Plane to Tartu airport
Tartu has a small international airport which has exactly one flight to Helsinki every day. The exact flight schedule is available here.
If you are lucky enough to find a suitable flight connection through Helsinki then getting to the city from the airport (and vice versa) is straightforward: there is a minibus named “Airport Shuttle” waiting for each flight. The shuttle brings everybody to their desired location in the city. The price for the shuttle is a fixed 5 € which can be paid in cash or credit card.
You can also use the same Airport Shuttle for getting to Tartu airport when departing. Alternatively a taxi from the city centre to Tartu airport should cost around 10 €. A list of Tartu taxis is available here. If you want to be green, choose the Elektritakso (literally Electric Taxi) which operates only with electric cars.
Plane to Tallinn airport
Most of you will not find suitable flights to Tartu and as such need to travel through some other airports. Tallinn airport is the most common and best choice. The airport serves about 30 destinations, including some for the partners (Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna etc.). More on Tallinn airport destinations is available here.
Bus from Tallinn airport to Tartu
There is a bus at least every full hour from Tallinn city centre to Tartu which stops also at the airport. The bus ride is 2 hours and 15 minutes (190 km). Most buses are equipped with WiFi, offer hot beverages and sufficient legroom.
Bus tickets can be bought in advance online here (select Tallinn Airport to Tartu Coach Station; choose the preferred date and time and pay). You can print the ticket back home and use it to board the bus. Ticket prices fluctuate slightly but are in general around 10 €.
Tickets can also be bought at the self-service kiosk next to the airport bus station (one floor down from arrivals/departures) but note that especially at peak hours (between 16–18) buses might be full and you might not be able to get a ticket!
Be aware that bus tickets are valid only on specific times, i.e. you can’t use a ticket on other buses than the time indicated on the ticket.
If you end up in the airport with no bus ticket and all buses being full then it is worth taking a taxi to the Tallinn central bus station (about 5–10 €, distance 2–3 km). From there you will have a few more buses (i.e. also some which don’t stop at the airport).
Late night transfer from Tallinn airport
The last bus from Tallinn airport to Tartu departs at 23:00. If you have chosen a later arrival then your only possibility for getting to Tartu is the Tartu Airport Shuttle (website).
The shuttle must be reserved in advance by writing an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (indicate the number of people, the flight you are arriving with, your location in Tartu). The driver will wait for you at the arrivals. The cost of the ride is a fixed 20 €.
Buses from Tallinn central bus station to Tartu
In case you fail to get a bus from the airport or decide to stay in Tallinn for some nights then the most reasonable way for travelling to/from Tallinn is with bus. As above, information on time schedules and the possibility to buy tickets online is available here.
Trains from Tallinn to Tartu
We recommend using buses for transfer between Tallinn – Tartu but there are also some trains. The train stop closest to the airport is called “Ülemiste” and is about 1 km from the airport (Click here for Google maps view). The central train station (Tallinn) is about 6 km from the airport. Information on train schedules can be found here. Tickets can be bought either online or in the trains (just wait for the conductor).