ETAPS 2012: 24 March - 1 April 2012, Tallinn, Estonia
There exist direct flights to Tallinn from Amsterdam Schiphol, Bremen, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Düsseldorf Weeze, Frankfurt, Girona, Göteborg, Helsinki, Kiev, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, Milan Bergamo, Moscow Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, Munich, Oslo Gardermoen and Rygge, Oulu, Prague, Riga, Stockholm Arlanda, Bromma and Skavsta, St. Petersburg, Tampere, Trondheim, Turku, Vaasa, Warsaw, and Vilnius. For information on these connections, see the web homepages of Tallinn Airport.
Tallinn is mostly served by traditional airlines whose flights are sold by any reasonable travel agent (Estonian Air, Lufthansa, Finnair, CSA, LOT, Air Baltic).
Tickets to the flights of easyJet from Liverpool and London Stansted, norwegian.com from Oslo Gardermoen, Ryanair from Bremen, Dublin, Düsseldorf Weeze, Girona, London Luton, Milan Bergamo, Oslo Rygge and Stockholm Skavsta, and Flybe from Oulu, Stockholm Bromma, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa are only sold online by the airlines.
If you need to change planes, you should probably do this at Amsterdam (KLM/Estonian), Frankfurt/Munich (Lufthansa), Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo (SAS/Estonian) or Prague (CSA). If you are travelling from Asia, it is likely that your best itinerary is with Finnair with a change at Helsinki. Finnair is very much oriented at the Asian market and offers quick connections from Europe from China, Japan, South Korea in particular.
Late arrivals at, early departures from Tallinn are not to be worried about (or to try to optimize away). These times are the norm for Northern European airports. Luckily for you, in Tallinn, the airport is max 15 mins by taxi from any point in the city center. The airport is small, so collecting luggage goes also fast.
For ferry connections from/to Stockholm and Helsinki, see the web pages of Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line. Fast boats do not run in the winter season.
From Vilnius, Riga, St Petersburg the coach services of Lux Express and Ecolines are the most practical travel option.
There is a daily train connection from Tallinn to Moscow operated by GoRail. The railway station is not far from the Old Town and harbour. From the railway station to the city take tram no. 1 or 2 or just walk 10 minutes through the Old Town.
The city is 4 kms from the airport and you reach it by taxi, shuttle or scheduled bus.
The shuttle (shared taxi) service runs to central hotels. There is a desk of the company just outside the customs clearance exit door. The ticket costs 7 EUR.
The suitable buses lines are no. 2 and 90K (timetables).
Bus line no. 2 runs throughout the day (from early hours until quite late in the evening). You are travelling from "Lennujaam" (Airport) in the direction of "Reisisadam" (Passenger Port). The most centrally located stop in the city center is "A. Laikmaa" in front of Hotel Tallink, the travel time there is 13 min.
Bus line no. 90K is a special airport bus. It departs from the airport at every full and half hour between 7.30 and 18.30 (so does not run early in the morning and late in the evening - which is when you would most likely need it). There are many central stops. Bus no. 90K is NOT part of the general public transportation ticket system of Tallinn. The ticket costs 2 EUR.
(More about public transport and taxis in Tallinn follows further below.)
Map of Tallinn (1)
Map of Tallinn (2)
Map of Estonia, incl. Tallinn
Estonia (just as Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania, ...) uses East-European Time, EET, which is one hour ahead of Central European Time, CET, in other words GMT+2 in winter and GMT+3 in summer.
In 2012, transition to DST happens between Sat 24 March and Sun 25 March, which is during the pre-conference workshops weekend.
The electricity supply is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.
From 2011, Estonia is using the Euro (EUR), the single European currency (ECB foreign exchange reference rates).
ATMs abound in Tallinn, although they are not always well visible. Beware that an Estonian ATM first gives you your money and only then returns the card. Worse, you have to ask the machine to return your card. Luckily for you, these machines speak English.
Almost all businesses (but not newsstands, bus drivers, taxi drivers) accept bank cards (even for the smallest payments) and the local people carry very little cash.
The country code for Estonia is +372. There are no area codes. The prefix for international calls is 00.
The emergency number (fire brigade, ambulance) is 112. For police only, dial 110.
There are 3 mobile providers: EMT, Tele 2 and Elisa. The GSM frequency is 900/1800 MHz.
There are no public payphones in Estonia.
Tallinn is packed with public WiFi hotspots (some 375 in all Tallinn, whereof some 200 are in the center). In particular, you can connect yourself in any decent cafeteria or pub (look out, e.g., for Reval Cafes). Check out this index of public WiFi hotspots in the country (green - free wifi zones, red - for payment). The list of free Wifi hotspots by Elion (the landline provider) is here.
WiFi or wired access to the internet is also offered by all hotels. In reasonable hotels, this service is complimentary.
The public city transportation system of Tallinn, consisting of bus, tram and trolleybus traffic, is quite efficient. The services are many and they run frequently. Most stops have timetables (affixed to the stop signpost) and many also have a map of the transport system on display (in the waiting booth). Tickets are available from the drivers and from R-Kiosk newsstands, post offices and Selver hypermarkets. A ticket is validated with a ticket punch located in the vehicle. Buses, trams and trolleybuses all operate under one ticket system. A ticket for a single journey costs 1.60 EUR when bought from the driver and 1 EUR when bought from a trade outlet; a pre-purchased set of 10 tickets costs 8 EUR (only available from trade outlets). A special express bus ticket or a completion ticket in addition to an ordinary ticket is required in an express bus. Sometimes it is the best to buy from trade outlets 1-hour (1.20 EUR) or 1, 3, 5 day (4 EUR, 6 EUR, 7 EUR) tickets (see also Fares and tickets in Tallinn 01.07.2011).
The airport bus line no. 90K is not part of the general public transportation ticket system, but regular bus line no. 2 is.
A interactive public transportation map is available here. The timetables are here.
The taxi situation in Tallinn is bad. It is always preferable to order a taxi by phone. In the city you should not take a taxi from the street, unless you know what you are doing. You could consider a phone order even at the airport. Some of the recommendable taxi companies are Reval Takso (phone 621 2111), Marabu (phone 650 0006). The reasonable rates are ~2.50 EUR initial fare + ~0.50 EUR per km charge, but many companies / private adventurers charge much more (taxi rates comparison table, in Estonian). Check the tariffs on the window of the taxi vehicle (there must be a yellow A4 size tariffs sticker).Always request a printed receipt. All taxi cars are required to have printers.
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