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
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Tartu or Tallinn?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Tallinn than Tartu, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Tallinn is more touristy than Tartu and is known for its well preserved old town and its active nightlife scene. It is also home to The Old Town. Tartu is popular for its vibrant student population and long running university.

The Old Town
The Old Town

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.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Tartu or Tallinn?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tallinn is a great city for its historical sights. However, Tartu does not have museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Tallinn. There are beautiful historic churches, particularly in the city's old town. A highlight is the stunning Alexander Nevski Cathedral. You'll also find some unique museums around town as well as Toompea Castle.

Tartu does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Tartu or Tallinn? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tallinn is a city with good options for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Tartu is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Tallinn is becoming an appealing option for foodies. 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.

Tartu offers some easy restaurants to choose from. 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.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Nightlife?

Tartu
Tallinn

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find high quality options in both 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

Tallinn is an amazing city to visit for its historic old town charm. Also, Tartu is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its historic old town.

Tallinn offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. 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.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Tartu. 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.


Is the Shopping Better in Tartu or Tallinn?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tallinn is a great city for its shopping areas. However, Tartu is not known for shopping.

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 good 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

Tallinn is a great city for couples. However, Tartu is not known for romance.

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

Tallinn is an amazing city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Tartu is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Tallinn, as it is a very popular city for 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.

Backpackers come from all over to 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.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Students?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tartu is a must-visit destination for its student-friendly activities. Also, Tallinn is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Tartu is a great destination 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 popular with students. International students appreciate the vibrant atmosphere and the affordable options around town.

Is Tartu or Tallinn Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tallinn is a great city for times when you don't have a car. Also, Tartu is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Tallinn. There are buses trolleys and trams around town.

Tartu has a few public transit options. There is a comprehensive bus system around the town.


Is Tartu or Tallinn a more walkable city?

Tartu
Tallinn

Tallinn is an amazing city to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Tartu is not as popular, but is still a nice university town for its walkability.

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

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

For even more information, also check out Is Tartu Worth Visiting? and Is Tallinn Worth Visiting?.

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. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Tartu, and 2-4 days is enough time in Tallinn.

Families should spend more time in Tallinn than Tartu. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tallinn, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Tallinn than Tartu. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Tallinn that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Tallinn than Tartu if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Tallinn.


  • 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 charming 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Estonia, The Best Budget Tours to Estonia, The Best Tours for Seniors to Estonia, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Tallinn.


Which place 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 €105, while the average daily cost in Tallinn is €95. 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 destination. 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 47
    Tallinn 47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tartu 94
    Tallinn 94
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 27
    Tallinn 12

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:

  • From Helicopter transfer to Helsinki: $2,637
  • Tallinn Party Bus Airport Transfer: $124
  • Tallinn Party Bus Airport Transfer: $124
  • Tallinn Arrival Private Airport Transfer in Minivan: $117
  • Tallinn Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Tallinn hotels: $101
  • Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport (TLL): Transfer to Tallinn Port: $101
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Tallinn Airport or Port to Tallinn City by minibus: $91
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Tallinn Airport or Port to Tallinn by Luxury Car : $90
  • Departure private transfer from Tallinn to Tallinn Airport or Port by Luxury Car: $90
  • Tallinn Airport Transfer - Return: $87
  • Beginner Archery Class with Transfer: $80
  • Tallinn Limo Airport Transfer: $75

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 37
    Tallinn 36
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:

  • Tallinn TV Tower evening dinner (2-course meal): $55
  • Tallinn TV Tower evening dinner (3-course meal): $63
  • Tallinn Russian Dinner: $84
  • Tallinn Beer House Dinner: $96
  • Tallinn Food Tour: $115
  • Tallinn 3-Hour Estonian Food Tour: $126
  • Tallinn Food Tour with Round-trip Transfer Port-City: $136

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tartu 16
    Tallinn 5.63
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.

  • Around Viljandi bike tour: $27
  • Charming Viljandi Walking Tour for Couples: $141
  • Magical Tartu Romantic Walking Tour: $127
  • Spectacular Christmas Walking Tour in Viljandi: $199
  • European Capital of Culture 2024 - Cycling Tour: $14
  • Traditional Christmas Walking Tour in Tartu: $233

Tours and Activities in Tallinn

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

  • "Legends and Landmarks: A Tallinn Walking Adventure": $21
  • 1-Hour Good Morning Tallinn Running Tour: $17
  • 120 Degrees daily guided walking tour: $27
  • 2 Hour Tales of Tallinn Private Car Tour: $65
  • 2 Hour Tallinn Old Town Walking Tour: $196
  • 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour of Tallinn: $49
  • 3-Hour Private Tour of Tallinn: $293
  • Accessible tour in Tallinn: $735
  • Aegna Island: Self-Guided Discovery Tour: $8.51
  • Alcohol Tasting Tour In Tallinn: $64
  • All-in-One Tallinn - See stunning Estonian Capital from a Cruise Ship or Hotel: $78
  • All-in-One Tallinn Shore Excursion for Cruise Ships: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tartu 16
    Tallinn 15

Sample the Local Flavors in Tallinn

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

  • Mad Monk’s Pub Crawl Tallinn: $21
  • Tallinn Pub Crawl (Ex The Epic Bar Crawl): $27
  • Tallinn Exclusive Pub & Bar Crawl - Free Drinks, Local Guide: $42
  • Tallinn Brewery Fiesta: $72
  • Tallinn Guided Bar Crawl: $123


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tartu Expensive? and Is Tallinn Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Tartu or Tallinn?

Tallinn has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Tartu. When comparing the sizes of Tartu and Tallinn, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


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. Daily temperatures in Tartu average around 17°C (62°F), and Tallinn fluctuates 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 daily temperature in Tartu averages around 6°C (43°F) in October, and Tallinn fluctuates 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 average around -7°C (19°F), and Tallinn averages at 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. Daily temperatures in Tartu average around 5°C (41°F), and Tallinn fluctuates 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)