Friday, September 10, 2021

How To Travel To Estonia

EuropeEstoniaHow To Travel To Estonia

By plane

Tallinn serves as Estonia’s primary international gateway. Aside from direct daily flights to/from all main Scandinavian (Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo) and Baltic cities (Riga and Vilnius), there are direct flights from all major European hubs such as London, Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels, and Amsterdam, as well as regional hubs such as Prague and Warsaw. Connections to the east are available from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev. Nordica, Estonia’s flag airline, provides half of the services, while Finnair, SAS, Lufthansa, LOT, Aeroflot, Air Baltic, and others offer the remainder. Easyjet is one of a few low-cost airlines that fly to Tallinn on a regular basis. Ryanair also runs a number of summer flights.

Because of the close proximity and good ferry connections to Helsinki, open-jaw air travel is possible. Riga is just a 2-3 hour bus ride away from southern Estonia and may be another viable alternative.

Other Estonian airports mostly serve local flights, but Tartu has a regular link to Helsinki and Pärnu and Kuressaare may have occasional flights to Stockholm.

By car

Good road connections are available to the south (through Balticaroute Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw) and east (by Balticaroute Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw) (Tallinn-Saint Petersburg, Tallinn-Pskov). Any vehicle trip to Russia includes unforeseeable border delays. The Narva/Ivangorod border crossing is renowned for its half-day-long waits, so utilize the southern crossing in Pechory whenever feasible and pay particular attention to the ticketing system that books you a spot in the Estonian queue.

By bus

There are many excellent and inexpensive connections between Riga and Saint Petersburg to Tallinn. Long-distance service is also accessible from Vilnius, Kaunas, Kaliningrad, and even Warsaw or Kiev. Luxexpress Group is the most popular regular service provider; others include Ecolines and Hansabuss.

By boat

Tallinn is connected by ferry to Sweden (Stockholm) and Finland (Helsinki, Mariehamn). Tallinn-Helsinki is one of Europe’s busiest maritime routes, with 11 ferry crossings each day and 6-7 distinct fast-boat crossings (not during the winter) in each direction. Tallink, Viking Line, and Eckerö Line run ferries, while Linda Line operates fast boats. Ferry tickets may be purchased for as little as €19 for a single or return trip (usually the return is free if returning the same day; they want day cruisers who supposedly spend more on board).

Minor international routes include the newly re-established link between Ventspils, Latvia, and the island of Saaremaa, as well as Paldiski – Kapellskär, Sweden, with two separate operators.

By train

International rail services are available. Tallinn, on the one hand, and Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the other, have had their trips canceled on numerous occasions. Russian Railways (RZD) now operates daily night trains between Moscow and Tallinn (via St. Petersburg). Trains leave Moscow at 21.20 and arrive at 13.38 in Tallinn. Tallinn services leave at 15.20 and arrive in Moscow at 09.32. The extensively (and sometimes obnoxiously) promoted Riga-to-Tallinn rail link is everything but sensible, since it takes a lengthy detour and almost an entire day to get between the Baltic cities. Local trains from northern Latvia to southern Estonia (with a connection at Valka/Valga) may, nevertheless, be helpful.