Travel to Tallinn/Tartu Area
There are three airports that serve the Riga/Tallinn/Tartu area:
Tallinn Airport has direct connections to a number of cities in Europe. It is served by Nordica, AirBaltic, SAS, Finnair, Lufthansa, Lot Polish Airlines, Turkish Airlines EasyJet, Aeroflot, Norwegian, Ryanair, etc. The buses from Tallinn to Tartu stop at the airport, the travel time to Tartu is around 2h 15 minutes. There is a ticket machine at the lower level exit, next to the bus stop or you can buy your ticket online (use Tallinn airport as your starting point). Those who prefer trains, station “Ülemiste” is located 1 km from the airport. In case of very late arrival, you can pre-book an airport shuttle to Tartu. Those who do not like night travel, can opt for a night at Hotel Ülemiste just 0.5 km from the airport.
Riga International Airport has a more advanced route network. It is served by Air Baltic, Lufthansa, SAS, Finnair, Lot Polish Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Norwegian, Ryanair, Belavia, UTair, Aeroflot, Wizz Air etc. The easiest way to get from Riga airport to Tartu is a 4h 30 minutes bus ride. Lux Express and Ecolines both have two daily departures from the airport, more options are available from the Riga Bus Station.
There is regular ferry service between Helsinki -Tallinn, Stockholm – Tallinn, and St. Petersburg – Tallinn. More information about ship schedules is available here. There is taxi service to Tallinn city centre, bus and train stations.
Bus (coach) – Tallinn to Tartu
Buses (coaches) leave almost every 30 minutes from 6:30 in the morning until 23:00 at night, most of them stop at Tallinn airport on their way to and from Tartu. Tickets cost approximately 12 EUR and can be purchased either online, from ticket offices and machines inside the bus station or airport or from bus drivers upon boarding (on the bus, cash only!). It takes 2h 30 minutes to reach Tartu. Please note that there are many buses that have several stops on the route, make sure that you choose an express line (e.g. Lux Express). Most of the buses are comfortable and offer free wifi. You can check the timetables and buy tickets online from here.
Train – Tallinn to Tartu
Trains between Tallinn and Tartu are operated by Elron several times a day. Tallinn train station (‘Balti jaam’) is located close to Tallinn Old Town and the city centre and not far from the harbour. Station “Ülemiste” is in walking distance from Tallinn airport. Express trains take you to Tartu on 2 hours.
Local Transport in Tartu
Having arrived by bus to Tartu Bus Station (‘Tartu bussijaam’):
The bus station is very near to the city centre. Dorpat Convention Centre and several of the recommended hotels are located just next to bus station (Hotel Dorpat, Hotel Tartu, Vspa, or Art Hotel Pallas). If you have booked a hotel in the historic centre (London, Lydia), you can get off at “Raeplats” (“Town Hall Square”, on demand only – tell the driver once the bus has entered town).
If you have a lot of luggage, we recommend taking a taxi. You will see the taxis standing on the other side of the street from the bus station. There is usually a fairly long queue of taxis present. In the unlikely event that there are none visible, here are the numbers for calling a taxi:
Tartu Linna Takso: +372 7366 666
Tartu Taksopark: +372 7300 200
Takso 1: +372 7420 000
Rivaal: +372 7422 222
SV Takso: +372 7343 333
Vatex: +372 7366 566
Mercedes Takso: +372 7333 666
Minu Takso: +372 7333 333
Having arrived by train to Tartu Railway Station (‘Tartu Rongijaam’):
The best option is to take a taxi. If you opt to walk to your hotel/the venue, please note that the walk from the train station to the centre is slightly longer than from the bus station. Depending on how heavy your luggage is, and how much spring you have left in your step by the time you arrive, the walk can take 15–25 minutes.
Bus Station to Dorpat Convention Centre – 50 m (less than one US city block) Walking
University of Tartu to Dorpat Convention Centre – 1.0 km (.6 miles) Walking
Tartu Train Station to University of Tartu – 1.3 km (.8 miles) Walking
Tartu Train Station to Dorpat Convention Centre – 1.9 km (1.2 miles) Walking
Bus Station to University of Tartu – 1.0 km (.6 miles) Walking