Is Tallinn safe to visit? You may be asking this question if you’re planning a trip to the beautiful capital of Estonia. From cobblestone alleyways dotted with colorful architecture in the old town to sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea and vibrant nightlife on top, Tallinn has lots up its sleeve.
What about the safety, though? Can you be sure that your trip to this European municipality will end without problems? This guide will take a look at the risks and dangers you might encounter while exploring Tallinn. We’ll go through the crime rates and common scams you might fall victim to. You’ll learn how to stay safe while vacationing in Estonia’s largest city.
The truth is that Tallinn and all of Estonia are among the safest places in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is completely free of any dangers. It’s essential to know about potential risks you might come across and see how to avoid any unwanted problems. So, let’s delve deeper to answer the question: is Tallinn safe?
Is Tallinn safe to visit in 2022?
Tallinn is the Estonian capital and the country’s largest city. That said, it’s not a huge municipality like Paris or Berlin. That means that it retains the feel of a small town. It’s also considered to be one of the safest European cities. In fact, crime rates have been falling year on year here, so there’s not too much to worry about when planning a trip – at least not compared to bigger, gritter metropolises.
From cobbled streets dotted with medieval houses to sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea, grand castles, and interesting museums, there is no shortage of attractions in Tallinn. Millions of people head this way every summer to enjoy what this beautiful Estonian city has to offer. It’s especially popular as a day trip from Helsinki thanks to frequent ferry connections across the sea, too. Importantly, the vast majority of said visits end without any problems at all.
Crime rates are low throughout the country, but minor theft and pickpocketing are not unheard of in the capital. That’s especially true if you stick to the touristy areas near the old town. Travelers often become targets for petty crimes in bars, nightclubs, and hostels, most likely at night. Luckily, violent offenses are uncommon and rarely involve tourists, so the risks of serious problems in Tallinn are extremely low. That said, you should always keep a close eye on your valuables and employ common sense as you would anywhere around the globe.
Crimes in Tallinn
Generally speaking, crime in Tallinn, as well as the whole of Estonia, is not a problem on any big scale. The number of criminal offenses in the capital city is much lower than in most major cities in Europe, which means that people don’t need to worry too much about traveling here.
That’s not to say that crime doesn’t exist at all. There is no place in the world that is completely safe, so you should always stay vigilant to avoid problems. According to the latest statistics, the level of violent offenses in Tallinn is low, with an index of 23.06. That’s half of the average index for the USA! The highest number of crimes in the city relate to people using or dealing drugs, and those rarely have much to do with tourists.
The travel advisory for the USA recommends exercising usual precautions, which is the lowest level out there. That said, the British foreign travel office warns against some petty crimes targeted at tourists in Tallinn’s old town. It includes pickpocketing in places such as nightclubs, bars, and hotels. That means you should take extra care of your valuables, especially if you’re out at night. Passports and cash are among the top things most likely to be stolen.
Is transportation safe in Tallinn?
Transportation in Tallinn is relatively safe but it’s not without problems. That’s mainly due to road accidents caused by reckless driving or poor weather conditions. Estonia has pretty good road stats if you compare it with the global rates, though. The government has been praised for its efforts to reduce road accidents in the recent years.
Tallinn is a compact city, so you will rarely need to drive to get from one place to another. That’s also thanks to an extensive public transportation network that includes a number of buses, trolleybuses, and trams. How about the safety of Tallinn’s public transport? There are no reasons for concern, but you should take normal precautions when traveling alone at night.
The one thing that you should watch out for in the Estonian capital is taxis. Taxi scams and rip-offs targeted at tourists unaware of local rates are relatively common. You should always insist that the driver puts the meter on when hopping in the cab. That will help you avoid getting overcharged. It’s also worth checking the distance on the map in advance. It’s not unheard of for taxis to take a longer, more expensive route to a destination. You can usually steer clear of these problems by sticking to official taxis only.
Is Tallinn safe for solo female travelers?
Is Tallin safe for women? Yes. There’s no need to worry about visiting the Estonian capital if you’re a female. Whether it’s walking around the cobbled streets of the old town with a group of girls or lazing on Stroomi Beach alone on a sunny day, Tallinn is a pretty okay place for women travelers. Unlike in many places across the globe, it’s not much of a problem to wear a mini skirt or a cropped T-shirt on a hot, summer’s day while exploring the Estonian capital, either.
That said, no place in the world is completely danger-free and dangers are always heightened as a solo female. You should always exercise standard levels of caution. Stay alert when walking alone at night (or, better yet, avoid it completely) to stay on the safe side. Don’t accept advances from strangers and always notify someone if you’re heading out.
We should also note that Tallinn is a popular party destination for visitors from Finland’s capital and beyond. It’s not uncommon to see groups of intoxicated men causing fights and posing a potential threat to women, especially on weekends. Female travelers that want to sample Tallinn’s vibrant nightlife are better off sticking in groups than roaming alone, even though the risks aren’t that high.
9 safety tips in Tallinn
Tallinn is generally safe, and there are absolutely no reasons for concern when planning a visit there. There are few natural disasters that could potentially ruin your trip, and the crime rates are much lower than in most places around the world.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you can be guaranteed to be 100% safe while exploring Estonia’s beautiful capital. There are a few things you can do to minimize the risks and make sure your trip doesn’t end in disaster. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe in Tallinn:
- Keep your valuables safe – Unfortunately, pickpocketing and other petty crime is the biggest issue you are likely to face in Tallinn. Don’t flash the cash to avoid unwanted attention from potential thieves. Also, keep a close eye on your belongings in busy areas of the old town, and around Baltic Rail Station and the port area in the City Center, especially.
- Avoid walking alone at night – Wherever you are in the world, you are at higher risk of getting robbed or attacked during the nighttime. Being alone makes you especially vulnerable even though Tallinn hasn’t got high crime rates. If you happen to be alone in the dark, try to steer clear of gloomy alleys such as Hobujaama Street and the like.
- Leave your passport in a safety deposit – Passports are among the things that often get stolen by pick pocketers, so it’s best to leave them safe in the hotel.
- Don’t use unlicensed taxis – Taxi scams are among the biggest traps for tourists in Tallinn. Never use unmarked taxis and always insist that the driver puts the meter on. It’s also worth checking the route in advance to avoid getting ripped off.
- Wear comfortable shoes – The cobbled alleys dotted with colorful medieval buildings in the old town are lovely for an afternoon stroll. It’s worth ditching the high heels, though, if you don’t want to fall victim to uneven pavements! It’s not so much of a danger, but rather a piece of advice on comfort.
Is Tallinn safe? The conclusion
Is Tallinn safe? It sure is. The Estonian capital has very low crime rates, and there is no reason why your holiday should end in disaster. The risks of potential scams and petty crimes does exist, so it’s worth exercising normal levels of caution, especially around the busy areas and at night. It’s not uncommon that tourists fall victim to pickpocketing, either, so it’s important to keep an eye on valuables while sightseeing. That said, none of the dangers you might face in Tallinn is unusual for European cities. Generally speaking, this place is up there with the safest cities on the planet.