If you come to Tallinn, Estonia for a short stay and planning to use a taxi or two, then I want to give you some tips before you do it. As local I have figured which taxi company to use long time ago but for a tourist it can be a bit of a hustle. Tallinn has over 20 different taxi companies plus self-employed taxi drivers that own a taxi-company of one person.
In Tallinn taxi companies can be divided into 3 main categories:
- Affordable Tallinn taxi
- Taxi that accept credit/debit card payments (more expensive)
- Rip-Off Tallinn taxi companies especially for tourists
At some places in Tallinn City center, such as Airport, Port, at some shops such as Kaubamaja, several big hotels for example Tallink Hotel (same company as Tallink Ferry), Viru Hotel, etc there is an agreement between hotel and specific taxi company or companies. Which means that only 1 or 2 taxi companies can stand there.
Tip: Good thing to know; although there is a monopoly at such places when it comes to taxi company that can stand there and wait any taxi company can come if car was ordered on the phone. Which means that you can call any taxi (read – affordable) and order car to any place in Tallinn. If you order a taxi please, try not to be late or taxi driver can be asked to leave the “monopoly” zone.
Affordable Tallinn Taxi
There are many good and affordable taxi companies to call in Tallinn. I will list a few of those that I use myself but before there are some practical things to take into account:
- Operator on the phone will speak English in most cases but taxi driver will speak a bit or no English. It is good just in case to have a correct address in your head or on paper.
- Only a few of taxi drivers from affordable taxi group will have card readers for you to pay with the card. Those are their personal ones. To avoid any problems have cash with you.
- You can get any type of a car, it will be OK, don’t worry. The better is the car (usually) the more expensive is that taxi company due to their regulations.
Here are some affordable taxi companies that I use and I have all my trust for them.
IR Takso or EURO Takso – this is the same company, their phone – +3726380000. I use them all the time. Almost all the time they have available cars to pick you up in any part of the city. Prices are very good, for a 12-15 minutes ride you won’t pay more than 6-7 EUR.
REVAL Takso – this one I use when IR does not have available cars or waiting time is too long. They have a bit better cars (don’t get me wrong IR has good cars as well), mostly Toyotas. Prices are a bit higher than the first one but still OK. For 15 minutes ride you will pay around 8 EUR.
SÕBRA Takso – this one I use when I can’t get first one or second one. They have less cars than the first two. Price range for this company is within 7 EUR for 12-15 minutes ride.
There are more affordable taxi firms in Tallinn but those 3 you can for sure trust without a problem.
Tip: Recently Tallinn Airport partnered with a bus company to provide a bus shuttle from the airport to the center of Tallinn. Price of such trip is 5 EUR per person. Tallinn Airport is located within the city and it is only 5-8 minutes ride by taxi to the Old Town and center. So, if you are 2 people and more I strongly recommend you to take a cab. Trip will cost you a bit over 5 EUR.
Taxi companies that accept card payment
You can pay everywhere with your credit/debit card in Tallinn and Estonia. There are no minimum limit for card payment, not in the big shop nor in small kiosk. This is great! At the same time there are only a few taxi companies that equip their cars with card terminals, mainly due to the cost of it. All the rest put this on the shoulders of drivers themselves but not as a must.
The coincidence is that these few firms are one of the most expensive but at the same time I must admit they are very trustworthy. You will see them all the time in the city center; Tulika Takso and Tallink Takso (do not misread for Tallinn takso, those fuckers are a rip-off!).
They are also the ones that have monopoly on parking at many “sweet” spots around the Old Town and Tallinn Center. You will see their white (Tulika) and yellow (Tallink) cars next to the Airport entrance, big shopping malls such as Viru Keskus and Kaubamaja as well as in the port.
TULIKA Takso – is one of the oldest taxi companies in Tallinn. They have many cars and in 99% of all cases calling them will get you a car at any time. They have big cars for companies up to 12 people. Price for a 12-15 minutes ride will be somewhere around 10-11 EUR. They all have card terminals.
TALLINK Takso - company owner by Tallink Ferry company (Swedish-Finnish-Estonian) that runs ferries from Tallinn to Helsinki and Stockholm. They also own a hotel in the center of Tallinn called Tallink Hotel (very original). They have yellow cars and sometimes black cars with the name of the company. They are the most expensive taxi (not counting the rip-offs) you can get in Tallinn but they are reliable, always available, clean, new and so on. They drive AUDI, Mercedes in most cases. Get ready to pay around 11 EUR for a 15 minutes ride.
Rip-Off Taxi companies in Tallinn
Tourists that arrive by plain or ship or those that are a bit drunk after clubs in the center of the town (especially around Club Hollywood) are sweet target for rip-off taxis. Those will charge you 20 EUR and more for a 5 minutes ride or even more depending how “tourist” or drunk you are.
They are not against the law, Tallinn does not have a regulation on taxi prices. Majority follows some sort of a common price range but some set crazy prices and target unprepared tourists.
One company that I really want to write about and share with you is called TALLINN Takso, they took a very sneaky approach – they try to look exactly as Tallink Takso, also yellow cars, also big taxi sign on the roof of the car but at the same time crazy prices, strange looking taxi drivers and so on. Another sad part of such taxis is that they will take you around the town to get the meter up, they might not know the city, etc. You will pay an arm and a leg to those guys for a ride!
Taxi price consists out of 3 things:
- Starting price – minimum starting number on the meter
- Cost per kilometer – a part of it added each 100 meters
- Cost per kilometer after certain hours – only a few companies have this
Here is price range for a normal taxi (comparing affordable and the ones where you can pay with the card):
Starting price from 1.90 EUR up to 3.20 EUR
Cost per kilometer from 0,45 EUR up to 0.88 EUR (0.88 is a night tariff for Tallink Takso)
Everything that is over the max listed above can be counted as a rip-off.
Tip: Tallinn Takso (rip-off one) tries even to catch you in the airport, after arrival area. Taxi drives in most cases will not try to call you to their car – those will. They park their taxis just outside the taxi area or just in front of the door so you almost hit them when you get outside the airport. Screw them, take a cab on the left (Tulika or Tallink) or call IR Takso.
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