Estonia is tiny, which is great for travellers and locals alike, as there’s a well-developed infrastructure available. T-Pilet.ee is a great source for timetables. For train routes and tickets, please visit Elron.ee. Estonia has a number of islands worth a visit. Veeteed.com and Tuulelaevad.ee is the best source of information about ferries from the mainland to local islands.
For routes and schedules of Tallinn public transport visit transport.tallinn.ee. Tickets can be purchased in cash from the drivers or by using a prepaid Smartcard (Ühiskaart) that can be purchased and reloaded online or at a number of supermarkets, and R-kiosks (a local kiosk chain).
There are also domestic flights from Tallinn to the island towns of Kuressaare and Kärdla. Both airports are located a 10-minute bus ride from the individual towns.
Driving around in Estonia in your own car
Distances between any major towns in Estonia don’t usually exceed 3 hours of driving.
Estonia has right-hand traffic and an extensive road system. The speed limit in the countryside is 90 km/h and 50 km/h in urban areas unless specified otherwise. In the summer season, some highways allow for a maximum of 110 km/h speed. Passengers are required to wear seat belts and lights must be switched on at all times. Estonia has zero-tolerance for driving under the influence.
Estonia recognises driving licenses from countries around the world, please check for specific requirements here: https://www.mnt.ee/eng/driver/driving-licence/foreign-driving-licence
Foreign vehicles must have third party liability insurance in Estonia. Vehicles registered in an EEA country can only be insured in that specific country of registration. Vehicles registered in the following countries must be covered by a Green Card as a proof of insurance: Albania, Andorra, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Iran, Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia.
As an alternative to the Green Card, you can purchase cross-border insurance. Those vehicles not registered in EEA or in the countries listed above, must all be covered with valid cross-border insurance upon the arrival to Estonia.
LuxExpress tends to be the most common transport company for cross country travel and offers multiple connections across the country. You can buy tickets from www.tpilet.ee and from bus stations directly.
You can take a tram from Tallinn airport to Balti Jaam train station. From here you can take a train to larger towns such as Tartu, Narva, and Rakvere. A ticket can be bought from the station building, also from the train in cash. There are wifi and charge points available in most trains, and while some trains offer the option of debit/credit card payment, it is wise to carry at least €20 cast just in case. In the middle of each train, there is a section called C-part, from where you can easily enter the coach with wheelchair, bicycle or a baby stroller.
You can comfortably fly to two of the biggest islands in Estonia – Saaremaa, and Hiiumaa. The flight from Tallinn to Kuressaare lasts 45 minutes, while it takes about 30 minutes to fly to Kärdla. More information is available via https://www.visitestonia.com/en/why-estonia/flying-to-the-islands-in-estonia.
For those travelling by car, taking a ferry is the most convenient way to tour the local islands. There are regular ferries operating to most larger islands, including Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Vormsi, Kihnu and Ruhnu. Passenger ferries operate between Tallinn and the smaller Prangli and Naissaare islands. There are a number of tour operators offering custom trips to smaller islands. Purchasing an e-ticket ahead of time allows you to change the travel time.
All the information about ferry schedules is available via veeteed.com and tuulelaevad.ee. You can also do island hopping while visiting Tallinn - more information about ferry traffic in Tallinn is available via https://www.visittallinn.ee/eng/visitor/discover/articles-guides/tallinn-surroundings
Read more about Sailing in Estonia.
With a bicycle
During the summer season, Estonia tends to be a popular cross country cycling destination. The Eurovelo route that passes through Estonia starts from the Latvian border, runs along the coast and the islands pass Tallinn and heads to the Russian border via the northern coast (Saint Petersburg is only 140 km away from the border). Additionally, there are signs for a selection of local and regional bike routes. You get a whole new experience when travelling through Estonia on a bike (as opposed to car drives), meadows and forests alternate with villages and it is perfectly common to stop at the nearest farm to ask for a glass of cold water. There are a number of tourism enterprises located all across Estonia offering bicycle tours and rentals.
If you are just looking to tour Tallinn then look for Citybike rental spots in the city centre. Tartu, on the other hand, has a fully established city bike system.
If you’ve decided to get closer to nature, a caravan van is a great option.
Search for camping areas hosting caravans.
Inner-city Public transportation
Tallinn and Tartu use transport cards for city transportation, but you can also buy your ticket via mobile. Tickets also from kiosks such as R-kiosk. In Tallinn, you can also use all Mastercard, Maestro, Visa and Visa Electron bank cards with contactless interfaces in public transport.
There are several shared driving services in Estonia. Bolt is currently the most popular taxi app, while Uber tends to be equally popular. You have the legal right to ask for a receipt when using taxi services at all times. Taxi rates vary by company. Yellow sticker in the right rear window of each vehicle will give you an overview of prices included price per kilometre. You can easily order taxis and verified private drivers via Bolt and Uber mobile apps.