyways, and see the colourful wooden houses.

– Sit back, relax, and enjoy a steam at Kalma Sauna, the oldest public sauna in the city.

– Explore Tallinn’s maritime history at the Estonian Maritime Museum.

– Start your day with a cup of coffee and wonderful food at the hip and rustic Kalamaja Pagarikoda Bakery.

Best Hostel in Kalamaja: Old Town Alur Hostel

The closest hostel to Kalamaja is just a short walk from the Kalamaja district. Close to restaurants, shops and the city’s top attractions, this hostel is well situated for exploring the city.

Offering private and shared accommodations, this hostel has a cozy common room and a full kitchen.

Best Airbnb in Kalamaja: Beautiful seaside apartment

Modern and comfortable apartment in a quiet and safe area. 3-minute walk to Old Town. It’s a short walk from everything that Tallinn City Centre has to offer. Dining, arts and culture are just a walk from my apartment, as well as great views, the beach, and the harbour. Notice that 17 recent guests said this place was sparkling clean. Be sure to check out Moon restaurant just a few minutes away, delicious dinner!

Best Hotel in Kalamaja: Economy Hotel

Walking distance from Old Town and the Baltic Railway Station, this hotel is conveniently located for exploring Tallinn. It’s surrounded by bars, restaurants, shops, and the top tourist attractions.

This hotel has an outdoor terrace and an on-site bar, plus all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.

Best Hotel in Kalamaja: GoHotel Shnelli

This three-star hotel is located on the border of the Kalamaja district. It is surrounded by bars and clubs and close to the railway station and public transit.

This hotel has an in-house spa, and an on-site coffee bar and restaurant. Enjoy a range of modern features at this charming Tallinn hotel.

5. Kadriorg Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Tallinn for Families

East of the city centre, Kadriorg is one of the most luxurious neighbourhoods in Tallinn. Home to the Estonia president, this neighbourhood is made up of tree-lined streets and stately homes.

With its seaside location and lush parks, this district of Tallinn was once a summertime retreat for wealthy Russian elites.

Kadriorg is now one of the best neighbourhoods for families visiting Tallinn, and it features a number of fun things to do that are interesting for the whole family.

Whether you want to play on the beach or explore a palace, there’s something for everyone in Kadriorg.

Kadriorg, Tallinn

Things to See and Do in Kadriorg

– Covering more than 250 acres, Kadriorg Park is a lush and scenic green space perfect for an afternoon of picnics and play.

– Explore Kadriorg Palace, an 18th-century grand palace built by Tsar Peter the Great for Catherine I of Russia.

– See works of art by foreign artists at Kadriorg Art Museum, which is housed within the Palace.

– Dig your toes in the sand and swim in the Baltic by enjoying a day at the beach.

– See the historic wooden houses, which were used as summer resorts by Russian elites.

– Wander by the Presidential Palace to see the home of the Estonian president.

– Hop on a bike and cycle along the paved seashore path exploring Kadriord and neighbouring Pirita.

– Visit the National Art Museum of Estonia (KUMU) and see Estonia’s largest and most cutting-edge art museum.

– Visit the Maarjamae Memorial in nearby Pirita and visit the Soviet Statue Graveyard.

Best Airbnb in Kadriorg: Perfect home for families

This modern and recently renovated (2018) 2 bedroom apartment is located on the 2nd floor. There is elevator access and secure parking in the garage. Perfect location for families with children and people with an active lifestyle. Step outside and go for a walk or take your kids to play in the beautiful Kadriorg Park. You can also go along the seaside promenade up until Pirita Beach for an amazing view of Tallinn. The apartment is near the bus and tram stops, only 200 meters away. Closest grocery store is also only 200 meters from the apartment. This two bedroom apartment was freshly

Best Hotel in Kadriorg: Oru Hotel

This three-star hotel is located in Kadriorg. It features a rooftop terrace and a comfortable lounge bar. Each room features modern décor and is outfitted with flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds.

Close to the seashore and beach, this hotel is well-connected to areas throughout Tallinn via public transit.

Best Apartment in Kadriorg: Kadriorg Park Apartment

Nearby the Tallinn University and Kadriorg Art Museum you’ll find this charming apartment that features a comfortable living space and access to a sauna! (At an extra price.)

Between the king-size bed, sofa bed, and futon bed, there’s a spot for everyone! This is the perfect place for families and groups traveling in Tallinn.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Tallinn

In this guide, we cover the 5 best neighborhoods in Tallinn, Estonia for every travel style and budget. Even if you only have 36 hours in Tallinn, you can get a lot done if you base yourself in the right area for your needs.

If you’re still not sure what to do in Tallinn, consider the small hostel, Knight House. It’s perfectly located in the Old Town, and features a balcony, common area, and fully equipped kitchen. You’ll feel right at home at this cozy hostel.

Our pick for the best hotel in Tallinn is PK Ilmarine Hotel because it’s located in a trendy area and even features an on-site restaurant and bar.

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Still wondering where to stay in Tallinn, or have we missed your favourite place to stay? Let us know in the comments, so we can add it to the list! Enjoy your trip!

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

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