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Travel to Tartu
Tartu is reasonably well connected with the rest of Europe and beyond, and the best way to reach it is by travelling via one of the nearby regional centres: Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm, Riga and St. Petersburg. Some of these cities have direct connections with Tartu (buses from Riga, flights from Helsinki etc), with the most frequent connection being between Tallinn and Tartu (with buses every half-hour for most of the day).
Below are listed the most obvious ways to reach Estonia (and eventually, Tartu!).
If you’d like to learn more about Estonia and all the travel possibilities, please also have a look at www.visitestonia.com/en/
Note to delegates participating in the ISFNR Vilnius Congress before the SIEF Congress in Tartu
We are organising a reasonably-priced charter bus from Vilnius to Tartu on Sunday, June 30th. The bus will leave Vilnius at 7am and arrive in Tartu at around 3pm in the afternoon. Details regarding tickets and departure will follow. If you wish to make use of this service, please put 'ISFNR bus' in the 'Special requirements' field of the SIEF Congress online registration form.
Getting to Tartu by land
International train connections
Moscow and Tallinn (Go Rail www.gorail.ee/)
St. Petersburg and Tallinn (Go Rail www.gorail.ee/)
A variety of car rentals are also available in Tartu:
Getting to Tartu by air
Please note that not all the European capitals and larger cities enjoy a direct connection with Tallinn or Tartu – from most places you need to look for connected flights. Budget airlines (EasyJet, Ryanair) often take off at uncomfortable hours, so make sure you carefully plan your travel to and from airports.
Tartu airport www.tartu-airport.ee/eng is served by FlyBe and Finnair. There are now regular flights between Helsinki and Tartu six times a week (50 mins).
For airport shuttle from Tartu airport to Tartu city, visit: www.tartu-airport.ee/eng/transport/airportshuttle
Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport is served by Estonian Air, Aeroflot, Air Baltic, Avies, EasyJet, Finnair, FlyBe, Lufthansa, Lot Polish Airlines, Norwegian, Ryanair, UTair, etc.
See further details: www.tallinn-airport.ee/eng
The easiest way to proced onto Tartu is by bus (~2.5 hrs). Buses leave from the airport and from Tallinn Coach terminal. For more information, see “Getting to Tartu from Tallinn” below and check out Public Transport www.tallinn-airport.ee/eng/transport/publictransport on the Tallinn Airport website.
Riga airport in Latvia is served by Aeroflot, Air Baltic, AMC Airlines, Belavia, Finnair, Lauda Air, Lot Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, SmartLynx – Latcharter, Transaero, Turkish Airlines, UTair, Uzbekistan Airways, Wizz Air, etc.
See further details: www.riga-airport.com/en
There are buses from Riga airport to Tartu (~4.5 hrs):
LuxExpress www.luxexpress.eu/ bus departs from Riga airport to Tartu at 17.45, Ecolines ecolines.net/en/ bus at 18.20.
Helsinki Airport is the probably the busiest airport in the region and bound to offer a feasible connection, wherever you are coming from. The airport serves the vast majority of the big airlines, with Finnish Finnair (www.finnair.com/) offering a large number of transfer opportunities. If you decide you’d rather continue from Helsinki to Tallinn by sea, check out the ferry information below.
See further: www.helsinki-vantaa.fi/home
Getting to Tartu by sea
There is regular ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn, Stockholm and Tallinn, and St. Petersburg and Tallinn.
Information about passenger ship schedules is available here: www.portoftallinn.com/passenger-ship-schedules
The Helsinki–Tallinn line is served by
Viking Line www.sales.vikingline.com/en/international/
Lindaline Express www.lindaline.fi/
A trip from Helsinki to Tallinn takes 1.5-3hrs depending on the boat (Lindaline boats are the fastest, but their traffic depends on weather).
The Stockholm–Tallinn line is served by Tallink. A trip from Stockholm to Tallinn takes ~16hrs.
See further: www.tallink.com/
The St. Petersburg–Tallinn line is served by St. Peterline. A trip from St. Peterburg to Tallinn takes ~14hrs.
See further: www.stpeterline.com/en/OnBoard/News.aspx
For a map of the harbour area in Tallinn, click: www.portoftallinn.com/map-of-harbour-area
Information about getting from the Port of Tallinn to the city centre, click: www.portoftallinn.com/transport-parking
Getting from Tallinn to Tartu
From Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport to the Tallinn Coach Terminal
The coach terminal is located close to Tallinn Ülemiste Airport and can be reached by taxi as well as public transport. Taxis wait for passengers at the front of the terminal building. A trip from the airport to the coach terminal should cost no more than €7. Tallinn airport strongly advises using the airport’s contractual taxi partners (Tulika Takso, Tallink Takso and Tallinna Takso). For more information, see: www.tallinn-airport.ee/eng/transport/taxi
Bus stops are located on floor 0. From bus stop 1, bus No. 2 departs towards the city centre (buses run app. every 20 minutes, timetables can be found here: soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#bus/en).
The Coach Terminal ('Autobussijaam') is the fourth stop on the route from the airport ('Lennujaam'). A single ticket on Tallinn public transportation costs €1.6 and can be bought from the driver.
See also information about Transport on the website of Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport: www.tallinn-airport.ee/eng/transport/publictransport
From the Port of Tallinn to the Coach Terminal: It takes more time to get to the Coach Terminal from the port and it is easier to get there by taxi. Taxis certified by the Port of Tallinn are parked in front of the terminal buildings.
Bus No. 2 (timetable soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#bus/en) stops in front of terminals A/B and terminal D. The Coach Terminal ('Autobussijaam') is the third stop from terminal D. A single ticket on Tallinn public transportation costs 1,6 EUR and can be bought from the driver.
From Tallinn Coach Terminal to Tartu: Coaches leave almost every 30 minutes from 5.45 in the morning until 23.00 at night. Tickets cost approximately €11 and can be purchased from ticket offices and machines inside the bus station as well as from bus drivers upon boarding (on the bus, cash only!). It takes 2.5 hrs 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. SEBE hourly expresses). Most of the buses are comfortable and offer wifi. You can check the timetables and buy tickets online from here: www.tpilet.ee/en
Directly from Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport to Tartu: SEBE hourly expresses (SEBE Täistunni Ekspressid) stop at Tallinn Airport on both ways (Tallinn-Tartu and Tartu-Tallinn). Bus stops are located on floor 0 of the airport; long-distance buses depart from and arrive at stop 2. Tickets cost approximately €11 and can be purchased from a ticket machine in the terminal or from the driver (cash only!). You can check the schedule and buy tickets online from here: www.tpilet.ee/en
Getting to Tartu by train
Trains between Tallinn and Tartu are operated by Edelaraudtee www.edel.ee/274/ daily. Fast trains (2.15 hrs) run twice daily. Train tickets costs €9 second class/€13 first class (wifi). Tallinn train station (Balti jaam) is located close to Tallinn Old Town and the city centre and not far from the harbour. From the port, you can take trams No. 1 and/or No. 2 in direction of Kopli. 'Balti jaam' is the second stop from 'Linnahall', the tram stop closest to the harbour (click soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#tram/en for tram routes and timetables). Tickets (€1.6 single) can be bought from tram drivers.
Nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) and of the European Economic Area (EEA) and third-country nationals who hold a residence permit of a Schengen state do NOT need a visa to enter Estonia.
If this does not apply to you, please make sure to check the website of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/4039 regarding possible restrictions and visa regulations. If you need an acceptance letter to prove you are planning to attend a conference, you can download that from the 'login' environment on the SIEF website (the login link is in the upper left corner on the website). Log in, proceed past your contact details with the "Proceed" button (located under the contact fields) and then scroll through to your paper and/or panel. There will be an A at the end of the panel/paper title line. Click on this, download and print your letter.
Estonia’s currency is Euro. In small shops, buses etc. it is advisable to use smaller banknotes than 50 EUR as there may not be enough return money for larger bills.
You can pay with VISA, VISA ELECTRON, MASTERCARD and MAESTRO in almost all shops, cafes and restaurants (but not on the bus!). Please note that traveller’s checks are NOT accepted in Estonia.
International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC) and International Student Identity Card (ISIC) card often give discounts in long-distance buses and trains, bookshops and some cafes in Tartu (pay attention to stickers on the door!).
Additional information about Tartu
You can find a lot of practical information on the Tartu tourism information website: www.visittartu.com
You will find the Tartu city map here: www.tartu.ee