Estonia has a comprehensive bus network all over the country. Nearly every city can be accessed by a direct bus from Tallinn or Tartu. Other big cities have their own bus routes, such as Narva–Pärnu. Beside that, most of the towns and villages have regular bus connections to the nearby larger cities and towns. Smaller places are often only served in the morning or noon, and late afternoon (17:00/18:00). City connections generally operate up to 21:00. Make sure not to miss the last bus, or not to get stuck during daytime in a smaller town or village.
All connections are available online through Tpilet.ee (for long distance connections) and Peatus.ee (for short distances and local connections – enter/choose the exact station name to get meaningful results; e.g. “Tallinna bussijaam” and not “Tallinn”). The websites are mostly available in Estonian, English, and Russian. You can always buy tickets from the driver.
You can also buy tickets for many connections online with Tpilet.ee. Sometimes the mobile site does not show the purchase option, and you might want to switch your smartphone web browser to “Desktop mode”. It is sometimes more preferable to buy a bus ticket online, especially with Simple Express or Eesti Buss buses. So check ahead, and if there is still time, buy right before the trip, or even in advance if you have a specific plan. This even applies to short distances, where instead of €2.50 the online price is €1.50 (or so) with Simple Express. If the purchase is not displayed with Tpilet.ee, check directly with Simple Express, Eesti Buss or Lux Express.
Nevertheless, tickets bought online are only cheaper with certain companies, like Simple Express, which also allows e-tickets on your mobile. For other companies, online tickets need to be printed and cannot be used on your mobile (like for Go Bus). But there are self-service terminals in the city bus terminal to print out such tickets. Some buses do not have power, in case you want to charge you phone (Simple Express has, Go Bus does not).
Regarding finding the right bus stop, especially for longer distances, buses do not go into each and every town but rather stop at the nearest point along the highway. These stops are denoted with “… tee”, like “Loksa tee” instead of Loksa the town. Make sure you know where to enter and where to get off the bus, considering this. Also, an online search for a connection might not come up with any connection because you simple chose the wrong bus stops.
Estonia’s train network does not cover the whole country. The quality of railway tracks and services is steadily improving, thanks to substantial EU funding. The old Soviet diesel machines have been replaced with modern European trains.
Since 2014 all domestic passenger rail operations have been taken over by Elron, whose website does offer timetables, journey planner and prices. Tickets are sold on board. You can also buy them online, at major stations, or in one of the rare ticket machines, but this makes sense mostly for 1st class tickets that are limited in number and may be sold out. All ticket prices are discounted -10% when purchased from the Internet.
Train connection and price information is also available through Peatus.ee.
Ticket prices are fairly low – 1st class travel from Tallinn to Tartu costs €12.60-15.00 one-way.
Road quality varies. Most roads have only two lanes, but Narva–Tallinn road is a good 4-lane highway.
The speed limit is 90 km/h in the countryside and 50 km/h in cities, unless specified otherwise.
Only in summer is 110 km/h introduced on selected highways (generally dual carriageways with at least 2 lanes in each direction), and the scope is reconsidered every summer. Motorway signs are not present in winter.
Stationary speed cameras are frequent on major highways. Waze mobile app has a decent coverage of speed limits and stationary cameras, which is most helpful on long drives.
Unlike Russia and some other countries, urban areas are always marked with an “urban area” sign. Conversely, per se a road sign with a settlement name on it is not necessarily an indicator of urban area.
Fines for exceeding the limit by 20 km/h is up to €120, for +21-40 km/h up to €400 and risk of license withdrawn; up to €1200 for more. Ignoring red traffic signal is up to €800. Violating the no-overtaking is up to €800.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is fined up to €800 for exceeding 0.20‰. Beware of drunk pedestrians, as they are not uncommon.
Lights must always be switched on. Passengers are expected to wear seat belts.
Parking should be paid for in the central areas of bigger cities. Prepare coins in advance, as credit cards and paper money are only accepted by parking machines in large indoor parkings, while breaking money can be difficult to find nearby. Payment with mobile phone is inpractical for short-time travellers: it requires local number and a hefty balance on it.
Estonia has lots of car rental companies, and the level of English spoken by their representatives is generally very high. Rental is somewhat cheaper than in Western Europe.
Driving in Estonia is fairly easy, although it may be slightly more annoying than in Western Europe and US. Drivers are generally polite, but they may not strictly follow speed limits and other traffic rules, especially when overtaking.
There isn’t very much traffic on the Estonian highways compared to Western Europe or for example Poland. Traffic jams may occur in Tallinn, but they are bearable.
Estonia has several domestic flights, mainly between the mainland and islands. Transaviabaltica operates regular services between Tallinn and Kuressaare or Kärdla. Luftverkehr Friesland-Harle flies from Pärnu to Ruhnu and further to Kuressaare.
The international bicycle project BaltiCCycle may provide you with a lot of information and help.