A Travel Price Comparison for Estonia Tartu vs. Tallinn for Old Town, Backpackers, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Tartu or Tallinn?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Tartu and Tallinn can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Tartu

Tartu is a student-oriented, cultural, and historical university town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the nightlife.

Tallinn

Tallinn is a whimsical, historical, and charming city. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Tartu and Tallinn: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Cons
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Good for shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Cons
  • Less popular for students


How is Tartu different from Tallinn?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Tallinn and Tartu. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Food?

Tartu
Tallinn

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Tartu and Tallinn can be difficult as they are each unique in their own way.

Tartu may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. The restaurant scene is surprisingly limited because of the large student population. Most students prefer saving their money for a night out drinking over a quiet meal at a restaurant. There are some cafes around town as well as pastry shops and a few good ethnic restaurants to choose between.

Tallinn offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Food is affordable and hearty. Many dishes incorporate rye bread, pork, smoked fish, potatoes, or dairy products. You'll also find a lot of variation in dishes between seasons.


Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Nightlife?

Tartu
Tallinn

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find comparable options between Tartu and Tallinn.

The nightlife in Tartu has something for everybody. With its huge student population, there is plenty of activity year round. The nightlife scene includes many bars, dance clubs, and pubs that are popular with students and visitors alike. You'll find large parties and music festivals throughout the year that bring crowds to the city.

Tallinn offers plenty to do in the evening. As it's grown in popularity with tourists, the city has put itself on the map as a top party destination in Eastern Europe. There's an active bar and club scene, but there are also art venues and other creative activities for everyone.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for its Old Town?

Tartu
Tallinn

Both Tartu and Tallinn have historic old towns worth visiting.

Tartu is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. The old town is where you'll find one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. There is also Town Hall Square and St. John’s Quarter with many historic buildings and beautiful architecture.

Tallinn has a world-famous historical area. The city's medieval old town is at the heart of it's tourist attractions. The Gothic architecture, local restaurants, and cobblestone streets give the city a fairytale charm.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Shopping?

Tartu
Tallinn

While Tartu and Tallinn are both popular shopping destinations, overall Tallinn is considered to be better.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Tallinn. There's a mix of quirky shops and recognizable brands around town. Old town is a popular shopping area, as is nearby Kalamaja. Visitors enjoy picking up marzipan, local crafts, and unique art.

Tartu is a good destination for shopping. While most people don't visit to go shopping, there is an active art scene in town so you can find some creative pieces that are worth checking out.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Families?

Tartu
Tallinn

Both Tartu and Tallinn are fun to visit with kids.

Tartu offers lots of family activities. Many of the kid-friendly activities are outdoors, so summer visits are better if you're traveling with children. There are adventure parks, animal parks, and educational museums that you can choose from.

Tallinn is a family-friendly place to visit. Your kids will feel like they stepped into a fairytale in this beautiful city. It has countless museums including an open air museum and a zoo. There's also nearby Pirita Beach, where you and your kids can enjoy ice cream in a seaside setting.


Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Couples?

Tartu
Tallinn

Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Tallinn than Tartu.

Tallinn is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Filled with gardens, romantic walks, and impressive views, this city makes for a great couple's getaway. Base yourself in the city's beautiful old town and dine in one of the many local restaurants. There are also nice hotels around town that are great for couples.

Tartu is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The city has a young population, so you'll find many activities center around a more youthful vibe. There are some great museums that couples will enjoy, as well as a lively nightlife scene. Outside of old town, couples will enjoy wandering through the Karlova and Supilinn districts.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Tartu
Tallinn

For backpackers, both Tartu and Tallinn are fairly comparable places to visit.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Tartu. With it's young population and budget friendly entertainment options, there are many things that backpackers will enjoy. It's not nearly as popular with backpackers as some other cities, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a lot to offer.

Tallinn is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The city is both affordable and unique, which is perfect for travelers on a budget. There are plenty of hostels around town as well as casual places to grab a cheap bite to eat.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Students?

Tartu
Tallinn

While Tallinn and Tartu are both good for students, overall Tartu is genreally more popular.

Tartu is a very popular university town for students. It is a university town and home to one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. The student population is large here, with many activities, museums, and nightlife options to choose from. There always seems to be something going on in this vibrant city.

Tallinn is a good university town to visit for students. International students appreciate the vibrant atmosphere and the affordable options around town.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Public Transit?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tartu and Tallinn both offer public transit to get you around.

While Tartu offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a comprehensive bus system around the town.

Public transit in Tallinn is fairly effecient and thorough. There are buses trolleys and trams around town.


Is Tartu or Tallinn a more walkable city?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tartu and Tallinn are similar when it comes to walkability.

Tartu is a very walkable destination. The city is compact with most of its sights and restaurants close together along a couple of streets.

It is easy to get around Tallinn on foot. The city is compact and easily explored on foot, particularly in the most touristy areas.

Should I spend more time in Tallinn or Tartu?

How long in Tartu or Tallinn?

It's fun to spend time in either Tartu or Tallinn. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Tallinn due to the larger number of activities and things to do.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Tartu is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Tallinn is 2-4 days.


  • How many days in Tartu or Tallinn? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tartu 1-3 
    Tallinn 2-4

One day in Tartu or Tallinn?

In Tartu, you'll find nightlife. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This university town offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

In Tallinn, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this quaint destination offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Tartu or Tallinn?

In Tartu, you'll find nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Tartu has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tallinn. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Tartu or Tallinn?

Tartu is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Tallinn is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the quaint destination of Tallinn. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Tartu or Tallinn?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tartu. Many people enjoy the nightlife when visiting Tartu. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

You'll find food and shopping around the whimsical destination of Tallinn. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Which city is cheaper, Tallinn or Tartu?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Tartu is €84, while the average daily cost in Tallinn is €74. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tartu and Tallinn in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tartu 38
    Tallinn 40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tartu 76
    Tallinn 80
Compare Hotels in Tartu and Tallinn

Looking for a hotel in Tartu or Tallinn? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Tartu


Hotels in Tallinn


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Tartu Hotel Prices and Tallinn Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tartu 22
    Tallinn 9.68

Typical Local Transportation prices in Tallinn

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Tallinn:


  • Tram Around Town for Two
    1.66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tallinn

Also for Tallinn, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Minivan Transfer from Tallinn to Riga: $448
  • Tallinn to Riga transfer with Sightseeing: $335
  • Private Shore Excursion: Tallinn Old Town Walking Tour with Round-Trip Transfer: $274
  • Private Transfer from Tallinn to Riga: $156
  • Tallinn Limo Airport Transfer: $100
  • Tallinn Party Bus Airport Transfer: $93
  • Tallinn Party Bus Airport Transfer: $87
  • Tallinn Return Airport Transfers: $70
  • Tallinn Airport Transfer - Return: $65
  • Tallinn TLL Airport Luxury Car Private Departure Transfer: $60
  • Tallinn TLL Airport Luxury Car Private Arrival Transfer: $60
  • Departure Private Transfer Tallinn City to Tallinn Airport TLL: $52

Is it cheaper to fly into Tartu or Tallinn?

Prices for flights to both Tallinn and Tartu change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Tartu 30
    Tallinn 25
Typical Food prices in Tartu

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tartu:


  • Danishes
    0.76
  • Lunch for Two
    4.93
  • Ice Cream
    1.27
  • Cookies
    0.51
  • Coffee & Cake
    3.47

Typical Food prices in Tallinn

For Tallinn, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    7.68
  • Dessert
    1.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tallinn

For Tallinn, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Estonian food tour in Tallinn: $12
  • Tallinn Sunset Dinner Cruise: $73
  • Tallinn Beer House Dinner: $75
  • Tallinn Russian Dinner: $96
  • Tallinn 3-Hour Estonian Food Tour: $106
  • Tallinn Food Tour with Round-trip Transfer Port-City: $131
  • Tallinn Segway and Food Tour: $156
  • Vegan Food Tours Tallinn: $242

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tartu 13
    Tallinn 4.50
Typical Entertainment prices in Tartu

For Tartu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Art Museum ticket
    0.95
  • Movie Ticket
    3.47

Tours and Activities in Tartu

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tartu.

  • Guided tour “Love stories of Tartu”: $496
  • Tartu Toy Museum Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Tartu city cultural tour: $479
  • Tartu city cultural tour: $479
  • 2-Hour Romantic City Walking Tour: $378
  • The best of Tartu walking tour: $496
  • Water Park Entrance Ticket: $11

Tours and Activities in Tallinn

For Tallinn, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 1 day guided tour to Helsinki from Tallinn by VIP car: $535
  • 1-Hour Good Morning Tallinn Running Tour: $19
  • 2 Hour Tallinn Old Town Walking Tour: $162
  • 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Tallinn: $45
  • 2-hour private tour of Tallinn with transport: $254
  • 3-Hour Private Tour of Tallinn: $254
  • 5h Tallinn Old Town, Kadriorg Pirita Small Group Tour: $75
  • 7 Days Small Group Tour: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus & Ukraine: $3,190
  • 8-Day Tour Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia: Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius: $995
  • Admire Tallinn's highlights Walking & Driving Private Tour: $291
  • Aegna Half-Day Guided Tour: Stone Maze and Valley of Boulders: $31
  • Best of Tallinn 2-Hour Bike Tour: $28

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tartu 13
    Tallinn 12

Sample the Local Flavors in Tartu

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tartu:

  • Private Distillery Tour in Tartu with Tastings: $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Tallinn

Also in Tallinn, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl: $33
  • Nudist Winery Wine Tasting and Winery tour in Tallinn: $44
  • Tallinn Brewery Fiesta: $77
  • Tallinn Guided Bar Crawl: $77
  • Tallinn Bar Crawl: $85
  • Tallinn Beer House Brewery Fiesta: $90
  • City tour Craft Brewery visit and tasting of craft beers ciders and cheeses: $90


When comparing the travel costs between Tartu and Tallinn, we can see that Tartu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Tartu or Tallinn?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Tartu or Tallinn in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Tartu and Tallinn. Most visitors come to Tartu for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Tallinn because of the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Tartu is generally around the same temperature as Tallinn. Temperatures in Tartu average around 17°C (62°F), and Tallinn stays around 17°C (62°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tallinn this time of the year. In Tartu, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tartu usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Tallinn during summer. Tartu gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Tallinn receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Tartu usually receives less rain than Tallinn. Tartu gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tartu 17°C (62°F) 
    Tallinn 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Tallinn in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Tartu as well as Tallinn. The autumn months attract visitors to Tartu because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Tallinn this time of year.

Tartu is around the same temperature as Tallinn in the autumn. The temperature in Tartu is usually 6°C (43°F) in October, and Tallinn stays around 7°C (44°F).

In the autumn, Tartu often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Tallinn. Tartu gets 86 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tallinn receives 92 hours of full sun.

Tartu usually gets less rain in October than Tallinn. Tartu gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tartu 6°C (43°F) 
    Tallinn 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Tallinn in the Winter?

Both Tallinn and Tartu are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Tartu this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Tallinn for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Tallinn. It's quite cold in Tartu in the winter. In the winter, Tartu is cooler than Tallinn. Typically, the winter temperatures in Tartu in January are around -7°C (19°F), and Tallinn is about -5°C (22°F).

Tartu usually receives more sunshine than Tallinn during winter. Tartu gets 36 hours of sunny skies, while Tallinn receives 25 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Tartu usually receives less rain than Tallinn. Tartu gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tartu -7°C (19°F) 
    Tallinn -5°C (22°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Tallinn in the Spring?

Both Tallinn and Tartu during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Tartu for the natural beauty. Furthermore, many visitors come to Tallinn in the spring for the natural beauty.

Tallinn can get quite cold in the spring. Be prepared for some very cold days in Tartu. In April, Tartu is generally a little warmer than Tallinn. Temperatures in Tartu average around 5°C (41°F), and Tallinn stays around 4°C (39°F).

In the spring, Tartu often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Tallinn. Tartu gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Tallinn receives 186 hours of full sun.

Tartu usually gets less rain in April than Tallinn. Tartu gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tartu 5°C (41°F) 
    Tallinn 4°C (39°F)

Typical Weather for Tallinn and Tartu

Tartu Tallinn
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -7°C (19°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) -5°C (22°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb -6°C (20°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) -6°C (22°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Mar -2°C (29°F) 26 mm (1 in) -2°C (29°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Apr 5°C (41°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 4°C (39°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
May 11°C (53°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 10°C (50°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (58°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 16°C (61°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
Sep 11°C (52°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 11°C (52°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Oct 6°C (43°F) 52 mm (2 in) 7°C (44°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 1°C (33°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 1°C (34°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Dec -4°C (25°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) -3°C (27°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)


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