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Most tourists only visit Tallinn, Estonia, but that is a huge mistake. Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu!
You’ll have no excuse not to get outside to Tallinn and see more of what Estonia has to offer!
Pärnu is one of the most popular getaways for Estonians and has some of the nicest beaches in the country. The city is super laid back and has some of the best local restaurants and little shops in Estonia.
It is truly a shame to miss out on visiting Pärnu when you’re in Estonia. Especially since it is so easy to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu!
There are two ways to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu. The first is to take the bus, and that is the recommended way to get to Pärnu from Tallinn. Buses leave almost every hour, and the journey is less than 90 minutes. The second way to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu is by car. This is only advisable if you’re doing a road trip across Estonia, and you shouldn’t rent a car just to drive to Pärnu from Tallinn.
There used to be a train that went from Tallinn to Pärnu, but it was discontinued in 2019.
The train from Tallinn was the only train that serviced Pärnu, so there was no reason to keep the train station in Pärnu open. There were plans for more trains to service Pärnu, but it never came to fruition, and the project was shut down.
The good new is that taking the bus from Tallinn to Pärnu is super easy, and there are very frequent buses.
Locals rely on the bus to travel from Pärnu to Tallinn, so the Estonian government makes it really convenient to take the bus between the two cities.
Before We Get Started
I love writing these transportation guides for you!
Figuring out how to travel from one city to another is one of my least favourite aspects of travel, so when I figure out the easy way to travel between cities, I need to share it with you!
I hope these posts make your travel life easier! I love when I stumble across articles like this when I’m planning a trip. It makes the entire process so much easier!
Here are the other Estonia transportation guides I’ve written. Hopefully they can help you plan the perfect Estonian holiday!
Option One: Taking the Bus from Tallinn to Pärnu
99% of travellers will take the bus from Tallinn to Pärnu. It is the most convenient, least expensive, and only public transportation option you have.
If you don’t want to drive yourself to Pärnu from Tallinn, you’ll be taking the bus!
Buses in Estonia are super comfortable, inexpensive, depart frequently, and run on time more often than not.
You’ll have an excellent bus ride from Tallinn to Pärnu even if you hate buses and avoid them at all costs!
How Long Does the Bus from Tallinn to Pärnu Take?
Estonia is a small country, so it doesn’t take long to travel between cities.
Each bus ride varies in time a little bit depending on what time of day you leave. Your journey will, obviously, be longer if you leave during rush hour and shorter if you depart during off-peak hours.
On average, the bus ride from Tallinn to Pärnu takes between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Not bad for a journey that covers just under 130km!
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
The price of your ticket, again, depends on when you leave Tallinn.
Your ticket is cheaper if you leave during off-peak hours on a weekday and more expensive if you travel on the weekend or during rush hour.
A bus ticket from Tallinn to Pärnu will set you back between €6.50 and €15. That is approximately $8 USD to $18 USD.
Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket
You can either purchase your bus ticket online in advance or purchase it in person at the bus station the day you depart for Pärnu.
Lux Express is the bus company that services Estonia, and you can purchase your ticket online through their website.
Their website has an English translation, and they accept foreign credit cards. Booking you bus ticket in advance is super easy, and I highly recommend this option.
You can even book it a few hours in advance if you don’t like planning too far ahead.
Lux Express accepts e-tickets, so you can simply show the bus driver your confirmation email and not have to worry about finding a printer and having a paper copy of your ticket!
Your other option is to purchase your ticket at the bus station right before you depart.
There are almost always seats available on the next bus, so you likely won’t have to wait for another bus because the first one is full.
This is a great option if you want to pay with cash and not use a credit card!
I do think purchasing your ticket online in advance is the best option though. You don’t have to arrive at the bus station early to purchase a ticket, and you know you have a seat on the bus you want to take!
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Tallinn?
Every bus departing from Tallinn to Pärnu departs from the Tallinn Bus Station.
The bus station in Tallinn is 2.5km outside the old town city centre, but it is still really easy to get to!
The easiest way to get to the bus station is to take an Uber or taxi. It takes less than 10 minutes and only costs a few Euros.
You also have the option of taking a intracity bus to the bus station. Buses number 2 and 4 go directly from the old town to the bus station.
The journey takes about 20 minutes once you get on the bus.
Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance, so you’re not standing at the bus stop for ages waiting for the next bus to arrive!
Your final option is to walk to the bus station. This is my preferred way to get to the bus station, and it takes about 20 to 25 minutes depending on how quickly you walk.
Where Does the Bus Arrive in Pärnu?
Your bus from Tallinn to Pärnu will arrive at the Pärnu Bus Station.
The bus station is in the perfect location!
It is right in the heart of the city, so you can easily walk to wherever you’re staying. If you’re staying in the city centre, your walk will be less than five minutes!
Most tourists stay near the beach though, and that walk it a little bit further. Depending on where exactly you’re staying near the water, your walk will range from 15 to 25 minutes.
It is a beautiful walk through a park, so I wouldn’t hesitate taking the time to walk unless you have a lot of heavy luggage.
Of course, you can always take an Uber or a taxi. It takes less than 5 minutes to drive to the beach area, and it will only cost you a few Euro!
Pros of Taking the Bus from Tallinn to Pärnu
- The only option for people wanting to take public transportation
- Convenient and easy to get to and from the bus station
Cons of Taking the Bus from Tallinn to Pärnu
- No flexibility, and you’re stuck with their time schedule
- Can have delays due to traffic jams
Option Two: Driving from Tallin to Pärnu
Your other option is to rent a car and drive yourself from Tallinn to Pärnu.
I don’t recommend this option unless you’re planning a country-wide road trip. Otherwise, you end up spending a lot more on renting a car than you would if you just took the bus.
I’m not going to go into much detail with this option because I’m assuming you know how to drive if you’re renting a car.
The basic information you need to know is:
- It takes just under 2 hours to drive from Tallinn to Pärnu
- Look into whether or not your credit card provides rental car insurance to help cut down on the cost
- Consider stopping in Laagri. It is a stunning coastal town right along the way
- You have to be 19 years of age or older to rent a car in Estonia
- Having an International Driver’s License is a good idea. Some tourists report having to have one to rent a car while others have been able to rent a car without it. You can easily apply for an International Driver’s License through the AAA or AMA (or similar company), and it allows you to drive legally in Estonia for up to one year
Not enough people visit Pärnu when they visit Estonia, and they really miss out on one of Estonia’s gems.
As you can see, it is super easy to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu, so you have no excuse not to visit the city!
You could visit Pärnu as a day trip from Tallinn, but it would be a very long day. I suggest planning a two-day trip to Pärnu to get a real appreciation for the city.
Especially if you visit in the spring or summer when you can visit the beach and enjoy the water!
I visited Pärnu in the winter, and while it was still amazing it would have been even better if there wasn’t snow all over the beach.
I think you’ll really enjoy Pärnu, and I hope this post has convinced you to visit the city since it is so incredibly easy to travel from Tallinn to Pärnu!