Tartu is situated in Southern Estonia and connects to the world through Tartu Airport and Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. The distance between Tallinn, Estonia's capital, and Tartu is 186 kilometers, or about 2.5 hours by express coach or car.
From Stockholm and Helsinki, there is also a ferry connection to Tallinn. It is especially frequent from Helsinki
Getting to Tartu city from Tartu Airport:
An Airport Shuttle bus leaves from Tartu Airport to the city about 10 minutes after the plane has arrived, but also waits for anyone who needs a ride to the city. The shuttle will drop you off at any place in Tartu city and the ticket (5 EUR) can be bought either in cash or with a debit/credit card from the driver. If booked earlier, the shuttle also picks you up from anywhere in Tartu and takes you to the airport (5 EUR).
A taxi stop is also located in front of the terminal. Taxi fare to the city centre is about 10 EUR.
Getting to Tartu from Tallinn:
You can get to Tartu either by bus or train. Buses leave directly from Tallinn Airport and more frequently from Tallinn Bus station. When travelling from Tallinn Airport, buses are the more comfortable option to get to Tartu. Tartu Bus station is located right in the city centre.
From Tallinn Airport to Tartu: The easiest way to get to Tartu from Tallinn Airport is to take a bus directly from the airport (timetable). If you wish to get on the bus at the airport, it is advisable to buy the ticket in advance (online, LUX Express and Simple Express accept pdf versions of the ticket from your mobile). The airport bus station also has a self-service ticket dispenser, the machine accepts card payments.
If arriving very late and not wanting to overnight in Tallinn, a shuttle from Tallinn Airport to Tartu leaves after midnight and arrives at about 2:30 AM. It will only be available when booked in advance from their webpage.
From Tallinn Airport to Tallinn Bus station: Buses leave for Tartu more frequently from Tallinn Bus station which is situated quite close to Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and you can either walk, take a taxi or public transportation to get there (see the directions). You can take the tram No. 4 (to stop Bussijaam) or bus No. 2 (toward Reisisadam, to stop Bussijaam). The tram and bus stops are outside the arrivals zone of the airport. It is a short distance by taxi and it should not cost you more than 5 EUR to get to the bus station (NB! It is recommended to use the taxis in the marked spots directly in front of the terminal).
From Tallinn Bus station to Tartu: Buses leave almost every 30 minutes from 5.45 in the morning until 23.00 at night (timetable). Tickets cost approximately 10 EUR and can be purchased from the ticket office or self-service kiosk inside the bus station or from the bus driver. To get a student discount, you need to show your International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It will take you 2.5 hours to reach Tartu. Buses are comfortable and most of them have WiFi.
From the Port of Tallinn to Tallinn Bus station: It takes a little bit more time to get to Tallinn Bus station from the Port of Tallinn and it's easier to get there by taxi. Tram No. 2 (towards Ülemiste) or bus No. 2 takes you to Tallinn Bus station (the "Autobussijaam" stop) from the port and you have to cross 2 intersections to reach the bus station. You can buy a ticket from the bus driver and it costs 2 EUR for one ride (ticket info and timetable).
Getting to Tartu from Tallinn by train: Trains to Tartu from Tallinn train station leave about 10 times a day, and it takes 2 hours to get to Tartu. The train station is situated just outside the Tallinn Old Town and sea port, a taxi or tram No. 2 (from the sea port) can take you there ("Balti jaam" stop). Trains are rather comfortable and you can use WiFi. Trains are not the best option when travelling to Tallinn by plane.