We used Tallinn’s bus system on the day we went to Nõmme. We took the number 36 from near Tammsaare Park to Nõmme and back, a journey which took 20 minutes or so.
It is possible to buy, for 2€, a pre-loadable smartcard with which you pay 1.10€ per journey, but if like us you're only in town a short time and not planning on taking a lot of trips, a better alternative is simply to pay the driver on boarding, in which case each journey will cost 1.60€. Do the maths - you need to be taking more than three bus rides to save money with the card – although according to what I have read on the official tourism website, it is permitted for several people to use the same card so if not travelling alone it could make sense to get one regardless. You can buy these cards, according to the same website, “in post offices, R-kiosks, Maxima, Prisma and Selver shop-chains, Autogrill kiosks, Stockmann shop and at Tallinn City Council customer service desk”. You can top it up in the same places or online at www.pilet.ee.
All public transport in the city operates between 6.00 and 23.00, with some lines operating until midnight. Routes are listed here: http://soiduplaan.tallinn.ee/#tallinna-linn/en.
Next tip: the suburb of Nõmme
Tallinn has a reasonably efficient system of trams and buses, connecting tourists to the main ferry terminal, the train station, the central bus station, and the airport. If you're spending most of your time in the Old Town, your feet will be your primary mode of transit, and you'll probably only need the buses and trams to get in and out. If this is the case, the easiest option is to purchase a single-ride ticket from the driver for EUR 1.60. If you're planning to travel extensively around the new town and outskirts, it might be worth your while to purchase an electronic Smartcard for EUR 2. With the latter option, you can prepay (EUR 3 and up) for your rides. The advantage with this is you're automatically charged EUR 1.10 for unlimited transit for an hour. If you use 3 hourly tickets in a single day, your fare will automatically be converted to an All Day Fare (EUR 3). Smartcards can be purchased at various shops and kiosks around the city. See the website for details on how to add money to your card and validate your fare.
In addition to the above, holders of the Tallinn Card get free use of buses and trams for the duration of the card's validity.
Tram 2 and 4 are going close to the bus terminal, you will have to walk about 100 m.
You pay € 1,60 at the driver or € 1 if you buy the ticket before at a R Kiosk. Don't Forget to validate the ticket in the Tram.
If you are a senior citizen, public transportation is free (trams and buses) in Tallinn. The driver won't tell you this, but the lady at the information desk in the Viru Center will. This is the terminal for many of the bus lines. He/she will also give you a free map of all the bus and tram routes in Tallinn. There are many interesting places that are not in the Old Town.
Buses run from 6 to 23.
Buy the ticket at the newsstand and not by the driver that's cheaper.
If you stay longer in Tallinn and you use often public transport
its worth to afford the Tallinn card.
This card can be bought in Tourist informations and some offices.
The tram system which is a bit of an old fashion models are working here around the city center and it is rather frequent and useful way to get around the city and to hope in and out from one place to another.
There are buses, trolleys and trams in Tallinn. To buy the ticket on the bus, trolley or tram cost 25 EEK (April 2010), but if you buy the tickets in a kiosk it is only 15 EEK. There are kiosks everywhere and they are easy to recognise with their yellow sign saying R Kiosk. The ticket is then validated on the bus, trolley or tram.
When I visited in April 2010 a day ticket was 70 EEK. I found out it would have been better for me to buy a few single tickets instead.
Tallinn is a small city, and the places of interest to the typical tourist are easily reached on foot. It's quite possible that you will never need to set foot on a tram or bus the entire time you are here. There are also no trams or buses anywhere in the old city.
That said, there are a number of places of interest outside the central areas, and for these you might want to buy a metro ticket. A single trip costs 25 EEK (about 1.75 euros) from the driver, 15EEK from a kiosk, or 10 EEK when purchased in a book of ten tickets. In the unlikely event you want to travel around the metro all day, these are available too, for 55 EEK (about 3.50 euros).
Single trip tickets are valid for just that one journey you take on the tram or bus - even if it is only two stops. You must validate your ticket upon entering - stamping them in the machine. You can buy the tickets, and books of tickets, from ordinary shopping kiosks all over the city.
Tallinn has a fairly extensive trolleybus service which will tak you anywhere you will want to go around the city. Of course you will not need a bus to get around the Old Town as it is very compact and can be covered on foot.
If you want to travel further afield towards Kadriorg, Song Festival Grounds, Pirita or Stroomi Beach you will need to catch a bus or tram.
You can catch buses at bus stops on which the buses serving that stop are detailed or you can catch the buses from the central terminal under the Viru Shopping Centre.
A ticket for the bus costs 10Kr from a news kiosk (dotted around the city) or 15Kr if you buy a ticket from the driver. A book of 10 tickets can be bought from the kiosks and costs 80Kr.
Tickets need to be validated once you board by staming in a machine. Some buses have automatic machines which stamp the ticket, but older ones involve you having to pull a lever to punch the ticket.
Tallinns trams run in conjunction with the buses so the same tickets can be used for bus and tram. Tallinn has 4 tram routes which cover a lot of central Tallinn and its surrounding areas but is not as far reaching as the trolleybuses. Some of the trams are older than others and run on old lines built into the roads. The line running around Kadriorg is very pituresque especially along the old residential areas where you can see the old traditional wooden houses.
A ticket for the tram costs 10Kr from a news kiosk (dotted around the city) or 15Kr if you buy a ticket from the driver. A book of 10 tickets can be bought from the kiosks and costs 80Kr.
Tickets need to be validated once you board by stamping in a machine.
Tallinn has pretty good public transport, although the Medieval Old Town isn't served by any(it's largely pedestrianised). If you want something there, you'll have to get a taxi (takso..watch out for the fares, as they are not standardised) or use the cycle-taxis that are around.
Tickets for buses, trams and trolley-buses can be bought from the drivers, but they are cheaper if you buy them from the newsagents/tobacco kiosks. These are mostly yellow ('R-Kiosk') and pretty obvious (and common). A single ticket in July 2008 cost 13 EEK from a kiosk (15 from the driver, I think).
All forms of transport use the same ticket, and you can buy them in advance in 'booklets' of 10 for even less.
Although taxis aren't especially expensive, I think it makes sense to take the tram (1 or 3) to Kadriorg and the bus (21) to the Estonian Open-Air Museum. It also gives you a really good look at the 'ordinary' Tallinn and its people's lives.
Within the Old Town, everything is accessible by foot. Outside of the Old Town, Tallinn has a good system of public transportation. The trams are a particularly convenient way to get around much of the city. With a Tallinn card, you can hop on and off the trams as much as you want at no extra charge -- a great deal!
I have used trams and buses inside city, but there are trolleybuses as well, where you can use the same tickets. Transportation in Tallinn is quite convenient - there are 4 tram lines. One of them is good for moving from centre to bus station, another - from centre to Kadriorg palace and park.
When you buy 10 tickets in one place, it cost 85 croons (5,5 euros, 2007 July). If you buy tickets separately at kiosks, it will be 10 croons for each and if in bus\tram\trolleybus, it would cost 15 croons. One ticket is valid for one ride.
Public transport* in Tallinn is cheap compared to other European cities. A single ride is 15 EEK (1€). Tickets are sold by the drivers and need to be validated. Put them into the slot of the validating devices and pull it towards you. A fine for not having a ticket is 600 EKK (40€)
The public transport (bus, tram, trolleybus) to the suburban areas operates regulary from 06:00 to 24:00.
Tickets (see photo) are sold from street kiosks (single 10 EEK, carnet 70 EEK). Individual tickets (15 EEK) can be purchased from the driver. Don't forget to punch your ticket when entering the bus. 1 EURO = 15,6 EEK (2002)