Public Transportation in Tallinn: A Guide for Students

Authored By:

CIEE Tallinn

Welcome to Tallinn! As an exchange student studying or completing your internship here, you'll find navigating the city straightforward, thanks to its efficient public transportation system. This guide is designed to help you understand and use the system like a local.

Tallinn's city center is compact, making it easy to navigate. The public transport network, including buses, trolleys, and trams, runs from 6 AM to 11 PM, with some lines operating until midnight. This ensures accessibility to even the more remote destinations. 

For students residing in the student hotel, most essential places like TLU, Old Town, shopping centers, and others are a short 10-20-minute walk or a 5-10-minute ride away. If you're heading to TalTech, expect around 45-minute journey using a combination of tram and bus.

Tickets: there are many options to choose from! 

Please note that drivers do not sell tickets and tickets cannot be purchased with cash! Here are the possibilities: 

  1. The most common option is using the Public Transportation Card. You can purchase and top-up a Transportation Card from any R-Kiosk across the city. Load it with funds for individual tickets, weekly, or monthly passes. You can also purchase tickets and top up your card at by entering your Transportation Card number. Non-EU students can't personalize these cards, so unfortunately the student discount wouldn’t work for this option.
  2. Second option is to buy a ticket directly at the front door validator of buses and trams using your contactless bank card or Apple Pay Express. Apple Pay allows users of Apple devices to purchase a ticket without having to activate or authenticate their device each time. Express Mode works even if your device runs out of battery.
  3. You can also use QR-tickets that can be scanned for access to public transport, they can be purchased online from here. If you have an ISIC card, it’s possible to use the student discount for this option. 

On public transportation 

A single discounted ride for one hour is 1 euro; the regular ticket is 2 euros, and the monthly pass is 30 euros. Always validate your ticket upon entering the vehicle. You’ll notice the validator close to the entrance of the bus, tram, or trolleybus. The validator is in the following picture! To exit at your stop, press the stop button on the poles inside the vehicle. Here is the validator instruction for you: 

  • Blue light: present your card for validation.
  • Green light: ticket activated or discount valid.
  • Red light: unsufficient funds or no travel rights.
  • Yellow light: validation in progress.
Paying with Apple Pay in public transportation

Useful Links: 

Timetables, Ticket purchase and card top-up

You can change the language to English from the upper part of the pages!

We hope this guide makes your daily commute in Tallinn smooth and enjoyable. Welcome to Estonia, and have a fantastic study abroad experience!