Tartu is situated in southern Estonia and connects to the world through Tartu Airport and Lennart Meri Airport in Tallinn. It is also possible to reach Tartu by bus from Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Riga, and by train from Tallinn. See the information below and relevant links for more information.
Getting directly to Tartu
Tartu Airport currently has connections to Helsinki.
The distance between Tartu Airport and the city center is about 10 kilometers.
An electric Airport bus leaves from Tartu Airport to the city in about 15 minutes after the plane has arrived and drops people off in the bus station in the centre. The taxi stop is also located in front of the terminal. The taxi might cost around 12 EUR to the city center.
From Tallinn, St Petersburg and Riga you can get directly to Tartu by bus (Lux Express, Ecolines, Eurolines). Tartu bus station is situated in the city centre.
Getting to Tartu from Tallinn
From Tallinn bus terminal - Buses leave almost every 30 minutes from 5.40 a.m. until 11 p.m. You can find the timetable in English. Tickets cost approximately 12 EUR and can be purchased from the ticket office inside the bus station or from the bus driver. It will take you 2.5 hours to reach Tartu. Buses are very comfortable and most of them have WiFi.
There is also an hourly express bus that stops right next to the airport and departs every 30 minutes. See here for the full time-table and ticket pre-purchase options.
You can find most Estonian bus lines on the web site www.tpilet.ee. If you wish to get on the bus at the airport, it is advisable to buy the ticket in advance (online, printing out the ticket yourself our at the ticket machine in the airport). It is possible to purchase tickets up to 15 days in advance at the Tallinn and Tartu bus station ticket offices as well as online, including the possibility to board at stops „Tartu Näitused“ (at the university campus) and „Lennujaam“ (Tallinn airport).
Trains to Tartu from Tallinn train station leave about ten times a day, and it takes about 2 hours to get to Tartu. The train station is situated just outside the Tallinn Old Town and sea port, a taxi or tram No. 2 (from the sea port) or No 4 (from the airport)) can take you there ("Balti jaam" stop). Trains are comfortable and with free WiFi.
Tartu train station is a little bit farther away from the city center, for first time travelers it is best to take a taxi from there to your destination. There is also free electric bus that connects the train station and the centre. Regular public transport in Tartu costs 1,50€ per trip and the ticket can be purchased from the driver.
Getting to Tallinn
The distance between Tallinn, Estonia's capital, and Tartu is approximately 200 kilometers, or about 2.5 hours by express coach or car.
There are direct connections to many major European cities. List of airlines flying to Tallinn is available at the Tallinn Airport homepage www.tallinn-airport.ee.
From Stockholm and Helsinki, there is also a ferry connection to Tallinn. It is especially frequent from Helsinki, hence planning your route through there will not add much to the total duration of your trip.
Apart from that, Estonia has bus links with major cities in Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. Due to the relatively short distances, coach trips from Riga and St. Petersburg are a good alternative to air travel. Both cities have direct connections to Tartu.