TOP 5 things you should not miss while visiting Tartu:

1. TARTU OLD TOWN – HOME OF CULTURE AND GOOD FLAVOURS

In Summer, the historical Town Hall Square is full of people catching up with their friends around café tables, enjoying the delicious food or the view of the Emajõgi River, taking photos by the Kissing Students fountain or being astonished by the ’leaning house’. In Tartu’s Old Town, you will also find the Medieval St. John’s Church, which is unique in Europe due to its almost 1,000 terracotta sculptures. While the streets of Old Town give you a sense of the city’s unique atmosphere, the numerous restaurants and cafées give you the tastes of Tartu. We guarantee that you will find reasons to come back for more.

 

2. THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU’S HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE

The Main Building of the University of Tartu is one of the pearls of the city. It is an outstanding example of classicist architecture in Estonia. All important events in the life of the university have been celebrated in its main hall. On Toome Hill, you’ll find the historical ruins of Tartu Cathedral, which houses the University of Tartu Museum, as well as the Old Obervatory and the Devil’s and Angel’s Bridges. These are all part of the rich history of one of the oldest universities in the Nordic region, founded in 1632. This unique architectural ensemble has also earned the European Heritage label.

Photo: Andres Tennus

 

3. NEW ESTONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM & THE BIGGEST SCIENCE CENTER IN THE BALTICS

The most modern museum in Scandinavia – Estonian National Museum – opened its doors on the 1st of October 2016. The 34,000-square-metre museum is the largest in the Baltic States. Its exhibitions chart Estonia's history from the Stone Age to present day. A 350-metre-long glass formation ramps up from the runway of a former soviet airfield near the city to form the impressive building of the museum. Tartu has also the biggest and most modern science centre of its kind in the Baltics – AHHAA Science Center. It popularises science among visitors of all ages. Hands-on exhibits, different workshops, science theatre and fully spherical planetarium encourage studying through the joy of discovery.

Photo: Estonian National Museum

 

4. WOODEN DISTRICTS OF TARTU: SOUP TOWN AND KARLOVA

Strolling down the streets of Supilinn (’Soup town’) and Karlova takes us back to another time, with all the cosy backyards, greenery and picket fences reminiscent of life in the previous century. You know it’s the 21st century by the artistic graffiti that decorates these districts. The bohemian Supilinn, close to Emajõgi River, gets its name from its street names: Herne (pea), Kartul (potato), Oa (bean) etc. In Karlova, take some time to pop into the creative centre Aparaaditehas or one of the many cosy cafées. If you want to learn more about the history of these districts, we kindly reccommend hiring a guide.

Photo: Barlova


5. CULTURAL EVENTS IN TARTU

The spirit of Tartu is liberal and the city is full of movement and excitement, whatever the season. Whether you’re a culture vulture or a sportaholic, you’re sure to find something of interest, be it the auto24 Rally Estonia or the Hanseatic Days, the ’tARTuFF’ love film festival, the Emajõgi River Festival or the ’Stencibility’ Street Art Festival. Cultural venues vary from classical theatres and concert halls to lively pubs and alternative clubs.

Photo: Kerly Ilves

Also check out tips for visiting Tartu from Trip Advisor and Like A Local!

 

Welcome to Tartu – the City of Good Thoughts!