Tartu is situated in southern Estonia and connects to the world through Tartu Airport and Lennart Meri Airport in Tallinn. It is also possible to reach Tartu by bus from Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Riga, and by train from Tallinn. See the information below and relevant links for more information.
Getting to Tallinn
The distance between Tallinn, Estonia's capital, and Tartu is approximately 200 kilometers, or about 2.5 hours by express coach or car.
There are direct connections to many major European cities. List of airlines flying to Tallinn is available at the Tallinn Airport homepage www.tallinn-airport.ee.
From Stockholm and Helsinki, there is also a ferry connection to Tallinn. It is especially frequent from Helsinki, hence planning your route through there will not add much to the total duration of your trip.
Apart from that, Estonia has bus links with major cities in Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. Due to the relatively short distances, coach trips from Riga and St. Petersburg are a good alternative to air travel. Both cities have direct connections to Tartu.
Getting to Tartu
Tartu Airport currently has connections to Helsinki, the plane flies daily.
The distance between Tartu Airport and the city center is about 10 kilometers.
Airport Shuttle bus leaves from Tartu Airport to the city in about 15 minutes after the plane has arrived, but also waits for anyone who needs the ride to the city. And if booked earlier picks you up from anywhere in Tartu and takes you to the airport.
For a fee of 5 EUR the shuttle will drop you off at any place in Tartu city and the ticket can be bought either in cash or with a debit/credit card from the driver. More information: Airport Shuttle
The taxi stop is also located in front of the terminal. The taxi might cost around 10 EUR to the city center.
From Tallinn, St Petersburg and Riga you can get directly to Tartu by bus (Lux Express, Ecolines, Eurolines). Tartu bus station is situated in the city centre.
Tallinn-Tartu express bus
There are hourly Lux Express buses which take passengers from the Tallinn Airport (stop "Tallinna lennujaam" in Estonian) on their way to Tartu. You can find most Estonian bus lines on the web site www.tpilet.ee. If you wish to get on the bus at the airport, it is advisable to buy the ticket in advance (online, printing out the ticket yourself). It is possible to purchase tickets up to 15 days in advance at the Tallinn and Tartu bus station ticket offices as well as online, including the possibility to board at stops „Tartu Näitused“ (at the university campus) and „Lennujaam“ (Tallinn airport). The journey costs about 10 € and takes 2,5 hours.
From Tallinn airport to Tallinn bus terminal: Tallinn bus terminal is situated quite close to the only airport Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and you can take a taxi or use public transport to get there. As Tallinn airport is a relatively small one, it is easy to find the area where public transportation (Floor 0) and taxis (Floor 1) are waiting in front of the building. It is a short distance by taxi and it should not cost you more than 10 EUR to get to the bus terminal. It is also possible to use public transportation, bus No. 2 from the airport stops not too far from the bus terminal (the "Autobussijaam" stop), but you still have to cross two intersections to reach the bus terminal. 1-hour ticket on Tallinn public transport (can be bought from the driver) costs 1.60 EUR.
See the directions here.
Express buses coming and leaving Tallinn Airport
Buses coming and leaving Tartu
From Tallinn sea port to bus terminal - It takes a little bit more time to get to the bus terminal from Tallinn sea port (http://www.ts.ee/) and it's easier to get there by taxi. Tram No. 2 (towards Ülemiste) or bus No. 2 takes you to Tallinn bus terminal (the "Autobussijaam" stop) from the port, but you still have to cross 2 intersections to reach the bus terminal. 1-hour ticket on Tallinn public transport (can be bought from the driver) costs 1.60 EUR.
Participants traveling from Russia can also take a train (www.gorail.ee) or bus to reach Estonia. NB! Visa is required! Contact your travel agency.
Getting to Tartu from Tallinn by train
Trains for Tartu from Tallinn train station leave 3-4 times a day, and it takes a little more than 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 in the first class.
Tartu train station is a little bit farther away from the city center, for first time travelers it is best to take a taxi from there to your destination.
Travel by CAR
You can rent a car from Tallinn and drive to Tartu. There are no freeways between Tallinn and Tartu, but you can drive along the Tallinn-Tartu highway and reach Tartu in approximately 2,5 hours.