Tallinn to Riga by train for €22.55

Estonian and Latvian railways have co-ordinated their timetables (sort of) and it's possible to travel between Tallinn & Riga on a comfortable inexpensive daily train service, with one simple cross-platform change of train on the border at Valga.  Both the Estonian and Latvian trains are local trains and it takes a few hours longer and is less frequent than the bus (the train service runs once a day), but it's cheap, easy to use, no prior reservation is necessary and it's an interesting and more enjoyable alternative to hours in a bus.  The Estonian train between Valga & Tallinn is now a smart modern air-conditioned train with power sockets and free WiFi.  The Latvian train now has free WiFi too.

On other pages:  Warsaw - Vilnius   Vilnius - Riga

 Riga ► Tallinn


 Tallinn ► Riga

 Local train service 2024


 Local train service 2024


Sat & Sun

 Riga station



 Tallinn station




 Valga (on Latvian train)







 Valga (on Estonian train)



 Valga arrive (on Estonian train)







 Valga depart (on Latvian train)




 Tallinn station



 Riga station




How to read these timetables:  Read downwards.  Each column of times is a train you can take.  A horizontal line means you need to change trains.

How to check these train times:  1. Check Estonian train times at www.elron.ee, click EN for English top right.  In Estonian, Riga = Riia. 2. Check Latvian train times at vivi.lv, click EN for English top left.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What's Valga like?

Valga in Estonia and Valka in Latvia were one town until 1920.  Now twin towns, the station is in Valga on the Estonian side.  It's reportedly not a bad place to spend a few hours.  Estonia and Latvia are in the Schengen area so there are no border controls, you can walk back and forth across the border.  Indeed, there's an International Swing on a pedestrian bridge over the border in Valga town, you can swing back and forth between countries!

There are free luggage lockers in the station hall, they just require a €1 or €0.50 coin as deposit.

The main departure board at Valga only shows Estonian trains, not the Latvian train to Riga, so don't worry when you don't see it listed!  You'll recognise the Latvian train from the photo below, it typically leaves from platform 2.

Restaurant Lilli (www.lilli.ee) a 14 minute walk away and is a good place to go between trains, see walking map.  A menu is available in English.

What are the trains like?

1) Tallinn to Valga by Estonian train.  These smart new air-conditioned local trains have on-board information screens, free WiFi & power sockets for laptops & mobiles.  First class seats are also available.  Photo below left courtesy of Chris Rushton, below right courtesy of Daniel King.

On board the Estonian train between Tallinn and Valga, en route to Riga.   Estonian train from Tallinn to Valga, seen at Valga
Latvian train at Valga

At Valga it's a simple cross-platform interchange.  Above, the Estonian train from Tallinn at Valga.  Below, that's the Latvian train for Riga, at Valga.  Photos courtesy of Martin Kop.

Latvian train at Valga

2) Valga to Riga by Latvian train.  This is a classic Soviet-era local train, 2nd class only, with a modernised interior.  There's no catering on either train, so bring your own beer and picnic.  Photos below courtesy of Jan Špaček & Martin Kop

Tallinn to Riga by train:  This is the Valga-Riga Latvian train   Tallinn to Riga by train:  Seating on the Valga-Riga train

Route map

Riga to Tallinn train route map


Click for larger map

Reproduced from the European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.

I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.  More details.

Tallinn to Riga by bus

Alternatively, buses link Tallinn and Riga with a range of departures daily, run by various operators including Ecolines and Lux Express.  Journey time about 4h20, fare between €12 & €28 one-way, buy tickets at either Omio.com for Ecolines or www.luxexpress.eu for Lux Express.

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