Estonia Digital Nomad Visa Guide (2023)

Do you want to be a digital nomad in a Baltic country famous for its digitalization and advancements in the IT industry?

Do you want to live in a state with around 2,000 islands on which you can see almost nothing but pristine nature? 

And, finally, do you want to be a guest in a land that holds a sauna marathon every year? 

If all the answers are positive, then Estonia digital nomad visa might be an ideal choice! 

We are here to provide you with some additional information about the rules and procedures for getting the visa, but also, we will describe to you what life in Estonia looks like. 

Therefore, after reading this article, you will be able to consider all the facts and decide if applying for the Estonian digital nomad visa would be the right choice. 

Estonia digital nomad visa guide - cover

Quick digital nomad visa facts for Estonia

Here are some quick facts about the Estonia digital nomad visa.

Estonia visa questions Estonia visa answers 
Does Estonia have a digital nomad visa?Yes.
When was Estonia’s digital nomad visa introduced?Estonia’s digital nomad visa was introduced in 2020.
Who can apply for Estonia digital nomad visa?– People of any nationality employed by a company registered outside Estonia who need telecommunication technologies to work.
– Anyone who meets the other criteria stated later in the guide under the subheading Who is eligible to apply for Estonia’s digital nomad visa?  
How much does an Estonian digital nomad visa cost?It depends on how long you will stay: 
– Long-stay visa (D-visa) — €100 (~$106) 
– Short-stay visa (C-visa) — €80 (~$84,85) 
Estonia’s digital nomad visa length?1 year
Minimum stay requirement?Not stated.
Possible to extend the visa?No. But you can apply for a new Estonian digital nomad visa that can last only up to 6 months. 
Minimum income requirements? €4,500 (~$4,722) per month. 
Processing time for visa application?Processing time for Estonian digital nomad visa approval is around 30 days. 
Can I apply with family members for a digital nomad visa?– Yes, but only with your spouse/registered partner and your minor children. 
– If your adult child has some kind of disability or cannot function on their own due to a medical condition, they can come with you too. 

What to expect as a digital nomad in Estonia?

You have to be familiar with some facts about Estonia if you want to apply for their digital nomad visa. Therefore, here are some frequently asked questions about this Baltic country. 

Estonia digital nomad FAQEstonia digital nomad answers
Average Internet speed: – Median download speed — 65.41 Mbps 
– Median upload speed — 47.15 Mbps
Best coworking space (highest Google rating and number of voters):LIFT 99 Telliskivi Hub, coworking space in Tallinn (4.8 stars from 146 votes)
Friendly to foreigners: The predominant feeling is that Estonians are slightly reserved towards foreigners. However, that doesn’t mean they are unfriendly, they just need time to build a relationship. 
The most popular place for digital nomads in Estonia:Tallinn
Weather in Estonia’s most popular place for digital nomads:Average annual temperature — ​​10°C (50°F);

Coldest month average temperature (February) — –5°C (–41°F)

Hottest month average temperature (July) — 18°C (64°F) 

Around 1900 sun-hours per year. 

Winters are moderately cold, while summers are mild. 
Type of climate:Temperate 
Annual air quality average:US AQI 20 (Good quality)PM 2.5 — meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value. 
Average cost of living: – Family of four: Around €2,200 (~$2,383) per month

– Single person: Around €800 (~$865) per month
Average coworking space cost: €164 (~$174) per month
Crime per 100k population:8.5
Interesting fact for digital nomads:You can become an Estonian resident without even living in Estonia. 

Estonia digital nomad visa

By introducing a digital nomad visa in 2020, Estonia has become one of the first European countries with this type of remote work visa. 

The introduction of the Estonia digital nomad visa is just a continuation of the innovative policies of Estonian authorities that were the first in the world to establish an e-residency, which is ideal for entrepreneurs and which we will describe later. 

There are two types of Estonia digital nomad visas:

  • Type C digital nomad visa and 
  • Type D digital nomad visa.

The only difference between the two visa types is their duration. Namely, the type C digital nomad visa lasts 6 months, while the type D digital nomad visa is valid for 1 year

The benefits of both types of Estonia digital nomad visas are the following:

  • You are allowed to stay in Estonia as long as your visa is valid, 
  • You pay a flat income tax, 
  • You can also work for an Estonian-registered company, and 
  • The processing time for a visa application is short — around 30 days. 

Now that you know some basic facts about the Estonia digital nomad visa, let’s get into details and analyze every aspect of this type of visa. 

What documents do you need to apply for Estonia’s digital nomad visa?

Digital nomads interested in working in Estonia need to gather certain documents, so their application for the Estonia digital nomad visa can be successful.

Here are the documents necessary for the application

  • A passport (or another valid travel document),
  • 2 recent color ID photographs,
  • The filled-out visa application form
  • Proof that you have paid the visa application fee
  • A criminal record certificate,
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means — a bank statement showing your income in the past six months, 
  • The document/statement/employment contract proving you can work as a digital nomad for an entity registered outside Estonia
  • The document/employment contract proving you have a gross of tax income of at least €4,500 (~$4,722) per month,  
  • The document/employment contract proving you continue to work for your employer/clients/company after obtaining the Estonia digital nomad visa, and 
  • Relevant degrees, certificates, or documents describing your professional career so far. 

With these documents, you can bring a certified document that confirms the details of your employment — your position, role, and field of activity, but also, details of the company’s legal representative. 

Also, if you are a freelancer and don’t have formal employment contracts with every party you work for, you can show other documents, written contracts, or even emails proving you provide services for clients and get paid for that. 

Who is eligible to apply for Estonia’s digital nomad visa?

Digital nomads of any nationality can apply for the Estonia digital nomad visa, as long as they meet the other requirements mentioned below. 

Estonia is one of the rare European countries that allow even people from EU/EEA countries to apply for their digital nomad visa. 

If you want to apply for Estonia’s digital nomad visa, you need to:

  • Prove you need telecommunication technologies to work — to prove you are a digital nomad, 
  • Work for a company/client registered outside Estonia or be a shareholder of a company registered outside Estonia or be a freelancer whose majority of income comes from clients outside Estonia,
  • Have a monthly income of at least €4,500 (~$4,722) (gross of tax), and
  • Have all of the documents mentioned above. 

Are you eligible if you are a United States citizen?

Yes, since the Estonia digital nomad visa is intended for expats from all around the world, as a United States citizen, you are eligible to apply for this type of Estonia remote work visa. 

Even if you have dual citizenship and you are also a citizen of an EU/EEA country, you can apply for Estonia digital nomad visa without any problem.  

Are you eligible if you are a US Green Card holder?

Yes, as a holder of a US Green Card, you are eligible to apply for Estonia digital nomad visa. 

As long as you are not an Estonian citizen and you meet all of the aforementioned Estonia digital nomad visa requirements, you can apply for this type of visa. 

However, be careful because you can lose your US Green Card if you spend more than 1 year outside the US. 

Are you eligible if you are an EU citizen?

Yes, as an EU citizen, you are eligible to apply for the Estonia digital nomad visa. 

Unlike many other European countries that have introduced digital nomad visas available only for non-EU/EEA citizens, Estonia has chosen a different, more inclusive path. 

Are you eligible if you reside in any other country?

Yes, since there are no restrictions based on applicants’ nationalities, as long as they are not Estonian citizens, residents of any country in the world can apply for the Estonia digital nomad visa. 

However, due to the turbulent times we live in, additional checks regarding eligibility are recommended to citizens of countries on which Estonia has introduced sanctions. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip 

Not all countries have the same criteria for digital nomad visas. Check what the requirements are for other countries with digital nomad visas by visiting the links below: 

Can a holder of the Estonia digital nomad visa bring family members with them?  

Yes, if you want, you can bring your spouse and children to Estonia. To come with you, your children must be minors or adults unable to live independently due to some health disorders. 

Your family applies for Estonian visas in the same way you do, by providing the same documentation, except, of course, documentation related to contracts and salaries. 

In some cases, Estonian authorities might even allow your spouse to find a job in Estonia during your stay there. 

Bear in mind that the authorities might add some additional requirements for family members of the Estonia digital nomad visa holder and final decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. 

Therefore, be patient, and if possible, contact the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate, explain your situation, and check if you need additional documents for your family.

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

If you are going to contact the Estonian embassy or consulate, you might use some formal email phrases. To learn more about them, check out our article: 

How do I get a digital nomad visa for Estonia?

To get a digital nomad visa for Estonia, you should follow a few basic steps.

First, you need to complete the online application form we have left above. After completing it, you must print and sign it. 

When you have your printed application form with you, gather all the aforementioned documents and go to the nearest embassy or consulate that handles visa applications. 

If no nearby representations are accredited to handle visa applications, visit the nearest VFS office

Thanks to various agreements VFS has signed with countries worldwide, they can legally perform non-judgemental and administrative duties related to visa applications. 

They play no part in the decision-making process of whether your request will be accepted or not. 

Finally, if all of the above-mentioned options don’t seem suitable, you can go to the Estonian Police and Border Guard service office. We recommend you make an appointment before visiting them. 

After you have decided where you will apply, submit all the gathered documents there, and wait for a response.  

According to Estonian authorities, the processing time for a digital nomad visa shouldn’t be longer than around 30 days

If everything goes well and your application gets approved, you will be notified when and where to pick up your Estonian digital nomad visa. 

What other types of visas suitable for digital nomads does Estonia offer?

Apart from the digital nomad visa, Estonia offers other types of visas suitable for digital nomads. 

If you want to work in Estonia but do not meet some of the Estonia digital nomad visa requirements, we recommend you check out the possible alternatives such as: 

  • e-Residency,
  • D-Type Visa, and
  • EU Blue Card

Since 2 out of 3 visas we offered above are not ordinary visas, let’s see their characteristics and how to get them. 

Best alternatives for Estonia digital nomad visa

Type #1: e-Residency

Because Estonia has one of the best e-governments in the world, it is no surprise they have been one of the first countries to come up with a revolutionary type of program — e-Residency.

Although e-Residency does not allow you to become a physical resident of Estonia, it allows you to register and manage a company in Estonia and enjoy vast possibilities thanks to its e-service system. 

Some of the main advantages of this type of program are the following:

  • Establishing and managing a company online from wherever you currently live,
  • Signing and verifying documents online,
  • Having access to Estonia’s e-services, business banking, and payment services,
  • Declaring taxes online, and 
  • Establishing connections with other Estonian e-Residents from all around the world. 

To get an Estonia e-residency, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Not be an Estonian citizen, 
  • Show in a motivation statement that you clearly understand the e-Residency system and have an entrepreneurship plan, 
  • Pass the background check, and 
  • Submit the proper documentation. 

The whole application process is performed online, and if it is successful, you’ll need to choose the location where you will pick up your e-Residency kit. 

What documents do I need for the e-Residency? 

If you like the idea of becoming an e-resident in Estonia, you need to take a couple of steps to get there.

The first step is to submit the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport or the EU identity card, 
  • A document photo
  • A CV,
  • A motivation statement
  • A description of previous business activities, and
  • A proof you have paid application costs and fees.

When you have gathered all the documents, submit them along with the online application, and follow the further instructions

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

By obtaining an e-Residency, you will be able to connect with various e-residents from all over the world. Until you, at least, get to know them better, you will need to follow some etiquette of formal communication. To learn more about formal communication, visit the link below: 

Type #2: D-Type Visa

If you are looking for an opportunity to work in Estonia as a digital nomad but do not meet the criteria for the Estonia digital nomad visa, applying for a D-Type Visa might be a perfect choice. 

The D-Type Visa allows you to spend up to 365 days in Estonia, and it can be prolonged to up to 548 days in total. 

Your spouse and children can come with you as long as you provide proof of sufficient financial means that covers the costs of staying in Estonia. 

To be able to obtain the D-Type Visa, you need to meet the following requirements: 

  • Work on a short-term project that lasts up to 1 year or have a job in an Estonian registered company, 
  • Have documents that prove you are going to work in Estonia, and 
  • Have the documents listed below. 

After obtaining your D-Type Visa,  if you are satisfied with your job and life in Estonia, we recommend you think about getting a residence permit that is valid for up to 5 years (and can be renewed for 5 more years). 

To apply for a D-Type Visa, you need to submit all of the documents we mentioned below, in person, to one of the aforementioned Estonian representations that handle visa applications or to the office of the Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia

What documents do I need for an Estonia D-Type Visa? 

To get Estonia D-Type Visa, you need to submit the following documents:

It is important to pinpoint that the consular officer might ask for some additional documents during the application process. 

Also, we recommend you contact the Estonian embassy or consulate to see if you are going to need some additional documentation for family members if they are going to come with you. 

Type #3: EU Blue Card 

If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen with higher education or 5 years of relevant professional experience, the EU Blue Card might be a good choice. 

The EU Blue Card allows you to work in highly-paid positions in some of the sectors in which Estonia lacks employees

The specific thing about EU Blue Card issued in Estonia is that it is valid as long as your employment contract is valid, plus 3 months. 

However, the EU Blue Card validity in Estonia must be shorter than 2 years and 3 months. 

After the expiration, you can renew the EU Blue Card. 

You can apply for the Estonian EU Blue Card in Estonian consulates, embassies, and some of the Police and Border Guard Board offices. 

Now, let’s see what documents you need to submit to get this permit. 

What documents do I need for the EU Blue Card? 

To get the EU Blue Card in Estonia, you need the following documents: 

  • Your passport
  • A recent, color, ID photograph,
  • The filled-out visa application form,
  • Proof that you have paid the visa fee,
  • A criminal record certificate,  
  • Higher education certificate or certified proof you have at least 5 years of relevant working experience,
  • The employment contract with the company that lasts for at least 1 year, 
  • Proof that your gross salary will be 1,5 times higher than the average gross salary in Estonia meaning you’ll need to have an annual salary of at least €31,950 (~$34,244), 
  • Health insurance, and
  • If needed — visas for citizens of the countries that have visa regimes with Estonia. 

If you want to submit a higher education certificate, prior to your application, you must get an assessment of a higher education certificate issued by the Estonian ENIC/NARIC Centre

Also, before applying for EU Blue Card in Estonia, check how much the country’s average salary is. You can do it by visiting the Estonia Statistical Office.  

Which Estonia visa type is best for digital nomads?

Estonia digital nomad visa is the best option for digital nomads who want to live and work in this Baltic country. 

If you are a holder of this type of Estonia work visa, you’ll pay a flat tax rate of 20% and enjoy many benefits, one of which is traveling visa-free all around the Schengen Area. 

Moreover, Estonian authorities do not forbid you to work for an Estonia-registered company. 

As long as you have a side job for a company registered in Estonia and related to your profession, Estonians don’t have anything against you earning some additional money. 

The best alternative for the Estonia digital nomad visa is a D-Type Visa. 

For all those digital nomads who have found jobs in the Estonian IT sector or other companies that need an IT workforce, a D-type visa might be a perfect choice. The application process is somewhat easier because your employer can help you during the application. 

If you don’t like the fact that both Estonia digital nomad visa and D-type visa are valid for up to 1 year and 6 months (if prolonged), there is always the possibility to apply for a residence permit that lasts for up to 5 years and can be extended to up to 5 more. 

e-Residency is best for digital entrepreneurs. 

If you are a holder of the so-called digital citizenship, Estonia might be the land of your dreams. Namely, as a holder of e-Residency, you can get help establishing your company and enjoy the digital services of tech-savvy Estonia

Established this way, your company becomes equal to any other Estonian or EU/EEA registered company, and most importantly, you get access to the vast EU business ecosystem. 

Costs you need to consider as a digital nomad in Estonia

Now that you know the rules and procedures for getting the Estonia digital nomad visa and other alternative types, it is time to learn more about the Estonia cost of living.  

Here are some of the expenses you need to take into account before moving to Estonia. 

Expense #1: Accommodation

Accommodation prices in Estonia are moderate, if not low. 

Although the country’s rental market has gone through turbulent times, it seems that accommodation prices, and the market in general, are stable now. 

You can find a furnished 1-bedroom apartment in the center of Tallinn for around €500 (~$537). 

In other Estonian cities, the accommodation prices are even lower. 

Bearing in mind that, as a holder of an Estonia digital nomad visa, your (gross of tax) monthly income will be at least €4,500 (~$4,722), so the amount you need to spend on rent will not be a huge burden to your budget. 

Now let’s see how much you will need to spend, on average, per month for 1-bedroom apartments in some of the most popular Estonian cities.

Place in EstoniaAccommodation costs
Tallinn €500 (~$537)
Tartu €400 (~$430)
Pärnu€400–€450 (~$430–$483)
Narva €300 (~$322)
Kuressaare€400 (~$430)

Expense #2: Groceries

Since Estonia currently has one of the highest inflation rates in Europe, we expected the prices of groceries to be slightly higher.  

Furthermore, a recent analysis has shown that the costs of some groceries have risen by 50%–130% in the last year only!

However, compared to other European countries, it seems that prices of groceries in Estonia are still moderate

Here are the average prices of some most commonly bought groceries in Estonia

Groceries Grocery prices in Estonia
Bread€0,88 (~$0,95) 
Water 1 l (~34 fl oz)€0,54 (~$0,58)
Milk 1 l €0,87 (~$0,94) 
Chicken breasts 1 kg (2.2 lbs)€6,08 (~$6,54) 
Cheese 500 g (1.1 lbs)€4,56 (~$4,90) 
12 eggs  €2,33 (~$2,51) 
Apples 1 kg €1,50 (~$1,61) 
Tomatoes 1 kg€2,40 (~$2,58) 

Expense #3: Utilities

It is doubtful if anyone likes to pay utility bills, but it is something we must do. Therefore, let’s find out more about the prices of utilities in Estonia. 

According to the leading statistical office of the EU, Eurostat, the average price of electricity in Estonia is €0,20 (~$0,22) per 1 kWh

It means that in case you spend 100 kWh, you will have to pay €20 (~$0,24). 

Another utility bill you have to pay is heating

Unfortunately, due to political turmoil in the nearby countries, heating prices rose so much that the Estonian government had to introduce subsidies

Therefore, if your heating system is based on natural gas, the bills over €80 (~$86,21) will be compensated by the country in the amount of 80% of the excess. 

In other words, if the heating bill states you have to pay €100 (~$107,77), you will need to pay only €84 (~$90,53), while the rest will be covered by the state. 

However, if you want to “get a discount”, you must not overstep the consumption cap of natural gas of 2,6MWh per household. 

The same rules for “discounts” apply to bills of households whose heating is based on district heating, with one important exception — those households do not have a consumption cap.

The amount you’ll have to pay for water bills depends on where you live and, naturally, the amount of water you use monthly. 

In Tallinn, 1㎥ of water with wastewater disposal and treatment fees is €1,87 (~$2,01). On the other hand, in other towns or cities, the water bills may be even higher. 

Finally, there is a possibility that you will pay a monthly amount for some other services, such as cleaning, so it is best to check more about it before moving into your accommodation. 

Expense #4: Gas and public transportation

Would you like to drive on real ice roads over the Baltic Sea? 

During winter months, if the ice is at least 20 cm thick, the Estonian authorities allow you to drive over the Baltic Sea, to get to nearby islands. 

To drive there, you’ll need a car, and that car uses some kind of petrol, hence here are the petrol prices in Estonia

Gas Gas costs in Estonia
Diesel1,62 €/l (~1,75 $/l)
Unleaded 951,70 €/l (~1,83 $/l)
Unleaded 981,74 €/l (~1,88 $/l)
LPG0,94 €/l (~1,01 $/l)

The public transportation in Estonia is well-organized, regardless of the city. 

Naturally, since it is the biggest city in Estonia, Tallinn offers different ways of transport — buses, trams, and trolleybuses

On the other hand, in other cities, such as Tartu or Pärnu, buses are the only means of public transportation. 

You can buy prepaid tickets for all means of public transportation in Estonia in R-kiosks or online. R-kiosks are located in every bigger city or town, so finding them shouldn’t be a problem. 

Here are the public transport ticket prices in some of the most popular Estonian cities.

Place in EstoniaPublic transport ticket price
Tallinn€1,50 (~$1,62) — for 60 min 
€30 (~$32) — for 30 days 
Tartu€0,83 (~$0,90) — for 60 min 
15.34€ (~$16,55) — for 30 days
Pärnu€2 (~$2,16) — for 60 min
Narva€0,50 (~$0,54) — for 60 min
€15,35 (~$16,56) — for 30 days
Kuressaare All bus tickets in Kuressaare are free. 

Bear in mind that ticket prices can hike from time to time, so it is good to be in touch with the latest news. 

Expense #5: Bars and restaurants

Although Estonia is not famous for its nightlife, there are still bars and restaurants you can visit to have a drink or a pleasant meal. 

To have a meal for two in a fine restaurant, you will need to spend around €44 (~$47,6). 

On the other hand, a lunch menu meal for two in a local restaurant costs around €30 (~$32,3). 

In case you go out to have a drink, you can find a pint of beer for around €4,2 (~$4,6), while a cappuccino is around €2,97 (~$3,2). 

Of course, you may find some places where food and drinks are cheaper, but until you find them, you will most likely see these average prices in Estonian bars.

Drinks Drink prices in Estonia 
Beer 0,5 l (~17 fl oz)~€4,2 (~$4,6)
Pepsi/Coca–Cola 0,5l ~€1,97 (~$2,12)
Coffee/espresso/cappuccino~€3 (~$3,24)
Fast food/pub meal ~€6,95 (~$7,5)
Liquors€7–€11 (~$7,46–$11,73)

Expense #6: Coworking spaces

If you prefer to work in coworking spaces, you should know that the average price for a desk is €161 (~$174) per month.  

Most coworking spaces are in Tallinn. Therefore, if you live in the Estonian capital, there is a chance that you’ll find a desk for an even lower price than average. 

On the other hand, in other cities, not too many spaces are available. As a result, the price of a desk there might be even higher than average. 

Expense #7: Internet

We have both good and bad news for you. 

The good news is that the Internet in Estonia is fast and reliable. The bad news is that the price of the Internet is high. In fact, it is one of the most expensive in the whole of Europe. 

Be it as it may, let’s check the average prices of fixed broadband Internet in Estonia.

Internet speedAverage price
<12 Mbps fixed Internet €16,34 (~$17,62)
12–30 Mbps fixed Internet €22,6 (~$24,37)
30–100 Mbps fixed Internet €27,62 (~$29,8)
100–200 Mbps fixed Internet €35,17 (~$37,93)
>200 Mbps fixed Internet €41,47 (~$44,72)

In Estonia, there is also a possibility to purchase a double or triple pay, where you can get the Internet and cable network/telephone, or even all three together. Naturally, the prices of those packages are higher.

Do digital nomads pay tax in Estonia?

Yes, if you spend more than 183 days in Estonia, you become a resident for tax purposes and have to start paying personal income tax there. 

The tax rate should be 20%. However, you should contact the Tax and Customs Board to check:

  • Whether you should pay taxes in Estonia or in the country where your employer is registered, and
  • What your tax rate will be — because if your income comes from abroad and you have a certificate to prove it, the tax rate might change. 

The deadline for submitting tax returns is around the 2nd of May each year, but authorities have the right to change the date. 

Also, you should check if the country where your employer is registered has signed the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Estonia because you probably don’t want to pay the same taxes twice. 

In addition, if you come from an EU/EEA country, you might get a right to a tax-free income, meaning that some part of your income will be non-taxable. 

Process of paying taxes in Estonia

As a holder of the Estonia digital nomad visa, you must contact the tax authorities (Tax and Customs Board) and inform them about the circumstances and reasons for coming to this Baltic country. 

Within the next step, you must go through the process of determination of residency

During this process, you will get a non-resident code, and the Estonian authorities will decide if you must pay taxes in Estonia and in what amount after you complete and submit the form R

There are various ways to submit the form R: 

However, if you already pay income taxes in another country, submit the form TM3 before anything else. To make the form TM3 effective, the state authorities of the country where you have already paid taxes must certify it. 

Finally, when you have finished checking if you should pay the income tax in Estonia, it is time to fill in the tax return

There are a few ways to fill in the tax return:

  • Fill out the tax return online and submit it to the aforementioned e-MTA, 
  • Fill out the tax return form in some of the service bureau offices, or
  • Download and print the appropriate tax return form, complete it, and submit it to the Tax and Customs Board. 

What are the benefits of being a digital nomad in Estonia?

If you have been asking yourself a question such as “Is Estonia a good place to live?” or “Would it be good to settle in Estonia for some time?”, the following benefits of living in Estonia might provide you with an answer. 

Benefits of being a digital nomad in Estonia

Benefit #1: Low crime rate

We have great news for all those digital nomads who plan to get the Estonia digital nomad visa, Estonia is a safe country with a low crime rate

According to Eurostat’s crime statistics, there are only 8,5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in Estonia, per year. That makes Estonia one of the safest countries in the EU. 

Furthermore, Freedom House’s country report states that Estonia is a free country — meaning that democracy is well-developed and stable there. 

In other words, Estonia’s system functions well, and there is no threat of organized crime, corruption, or complicated bureaucracy. 

Benefit #2: Efficient e-services 

Imagine a country with no queues, crowded waiting rooms, and tiring bureaucracy. That is Estonia in the 21st century. 

The e-Services help Estonian citizens and residents obtain what they want without completing a mountain of paperwork or visiting a few different institutions. 

The fact that Estonia holds 10th place in Surfshark’s Digital Quality of Life Index proves that internet and e-services quality in the country is exceptionally high

Therefore, whatever public service you need, don’t get anxious or worried about how you will get it. It is just a few clicks away.

Benefit #3: Moderate cost of living

Compared to other EU countries, the cost of living in Estonia is moderate

Accommodation is much cheaper than in many EU countries. For example, in the center of Tallinn (the Estonian capital), you can get a 1-bedroom apartment for around €500 (~$537) per month. 

Hardly will you find a much cheaper apartment in the capital’s center anywhere in Europe. 

Despite the economic turbulences, such as recession and inflation, the prices of groceries are still reasonable, although some groceries are much more expensive than they used to be just a year ago. 

However, between €40 (~$44) and €50 (~$54) per person per week should be enough to buy basic groceries in every Estonian city. 

It seems that the biggest expenses in Estonia are utility and internet bills

Depending on the price of the internet package you have purchased and how much electricity/water/heating you use, you can expect your bills to be between €100 (~$108) and €150 (~$163) per month. 

Naturally, if you go with your family, the expenses will be much higher, but still, bearing in mind how much you need to earn to come to Estonia in the first place — that would not have a huge impact on your monthly budget. 

Benefit #4: Clean environment

Estonia is one of the countries with the cleanest environment in the world

Pretty bold statement, isn’t it?

Let’s see why we are so sure about this. 

First, in the era of increased air pollution, Estonia is one of the countries with the cleanest air in Europe

Furthermore, according to EEA’s European city air quality viewer, two Estonian cities (Narva and Tallinn) are in the top 10 list of cities with the highest air quality. 

The fact that Estonia is the 5th most forested country in Europe and that it has an environmental strategy to preserve its nature guarantees that people in Estonia will breathe clean air in the future, as well. 

Secondly, the country authorities have planned to move towards a low-carbon economy and eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. 

Pretty ambitious, some would say, but it’s doable judging by everything Estonia has managed to do regarding the environment so far. 

Estonian food has a much lower level of pesticides than food from other European countries. It is partially a result of: 

  • Good agricultural practices, 
  • Low levels of air pollutants, and 
  • Responsible farming. 

All these facts confirm that Estonia digital nomad visa holders will spend time in a country that cares about the health of its people and where you don’t have to worry about potential health hazards. 

Benefit #5: Reliable healthcare system 

Like in every European country, the Estonian healthcare system consists of public and private hospitals. 

The Estonian healthcare system is well-organized and reliable, so in case you need some treatment, you will not have to worry. 

At the heart of Estonia’s healthcare system is the so-called family physician, who takes care of their patients and coordinates further treatments. Afterward, if necessary, the patient is provided with secondary and tertiary care in hospitals or clinics. 

This way, you will get all the care you need in the most professional manner. 

However, potential organizational problems in the healthcare system might appear soon if Estonia doesn’t resolve the problem of the shortage of healthcare workers

To get access to healthcare in Estonia, you need to get health insurance. 

If you or your employer pays social taxes in Estonia, you are qualified for health insurance provided by EHIF (Estonian Health Insurance Fund). 

On the other hand, if you pay taxes in some other country, you will need to purchase private insurance. 

Overall, the Estonian healthcare system seems trustworthy, but we hope you will never have to test it. 

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Benefit #6: Great English proficiency

According to English proficiency rankings, Estonians speak English quite well

Since 48% of the Estonian population speaks English as a foreign language, there shouldn’t be any huge problems regarding communication with the locals. 

Apart from knowing English, 39% of Estonians are fluent in Russian, as well. 

Other languages you might hear while living in Estonia are German and Finnish. 

Nevertheless, if you plan to stay in Estonia for a longer period, it would be nice to learn at least some Estonian so that you can fit into the community better.

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip  

Apart from learning Estonian, knowing a few things about cross-cultural communication could help you fit in the new society or workplace. To learn more about it, read our article: 

What are the drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Estonia?

Although Estonia might appear as a dream destination where streets are paved with gold due to its benefits, there are still a few drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Estonia. 

Here is a list of disadvantages that potential Estonia digital nomad visa holders should bear in mind. 

Drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Estonia

Drawback #1: Lack of social life

Estonia is not known for its nightlife or especially friendly people. Sorry, fellow Estonians, but that is simply the predominant feeling. 

If you come from buzzing cities with crazy nightlife and friendly people, you might find it slightly challenging to get used to the social life in Estonia. It takes time to meet new people because Estonians might be somewhat reserved towards foreigners and need time to establish some kind of close relationship or friendship with you. 

Also, if you prefer, let’s say, a casual approach to work, we doubt you’ll find a lot of like-minded Estonians since Estonian society has a strong Lutheran work ethic. After all, that is one of the secrets of their development in the last 30 years. 

Overall, if you like meeting new people or cities bustling with energy, Estonia might not be the place of your dreams. 

Drawback #2: Lack of accommodation for rent

If you are looking for a place to live in Estonia, you might face difficulties due to the lack of accommodation for rent

Namely, since Estonia is not known for colossal housing projects, and various city areas are considered heritage protection areas (no new buildings can be built there), the problem of finding accommodation is becoming more and more striking. 

The issue of housing scarcity is especially eye-catching in bigger cities such as Tallinn.

Unfortunately, there is no solution in sight. 

Because Estonia is becoming increasingly attractive to professionals and digital nomads worldwide, we recommend you start searching for an apartment as soon as you get into the Estonia work visa-obtaining process. 

Drawback #3: Gloomy weather

If you ask the author of these lines, not too sunny weather would be considered an advantage of the country. 

However, since a lot of people probably prefer sunny over gloomy weather, the weather in Estonia is a drawback for them. 

For example, there are around 177 rainy/snowy days annually in the capital of Estonia — Tallinn. Most rainy, snowy, and generally sunless days are in December and January. 

The climate in other parts of Estonia is not much different. On the contrary, some cities have even more gloomy days than Tallinn. 

Hence, if you come to Estonia, prepare yourself for less sun and more clouds. 

5 Best destinations for digital nomads in Estonia

As you have seen, living in Estonia has its advantages and disadvantages. 

The same applies to Estonian cities — some are more suitable for digital nomads than others. 

Therefore, we have paid attention to various aspects that are important for digital nomads, and, after careful consideration, we have made a list of the 5 best destinations for Estonia digital nomad visa holders

5 Best destinations for digital nomads in Estonia

Tallinn — The biggest and most popular city in Estonia 

Population: 437,811

City area: 61,5 mi² (159,2 km²) 

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET); Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST) 

Average Internet speed: Median download speed 79,26 Mbps/median upload speed 51,13 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €800 (~$865) per month (with rent, utilities, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €500 (~$537) per month 

Biggest advantage: City organization

Biggest drawback: Rent prices might go up at some point 

Majority of professionals who are working in Estonia live in the Estonian capital — Tallinn. 

Tallinn is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and represents the financial, economic, and industrial center of Estonia. 

It is also a city of great historical significance for the whole of northern Europe, hence, there are a lot of historical landmarks and museums in Tallinn we recommend you visit in your spare time. 

One of the first things you notice about Tallinn is that the city has been developing in accordance with the needs of its citizens. 

What has caught our eye is that Tallinn has:

  • Free public transport system for its permanent residents,
  • No traffic jams, 
  • A well-developed public infrastructure, and 
  • Well-preserved historic districts. 

However, the only problem is that housing capacities are not following the demand. Unfortunately, that can lead to a spike in rent prices, and €500 (~$537) per month, which is currently enough for a 1-bedroom apartment, might not be sufficient in the time to come. 

You will notice that Tallinn has the highest cost of living in Estonia. However, compared to the cost of living in other European capitals, especially those in Western Europe, it is moderate, if not low. 

As said above, a single person spends around €50 (~$54) per week for basic groceries. 

Where to work in Tallinn

Tallinn has a plethora of coworking spaces. According to Google reviews, LIFT 99 Telliskivi Hub (4.8 stars from 146 votes) has the highest rating.

Narva — The city for the digital nomads driven by wanderlust 

Population: 54,409

City area: 32,6 mi² (84.54 km²) 

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET); Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST) 

Average Internet speed: Median download speed 52,75 Mbps/median upload speed 57,19 Mbps

Average cost of living: €650—€700 (~$700–$754) per month (with rent, utilities, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €300 (~$322) per month 

Biggest advantage: Ethnic diversity

Biggest drawback: Potential turmoil due to geopolitical reasons 

Narva is one of the most eastern cities of the European Union. It is the third largest city in Estonia, just 2km away from the Russian city of Ivangorod. 

Before the recent political turmoil in nearby countries, the city was a bridge between East and West, but now, it seems that that bridge is temporarily closed, left to wait for some better times. 

However, that doesn’t mean that life in the city has stopped. 

On the contrary, life goes on as usual, and the city still offers various benefits for digital nomads who opt for settling in Estonia. 

First of all, the cost of living in Narva is lower than in any other city in this guide. 

A single person could cover all the necessities — rent, groceries, utility bills, and public transport fees — with between €650 and €700 (~$700–$754). 

Secondly, the city parks, river promenades, and surrounding landscapes are great for long walks or hiking

Finally, by living in Narva, you could get a specific grasp of the times we live in and how it is to reside in this border town during these turbulent times. 

Namely, Narva is an Estonian city where Russians are the majority, and that has become a new home to many Ukrainians in the past year. 

Narva truly is an interesting city, probably the most unique I have written about so far. 

It has enormous potential and can be a perfect place for all those adventurous digital nomads looking for more than just an ordinary home. 

Where to work in Narva

If you are looking for a coworking space in Narva, it seems that the hub called OBJEKT leaves others in the shade. 

It has the highest rating on Google — 4.7 stars from 44 reviews.

Pärnu — Estonian tourist hotspot 

Population: 40,228

City area: 12,44 mi² (32,22 km²) 

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET); Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST) 

Average Internet speed: Median download speed 57,85 Mbps/median upload speed 23,88 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €750 (~$811) per month (with rent, utilities, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €400–€450 (~$430–$483) per month 

Biggest advantage: The most vibrant Estonian city during the summer 

Biggest drawback: Not too exciting when the holiday season is over

Pärnu is located in the southwest of Estonia, and it is one of the most popular destinations in this Baltic country. 

It can proudly wear the crown of the most vibrant city in Estonia (at least during the summer). 

During the summer, many Estonians and various tourists from neighboring countries spend their vacations there and enjoy different festivals and events. The city is full of energy and life. 

Although the average temperatures in Pärnu during the warmest months are around 20℃ (68℉), that is not an obstacle for tens of thousands of locals and visitors to swim or sunbath on the beautiful Pärnu beaches. 

However, when the temperatures get lower and the tourist season is over, there aren’t too many things you can do. Of course, there are events, restaurants, and bars you can visit throughout the year, but the energy in the city is not the same during and after the summer. 

In any case, if you get the Estonian digital nomad visa, we recommend you at least pay a short visit to this coastal town. It has a lot to offer. 

Furthermore, you could consider this town as your temporary residence during summer in Estonia. 

Where to work in Pärnu

During the pause from swimming and sunbathing in Estonian tropical paradise, you can visit some of the Pärnu coworking spaces. 

The one that outshines the other coworking spaces in Pärnu is Forwardspace (5.0 stars from 40 votes on Google). 

Tartu — The perfect alternative for Tallinn  

Population: 91,407

City area: 15 mi² (38,80 km²) 

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET); Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST) 

Average Internet speed: Median download speed 73,42 Mbps/median upload speed 60,99 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €750 (~$811) per month (with rent, utilities, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €400 (~$430) per month 

Biggest advantage: The spirit of Tartu 

Biggest drawback: The spirit of Tartu (no, it is not a mistake) 

“Tartu is fun. I often think I want to die here.” 

I bumped into this sentence while researching information about the second-largest city in Estonia, Tartu. 

It might be a perfect description of the Tartu residents’ witty spirit. It is not for everyone, but if you give it a chance and eventually understand it, Tartu might become one of your favorite cities. 

Always in the shadow of Tallinn, Tartu citizens have developed a strong sense of local patriotism, distinguished by great humor and pride. 

And, if you carefully look, you’ll see that they have every right to be proud of their city. It is home to:

  • The oldest university in Estonia — the University of Tartu, est. in 1632,
  • Ministry of Education and Research,
  • Estonian National Museum, and 
  • Various ICT companies.  

As you see, Tartu is a city with great history, but also a city whose authorities think about the future. And, the future for Tartu looks bright — more and more people want to live here, which results in higher rent prices

However, to live a comfortable life in the city of education and science, you will still need less money than in Tallinn — around €750 (~$811) per month would be enough. 

Tartu and Tallinn are probably the two best destinations for the Estonia digital nomad visa holders. 

Where to work in Tartu

Among a few other coworking spaces, SPARK HUB sparked our attention due to its Google rating (4.9 stars from 71 reviews).

Kuressaare — The coolest off-the-beaten-track destination 

Population: 12,698

City area: 5,77 mi² (14,95 km²) 

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET); Summer (DST): UTC+3 (EEST) 

Average Internet speed: Median download speed 46,08 Mbps/median upload speed 22,60 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €750 (~$811) per month (with rent, utilities, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €400 (~$430) per month 

Biggest advantage: Amazing nature 

Biggest drawback: Lack of social life 

Kuressaare is the administrative center of the Saaremaa region. 

Since the city is located on the island and has around 13,000 inhabitants, it is a perfect place to go if you like to work in very peaceful surroundings. 

On the other hand, those who would like more opportunities for social interaction might not find this town attractive. 

Apart from the lack of events or places where you could meet other people and enrich your social life, Kuressaare lacks accommodation, as well. Therefore, we recommend you start looking for a place in this town as soon as you resolve to go there. 

However, once you settle in Kuressaare, the beauty of Saaremaa nature, nearby castles, and fishing villages will astonish you. 

It is great if you plan to spend your free time or weekends in nature. 

Although a lot of young people have left Saaremaa island and Kuressaare because of better job opportunities elsewhere, that doesn’t mean that this region is not developed or connected well enough.  

For example, the internet connection in this town that is off-the-beaten-track is better and faster on average than in Athens. 

Furthermore, the town has an airport in its vicinity, regular ferry transport lines, and during the winter season (which can be pretty long), you can drive your car to mainland Estonia via ice roads. 

Overall, peace and nature lovers will love Kuressaare.  

Where to work in Kuressaare

There are not too many coworking spaces in Kuressaare. However, from what we have seen on Google — Kuressaare Edukontor looks best with an average Google rating of 4.9. 

Tips for digital nomads in Estonia

There is a saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, meaning that you should always adapt to the customs of the locals, and try, to some degree, to behave as they do. 

To help you do as the Estonians do, we have a few useful tips for digital nomads in Estonia. 

Tip #1: Wear a reflector 

Wait, what? These were my first words when I saw a law regulating wearing a reflector outside during long Estonian nights. 

According to Estonian laws, you must wear a reflector during poor visibility periods or nighttime. 

If you don’t wear a product labeled as a reflector, you risk a lot because it can get really dark in Estonia, and not all drivers have great night vision. Furthermore, if the police catch you without a reflector, they will fine you. 

In case you worry that wearing a reflector will ruin your style, don’t — thanks to this law, the fashion industry in Estonia has broken the boundaries and created fashionable reflectors that suit people well without spoiling their appearance. 

Tip #2: Give Estonians time to get to know you better

As we said above, a lot of Estonians might be reserved at the beginning of your acquaintanceship. They might need some time to get to know you better and begin to open up. Therefore, we recommend you give them the needed time and wait until they accept you completely. 

Naturally, if you come from, for example, southern Europe, where people are open and outspoken, this might be strange, but hey, meeting people’s customs is a part of the journey, as well.  

Tip #3: Prepare for the lack of sunlight

Estonia doesn’t have too many sunny days. Therefore, when there is not enough sun, the chances that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) might appear are higher.

To prevent SAD from appearing, do the following:

  • Mentally prepare for the weather conditions, 
  • Take enough vitamin D,
  • Find the daily routine that suits you best, fulfill your day, and 
  • If needed, visit a psychologist/psychiatrist. 

Tip #4: Travel 

While you live in Estonia, try visiting as many places there as possible. 

If you live, for example, in Tallinn, don’t stay there all the time. Instead, whenever possible, go to other parts of Estonia because there is a lot to see in this Baltic country — from historic cities to nature reserves. 

Also, since spa tourism is well-developed in Estonia, it would be a pity not to try various different saunas all around Estonia and unwind after a tough day at work. 

And, when you want to see something new, visiting nearby Finland, Lithuania or Latvia might be considered an option, as well. 

Further reading for digital nomads in Estonia

To help you get used to life in Estonia, we have made a list of useful sources and further readings.

  • If you are looking for accommodation in Estonia, visit the websites of kinnisvara24, Kv, and City24. Thanks to these accommodation rental portals, you can find a plethora of apartments/houses for rent or selling. 
  • The website might help you plan your journey to Estonian cities. You only need to enter your location and destination, and it will show you the best way to get there. 
  • If you live in Tallinn, you’ll find the webpage of the city of Tallinn useful. You can find the latest city news and general information about the city and its services there.
  • To find more information about public transport tickets in Tallinn, visit the official ticket information for tourists page. 
  • Interested to see if you can buy an e-ticket or regular tickets for public transport in Tallinn online? It is your lucky day! You can do it via the Tallinn transport website. 
  • You live in Pärnu and want to know if there are some events, nice restaurants, or landmarks worth visiting? To learn all that and get more information about the city itself, we recommend checking the Visit Pärnu website. 
  • More good news for Tartu and Pärnu residents — you can purchase the tickets for public transport online by visiting Tartu and Pärnu public transport tickets websites. 
  • Learn more about Narva and find useful information about the city by going to the Visit Narva website.  
  • To find more information about the tax system in Estonia, visit the article about declarations and forms created by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. 

Conclusion: Estonia is a country of possibilities for digital nomads

Estonia is a country that proves how well a relatively small country can be organized if there is enough will. 

One of the cleanest countries in the world has made some giant steps in the digital revolution process, and it doesn’t intend to stop with innovations. 

The Estonia digital nomad visa was their latest venture, but we are sure they will not stop there. 

On the contrary, if anyone will come up with new solutions or possibilities for digital nomads, that’s Estonia. 

To conclude, Estonia is a great destination for all digital nomads who would like to live in a slightly colder country where the system works so well that, as the Estonians would say, the only thing you need to do in person is to go to your own wedding

Estonia digital nomads visa guide disclaimer

We hope this Estonia digital nomad visa guide has been helpful and that you enjoyed reading it. Throughout the guide, we have given you various links that might lead you to new interesting data or simply to articles that will expand your knowledge on various Estonia-related topics.

Please bear in mind that our article has been written in Q2 of 2023, so any changes that are made in the Estonia digital nomad visa procedures or laws after that time have not been included. 

Before you start the application process, we advise you to consult with certified representatives, lawyers, and institutions that can provide you with all the information needed. 

Pumble is not responsible for any negative responses, losses, or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal and other official advisors.


  • Board, E. T. and C. (2023, February 10). Income tax and the declaration of income. Eesti vapp. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from 
  • Business practices and culture | Eesti Kaubandus-Tööstuskoda. (n.d.). Business practices and culture. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from 
  • IQAir. (n.d.). Estonia Air Quality Index (AQI) and Air Pollution Information. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from 
  • Private client | Estonian Tax and Customs Board. (n.d.). Private client: Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from 
  • Speedtest Global Index. (n.d.). Estonia’s mobile and broadband internet speeds. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from 
  • Visit Pärnu. (2023, March 10). Pärnu, Estonia: Official Travel Guide. Retrieved March 27, 2023, from 

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