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Estonia > Living


Where Should You Retire To In Estonia?

Published Monday September 14, 2015 (12:12:38)

Image © Mark Doliner on Flickr

Estonia is establishing itself as one of the most popular destinations for retirees. This country has been named as one of the top places to retire in many surveys, based on its living costs, culture, safety, cleanliness, healthcare, ease of communication and pace of life.

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is also the largest city. It attracts the majority of the tourist and expat population because of its history, lifestyle, cultural events and various attractions.

Property and rental costs in Estonia’s capital city are also relatively reasonable compared to most of the other European capitals. You could rent a small 1-bedroom apartment in the city center for about € 385.00 (US$ 430.00) per month and a big, 3-bedroom house in the same area for € 650.00 (US$ 726.00). If you prefer to purchase your own home, you’d pay around € 2065.00 (US$ 2307.00) per square meter for a house in the heart of the city.

While Tallinn is relatively reasonable in terms of housing, many senior expats prefer to move to the smaller towns, where property is even cheaper. Below are some of the other popular places to retire in Estonia:


With an area of just 15.0 square kilometers and a population of 13,105, this small town has a significant senior population, though most of them are local. The pace of life on this part of the island is therefore quite slow and the people are more closely knit compared to the mainland.

There are quite a few special events that take place in Kuressaare, which mainly cater to the elderly population. These include the Saaremaa Opera Days (July), the Maritime Festival (August), the Saaremaa Food Festival (September) and the Rally (October). However, it is the spa events that often prove most popular with seniors, and these are fortunately organized all year around.

The average price for renting an apartment in this town is around € 200.00 (US$ 224.00) and you could buy a house for around € 39,000.00 (US$ 43,561.00). The buildings range from medieval limestone castles to Soviet era apartments. Some of the modern semi-detached houses also come with a sea view.

Medical facilities in this town are adequate, with hospitals like the Kuressaare Linn Medical Center and Kuressaare Haigla. Moreover, Kuressaare is well connected to Tallinn and most of the other major European cities through daily flights.


The area of this classical seaside resort town is around 10.6 km square and has a population of around 10,251. The residents are mainly small-town family people, including many senior citizens who enjoy a relaxed and easy pace of life.

Haapsalu comprises picturesque tree-lined avenues, quaint cafeterias and romantic alleys. It also boasts many spas that have massage masters as well as healing mud baths. In addition to this, there are many colorful events that take place in this resort town, which include the Russian Fair or Vene Laat and Scottish Culture Days in January, the Family Day in February, the Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in April and the Italian Wine Festival in June.

House rentals in this resort town average around € 200.00 (US$ 224.00) and you could purchase a house for as low as € 25,000.00 (US$ 28,000.00). Haapsalu mainly has timber buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. Most expat retirees opt for classic or modern villas that have a sea view.

This town is only an hour’s drive away from Tallinn and many people prefer to travel to the capital city for medical treatment. However, Haapsalu does have a good medical center and several English-speaking doctors, equipped to handle various conditions.


Contrary to what many people believe, this small university town has a fair amount of older people. It covers around 39 km square and its overall population is 98,400.

Even though Tartu has a lot of university students (and teachers), the pace of life in this town is much slower than in Tallinn. Most of the events that take place in Tartu are connected to the university.

Property prices in this town are quite high. The average rent for an apartment is approximately € 400.00 (US$ 447.00) and purchasing a house costs around € 70,000.00 (US$ 78,187.00).

While these are the most interesting places for expat retirees in Estonia, you may also want to consider living in Viljandi or Parnu.

Can we improve this article? Something wrong? Let us know in the comments.

References: [1], [2]

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