Travel information

Tartu is situated in Southern Estonia and connects to the world through 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 hours by train and 2.5 hours by express bus or car. The distance between Riga and Tartu is 245 km, or about 3.5 hours by bus or car.

Travelling to Estonia by Plane

  • The largest international airport in Estonia is located in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, with direct flights from many major European cities. Information on airlines, schedules and customs is available on the website of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport.
  • Tartu can only be reached by a direct flight from Helsinki. More information can be found here.
  • One more possibility is to fly via Riga, the capital of Latvia ( However, the bus connection between Riga airport and Tartu is not very frequent. For more information check and and don’t forget to buy the tickets in advance.

Travelling to Tartu (from Tallinn)

  • Bus (more information & tickets: or -luxexpress website might offer cheaper tickets). Tickets can be bought online and downloaded to a smartphone. Tickets from the driver are available only when there are free spots on the bus. The buses tend to be full (especially on Fridays and Sundays) so we recommend buying tickets a few days to a week before departure. Buses are rather frequent: on average, they depart every 30 minutes, however, there are no late-night buses. The bus can be boarded from either Tallinn bus station or Tallinn Lennart Meri airport. If you are planning to come straight from Tallinn airport to Tartu (without visiting Tallinn), please book a ticket from Tallinn airport to Tartu bus station.
    • Boarding the bus from the airport: to reach the bus terminal, turn right as you exit the customs, and follow the signs.
    • Getting to the Tallinn bus station from the airport: the easiest way is to take a taxi. Public transportation: tram number 4 (in direction Tondi; from stop “Lennujaam” to stop “Bussijaam”) and a short 5-minute walk from the main road to the bus station; bus number 2 (in direction Balti Jaam; from stop “Lennujaam” to stop “Bussijaam”) and a short 5-minute walk from the main road to the bus station.
  • Train (more information & tickets: Tickets can be bought online and downloaded to a smartphone. Tickets are also available on the train. 1st class tickets (with allocated seats) tend to be sold out so we recommend buying them a few days before departure. The regular tickets do not have allocated seats. Trains run about 10 times per day. Note that the train schedule is currently only available ten days in advance, but it is unlikely to change significantly. The train can be boarded from either the main train station (Balti jaam) or Ülemiste (the station closest to the airport).
    • Boarding the train from Ülemiste station: the easiest way to get to Ülemiste station is to take a taxi or a short (15-20 minute) walk. Public transportation: tram number 4 (in direction Tondi; from stop “Lennujaam” to stom “Ülemiste jaam” and a short walk to the train station.
    • Boarding the train from the main train station (Balti jaam): the easiest way to get to Balti jaam is to take a taxi. Public transportation: bus number 2 (in direction “Balti Jaam”; from stop “Lennujaam” to stop “Balti jaam”) and a short 5 minute walk from the main road to the bus station.
    • More info about travelling to Tartu from Tallinn can be found from:
    • More information about public transport in Tallinn can be found here: &

  • Getting to Tartu Observatory (Tõravere): Tõravere is located about 20 km away from Tartu (about a 25-minute drive or a 30-40 minute bus ride). Buses are running frequently between Tartu and Tõravere (from 6 am to 10 pm, every 30-60 minutes). Transportation between Tartu and Tõravere will be organised for participants.
    • Ticketing information can be found here: If you want to buy a ticket in advance, choose buy ticket Tartumaa pick ticket category (1-day ticket for 4.5€ or 30-day ticket for 25€) choose your ticket carrier (if you do not have an estonian ID-code you will have to use a code from a pre-bought travel card).
    • When boarding the bus, tell the driver your destination (Tõravere) and buy a ticket or validate your travel card. You can buy a ticket from the driver with cash or card, one way ticket is 2€.
    • From Tõravere bus stop you have to walk for about 15 minutes (1.0 km) to get to the observatory.