Among the prettiest cities in the Baltics, Tallinn has a Unesco World Heritage-listed Old Town. The city is well served with holiday apartments, which embrace every vibe from hipster to old-school romantic, and some will coax you into distinctive neighbourhoods you might otherwise ignore.
The former industrial quarter of Telliskivi near the railway station in central Tallinn has morphed into a hipster-leaning creative hub with diverse restaurants, start-ups, theatres and a weekly market. It’s the sort of place where you can try beer ice cream. In a four-storey saffron-yellow block, Bob’s slick studio apartments tap into the vibe with a spare Nordic-industrial style sharpened by local designers in shades of grey, white and pops of moss green. Powered by renewable energy, equipped with movie streaming and vintage Nintendos plus organic teas and coffee, you can stay days or weeks.
Just south of the Old Town in the Tatari neighbourhood, MyApartments sits in a renovated 19th-century block crowned with a modern, somewhat functional-looking annex. The 20 neat apartments range from studios to penthouses, some with additional sofa beds and furnished balconies with artificial grass. Kitchenettes have coffee machines and washing machines. Unfussy decor rules the roost: expect laminate flooring, shades of beige and brown offset by wall art and prints.
More like an accommodation agency, Daily offers around 40 apartments – ranging from studios to three bedrooms sleeping up to six – in various corners of the city. The inventory goes from quasi-Rococo big-window flats to cosy lofts with sloping ceilings and a fair amount of Baltic cool. Some have saunas or balconies, all have wifi, and most have free parking (except in the Old Town). Note that there’s no reception; you’ll receive keys through a safe-box with an access code.
West of the city centre near the huge Kristiine shopping mall, the Tallinn occupies two separate but proximate buildings: the fully renovated 1930s Green House (with one-bedroom apartments) and the ultra-modern Red House (one to three bedrooms). The former has a garden and children’s playground, while several units in the latter have terraces and balconies. With keyless entry and kitchens, most with washing machines, the apartments come wrapped in tasteful Scandi-style, and there’s free parking for each apartment.
Specialising in generally characterful Old Town accommodation, OldHouse has apartments ranging from compact studios to three bedrooms with space for six. The 15th-century artist Master Michiel lived in one, and you get the sense that many other apartments might have hosted or housed other luminaries over the centuries. Their style ranges from Baltic cool to quasi-Baroque extravaganzas with ornately patterned rugs and lion-head furniture. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of exposed brickwork and beams, decorative ceilings, gossamer-shrouded beds and vintage chandeliers.
An agency operation, Delta focusses on two dozen or so Old Town apartments sleeping up to seven. Stripped or laminate floors, neutral decor and a generally modern style characterise the inventory; one cow-hide rug, the odd fireplace and an infrared sauna are about as daring as things get, but they’re extremely well kept. Breakfast can usually be arranged on request, and reception is on call 12 hours a day.
Facing Kanuti Garden just outside the Old Town, this fetching 1880s mansion and former administrative building is now a listed monument. The elegant limestone facade has arched windows and plenty of neo-Renaissance and Romanesque detailing. But inside, those lofty ceilings give way to eight modern apartments that thoughtfully incorporate original features into their snazzy design and practical comforts along with mezzanine bedrooms.
Around 4km (2.5mi) northeast of central Tallinn, Pirita sits on a long golden beach book-ended by a marina and the heel of Viimsi Peninsula. Jutting like a boat’s prow into and over the sand, this modern, eponymously named hotel features sea- and garden-facing studios, the former with angled balconies and the latter overlooking tranquil pine groves backing the coast. There’s ample decking and a small pool, and the kitchenettes are basic. It’s a straightforward, uncomplicated place.
The three-storey weatherboard house of the Meltzer is one of several lining the street near Estonia’s National Library southwest of the Old Town. Saved from dereliction, nine modernised rooms with kitchenettes bear little aesthetic relation to the carefully restored exterior, with only fireplaces hinting at the true age of the building. Marble bathrooms, downlights and a generally all-white decor with pops of burgundy on chairs and headboards lend a slightly frosty atmosphere offset in part by a couple of split-level rooms with sofa beds.
Tucked away in the historic Rotermann Quarter between the Old Town and Tallinn’s port, 8ERA taps into the revived and pedestrianised urban buzz of the neighbourhood powered by hip shops, restaurants and cafés along with offices. Studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments feature typically lean but thoughtful design along with laminate floors, practical furniture and large windows. They’re fairly spacious, too, and many have balconies. Breakfast and regular cleaning is available on request, while keyless entry is standard.