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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 €2 (€1 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 at the Tallinn City Government customer service desk (Vabaduse väljak 7), at the Bus Station's information desk and at the A, D terminal's, Railway Station's (Balti Jaam) and Tallinn Airport's R-kiosk.
- 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.
A QR ticket is an electronic travel ticket with a rectangular barcode (QR code), which can be used to validate the ticket in public transport vehicles.
A QR ticket can be used for a selected number of trips, up to a maximum of ten. The number of trips must be selected at the time of purchase. A QR-ticket must be validated by the validator at the front door of the public transport vehicle. To this end, place the QR code displayed on a smart device screen or printed on paper onto the code reader screen of the validator.
Remember that a validated QR ticket is valid for one particular trip. An invalidated QR ticket is valid for one year.
QR tickets can be used for single trips; it is also possible to pay for the trips of several people at once by selecting with the arrows of the corresponding number of tickets in the validator and confirming the purchase by registering the QR code.
Buying the QR ticket: Tickets can be purchased by not logging in and by logging in. After making the payment, the ticket can be downloaded from the website. In addition, the ticket will be sent to your e-mail address.
If you are logged in, and you buy a ticket, then the purchased ticket will later be visible in the "My tickets" subpage. The detail view of the ticket shows the ticket information and the QR code that can be used for validation of the ticket on public transport.
QR tickets can also be purchased from the mobile app. For that, download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store the Pilet.ee mobile application. For using the mobile app, you must first create an account and sign in. When the ticket is purchased through a mobile phone, a service charge of 0.32 euros will be added to the price.