Getting around

Getting around

Tallinn is basically a large village and getting from one end of the city to the other is usually fairly quick and easy - compared to most international standards of course. Here we have listed all of the different ways you can navigate the city - and in some cases even beyond.

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If you’re travelling city-to-city in the Baltics or around Estonia and you don’t have your own car, the bus is definitely the way to go. It’s also a good way to meet local students. Connections are frequent and cheap, allowing you to cross the country for the same money you might spend on a taxi in Tallinn.

Bus operators

Car rental


The vast majority of visitors travelling onward from Tallinn go by ship, and it's no wonder - the city has excellent, affordable ferry connections to Helsinki, Stockholm and Saint Petersburg. On the Tallinn-Helsinki route, you have the choice between large car ferries, which make the crossing in about two hours, and fast ferries (hydrofoils and catamarans), which usually take only 1.5 hours, but are seasonal and don't run in all weather conditions. Ferries leave from various terminals of the city's two passenger harbours, clustered just outside Old Town (see our map).

Ferry operators


Tallinn is so centralised and pedestrian-friendly that there’s absolutely no reason to bring a car. If you happen to be here with your own set of wheels though, keep in mind that finding parking in downtown Tallinn, especially during working hours, can be a real nightmare. Public parking on streets in the town centre, as well as a few streets in Old Town, costs €1.20 - 4.80/hour, depending on the zone. Look for posted signs to tell you the price and the hours/days that paid parking is in effect. Buy per-hour parking passes from streetside vending machines or kiosks, and be sure to leave a parking clock (or barring that a written note) on your dashboard to mark the time that you first parked. If all this sounds too complicated, you can just use the following guarded central parking lots/garages:

Public Transport

Tallinn’s public transportation system is a fairly straightforward network of buses, trolley-buses and trams, all of which use the same ticketing-system.

Trams provide the simplest way to get around downtown areas, whereas buses are mainly for getting to outlying neighbourhoods. From the centre, most major bus routes leave from the terminal under the Viru Centre, or from Vabaduse Väljak (Freedom Square). You can easily hop on a tram in several places adjacent to Old Town. Routes and schedules are also listed in English at soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#tallinna-linn/map/en where you can also find a handy route planner to help you navigate your way through Tallinn’s pubic transport system.

Detailed route maps are also posted at many public transport stops and stations.

When climbing on board, in 98% of cases, you can just hop on any door, i.e. you don’t have to show your ticket to the driver. The rare exception is a few buses that have ‘no-entry’ signs on their rear doors. If you see this sign and the door doesn’t open, head to the front and buy a ticket from the driver or scan your pre-purchased Smartcard at one of the scanners on board (see below). Tickets and cards are otherwise checked by inspectors who stop transport vehicles in between scheduled stops. The fine for ‘riding like a rabbit’ - as locals call it - is €40. Exceptions include: registered residents of Tallinn, Tallinn Card holders, unaccompanied children under the age of six and children under the age of three plus one accompanying adult - they all ride the public transport system for free.

Tickets: The same tickets/cards are good on all three systems. The simplest version is the single-ride ticket. Non-Tallinn-residents will need to purchase this ticket from the driver for €1.60 and it no longer needs to be validated. If you are planning on travelling a lot via public transport, other types of tickets are good for specific periods of time and are sold in all post offices, at Selver or Prisma info desks, R-Kiosk shops and the Tallinn City Government Info Hall (Vabaduse väljak 7). All longer period tickets are now e-tickets and come in the form of a plastic Smartcard. You’ll need to rent the card for a one-time deposit fee of (€2) and then purchase ‘virtual’ tickets that will be added to the card. These come in the form of a 24 hour (€3), 72 hour (€5), 5 day (€6) or 30 day (€23) pass.

The card will need to be validated upon entering the vehicle by holding it in front of the orange validation machine. You’ll know it’s been scanned properly when a green light and “beep” sound show that your pass has been validated. Each time you add another ‘E-ticket’ to the card you’ll need to repeat this process. When you no longer require the use of Tallinn’s public transport system, the card can be returned to the City Government Info Hall, you’ll then receive your €2 deposit fee back - or you can just keep it as a souvenir.
For more info please go to: http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng/fpage/travelplanning/transportation/public.

Roadside assistance


Taxi stands can be found near major hotels and next the Drama theatre just outside Old Town, but grabbing a taxi on the street, especially those parked in Old Town, is the best way to get ripped off. Always check the prices first, which should posted on the taxi’s right rear window. Taxis typically charge a starting fee and begin racking up the kilometre charges immediately. When in doubt, you can agree on a price to your destination with the driver before you get in. Ordering a taxi by phone is always the best strategy, as you’ll avoid the dishonest taxis that prey on tourists. Note that the second (short) telephone numbers listed here will work from all Estonian fixed and mobile lines, but if you're calling from a foreign mobile, you need to dial the regular seven-digit number. Here is a list of taxi companies along with their daytime base fares and per-kilometre rates. Night time rates can be about 20% more.

For more info please go to: http://www.tourism.tallinn.ee/eng/fpage/travelplanning/transportation/taxi


Train travel in Estonia hasn’t gained the popularity it has elsewhere in Europe.The only real international connections are to point east (Moscow, St.Petersburg and beyond). Although plans are under way, forget about taking the train to Riga or Vilnius. It is, however, possible to get to Tartu and other Estonian cities by rail. Two separate companies cover Estonia’s train system: GoRail handles international, Elron operates the local electric trains and the inter-city diesel trains.

Train operators

Travel agencies abroad

Travel agencies in Estonia

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