The cost of living in Estonia: my real spending for a month in Tallinn

by Gigi Griffis
Tallinn pizzeria

Estonia! If you’ve been following along, you already know that my partner and I were lucky enough to get D visas here. Which means it’ll be our home base for a little less than a year (with the option to extend). 

You also probably already know that I track my monthly spending and share it here with you anytime I head to a new place. Which means it’s time for me to share my real budget for living in Tallinn.

So, what’s the cost of living in Estonia? How much did this digital nomad spend?

Here’s the skinny.

Category Euros Dollars
Accommodations 501.42 $552.65
Transportation (local) 44.50 $49.05
Groceries 307.99 $339.46
Supplies 7.29 $8.04
Eating/drinking out 98.16 $108.19
Luna (vet bills, supplies) 147.79 $162.89
Health & wellness 217.39 $239.60
Totals 1324.55 $1,459.88

Cost of living notes:

For accommodations, we turned to Airbnb…and were surprised at how pricey housing actually is in Tallinn. It has a reputation for being a cheap place to hang out, but the truth is that housing costs in the city are quickly rising toward the levels we’ve seen in most other major European cities. 

Our rental above was a one-bedroom space in a really crappy location on a main road (read: LOUD). The above spending is my half of the rental cost (with my partner covering the other half). Typical Airbnbs in nicer areas seemed to average $1,200 to $1,600 per month, with many coming in higher. The lowest we saw were some studios or places farther outside the center starting around $800. 

Long-term rentals in good locations, from our research so far, seem to mostly come in somewhere between 600 and 800 euros per month. But that doesn’t include the nonrefundable broker fee, which is usually the equivalent of another month’s rent.

I’ve left out our international transportation above (since that will vary wildly based on where you are coming in from), but the total cost for us to get from Switzerland to Tallinn by plane, including transit to and from the airport was $319.90 (290.25 euros).

Local transport costs included a couple rideshare rides and an unlimited city transit pass.

For groceries, we mostly shopped at the fabulous Balti Jaama Turg market over by the train station. Eating out includes a lot of cinnamon and cardamom buns, as well as some Indian takeout and a meal or two at nicer restaurants. 

Luna the traveling pooch‘s line item is higher than usual because she needed a blood draw (she’s fine – it was just time to check her levels since she’s getting older) and booster shots for a series of vaccines. 

Health and wellness includes not only my insurance cost for the month, but also a dental cleaning. 

Keep in mind that there are a few things I leave out of these budget reports because they’re unlikely to be helpful to anyone but myself. These include things like business expenses, buying a new pair of jeans or a book, etc.

Interested in seeing more travel budgets? You’ll find them all here.


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1 comment

John Spear October 13, 2020 - 4:46 am

I think its sorta cheap compared to NY, thanks for sharing…


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