Accommodation in Estonia: Booking Homes in Tartu, Tallinn, and Kärdla

What to expect of accommodation in Estonia as a digital nomad? We stayed in Estonia from the 9th of October till the 25th of October, 2023. These are the places we booked to both work online from and have fun day trips.

Cruiseferry from Mariehamn to Tallinn

Since this bit already appeared in the accommodation in the Åland Islands article, I tucked this one away. But yes, we arrived in Estonia on a booze cruise.

Click to read about the Baltic Sea ferry

The final accommodation in the Åland Islands I’d like to showcase is the room we had on the overnight ferry to Tallinn, Estonia. The ferry departs at a reasonable time in Stockholm, Sweden, and stops in the Åland Islands after midnight. That’s when we and a bunch of (Estonian?) russians boarded as well. The price for a room with two people is €99 and the cruiseferry makes this trip twice a week.

The process is extremely smooth. At the ferry terminal in Mariehamn, you get your tickets from a machine with your booking number. This ticket is also your room key. There’s also a human if you need help, but you need to be there well in advance as she closes up shop 20 minutes before the ship departs. That’s because she runs the entire landside part of the ferry terminal by herself at night. She needs to connect the bridge to the ship to let y’all board. The ship only docks for 10–20 minutes depending on cars driving on/off.

Anyway, once you’ve boarded, it’s time to find your room. Ours was on the 8th floor at the stern of the cruiseferry at the end of a long, soulless hallway. That’s right above the nightclub. This is a true booze cruise for Scandis and Balts, so the party continues for a while and we could sing along with some 90s bangers. Before sleep, I watched some of my own videos in peace with my noise-canceling headphones. When slumber came, Jonas and I both fell asleep in mostly silence because we have these amazing wax earplugs that do a very good job of blocking out The Backstreet Boys.

You could spend more money on a better room away from the nightclub, but why would you if you’re boarding halfway in the Åland Islands?

To my surprise, the room thankfully had a private bathroom. Not sure why I was expecting shared bathrooms, but it made me happy. One of the beds is a couch, but you roll out a fully-made bed with some maneuver. There was even a window, so we didn’t need to set an alarm in order to wake up.

Technically, it would be possible to get some basic work done from the little table in the room. The WiFi worked just fine. The next morning, we bought some overpriced Starbucks coffee from one of the other floors of the ship and watched us roll into Tallinn from the windows. Meanwhile, less than 24 hours before we cruised over it, China broke the Balticconnector gas pipeline and data cable between Estonia and Finland by dragging its anchor. A little treat for Mordor.


From Tallinn Port, we walked to the train station and took the train first class to Tartu. This is a 2.5-hour journey. Jonas reserved good seats with a central table to work from and we got a few hours done. The Monday noon train from Estonia’s capital and biggest city to Estonia’s second-biggest city wasn’t that crowded after we left Ülemiste Station. Perhaps the train is not as neat and quiet as in Finland with coffee service and all, but it worked for us.

Upon arrival in Tartu, we walked to our Airbnb in the city center and met with our host, who also spoke good German. He showed us how to use the fob for the central door downstairs. It’s a bit of an older building dating back to russian occupation, but the exterior tells you nothing of what people do with the interior. He showed us around the house and made us feel very welcome.

It’s a large apartment with two bedrooms and another bed around the corner in the living room. The two bedrooms have good desks, so we chose our individual rooms to work from.

There are also big tables in the living room and the kitchen. It was nice to completely separate our working area from our eating area. The kitchen was also very well-equipped and we had a wonderful time cooking and eating here. After Finland, it was a bit of a transition to apartments without a dishwasher. There was some welcome chocolate as well and a good variety of teas for cozy times.

The living room had a couch and a Smart TV we used to watch the old seasons of Borgen on Netflix. There is also access to a balcony with vistas of the fall foliage, though we didn’t sit out there since it was almost freezing. The host had also prepared a lot of (German and English) reading material about both Tartu and Estonia for day trips. We ended up only visiting places inside Tartu because a) we were there too shortly, b) it was cold and many things were closed, and c) the apartment was so comfy.

The bathroom and toilet are in two separate rooms. The shower is in a bathtub, which might be an obstacle to some guests. I love the heating element in the bathroom to dry our towels or laundry afterward. The toploader washing machine worked well and everything was provided.

The hallway had a neat table with umbrellas to borrow, which came in very handy. There’s a double door to keep the cold from the stairwell out. Food delivery to the apartment worked wonderfully and it was a quick jog down the stairs to pick it up.

All in all, this place really felt like a home and the host is incredibly thoughtful. Tartu was our favorite accommodation in Estonia, which is why it receives the ⭐

Tallinn (Metropol Hotel)

Though there were plans for me to hitchhike back to Tallinn, I needed to preserve energy to meet the pet parents in the evening. So we both took the train back to Tallinn and got another few hours of work done. However, because we booked late, we didn’t have the best seats in first class. On a Friday, the train was also rather busy.

Once in Tallinn, we walked through the Old Town to our hotel in the Sadama (Harbor) neighborhood called Hotell Metropol. It was just for one night, so it didn’t need to tick all the boxes. What was cool is that you could check-in to the hotel via your phone and also open the room like that. There was a queue at reception, so we knew we’d made the right choice by embracing this technology.

The room had three single beds, one desk, a big TV, a mini fridge, a wardrobe, and a neat bathroom. I finished editing my video and uploaded it from there, which worked very well. The window looked out at the interior of the hotel, so there wasn’t much light. Jonas used the shower there before we took the bus to the housesitting neighborhood to meet the cat we were going to be roommates with for one week.

Once we returned to Tallinn’s city center, we ate some Indian food at Namaste Restoran. We took some leftovers to the hotel to eat for breakfast. That’s when the mini fridge came in handy. We also watched some more Borgen from there with our HDMI cable. We slept quite fine here despite the hallway not being very quiet. The next morning, I did some more work stuff before we packed up and went to the cat with a Bolt Taxi.

All in all, this hotel was nice enough for a short stay. It’s not a remarkable accommodation in Estonia.

Tallinn (Catsit)

For one week, we catsat a very playful and cuddly black cat in a suburb of Tallinn. We arranged this about two months in advance, so we planned the other stays in Estonia around this housesit. It was a lot of fun, but I’m of course not going to post pictures of their home as if this is something you can book. So instead, enjoy this sweet picture of Lemon the cat!

Tallinn Estonia catsitting Trusted Housesitters Lemon the void

By housesitting via Trusted Housesitters, you don’t pay for accommodation since you’re providing vital care for someone’s beloved pet. If you want to learn how we got started with housesitting, visit this article. If you want to join the platform and travel while working online with other people’s pets, here’s a 25% discount for joining Trusted Housesitters. This last one is a referral link, so if you sign up (thank you!) using that link, we (might) receive two months of free membership on Trusted Housesitters.

Kärdla, Hiiumaa Island⭐

Our final accommodation in Estonia was in Hiiumaa island. Since we were traveling truly out of season, we chose to stay in the capital and biggest city on the island, Kärdla, so we could still buy food and go out to eat. This decision proved wise.

To get to Kärdla, we took a Bolt Taxi to a bus stop on the outskirts of Tallinn. This bus departed early, so we had to finish tidying up the house and saying goodbye to Lemon the cat right after waking up. We could also not do the handover of the housesitting gig in person, so there’s always this bit of insecurity of the two hours the cat is alone before her parents return.

The bus goes on a ferry and then drives on Hiiumaa for a bit before reaching its final destination in Kärdla. We chose this Airbnb because it was a one-minute walk to the bus stop. The host allowed us to do an early check-in, which was great. It’s in an old low-rise apartment building that doesn’t look like much from the outside, but again, people do wonderful things with the interior. The entryway leads to all rooms. There’s a neat wardrobe to hang our many jackets.

There are two bedrooms, one master with a balcony (too cold in October!), and a good desk and chair for working remotely. The other bedroom has two single beds but a big wardrobe to store your stuff.

The living room had a big round table that Jonas worked from. There were woven armchairs and a couch next to the a big TV with Apple TV. We reorganized the set up there to make it make sense for finishing watching – you guessed it! – Borgen. There were blankets for extra coziness. The woven couch wasn’t very comfortable, but we made it softer with a lot of pillows.

The bathroom had a shower and a front-loader washing machine that needed a good push to recognize the door as closed, but worked otherwise fine. It was a nice bathroom with provided shampoo. The only thing that irritated us was that the bathroom light was outside the room on the wrong side of the door, which meant that we’d often walk into the void having forgotten to turn on the light beforehand.

The kitchen had everything we needed. We cooked some basic meals here and prepared food for our road trip around Hiiumaa. There was a great table to eat from so we could separate our working and eating areas. Once we ate at Mamma Mia Pizzeria Italiana in Kärdla and once Jonas picked up a pizza to eat at home. There’s no dishwasher, but everything to keep things tidy was provided.

We rented a car at TeviCar in Kärdla for only a day, so when we returned we just parked it in front of the building for a few minutes to take out our stuff and then dropped it off at the rental place.

As the apartment was very comfortable, I would absolutely stay here again. But it would be much better to visit Hiiumaa Island in the season when much more stuff is open. Also, the Coop Supermarket inside Kärdla was under renovation, which meant that getting our groceries was a 2.8-kilometer walk, return trip.

Unlock the Prices of Accommodation in Estonia

To unlock the prices of the accommodations mentioned above, please sign up for my newsletter with your email address:

Want to know how I handle your information? Read more in my Privacy Policy (it's boring).

Cruiseferry: €99 for one night but it includes transportation for two people. The alternative way to travel to Tallinn would be flying via at least one other airport (usually Stockholm Arlanda) which costs upward of €159 per person!

Tartu: €187 total for four nights on Airbnb. That’s €47 per night.

Tallinn (Hotel): €40 total for one night on Booking.

Tallinn (Catsit): €0 total for seven nights on Trusted Housesitters. Of course, we did have to clean the apartment and take good care of this adorable little cat. If you want to learn more about how we approach housesitting, read this article.

Kärdla, Hiiumaa Island: €327 for four nights on Airbnb. That’s a whopping €82 per night. There wasn’t much choice at this time of year and we needed something central.

That’s a total of 17 nights in Estonia, which comes down to an average of €38 per night. Without the week of catsitting, it comes down to €65 per night.

Wish to share this article? That’s totally fine with me

This post contains (an) affiliate link(s). This product is my genuine recommendation. If you buy something via my link, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you 🪙

You'll support keeping this website online and helping me to keep writing and creating 📸

Please don't buy anything you don't need in your life. Having too much stuff can hold you back from living your own adventures 🗺

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *