Is Tallinn safe? My experience as a solo traveller in Estonia

Aerial view of the historic medieval old town of Tallinn covered in snow, showcasing red-roofed buildings, ancient stone towers, and a prominent church spire against a clear blue winter sky

Is Tallinn safe? Here’s my experience and tips for staying safe in the capital city of Estonia!

Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia is quickly becoming one of Europe’s top travel destinations.

But how can you stay safe in Tallinn? Is there anything you need to know, particularly if you’re a solo female traveller?

We’re going to delve into it all in this post!

Is Tallinn safe?

Yes, Tallinn is very safe!

The crime rate is very low, it’s a welcoming place for solo females and there aren’t any health risks (other than the cold!).

I spent two days here, and found it to be exceptionally safe!

Tallinn safety for solo female travellers

A smiling woman in winter attire holding a festive cup of coffee outdoors, with a snowy Tallinn park in the background, capturing a cheerful moment in the chilly Estonian weather.

Tallinn’s very safe for solo females!

I found Tallinn to be very comfortable to walk around and didn’t experience any street harassment.

Everyone I interacted with was pleasant and respectful, and I didn’t notice any inappropriate comments from men.

If you’re visiting Tallinn as a solo female traveller, however, I would recommend doing the following:

  1. Early nights: Venturing out late at night isn’t my preference. In Tallinn, the streets are peaceful, and I made sure to be back at my accommodation relatively early for a good night’s sleep.
  2. Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Keeping alcohol intake minimal is a wise choice when travelling alone – I just had one mulled wine and one hot Aperol. Keeping drinks to a minimum ensured that I stayed alert and aware of my surroundings.
  3. Privacy: I’m cautious about sharing personal information when I’m travelling. Luckily, in Tallinn, there wasn’t any prying, but if there had been I wouldn’t have told people where I was staying or my full name if it wasn’t relevant.
  4. Selecting the Right Stay: I chose a hotel where previous reviews specifically mentioned safety, and opted for the girls-only pod room at the capsule hostel (although that said, a man did get assigned a pod in the room – but he moved because he’d booked a different style of pod). I’m not for a second saying that mixed dorm rooms are dangerous, but after an unpleasant experience in a four-bed dorm (when it was just myself and three guys) I always opt for female-only dorms now.

Tallinn safety for LGBTQ+ and POC people

I can’t speak from a first-hand perspective about travelling to Estonia as an LGBTQ+ or POC person.

However, Estonia has recently become the first former Soviet country to legalise gay marriage, and it’s probably the most liberal in the region in terms of LGBTQ+ rights.

It’s less conservative and religious than other Baltic nations, and the general consensus from what I’ve read are that nearly all LGBTQ+ people have a hassle-free, fun trip here.

Check out Visit Estonia’s article on LGBTQ+ travel here.

From my research, it seems that Tallinn is also generally very safe for people of colour.

Generally Estonians are welcoming to all visitors, regardless of race or religion (or sexuality), and the situation is improving as the country is becoming more liberal and open.

However, some travellers have reported a lot of stares, espeically if they venture out to the surrounding countryside or smaller towns. There have also been limited reports of racist incidents, although these are rare.

This POC traveller’s report notes an uncomfortable siutation elsewhere in Estonia, but adds that they didn’t have any issues in Tallinn.

There are a few other Reddit forums about travelling as a POC in Estonia, which should provide valuable first-person insights.

Crime Rate in Tallinn

A view of the Old Town of Tallinn, with a church spire, city walls and historic buildings, covered in snow, against a grey sky.

Tallinn has a very, very low crime rate.

In fact, my walking tour guide told me that her phone was pickpocketed a couple of days before.

“Can you believe it?” she told me “who steals phones nowadays?”.

I told her that it’s actually very common in London, and she replied that it isn’t at all in Tallinn – she was just very unlucky!

I took a look at the crime rate statistics on Numbeo, comparing them to London, which only backed this up.

Tallinn’s overall Crime Index on Numbeo stands at a modest 22.94, a figure that pales in comparison to London’s more significant 54.37.

In fact, Tallinn is safer in every single aspect compared to London.

London’s not usually considered a dangerous city, and having grown up there I don’t think it is – but I do think that there are some important things to think about when visiting (see my full blog post here).

But the fact that Tallinn scores so much higher than London on Numbeo’s safety index just emphasises how safe the Estonian capital is!

Global Security of Estonia

In recent years, travellers have felt increasingly anxious about visiting Eastern European countries in terms of global security.

But, despite these anxieties, Estonia is safe (as are Latvia and Lithuania) thanks to its membership in NATO and the EU.

Estonia did used to be part of the USSR, but it gained independence in 1990.

It’s also been a part of NATO since 2004; and its membership in the treaty means that an attack on Estonia would be considered an attack on all NATO members, encompassing other EU countries, the UK, and the USA.

Because of this, the chance of any country attacking or invading Estonia is extremely minimal.

Can you drink the tap water in Tallinn?

Absolutely, you can drink the tap water in Tallinn. It adheres to the same rigorous hygiene procedures as tap water in any EU country.

So bring a reusable water bottle and refill it from the tap – it’ll save you money and it’s better for the planet!

Staying healthy in Tallinn

A lively Christmas market scene in Tallinn, Estonia, with an illuminated tree and festive lights against the twilight sky, set in front of the Tallinn Town Hall.

Tallinn prides itself on being a very clean city, and there are no specific health risks that you need to be particularly cautious about.

The climate in Tallinn is temperate; you’ll experience a variety of weather conditions depending on the season. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip to pack appropriately.

If you’re visiting Tallinn in the winter, it can be extremely cold – down to -28°C or -18°F (although it’s more likely to be around -5°C or 23°F)

So, remember to pack warm layers, including waterproof boots – I didn’t take the right shoes and my feet felt like ice!

Tallinn’s culinary scene is diverse and it caters to a wide range of dietary preferences and needs.

If you have food allergies, it’s always best to confirm with the waitstaff before ordering.

In terms of medical facilities, Tallinn is well-equipped with good hospitals and clinics. Pharmacies are easily accessible for basic medical needs, and again, most pharmacists and health professionals speak very good English.

It’s wise to carry essential medications and a basic first aid kit with you for convenience.

Even with the best preparation, unexpected health issues can arise, so having a comprehensive travel insurance policy is crucial.

For peace of mind, I personally use and recommend SafetyWing for travel insurance.

How to stay safe in Tallinn

A snowy street view in Tallinn, with a prominent church spire reaching into the overcast sky, typical of the city's winter landscape.

Here are my top tips for staying safe in Tallinn!

1. Choose Accommodation Wisely

Selecting the right place to stay is crucial.

Opt for a central, well-reviewed hotel or accommodation.

A central location doesn’t just put you within easy reach of Tallinn’s main attractions; it also means you’re in a well-lit, busier area.

These spots tend to be safer, especially in the evenings.

2. Be Cautious at Night

While Tallinn is generally safe, it’s still wise to be cautious during the night, particularly in less populated areas.

If you’re out late, consider using a reliable taxi service like Bolt.

These can be easily booked via an app and your journey is tracked.

3. Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Tallinn, like many cities in this region, has its share of drinks to try.

While it’s part of the cultural experience, responsible drinking is key.

Enjoy the local beverages, but remember to consume alcohol in moderation.

4. Dress for the Weather

Given Tallinn’s climate, dressing appropriately is a safety consideration too.

The weather can be quite cold, especially in winter. Wearing layers and proper winter clothing is essential to protect against cold-related health risks.

5. Seek Assistance When Necessary

If you ever find yourself in need of help, don’t hesitate to ask.

Whether it’s hotel staff, tour guides, or restaurant personnel, most locals in Tallinn speak good English and are usually more than willing to assist.

They can offer directions, advice, and local insights to help you navigate the city safely and enjoyably.

So, is Tallinn safe?

Absolutely! Tallinn’s crime rates are low, it’s a clean city, it’s easy to navigate and it’s becoming increasingly liberal and open minded.

Take a look at my Tallinn vlog on YouTube for more information about this city!