Rent a Car for Travel in Tallinn

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a fascinating blend of medieval charm and modern vibrancy. With its picturesque Old Town, historic sites and thriving food and nightlife scene, this Baltic gem makes for an unforgettable European destination. Renting a car enables you to explore Tallinn and beyond at your own pace.

Benefits of Renting a Car in Tallinn

Having your own set of wheels in Tallinn provides advantages such as:

  • Freedom – Create your own itinerary without relying on group tours or public transport schedules.
  • Flexibility – Make stops wherever you please and change plans at will. Avoid waiting for buses or trains.
  • Accessibility – Reach outlying areas not served by public transit. Visit beaches, forests and villages nearby.
  • Convenience – Travel door-to-door from your hotel across the city easily. No luggage limits.
  • Comfort – Travel relaxed with climate control and ample space for luggage and passengers.
  • Value – More affordable than trains, taxis or guided tours, especially for families and groups.
  • Country Exploration – Escape the city to see Estonia’s charming countryside and medieval towns.

Types of Rental Cars Available in Tallinn

Popular rental car options in Tallinn include:

  • Economy – Small cars like Toyota Yaris or similar. Ideal for easy parking and city driving.
  • Compact – Larger models like Renault Clio fitting 2-4 people and some luggage.
  • Standard – Roomier sedans like Volkswagen Jetta for up to 5 passengers.
  • Minivan – Spacious vans like the Volkswagen Caravelle for groups up to 7.
  • SUVs – Jeep Renegade, Toyota RAV4 and similar 4x4s for countryside trips.
  • Luxury – Indulge in high-end brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

Where to Rent a Car in Tallinn

Find car rental firms at locations such as:

  • Tallinn Airport – Rental desks in the arrivals section for easy pick-up/drop-off.
  • Train Station – Agencies a short walk from the central rail station.
  • City Center – Various rental sites in or near Old Town for tourists.
  • Hotels – Many hotels offer partnerships with car rental companies.
  • Online – Reserve ahead online for the best deals and availability.

Documentation Required to Rent a Car

Bring the following original documents:

  • Valid driver’s license – Have held for 1+ years in most cases. International Driving Permit recommended.
  • Passport – Required for foreign travelers as proof of identity.
  • Credit card – For making the reservation and providing a deposit. Debit cards rarely accepted.
  • Voucher – Any confirmation voucher if you pre-booked a car online.

Driving Laws and Rules in Estonia

Familiarize yourself with Estonia’s road regulations:

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Seat belt use mandatory for all passengers. Child seats required for kids.
  • Observe speed limits – 50km/h in urban areas, 90km/h on open roads.
  • DUI limit is 0.02% BAC – do not drink alcohol before driving.
  • Use of handheld mobile phones while driving is prohibited.
  • Headlights must be on at all times.
  • Yield to all pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Carry your driver’s license, rental agreement and IDP or passport when driving.

Top Sights and Day Trips From Tallinn by Rental Car

With your own transport, visit top attractions easily:

  • Lahemaa National Park – Pristine coastal forest perfect for nature walks and rural villages. 1-1.5 hour drive.
  • Tartu – Estonia’s second largest city with a spirited university scene. 2 hour drive from Tallinn.
  • Saaremaa Island – Largest Estonian island renowned for hiking, cycling and scenic beauty. Reached by car ferry.
  • Pärnu – Elegant beach resort town with pretty wood buildings. 1.5 hour drive from Tallinn.
  • Narva Castle – Magnificent medieval fortress right by the Russian border. 2 hours from Tallinn.
  • Rakvere Castle – Well preserved medieval stronghold within easy day trip distance.
  • Kadriorg Park and Palace – Urban green space and Baroque palace just outside Tallinn. 15 min drive.
  • Maarjamäe Castle – Picturesque ruined medieval castle on the outskirts of Tallinn. 30 min drive.

Driving Tips for Tallinn

Maximize your Tallinn driving experience with these tips:

  • Obtain an International Driving Permit to complement your native license.
  • Consider a car with navigation or rent a GPS for easier driving.
  • Park only in designated areas – illegally parked cars are easily ticketed or towed.
  • Pedestrians have right of way at all crosswalks so drive cautiously.
  • Return rental cars with a full tank to avoid inflated refueling charges.
  • Stick to posted speed limits as traffic cameras are widely used in Estonia.
  • Be prepared for any weather on countryside drives – rain, wind, snow etc.
  • Avoid old car models if renting from local agencies – they may lack safety features.
  • Note any existing damage on your rental prior to driving to avoid unfair charges.

FAQs about Renting a Car in Tallinn

What is the minimum age to rent a car in Tallinn?

The minimum age is usually 21 years old but some rental companies may rent to drivers as young as 18 for an added fee.

Are international driver’s licenses required in Estonia?

Having an IDP is not legally required but highly advisable along with your home license.

What side of the road do Estonians drive on?

Estonia drives on the right-hand side of the road as in most of continental Europe.

What side of the road do Estonians drive on?

Estonia drives on the right-hand side of the road as in most of continental Europe.


Renting a car is the ideal way to maximize your freedom and mobility exploring Tallinn and beyond at your own pace. Driving yourself allows you to venture into Estonia’s fairytale forests or medieval towns on personalized day trips not possible otherwise. Just be sure to research Estonian road rules, print out maps as backup, and reserve parking at your hotel or rental office in Old Town ahead of time. The open road awaits in one of Europe’s most captivating and underexplored destinations.


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