How to use public transport in Tallinn: buses, streetcars and trolleybuses
Public transportation in Tallinn

How to use public transport in Tallinn: buses, streetcars and trolleybuses

Public transport in Tallinn is a lifesaver, especially when you only have to walk a couple of kilometers and it’s Baltic chilly outside. Transportation here is inexpensive and regular. I’ll tell you how to use it.

Tallinn residents are lucky: in 2013, transportation for locals became free of charge. It’s unlikely that the same bonus will fall on tourists, so it’s worth sorting out Tallinn’s public transportation before you travel.

Tickets and fare

Tallinn’s transportation provides several ticket options:

  • For one trip — at the driver 2 €, purchase online 1 €.
  • For an hour, €1.10.
  • For 1 day — 3 €.
  • For 3 days — 5 €.
  • For 5 days — 6 €.

If you are making a single trip, it is more cost-effective to buy a QR ticket. If you are only in Tallinn for one day, but plan to use transportation frequently, buy a pass for 3 €.

The fine for traveling without a ticket is 40 €. As soon as the controller enters the vehicle, the driver turns off the validator so that the passenger cannot register the fare. Do not even try to explain that you did not know. Instructions in Russian are on the window in any public transport.

Viru central stop under the hotel
Viru central stop under the hotel

Discounts on transport in Tallinn

Children up to 7 years old and adults accompanying children up to 3 years old can use public transportation free of charge.

50% travel discount for students with ISIC card.

Single trip tickets

The easiest but most expensive way to buy a ticket for transportation in Tallinn is from a driver. Drivers only sell single tickets for 2 €. Money must be given without change.

Another way to buy a single-trip ticket is to buy it on the website or in the app. The QR ticket is easy to use — download it to your smartphone or print it out. I asked the front desk to print it out. It’s not obligatory, but I decided to be on the safe side in case my phone runs out of battery.

Tickets with a QR code are also sold in the machines of the railway and bus stations, at the airport, at the port in terminals A and D.

At the entrance to the first door of public transport there are validators that read the QR code on the ticket. You can only pay for one trip this way.

Terminal D at the seaport, where you can buy a QR ticket
Terminal D at the seaport, where you can buy a QR ticket


Hourly and daily tickets can only be purchased with the Ühiskaart card. First you pay 2 € for the card (this is the deposit, which is used to pay the fare), then you top up the card with the required amount. You activate the card in the transportation system using a validator. Ühiskaart is sold at R-Kiosk and post offices.

If there is an unspent amount left on the card, it can be refunded at the R-kiosk at the airport, port and Baltic railway station or at the T-pilet at the bus station, but not more than 20 €.

Finally, the Tallinn Card offers unlimited travel for 24, 48 or 72 hours and bonuses. With it, you can ride Hop-on Hop-off tourist transportation or visit museums for free.

How to figure out the routes

There are several easy and convenient ways to build an itinerary in Tallinn.

  1. You can use a map with stops on it. Choose the one closest to you and see what transportation stops near you.
  2. You can use the route planner, but only if you know the name of the start and end stops. The system will show you several options and the travel time.
  3. If you know the number of public transportation, a schedule with all known routes will do. Bus and streetcar numbers and timetables are posted at bus stops.
Scheme of all transport in Tallinn
Scheme of all transport in Tallinn

In Tallinn, in the very center is Viru Keskuse bussiterminal, an underground station through which almost all city buses run. There are many platforms at the station, each with a door that opens when a vehicle arrives. To avoid getting lost, look at the electronic board, which displays the flight number and platform.

Flights at the stop
Flights at the stop
Transportation schedule
Transportation schedule

Types of public transportation

There are buses, trolleybuses and streetcars running around Tallinn. It is very easy to understand them.


The most popular mode of transportation. Buses run from 5:30 to 0:00, covering 75 routes. They run around the center, to the airport, Pirita Beach, the TV tower and the suburbs. The schedule can be viewed online.

Tallinn buses
Tallinn buses


Tallinn’s streetcars are so nice that you want to take a ride, even if you have to walk 2—3 km. The interior is very clean and comfortable. The new streetcars are quiet and fast, and the old ones are also photogenic.

Streetcars run through the center and surrounding neighborhoods. They serve four routes. The first trip leaves at 5:10 am and the last one at 11:40 pm. The travel interval is 7—20 minutes, depending on the time of day.

In 2019, streetcar No. 4 started running from the center to Tallinn Airport. It passes through the central stop Viru. From it to the Old Town is not more than 300 meters.

Streetcar in Tallinn
Streetcar in Tallinn


I didn’t encounter this transportation during my vacation in Tallinn, but it exists. Trolleybuses run only four routes and they all start in the center and go west.

Trolleybuses run from 5:30 to 0:00 with an interval of 7—20 minutes. The interval is longer on weekends. The exact schedule is available on the website and at the stops.

Tourist buses in Tallinn

You can see Tallinn from the windows of Hop-on Hop-off tourist buses. The service is provided by City Sightseeing.

There are three routes in total:

  • Red. The bus follows historical places — castles, monuments, bastions.
  • Green. The route runs along the coast. It will appeal to those who appreciate sea views, want to get to Pirita Beach and the Botanical Gardens.
  • Blue (May-September). The route goes through the historic center, then the bus makes stops near the Rocca Al Mare shopping center and the zoo.

The trip costs from 25 €.

Hop-on Hop-off buses
Hop-on Hop-off buses

Where can I get to by public transportation in Tallinn?

  • From the center to the main bus station Bussijaam. Intercity and international buses depart from it. The main hub of LuxExpress and Euroline is located here.
  • From any neighborhood to the seaport where ferries to Helsinki, Stockholm, Riga and many other capitals depart.
  • In summer, you can visit remote attractions like the village of Rokka-Al-Mare, Tallinn Zoo and the Flying Harbor.
  • To Pirita Beach. The coast is not meant for swimming, but getting out to the Baltic Sea is always nice.