Even though anybody can become an e-Resident and open a company in Estonia without ever visiting the country, many of us have traveled to Tallinn. Oftentimes, e-Residents come to Tallinn to open a bank account in a traditional Estonian bank, or just to know more about Estonia and its digital and physical societies. This article contains a quickstart guide to Tallinn to help you get the most out of this beautiful city.
Ready? Let’s do this!
Arriving in Tallinn
Tallinn is a well-connected city. It is easy to arrive there by plane. Usually, most flights to Tallinn are offered by AirBaltic and, though there are direct flights from Central Europe, most probably your flight will stop over in Riga, Latvia, where the Hub of AirBaltic is located.
There are, however, many other airlines flying to Tallinn, so make sure to check out for direct connections.
Tallinn’s airport is quite close to the city, and as you will see later, there are plenty of ridesharing apps to get to the city center. You can also get there by tram. Line number 4 will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to the old town.
Tallinn is a fascinating city. The medieval old town is the heart of the city, and it is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved of Europe. Around it, you can find the modern Tallinn, a wonderful mix of contemporary glass and concrete buildings and traditional Estonian wooden houses.
The old town is, obviously, the most touristic part of the city. It is full of restaurants and pubs. Make sure to visit to St. Olaf’s Church, the Town Hall, the Bastion Passages or Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Visitors looking for the more modern Tallinn should not miss the Seaplane Harbour or the Kadriorg Park and Museum of Contemporary Art (Kumu).
Moving through the city
Public transport is a delight in Tallinn. Apart from being free for Estonian residents (as the rest of public transport in the entire country), the electric trams are a very convenient way of quickly reaching every corner of the city. There are some bus lines too, mainly for the outskirts of the city and more remote places.
For non-residents visiting Tallinn, you should go to a Kiosk (there are many all around town) and ask for the green card. This card works as a wallet that can be filled with single tickets or daily, weekly or even monthly passes. The prices are quite cheap. For example, a daily pass is just 4,50€, and you can use the tram and bus for one month for just 30€.
If using an electric scooter is your thing, Tallinn has them everywhere. They are a very convenient solution if you need to avoid traffic and get somewhere fast.
There are also many ridesharing apps operating in the city. Uber, Bolt (the Estonian Uber) and Yandex are all available. The fees are also very good.
If traveling by bus, make sure to check out the Tallinn transport journey planner, and also the Pilet app for the adventurous who want to purchase a number of single-ride tickets from their smartphone (QR scanners are usually at the front of the vehicles, and are a bit easy to miss).
Where to eat
While the old town is full of restaurants, these are all targeted to tourists. Hence, their prices are definitely high. In that area, expect to pay at least 14-15€ for lunch, and probably more for dinner.
Our recommendation is getting just outside the old town. In the streets surrounding it is where you will find the best restaurants, both in terms of food and fees. One place that we can recommend is Ragu Cafe. They have excellent home-made dishes and affordable prices. You can have an excellent two-course meal with water for just 6€.
Closer to the old town, you can find excellent places like Kompressor (for the crepes aficionado) and Rataskaevu 16 (a really nice lunch/dinner spot). We can also recommend just about everything food and drink wise in Telliskivi 😉 You can hardly go wrong in the area at any time of day.
Places to work
Tallinn has no shortage of places where you can work. There is a strong cafe culture in the city, so there is a myriad of cafes to work from. Most of them have an excellent internet connection. We can recommend the local coffee chain “Caffeine”. It is similar to Starbucks, but with real coffee at half the price. Also, Ravel Cafés (a local coffee chain) are usually nice places to work (our favorite one is on Müürivahe street).
The town has also many co-working spaces. The best-known ones are Lift99 and SpringHub. However, there are many less-known co-working spaces at more affordable places if networking is not your goal and you just need a comfortable place to work from.
Living as a digital nomad
Tallinn is not a budget location. Being a European city, it can be more expensive than places like Chiang Mai, in South East Asia, or Buenos Aires, in Latin America. Still, it is an amazing place to spend some time as a digital nomad for so many reasons, including its vibrant tech and business scene, the beauty of the city, and all the events and networking opportunities. It also has soft summers, so it is the ideal place to spend the middle months of the year.
This guide by Ignacio on Micropreneur Life discusses life in Tallinn for digital nomads in detail.
We think that visiting Estonia is a must for every e-Resident, and where else to start but its capital, Tallinn? The city has a lot to offer to both casual tourists and long-term visitors. This article contains a quickstart guide to Tallinn to make sure you know everything you need to know before arriving in this beautiful city.