The public transportation system in Tallinn, Estonia consists of city buses, trolleys and on-street trams, many of which are wheelchair accessible.
The city’s tourist attractions are located within a relatively compact area, making Tallinn and its Old Town easy to explore on foot. Wheelchair users will face difficulty with cobblestones and less than accessible sidewalks, but despite those challenges I still used my power wheelchair as my primary mode of transportation while navigating the city. For longer-distance journeys, I did ride public transit and found it easy to use.
Wheelchair Accessible City Buses & Trolleybuses in Tallinn
Tallinn has more than 70 individual bus and trolleybus routes and the majority of the vehicles in operation are wheelchair accessible via a manually operated ramp. Each route is served by accessible vehicles, even though every frequency may not be accessible.
Accessible city buses are labeled with a wheelchair icon on the front of the bus, with a manual wheelchair ramp located at the rear (or middle) door. Riders should flag down the bus driver and press the wheelchair icon next to the door for assistance in deploying the ramp. Each accessible bus has at least one dedicated wheelchair space, as well as a number of other accessibility features.
Planning an accessible journey on the Tallinn city bus is possible by visiting the Tallinn public transport website, or through the use of Google Maps.
Wheelchair Accessible Trams in Tallinn
Four tram lines operate in Tallinn, numbered 1, 3, 4 and 6. Each route is served by wheelchair accessible low floor trams, though not every train set and tram stop is wheelchair accessible.
The most modern trams are entirely low floor, whereas others are only low-floor in the middle of the tram car. Some older trams offer no wheelchair access, but are likely to be followed by an accessible tram shortly thereafter.
Route maps, time tables and accessibility information for the Tallinn Tram, city bus, and trolleybus services are available in the city’s digital timetable.
Tallinn Public Transport Tickets and Fares
Tallinn city bus and tram fares can be purchased from kiosks, retailers and on a mobile phone. Retailers sell reloadable Smartcards onto which fares and passes can be loaded. A Smartcard is not required, as the convenient QR-Tickets can be purchased on a mobile device and provide one-hour of timed use of the public transport system.
The following fares and passes are available:
- 1-hour QR ticket — €2.00 EUR
- 1-hour QR ticket (discounted fare) — €1.00 EUR
- 1 day pass (24 hours) — €5.50 EUR
- 3 days (72 hours) — €9.00 EUR
- 5 days (120 hours) — €11.00 EUR
- 30 days — €30.00 EUR
- 30 days (discounted fare) — €13.00 EUR
All fares and passes can be purchased via the public transport ticketing website, but a Smartcard is required for all fares except the 1-hour QR tickets. If you’d like to take advantage of the multi-day passes, learn where to buy a Smartcard on the Tallinn ticket information for tourists website.
There are mixed messages concerning whether foreign tourists with disabilities are entitled to fee-free access to public transport in Tallinn — different government websites and signs posted at bus stops contain conflicting messages. During my trip to Tallinn as a wheelchair user, no bus or tram operator checked my fare and I was allowed to ride for free just like disabled Estonians.
Video Introduction to Public Transport in Tallinn
Visit Tallinn has produced a fantastic video providing an easy to understand overview of the public transport options available in the city. Although the video doesn’t highlight the system’s accessibility for wheelchair users and travelers with disabilities, you can use it to look inside the buses and trams and learn more about getting around on public transport.