Digital Nomad Destination: Tallinn, Estonia
Sometimes we are in a city that just feels right for a digital nomad. Tallinn in Estonia was one of them. It's not a place that has been on a digital nomad radar much, but I think it definitely should be. It's affordable, beautiful, easy, blanketed with wi-fi and entrepreneur friendly.
The living costs are low, at least on an European level. Our amazing 80m2+ flat in central area, fully furnished, high speed internet and all other costs included, cost us 750€ for the month. And this was at the height of the tourist season in July-August. We found our flat from Red Apple Apartments, and we were very happy with their service. There are several other options too, just google.
Eating out can be cheap, when finding the right places. For lunch time, practically every place is the right place, with lunch time specials for 2-5€. These are often not written in the menu, so just ask for them. Sometimes they are written on a board outside or on a piece of paper on the counter. In general the restaurants in the middle of the tourist swarmed old town have a low quality to price ratio (I once paid 4,5€ for a cup of filter coffee!), but moving even a block or two you can find better places. Dinner for two, drinks included can be had for 20€. Or 30€, if you drink a lot or have several courses.
Beautiful and Easy
As a city, Tallinn offers nice surroundings. The old town is absolutely charming. The Kadriorg park is beautiful and a great place for walks or running. There's a scenic walkway following the seashore from the center to the beaches of Pirita. On a pretty day this makes a recommendable walk or a bike ride.
The central area is walkable, from Kalamaja to Old Town to Kadriorg. When needing to go further, the weather is bad, or you're just feeling tired, the public transportation is reliable and frequent. With a travel card is 1,10€ per journey, and never more than 3€ a day. 30 day card is 23€ (2013 prices).
The burning question for a digital nomad is the availability of good wi-fi. Tallinn totally delivers on this. Free wi-fi is found in almost every place. There is even wi-fi in many parks and intercity buses. If you want to have a back-up, a prepaid mobile data sim is very affordable (<10€ for a month) and easy to get from kiosks. We never got one, since we had no real need, with the free wi-fi's around and having an excellent connection at our flat.
Working a whole day in a café didn't seem to be a problem, as long as you ordered something once in a while. And surprisingly many places had electricity plugs available.
Estonia is a country where a lot is happening and it is determined to develop. (Btw, did you know that Skype originated from Estonia?) There might not be many other digital nomads (yet?) to meet up with, but there are many expats. Also the local start-up / entrepreneur scene is alive, so getting in touch with fellow entrepreneurs should be easy. In general, at least the younger locals speak excellent English so there's no language barrier.
Have you been to Tallinn? How was your experience?
We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »