The Best Hostels in Tallinn, Estonia

Sleep in a space-age pod at Capsule Hostels Tallinn
Sleep in a space-age pod at Capsule Hostels Tallinn | © Capsule Hostels Tallinn
Amar Grover

The hostels in Tallinn are well developed and surprisingly varied, ranging from small converted mansions and townhouses to a Japanese-style space-themed capsule hotel. The compact size of the city means that staying outside the beautiful old town – very likely the main reason you’ve come to the capital of Estonia – is no hardship either.

1. Villa Kadriorg Hostel

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Villa Kadriorg Hostel
Courtesy of Villa Kadriorg Hostel /

At first glance this rustic two-storey villa seems an unlikely hostel, but it and similar houses are reminders of the grand old days when the Kadriorg quarter was Tsar Peter the Great’s summer seaside playground. His nearby palace and park survive intact, while the heady genteel days this villa once enjoyed are long gone. Now, plainly furnished rooms and dormitories share bathroom facilities and are a mishmash of brown carpets, patterned wallpaper and the odd chandelier – but it’s all reasonably well kept.

2. Imaginary Hostel

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Imaginary Hostel
Courtesy of Imaginary Hostel /

In a quiet old town street, the Imaginary has a big-windowed, high-ceilinged lounge and kitchen that have retained period features befitting a row of venerable townhouses; meanwhile, the aquatic-themed corridor murals lend an almost playful atmosphere. The rooms – most with cornicing and dados intact – are plainly furnished, and filled with bunks in designated dorms. The spacious loft is sometimes used for movie nights, live music and parties.

3. Old Town Munkenhof Guesthouse

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Old Town Munkenhof Guesthouse
Courtesy of Old Town Munkenhof Guesthouse /

Down a cobbled lane in the old town, Munkenhof offers cheery singles and doubles, along with four- and six-bed dorms. Much of that cheer comes from the vibrant decor: green walls, pink floors and faux-Persian rugs. It’s well maintained and common areas have free wifi. There’s also a kitchen, and a games room with a PlayStation and chess.

4. Hostel MännikuJK

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Hostel MännikuJK
Courtesy of Hostel MännikuJK

Out in the southern suburbs of Männiku at its eponymous Football Centre, this might not be an obvious choice, but it’s certainly quiet and tranquil, and there’s good transport into the centre. The simple, cosy double rooms, with bathroom, TV and wifi, enjoy views across the stadium or the surrounding forest. A small on-site cafe offers breakfast and you can use the reasonably well-equipped gym.

5. Draper Startup House

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Draper Startup House
Courtesy of Draper Startup House /

Draper is part of a small but globally expanding chain of hostels aimed at entrepreneurial digital nomads; the big idea, apparently, is to foster connections through an accommodation and co-working ecosystem. Here in the old town, this child-free hostel occupies a typical pale-yellow townhouse and offers sparingly furnished rooms and dorms with shared facilities.

6. Sesoon Hostel

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Sesoon Hostel
Courtesy of Sesoon Hostel /

Just north of the old town, near the railway station, Sesoon stands amid a cluster of light industrial units. The building faintly resembles a rustic farmhouse; the neat, plain rooms with shared facilities feature pine beds and basic furniture. There’s also a pleasant cafe serving enormous breakfasts and decent lunches that draw in a non-resident clientele.

7. Capsule Hostels Tallinn

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Capsule Hostels Tallinn
Courtesy of Capsule Hostels Tallinn /

In keeping with the open-minded e-culture of Estonia, where the internet is officially a human right, the first Japanese-style capsule hotel in the Baltics is in Tallinn, around 2km (1.2mi) south of the old town. It’s a distinctly space-age take on the concept; the 46 pods are divided among four named rooms (such as Planeet Maa and Meteoroid) and have futuristic moulded interiors with TVs and headphones. Canny blue-tinged lighting amplifies the sci-fi movie set feel, while a conventional kitchen keeps you tethered to planet earth.

8. Fat Margaret's Hostel

Hostel, Budget Hotel

Fat Margarets Hostel
Courtesy of Fat Margaret's Hostel /

Wedged between the old town and Tallinn port, the four-storey Fat Margaret building resembles a small mansion. Rooms and dorms are standard hostel fare, but add the sauna, a small plunge pool, a glass-walled communal kitchen and a lounge with table tennis, and it gains quite some ground. Exposed brickwork, arched windows and a handsome stairwell boost the all-round good vibe and make it a place to linger.

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