The conference will start around noon on the 14th and finish at noon on April 17th, 2024.  As Tartu is the European Capital of Culture of 2024, we suggest making your accomodation reservations ahead of time.


Tartu is situated in South-Estonia and connects to the world through Tartu Airport, Lennart Meri Airport in Tallinn and Riga Airport in Latvia. The distance between Tallinn, Estonia's capital, and Tartu is 186 km or about 2.5 hours by express bus or car.

Flying to Tartu

There are 12 trips a week between Tartu Airport  and Helsinki Airports. Flights to Helsinki depart from Tartu at 06:00 am and at 15:00. Flights to Tartu depart from Helsinki at 13:50 and 23:55. The approximate duration of a one-way flight is 45 minutes. The flights to Helsinki ensure convenient connecting flights to nearly a hundred destinations worldwide. See the exact flight schedule and purchase tickets from the Finnair website.

The distance between Tartu Airport and the city centre is about 10 km. The taxi to the centre costs about 10-15 €. info about calling a taxi is described onward.

Flying to Tallinn

Tallinn airport has direct air links to numerous cities. Low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair also fly to Tallinn.

To travel from Tallinn to Tartu, you have a choice between a coach and a train. Whilst travelling by coach, you can board the Tallinn-Tartu coach either from Tallinn bus station or the Tallinn airport. Tickets can be bought online and downloaded to a smartphone; there is also a ticket machine located on the ground floor near the main entrance to the terminal. Tickets are available from the driver, too, but please note that buses tend to be full, and you would be much better off purchasing your ticket before the coach arrives.

If you arrive in Tallinn by ferry or travel to Tartu from the city centre, the express train might be the best option. The main train station (Balti jaam) is located just outside the Old Town, and the station closest to the airport is Ülemiste. Trains currently run 5 times per day. Note that the train schedule is currently only available for 1.5 weeks in advance, and tickets can be bought up to 7 days in advance.

Buses are more frequent: on average, they depart every 30 minutes. The easiest way to get to the bus station from the city centre or the ferry terminal is to take a taxi. Tram number 2 (in the direction of Ülemiste) or bus number 2 will also take you there (the Autobussijaam bus stop). You can buy a ticket for 2 € from the bus driver. See ticket information and timetable.

Other connections

  • You can reach Tartu easily from Riga airport, about 245 km from Tartu. There are five bus connections a day (LuxexpressEcolines).
  • From Stockholm and Helsinki, there are also ferry connections to Tallinn. From Helsinki, there are multiple departures with different companies. The ferry line to Stockholm is overnight.
  • For heartier travellers, Estonia can also be reached by bus from major cities in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic countries.

Calling a taxi

In Estonia, most people use smartphone apps like Bolt and Taxify for taxi services.

Regarding Tallinn, we recommend reading these guidelines about taking a taxi. The most common (but not necessarily the cheapest) taxi companies include Tulika Takso (1200, +372 6 120 000), Tallink Takso (1921, +372 640  8921), and Elektritakso (1918, +372 588 588 00).

Regarding Tartu, the taxi companies are listed here. We recommend Elektritakso (1918, +372 588 588 00) or Tartu Taksopark (1200, +372 7 300 200).

One of our colleagues has put together the following set of recommendations for travellers to Tartu:

Here’s some advice on how to best tackle this last leg of your travel to Tartu. The buses to Tartu tend to be full, so it is advisable to buy the ticket in advance.

It is easy to get one's bus ticket online. The full timetable is available online; the best are Lux Express buses, especially their lounge class.

The only problem is that if you buy your ticket in advance and your plane happens to be late, you will lose your money. I usually buy my ticket online just before or after boarding the flight to Tallinn, when it is clear that there are unlikely to be any delays. Still a bit risky, but after all, 12 € is not such an astronomical amount. Other options are: buying your ticket online on arrival (there is excellent wifi at the airport) or at the ticket machine. The latter is located in the small waiting area at the exit from the airport on the ground floor (one floor down from the Arrivals level); the bus stops are on the same level as well. In my experience, it sometimes happens that one can still get a ticket from the machine even if the bus is reported as full on the website. Finally, if you see a bus ready to depart, you can also try to buy a ticket from the driver (subject to availability).

Timewise, the bus usually arrives at the airport 10-15 minutes after the scheduled departure from the bus station (i.e. around 10 or 40 minutes after the hour). If you have checked luggage, it is usually delivered 10-15 minutes after the plane arrives at the gate, but delays are of course always possible (especially if you happen to be on a large plane).

In Tartu, the bus station is located in the centre, with Hotel Dorpat and Hotel Tartu right next to it, and within 10 minutes walking distance from other main hotels.

Just in case the buses are full or you prefer to take a train, the nearest station is Ülemiste. Train timetable is available online. It is within a walking distance from the airport, but not easy to find. The best option is to take a taxi from the first floor (Arrivals level) to Ülemiste. Note that this is not the main train station, make sure the driver doesn't take you to a wrong place (the main one is called the Baltic Station or Balti jaam). In fact, it's just an open platform so don't leave the airport too early, the drive is 5-10 minutes max. Get on the train, find a seat and wait until the conductor finds you and sells you the ticket.

In Tartu, the train station is located at about 20 minutes walking distance from the centre, so it’s best to take a taxi to your hotel, the stop is in front of the station. Should you be staying at Hektor Design Hostel, then this is located within 6 minutes walking distance.

Cards are preferred everywhere, but the bus drivers and train conductors also accept cash. In taxis, it’s best to have cash, tip is not required.

Please don't get me wrong: I am sure everything will work smoothly and you will get to Tartu without any delays. It's just always better to be prepared in case something does not go as planned.

Tallinn Airport by Visit Estonia