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What To Know About Tallinn's Public Transport

April 02, 2021
Tallinn sure does look magical, doesn't it? Like something out of a storybook, right? From the castle-like churches to the cobblestone streets, it's almost hard to believe that you're in the 21st century while you're here. Nevertheless, despite what it looks like, the Estonian capital is as contemporary a city as the next. Just take a look at its public transport! From trams and trains to buses and more, there are many ways to get around Tallinn. It's up to you which one to take to get to your destination. With that said, here's what to know about them!
What To Know About Tallinn's Public Transport

Getting The Green Card

All cities, from Paris to New York, offer their own travel passes. They help locals and tourists alike navigate their respective public transport systems in an easier and more efficient way. Here in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, the only travel pass you need to get is the 'green card.' Costing only €2.00, it's a reloadable card that helps you pay for all sorts of public transport in the city. All you need to do is to reload it again and again according to how much you'll need for the ride. You can buy them in tram and bus stations, kiosks in shopping centers, and the like.

Paying Online for Public Transport

Estonia is one of the leading countries in the digital landscape, From its job market to even its banking system, The country has adapted pretty well to the digital age. And that also includes public transport. Here in Tallinn, the use of QR tickets has become fairly common. Good for one hour, these rectangular barcodes help you get into the various public transport systems in the city. Once you purchase this e-ticket online, all you have to do is scan them on the orange validators at the front door of the vehicles and you're good to go!

What To Know About Tallinn's Public Transport

The Buses in Tallinn

As you'd expect, buses are the most common and most affordable mode of public transportation in Tallinn. They start at the main station on Viru keskus, located in the city center, right smack in the middle of the neighborhoods of the city. From there, various bus lines travel all over the Estonian capital. Like most of the systems in the city, they operate from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily. There are some night buses, however, that continue to run up until 12:00 midnight. You'd do well on relying on an information transportation app to know the schedules!

Taking A Trolleybus

Speaking of buses, there's another type that you can also board to get around Tallinn: the trolleybuses. Mainly operating around the western part of the city, specifically the Mustamäe district, it's a good alternative from the other systems. Most especially if your destination is within the limited area it covers within the Estonian capital. What's more is that most, if not all trolleybuses are air-conditioned, allowing for maximum comfort during your entire ride. There are currently four routes operating in Tallinn right now with every trolleybus arrive at 8 to 15-minute intervals.

What To Know About Tallinn's Public Transport
Source: Wikimedia Commons/© Andrzej Otrębski

Riding The Trams

Similar to San Francisco and Budapest, Tallinn is also known for its tram system as a means of public transportation. However, unlike in those cities, the ones here look and feel more modern. They don't have the vintage, slightly novel & nostalgic appeal as the trams in these aforementioned cities. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most efficient ways to commute in the Estonian capital. It's particularly popular among tourists since it allows them to travel whilst seeing the city at the same time. Various tram lines also head straight or near a few of the top tourist attractions in Tallinn.

Commuting By Train

Finally, when all else fails, you can always go on the commuter train. Originally, this train is the main mode of public transportation for residents of the Greater Tallinn Area Harju County to get to the city center and back. However, nowadays, it's become more common among the more urban communities in the Estonian capital. In fact, though it only has eight routes for now (most of which travel to and from the outskirts of the city), the local government plans to add more trains and lines by 2024. It'd be no surprise the commuter trains eventually become one of the main public transport systems in Tallinn!

What To Know About Tallinn's Public Transport
Source: Wikimedia Commons/© Pjotr Mahhonin

Despite what you may think about Tallinn as a city, its public transport systems are alive and thriving! They help people get to where they need to for less money, with less hassle, and with maximum efficiency!