There exist direct flights to Tallinn from Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Kiev, London Gatwick and Stansted, Milan Malpensa, Minsk, Moscow, Munich, Oslo Gardermoen, Prague, Riga, Stockholm Arlanda and Vilnius. For information on the 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, Air Baltic, CSA, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS). This said, the flights of Estonian Air are often considerably cheaper if bought online from the airline.
The city is 4 kms from the airport and you reach it either by taxi or bus No. 2 (timetables). You are travelling from "Lennujaam" (Airport) in the direction of "Reisisadam" (Passengert Port). The most centrally located stop in the city center is "A. Laikmaa" in front of Hotel Tallink, a trip there takes 13 mins. (More about public transport and taxis in Tallinn below.)
Viinistu, where the school venue is, is a village 80 kms from Tallinn. We will go there on a chartered bus. The bus will depart from Tallinn city centre (front of Kalev Spa and Waterpark, Aia 18) at 18.00 and from the airport (arrivals hall) at 18.15 on Sunday, 25 January. On Thursday, 29 January, we will leave for Tallinn at 14.00. You can count on getting on the evening flights with departure times after 17.30.
Getting to Viinistu on one's own takes time and/or money. Direct bus services are infrequent and a taxi to Viinistu can be very expensive (especially if you do not rely on a sensible taxi company).
Direct bus services to Viinistu run from Tallinn railway station (Balti jaam). Here is a timetable extracted from Tallinn and Harju county public transportation timetables.
Map of Tallinn (1)
Map of Tallinn (2)
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.
The electricity supply is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.
The currency in Estonia is the Estonian crown (EEK). The EEK is pegged to the EUR at the rate of 1 EUR = 15.6466 EEK.
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 give your card back. 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.
At Viinistu, the hotel and restaurant and the village shop accept credit cards, but there is no ATM, so it will be wise to have some Estonian cash with you there.
Postage on letters and postcards (up to 50 g) within Estonia is 5.50 EEK, to the Baltic and Nordic countries 9.00 EEK by air mail and 8.00 EEK by surface mail, to the rest of Europe and the former USSR 9.00 EEK (only air mail is possible), to the rest of the world 9.00 EEK (only air mail is possible). Air mail post has to be marked with blue "Prioritaire / Par avion" stickers.
Post offices are open during the normal shopping hours. Stamps are also sold in newsstands. More information from Eesti Post.
Area codes are not in use in Estonia and there is no initial zero.
For international calls to Estonia: dial the prefix for intl. calls (00 in most countries), then the country code 372, and then the subscriber's number.
For international calls from Estonia: dial the prefix 00 for intl. calls, then your country code, etc. Calls within Estonia: just dial the full 7- or 8-digit subscriber's number.
The emergency number (fire brigade, ambulance) is 112. For police only, dial 110.
The fixed network is owned by Elion and used by several operators. The GSM networks are owned and operated by EMT, Elisa (RLE) and Tele2.
Payphones exist in Tallinn but they accept Elion phonecards only (there are no coin-operated payphones). The different cards cost 50 and 100 EEK and can be bought from newsstands and supermarkets.
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. More than a half of these hotspots are free (look out, e.g., for Reval Cafes; WiFi access at Tallinn airport is also free!), in others (those run by Elisa) you have to get a ticket by SMSing "wifi pilet" to 19131. The ticket (consisting in the username and password you receive in an instant reply) costs 10 EEK (charged to your mobile calls bill) and is valid for 24 hrs throughout the entire Elisa network. Check out this index of public WiFi hotspots in the country.
Internet access through WiFI or some other form is also offered by all hotels. In many hotels, this service is complimentary.
The hotel at Viinistu offers free WiFi access.
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 newsstands of certain chains (e.g., R-Kiosk). A ticket is validated with a ticket punch located in the vehicle. Buses, trams and trolleybuses all operate under one ticket system. A ticket is valid for a single journey and costs 20 EEK when bought from the driver and 13 EEK when bought from a stand; a pre-purchased set of 10 tickets costs 90 EEK. A special express bus ticket or a completion ticket in addition to an ordinary ticket is required in an express bus.
The taxi situation in Tallinn is terrible. It is always preferable to order a taxi by phone. In the city you should never ever take a taxi from the street. 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 35..45 EEK initial fare + 7..8 EEK per km charge, but some companies / private adventurers charge much more. 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.
We take care of your booking at Viinistu (please advise us if you will arrive later than Sun 25 Jan or leave earlier than Thu 29 Jan). You must pay to the Institute of Cybernetics at TUT, see our page on Payment.
But you may also need or wish to stay one or two nights in Tallinn before or after the school. This for you yourself to arrange. However we can recommend the following hotels in the Old Town where we get significant discounts
off the rack rates. Please mention that you are a guest of the Institute of Cybernetics
at TUT when booking to benefit from the special rates.
For tourist information on Estonia in the Web, check the web pages of the Estonian Tourist Board. For tourist information specifically on Tallinn, check the web pages of the Tallinn Tourist Board. InYourPocket.Com's unofficial Estonia and Tallinn pages make an even more useful reading.
For in-depth background info on Estonia, we recommend the Estonian Institute's www.estonica.org.
The Tallinn Tourist Information Center has two offices. One is located at Niguliste 2/Kullasepa 4 in the middle of the Old Town. January opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-17, Sat 10-15, closed. The other is in Viru Center, open 9-21 daily.
For weather information, check www.weather.ee.