- purchase the pre-paid travel card "ühiskaart" for public transportation
- locals have nicknamed trains to "carrots"
- when crossing traintracks - pay attention!
There aren’t many dual carriageways, except for two stretches near Tallinn and a short stretch on the way to Tartu.
If you come from a place with heavy traffic, you’ll find that this concept doesn’t really exist here. Yes, there are spots in and around Tallinn that are busier during rush hour and immediately before and after major holidays. So keep that in mind when calculating travel times. Otherwise, it’s mostly smooth sailing.
The bus, trolleybus and tram network is wide, punctual, and reliable in Tallinn. Public transport operates from 5 am to midnight.
The most cost-efficient way to travel is buying a prepaid travel card, called “ühiskaart”, from an R-kiosk (found in most shopping centres and urban areas). You can load money to the card easily and use it for any type of ticket or pass that makes sense for you. Just beep it on the beeper machine (technical terms) when entering your chosen form of transport.
Summer is the time for roadworks, so keep an eye out for those.
Registered Tallinn residents ride public transport for free. Check the Tallinn city website for full details.
Trains in Estonia are run by Elron (domestic) and Go Rail. You can buy tickets online, at the station, or on the train. The busiest trains fill up pretty fast, so if you want a guaranteed seat, you can buy a first-class ticket a few days ahead of time (the price difference is few euros). Trains within Tallinn are free for residents but if you’re going further afield, you’ll need to buy a ticket!
Travelling by train is affordable and smooth. An express train from Tallinn to Tartu takes just over two hours and costs around 10 euros. The trains are brand new and have free wifi.
For timetables and tickets, visit the website of the Baltic Station.
The Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (TLL), recently voted among the best in Europe, is the country’s main airport. In addition to being almost impossibly cosy and very easy to navigate, Tallinn airport is also delightfully close to the city. Depending on the luggage situation and traffic, you’ll probably be in town within 30 minutes of landing.
There’s a direct flight from Tartu airport to Helsinki.
Pärnu, Kuressaare, and Kärdla also have (even smaller) airports.
Estonia is not, small- it´s well optimised (as we like to say) and getting around is fairly easy