How to get 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 186km, or about 2.5 hours by express bus or car.

Flying to Tartu

Tartu Airport offers flights five times per week to Helsinki (Finnair). The distance between Tartu Airport and the city centre is about 10km. Airport Shuttle Bus departs about 15 minutes after the plane lands and will wait for all passengers who need transportation. The shuttle will drop you off at any place in the city, and a ticket costs €5. Tickets can be bought in cash or debit/credit card from the driver. If you purchase a ticket in advance for the return journey to the airport, the shuttle picks you up from any point in Tartu. Otherwise, call the bus company a day in advance to arrange pick-up.

Taxis are located in front of the terminal and cost about €12 to arrive to the city centre.

Flying to Tallinn

Tallinn airport has direct air links to numerous cities. In addition to the nearby Baltic capitals, Riga and Vilnius, there are currently nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Kiev, Lisbon, London, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, St. Petersburg and Warsaw. Low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair also fly to Tallinn.

To travel from Tallinn to Tartu you have a choice between bus and train. The Tallinn-Tartu bus departs from Tallinn bus station and makes a stop to pick up passengers at the Tallinn airport. Tickets can be bought online and downloaded to a smartphone; there is also a ticket machine located at the ground floor near the main entrance to the terminal. 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. Express trains currently run 5 times per day. 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 four 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.
  • For heartier travelers, Estonia can also be reached by bus from major cities in Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries.
  • From St Petersburg, you can travel to Tartu by bus.