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Central Tallinn is very compact and easy to get around, and reaching farther out destinations is simple thanks to the city's network of buses, trolleys and trams.
The public transport network operates from 6:00 to 23:00 (some lines until 24:00). The ticket system works on a random-inspection basis, so you can board via any door and don't have to show anything to the driver. You must, however, have a validated ticket or you risk a €40 fine. Some riders are entitled to use the system for free: children under school age (under 7), an adult travelling with a child under 3 years of age, registered Tallinn residents (using a personalised Smartcard and carrying ID).
Three types of tickets are used on Tallinn's public transport network:
A Tallinn Card acts as a ticket, entitling the holder to unlimited free public transport for the period the card is active. It also gives you free admission to museums and signts, a free sightseeing tour of your choice and other discounts. Each time you board a vehicle, you must validate the ride using your Tallinn Card the same way you would with a Smartcard (see below). Find more information about the Tallinn Card here.
A single-ride paper ticket can be bought from the driver for cash – exact change only – when you first board. The ticket costs €1.60 (€0.80 for ISIC Student and Scholar Card holders) and is valid only for that ride in that vehicle. Keep the ticket handy for the duration of the ride.
The green, plastic Smartcard (Ühiskaart) is a farecard that lets you use the electronic ticket system. Buy it at any R-Kiosk, post office or the Tallinn City Government customer service desk for a €2 deposit and then load it with enough credit.
The €2 Smartcard deposit can be reclaimed within 6 months of the first time the card was validated.
Refunds are given only at the Tallinn City Government customer service desk, Vabaduse väljak 7.
- 1-hour ticket - €1.10 For this type, one Smartcard can be used for a group of up to six riders.
- 1-day ticket (24h) - €3
- 3-day ticket (72h) - €5
- 5-day ticket (120h) - €6
- 30-day ticket - €23.
Using the Smartcard: At the beginning of each ride, you must validate your ticket by touching the Smartcard to the orange vaildator located by the vehicle door. A green light means your ticket has been successfully validated. A red light means your card is not valid or you are out of credit. To validate the ticket for multiple riders, touch the ticket to the validator, use the arrow keys to select the number of riders (up to 6) and hit 'OK'. In all cases, the amount of credit you have left on the card will be displayed.