If you would like to concentrate on a small number of places during your stay, buses and coaches are certainly the answer. In smaller towns, they will stop in the town centre. In the bigger ones the bus station is never far away and there may even be a stop closer to your hotel or the site you are planning to visit – so ask the driver when you get near your destination.
Normally you just pay the driver as you get on board. Journeys of up to an hour will cost between 1-3€, longer ones up to 10€. On the main routes such as Tallinn-Tartu or Tartu-Narva, on summer weekends, you should book ahead.
Bus drivers in Tallinn only sell single tickets, and at prices much higher than those charged in street kiosks. The cheapest option is to buy a book of ten tickets from an R-kiosk. There are other ticket types which give you unlimited travel within a specific time-limit. The Tallinn Card includes unlimited use of local public transport, as well as free admission to all the museums included in the scheme.
Every bigger city has its own municipal transport to get around. Bus stops are clearly marked with timetables on them. In most places a city transportation map is also visible with all bus lines marked on them.
Timetables and general information about city transport are always available from your local Tourist Information Centre. You can also ask from hotel receptionist what the best way of getting around is.
Estonia has extensive set of roads and coaches are the main way of getting from town to town. There are both express-coaches, with only departure and arrival stops and fast-coaches with more stops. The frequency of connections is reasonable, but getting to smaller places may require some time planning.
Minibuses are used for both intercity and local transport. They are smaller and used on lines with fewer passengers. You can stop them on the line by standing on a roadside by waving at them and you may also get off where it most suits you.
Timetables are displayed clearly in all bus stations. Check if a later bus, with fewer stops, might in fact be quicker than an earlier one that stops everywhere. Fares are very similar between companies.
Do not try to buy a return ticket. They do not exist!