Transporting your bike in Estonia & the Baltics

Source: Danel Rinaldo, Visit Estonia

Transporting your bike in Estonia & the Baltics

Source: Danel Rinaldo, Visit Estonia

Estonia is a great destination for cycling and you can reach many corners of the country on two wheels, but sometimes you might need to store your bike in buses, trains or ferries. Here are some tips on transporting your bike.

By train

You can reach most larger towns in Estonia by train and take along your bicycle free of charge, making it the easiest way to transport your bike. On each train, there's a compartment marked for bicycles, as shown in the photo. You can check domestic train routes and schedules from Elron. Each departure on the website includes a bike symbol in either green, grey or red indicating the availability of bike places in the train. Trains to and from St.Petersburg and Moscow are operated by Go Rail, and a place for your bicycle must be booked in advance and in most cases it must be covered or packed.

Transporting your bike in train

Photo by: Toomas Lelov

Public transport in Tallinn

If your bike isn't foldable or packed in a cardboard box you cannot bring it in Tallinn public transport. If you try to, drivers will likely tell you that bikes are dirty and buses, trams and trolleys are only for people.

Long distance buses

You cannot reserve places for bicycles in intercity buses in Estonia. Long haul buses are required by law to take up to two bicycles, if they have space in their luggage compartment. It is therefore the driver's decision to take your bike or not. The best way to ensure your bike makes it on board is to clean it, remove the front wheel and wrap it in a cover. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the departure and queue early to make sure there is space for your bike. There is no extra fee for transporting bikes (so don't believe someone if they tell you to pay). To be sure of a company's bicycle carriage policy, call in advance to ask. You can check bus schedules and information at TPilet.

Ferries

Ferryboats operate between mainland Estonia and nearby islands. The most popular routes are to and from the largest islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa and in-between the two. Buy your ticket at the sales booth at the entry to the port. The best ticket is the combination bike plus passenger option. Next, ride over to the employee checking-in cars, show your ticket and ride onto the ferry; you don't need to queue with the cars. The crew will direct you to a parking spot for your bike. Bags can remain on your bike during the journey.

Cargo service

If you have a bit more time and are planning to travel to smaller places in Estonia, you can use Cargobus services to transport your bike. Cargobus transports all kinds of items in long haul buses. Packages are usually sent within the same day and can be collected from the local office (typically nearby main bus stations). Packing your bike in a box is not necessary: all you need to do is turn the handlebar sideways and sometimes wrap the bike in plastic if asked. The average cost of sending a bike between Estonian cities is 20 to 25€. For an additional 20 to 30€, you can have your bike picked up from your accommodation and delivered to your next destination via courier service (available in larger cities like Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Haapsalu and Narva).

City Bike courier service

Want to rent a bike in Tallinn and ride it one-way to another city without worrying about returning it? You can do just that with an offer from City Bike. Ride a bike to Kuressaare, Pärnu, Haapsalu, Narva, Tartu and even Riga or Vilnius, leave the bike in a secure place like a hotel or hostel and a courier will pick it up from there.

It costs per bike:
● 25€ to Pärnu, Haapsalu, Tartu, Kuressaare, Narva
● 35€ to Riga (Latvia)
● 40€ to Vilnius, Klaipeda (Lithuania)

Planning to roll out with a group of friends? Trailers can be rented for transporting 15 or 24 bicycles from City Bike as well.

New way of organizing your transport

New Estonian startup Shipitwise offers hands-free travel options. You can order their service from your doorstep and receive your things at your hotel in Tallinn. This is a pricier transport option but gives you more freedom with less hassle.

Last updated : 13.06.2017

In category: Activities & Adventure

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