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Tartu

City of good thoughts

Arrive & depart

By car

Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia, is the biggest centre in South Estonia and at the same time the junction of the main national roads. Tallinn-Tartu-Luhamaa (E263), Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga and Piibe roads run through Tartu, and the roads from Viljandi and Räpina as well as the connecting roads of other nearby towns and settlements also lead here. Bigger roads are in good condition and signposted with relevant traffic signs. The distance from Tartu to Tallinn is 186 km, to Pärnu 170 km, and to Narva 182 km, and the drive takes less than 2.5 hours.

 

The historical road network, which runs through Tartu from Lübeck to St. Petersburg and where the Via Hanseatica tourism route on the Riga-Tartu-Petersburg section was created, has been very important throughout history. The Via Hanseatica connects three countries, and presents an excellent opportunity to discover unique cultural and natural tourist attractions as well as the best places to stay and eat. Genuine stories about South Estonia can be explored through the yellow frames inspired by National Geographic, indicating the places recognised by the communities that are worth discovering. Seven frames can be found in Tartu and its vicinity, and the best-known is located in Tartu Town Hall Square.

 

City traffic in Tartu is calm and friendly, smaller traffic jams may occur during morning and evening rush hour times, but are definitely not comparable to bigger cities during similar hours. In and around the city centre, parking is usually chargeable between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but you can still come across a few free parking spots. When travelling by caravan, the closest convenient parking places can be found 1.7 km and 6 km from the city centre. Information about local transportation and parking can be found under the section Local transportation.

Last updated: 26.06.2018

  • By plane

    By plane

    Tartu Airport is located 11 km from the city centre, and you can regularly fly here directly from Helsinki. The comfortable Finnair operated flights take 50 minutes, and tickets can be purchased from the Finnair website. There is no ticket sales point at Tartu Airport! The flight schedule can be viewed on the websites of Finnair and Tartu Airport. You can also travel to Tartu via the international airports in Tallinn and Riga by continuing the journey to Tartu either by public or shuttle bus. When booked in advance, Airport Shuttle buses go to and from Tallinn Airport, picking the passengers up or dropping them off at the most suitable location in Tartu at the requested time. The price of the shuttle ride is 20€. Information about bus lines can be found under the section By Bus.

     

    To get from Tartu Airport to the city and back, you can take a taxi. The taxi stop is located in front of the airport. Booking and paying for a taxi is very simple and convenient through various mobile applications (a mobile data connection is necessary), but for those who want an even faster and easier solution, a taxi can already be booked on board the flight by informing the flight attendant of your wish. For more information about the taxi service, read the section By Taxi.

  • By bus

    By bus

    Tartu Bus Station is located in the city centre, and there are comfortable direct bus connections to larger centres in Estonia as well as across the border. In one direction, more than 50 buses run between Tallinn and Tartu per day, most of which also stop at Tallinn Airport. Tartu also has excellent connections to all the bigger Estonian cities as well as to Riga, St. Petersburg, Pskov and Moscow. Comfortable Lux Express buses are a perfect fit for longer rides as they are equipped with a toilet, free Wi-Fi and power outlets as well as a coffee machine.

     

    The price of the bus ticket depends mainly on the time of the purchase as well as on the demand. When the trip is planned in advance, the probability of getting a price discount is higher. Due to dynamic pricing, the highest price applies to a ticket bought on board the bus from the driver or from customer service representative. On the other hand, a ticket bought through the pre-sale may be acquired for less than half the price. Information about discounts, timetables, and bus routes within Estonia can be found at www.tpilet.ee. Information about international bus routes: www.luxexpress.eu, www.ecolines.ee and www.eurolines.ee.

  • By train

    By train

    Tartu Railway Station is located in a historical station building 1.5 km from the city centre, and daily train service operates on the routes to Tallinn (incl. Jõgeva, Tapa, Aegviidu), Valga (incl. Elva) and Koidula (incl. Põlva and Piusa). By catching a connecting train, you can travel to Tartu for instance from Narva and Jõhvi as well as from Riga through Valga and Valka.

     

    The fast and modern diesel trains are spacious, child- and cyclist-friendly, with various extra comforts, and provide the passengers with two options in the form of different price classes. In addition to the standard comforts, wider seats with adjustable backrests await the first class passengers. However, it is important to keep in mind that various discounts and the rights established by law that entitle to free rides do not fully apply in first class cars. The right to ride for free only applies to a single person entitled to a free ride if they are accompanying a regular first class passenger and the ticket has been booked through the pre-sale. Second class cars are spacious and roomy, but you are not guaranteed a seat. The number of passengers in these cars is higher than usual on Friday and Sunday nights. Tickets can be purchased online, aboard the train, and from the Baltic Station sales kiosk in Tallinn. Additional information and tickets: www.elron.ee.

     

    From the railway station, the city center can be reached by catching bus No 20 or taking a taxi, however, a healthy stroll in fine weather also presents the opportunity to do some sightseeing on the way.

  • By car

    By car

    Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia, is the biggest centre in South Estonia and at the same time the junction of the main national roads. Tallinn-Tartu-Luhamaa (E263), Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga and Piibe roads run through Tartu, and the roads from Viljandi and Räpina as well as the connecting roads of other nearby towns and settlements also lead here. Bigger roads are in good condition and signposted with relevant traffic signs. The distance from Tartu to Tallinn is 186 km, to Pärnu 170 km, and to Narva 182 km, and the drive takes less than 2.5 hours.

     

    The historical road network, which runs through Tartu from Lübeck to St. Petersburg and where the Via Hanseatica tourism route on the Riga-Tartu-Petersburg section was created, has been very important throughout history. The Via Hanseatica connects three countries, and presents an excellent opportunity to discover unique cultural and natural tourist attractions as well as the best places to stay and eat. Genuine stories about South Estonia can be explored through the yellow frames inspired by National Geographic, indicating the places recognised by the communities that are worth discovering. Seven frames can be found in Tartu and its vicinity, and the best-known is located in Tartu Town Hall Square.

     

    City traffic in Tartu is calm and friendly, smaller traffic jams may occur during morning and evening rush hour times, but are definitely not comparable to bigger cities during similar hours. In and around the city centre, parking is usually chargeable between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., but you can still come across a few free parking spots. When travelling by caravan, the closest convenient parking places can be found 1.7 km and 6 km from the city centre. Information about local transportation and parking can be found under the section Local transportation.

By plane

Tartu Airport is located 11 km from the city centre, and you can regularly fly here directly from Helsinki. The comfortable Finnair operated flights take 50 minutes, and tickets can be purchased from the Finnair website. There is no ticket sales point at Tartu Airport! The flight schedule can be viewed on the websites of Finnair and Tartu Airport. You can also travel to Tartu via the international airports in Tallinn and Riga by continuing the journey to Tartu either by public or shuttle bus. When booked in advance, Airport Shuttle buses go to and from Tallinn Airport, picking the passengers up or dropping them off at the most suitable location in Tartu at the requested time. The price of the shuttle ride is 20€. Information about bus lines can be found under the section By Bus.

 

To get from Tartu Airport to the city and back, you can take a taxi. The taxi stop is located in front of the airport. Booking and paying for a taxi is very simple and convenient through various mobile applications (a mobile data connection is necessary), but for those who want an even faster and easier solution, a taxi can already be booked on board the flight by informing the flight attendant of your wish. For more information about the taxi service, read the section By Taxi.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

By bus

Tartu Bus Station is located in the city centre, and there are comfortable direct bus connections to larger centres in Estonia as well as across the border. In one direction, more than 50 buses run between Tallinn and Tartu per day, most of which also stop at Tallinn Airport. Tartu also has excellent connections to all the bigger Estonian cities as well as to Riga, St. Petersburg, Pskov and Moscow. Comfortable Lux Express buses are a perfect fit for longer rides as they are equipped with a toilet, free Wi-Fi and power outlets as well as a coffee machine.

 

The price of the bus ticket depends mainly on the time of the purchase as well as on the demand. When the trip is planned in advance, the probability of getting a price discount is higher. Due to dynamic pricing, the highest price applies to a ticket bought on board the bus from the driver or from customer service representative. On the other hand, a ticket bought through the pre-sale may be acquired for less than half the price. Information about discounts, timetables, and bus routes within Estonia can be found at www.tpilet.ee. Information about international bus routes: www.luxexpress.eu, www.ecolines.ee and www.eurolines.ee.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

By train

Tartu Railway Station is located in a historical station building 1.5 km from the city centre, and daily train service operates on the routes to Tallinn (incl. Jõgeva, Tapa, Aegviidu), Valga (incl. Elva) and Koidula (incl. Põlva and Piusa). By catching a connecting train, you can travel to Tartu for instance from Narva and Jõhvi as well as from Riga through Valga and Valka.

 

The fast and modern diesel trains are spacious, child- and cyclist-friendly, with various extra comforts, and provide the passengers with two options in the form of different price classes. In addition to the standard comforts, wider seats with adjustable backrests await the first class passengers. However, it is important to keep in mind that various discounts and the rights established by law that entitle to free rides do not fully apply in first class cars. The right to ride for free only applies to a single person entitled to a free ride if they are accompanying a regular first class passenger and the ticket has been booked through the pre-sale. Second class cars are spacious and roomy, but you are not guaranteed a seat. The number of passengers in these cars is higher than usual on Friday and Sunday nights. Tickets can be purchased online, aboard the train, and from the Baltic Station sales kiosk in Tallinn. Additional information and tickets: www.elron.ee.

 

From the railway station, the city center can be reached by catching bus No 20 or taking a taxi, however, a healthy stroll in fine weather also presents the opportunity to do some sightseeing on the way.

Last updated: 26.06.2018

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