Driving and parking in Tallinn

Travelers visiting Tallinn, Estonia often struggle with whether or not to drive a car while in the city or to simply use taxi cabs and public transportation. There are many benefits to getting a car and driving in Tallinn when visiting the city. Here are some of the laws, regulations and local rules of the road to help visitors to Estonia adapt when traveling to the region.

There are several ways to enjoy the city of Tallinn, but driving gives a tourist the most flexibility and autonomy to see the sights at their own pace. Being the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn is a very old city with centuries’ old remnants of a city wall, beautiful park green spaces throughout town and medieval architecture found in and amongst new construction. With this mix of old and new comes the challenge of driving in what are often small and narrow streets that don’t follow a perfect grid. Because of this, it is strongly advised that tourists visiting and planning on driving in Tallinn closely study a map and area guide prior to even setting foot in a vehicle to leave the point in which they enter the city.

As is true with many of the other EU capital cities, Tallinn has its fair share of traffic and congestion. Being smaller than many other cities and not as heavily traveled of a destination, the traffic often pales in comparison to the larger cities and clears up much more quickly. If you are driving in Tallinn and find yourself in a traffic jam, be patient and wait it out because often, the cause of the jam clears out quickly and you find yourself moving along at the speed limit in a short time.

The speed limits in Tallinn are often not well-posted, which can be a challenge for tourists. In general, the speed limit in the city is 50 km/h. There are very few exceptions, including some of the larger streets that get vehicles through and across town, which are 70 km/h. Because these sometimes aren’t well marked, tourists should assume the speed limit is 50 km/h unless they specifically see it posted otherwise.

When driving in Tallinn and intending to take in the city sights, it’s often best to drive into the Old City and find parking, exploring that part of the city on foot. Parking can present a bit of a challenge to foreign visitors. Unlike many EU cities, Tallinn actually has plenty of parking to be found within the city, however there is virtually no long-term free parking to be found. An option is to book a hotel with parking and to leave the car there.

When tourists pick up a rental vehicle in Tallinn, they notice that there’s a clock sign within the rental vehicle. This is because cars parked in Tallinn get fifteen minutes worth of parking in paid parking areas for free. The clock is used to display the time the vehicle parked in the spot.

Determining the cost of parking beyond the initial free fifteen minutes can be difficult. The easiest way to resolve this is to immediately locate a Tallinn parking inspector, who are easily identifiable by the bright orange vests that are worn. They can assist you in getting the appropriate parking ticket for your location and need. Advance information about parking prices and locations can be found online with a simple search. This preplanning can save you a great deal of headaches while on your trip and trying to figure out parking in a foreign language.

Driving in Tallinn can give travelers the freedom to see the fascinating things that make this city so unique with very low costs and hassle. Take a bit of time to research routes, locations, destinations and parking in Tallinn to make your trip as fun and stress-free as possible.