Travel to Tartu

Tartu is situated in Southern Estonia and connects to the world through Tartu Airport, Lennart Meri Airport in Tallinn and Riga Airport in Latvia. The distance between Tallinn, Estonia's capital, and Tartu is 186 km, or about 2.5 hours by express bus or car.

Flying to Tartu

Tartu Airport offers flight connections with Helsinki (Finnair). The distance between Tartu Airport and the city centre is about 10 km. There is a free bus taking passengers to the city centre.

Taxis are located in front of the terminal and cost about €12 to the city centre. Should no taxis be available on the spot, it will not take long to order one by phone or via a smartphone app (see below).

Flying to Tallinn

Tallinn airport has direct air links to numerous cities. Low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair also fly to Tallinn.

To travel from Tallinn to Tartu you have a choice between a bus and a train. You can board the Tallinn-Tartu bus either from Tallinn bus station or the Tallinn airport. Tickets can be bought online and downloaded to a smartphone; there is also a ticket machine located at the ground floor. Tickets are available from the driver, too, but please note that buses tend to be full and you would be much better off purchasing your ticket before the bus arrives!

If you arrive in Tallinn by ferry or travel to Tartu from the city centre, express train might be the best option. The main train station (Balti jaam) is located just outside the Old Town, the station closest to the airport is Ülemiste. Trains currently run 5 times per day. Note that the train schedule is currently only available about 1.5 weeks in advance and tickets can be bought up to 7 days in advance.

Buses are more frequent: on average, they depart every 30 minutes. The easiest way to get to the bus station from the city centre or the ferry terminal is to take a taxi. Tram number 2 (in the direction of Ülemiste) or bus number 2 will also take you there (the Autobussijaam bus stop). You can buy a ticket for €2 from the bus driver. See ticket information and timetable.

Other connections
  • You can reach Tartu easily from Riga airport, about 245km from Tartu. There are five bus connections a day (LuxexpressEcolines).
  • From Stockholm and Helsinki, there are also ferry connections to Tallinn. From Helsinki there are multiple departures with different companies. The ferry line to Stockholm is overnight.

Calling a taxi

In Estonia, many people use smartphone apps like Uber and Bolt for taxi services.

Regarding Tallinn, we recommend to read these guidelines about taking a taxi. The most common (but not necessarily the cheapest) taxi companies include Tulika Takso (1200, +372 6 120 000), Tallink Takso (1921, +372 640  8921), and Elektritakso (1918, +372 588 588 00).

Regarding Tartu, the taxi companies are listed here. We recommend Elektritakso (1918, +372 588 588 00) or Tartu Taksopark (1200, +372 7 300 200).