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Tartu

City of good thoughts

By bike

Tartu is a very bike-friendly city, and in the recent years, developing the cycling infrastructure has become the means of transport that is being advanced the most. Tens of kilometres of new non-motorised transport paths have been added to the numerous current roads and streets in good condition, and year by year the number of users of these paths increases. The city actively works in the interest of making sure that the bicycle paths form a complete and logical network, and making the public bicycle system a part of the public transportation system through the planned public bicycle project.

 

It is already possible to rent bicycles from various rental and service points, and to get help with repairs, technical questions and routes, or acquiring equipment. In addition, bike rental services are offered by some of the best-known lodging establishments that offer both classical as well as electric powered bicycles.

 

To popularise cycling, many great events take place in the city, and it’s possible to participate in fun tours. Every spring the start of the cycling season is celebrated. During these celebrations, people are encouraged to ride bikes and help is lent with bike maintenance, children`s events and competitions are held, and titles for the most bike-friendly establishments are given out. Every autumn on the Car-Free Day, motorists are encouraged to give up navigating the city centre by car, and instead use bikes, public transportation, or get around on foot. In order for school children to acquire and improve riding skills, cycling courses are organised twice a year. Exciting bicycle and kickbike tours are organised by various service providers and guides, who have to be contacted directly in order to book a tour.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

  • On foot

    On foot

    There is a saying that it’s as if there is more time in Tartu – this is because the distances here are short and the connecting roads and pavements are in good condition. Parking is mostly free on the streets and in parking lots outside the city centre, and the stations for public transportation are close to the city centre: it’s a 5-minute walk along the shore path of Emajõgi River from the bus station to the Town Hall Square in Old Town, and from the train station the city centre is just a quarter-hour walk away.

     

    Tartu Old Town together with Toome Hill (Toomemägi) are largely heritage conservation areas, and walks around Toome Hill Park or the historical streets provide an excellent opportunity to explore the architecture, culture, people who have lived here, urban nature as well as the current way of life. The walks are made even more memorable by different thematic tours that allow you to go on fun exploratory strolls on your own. The necessary guide maps Strolls in Tartu can be downloaded here. The guides can also be picked up from Tartu Visitor Centre, where you can get city maps and many more interesting things as well. It is definitely worth enquiring information about the various exciting tours from the city guides.

     

    In the culturally and historically valued neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre, Supilinn and Karlova, it is possible to explore the old wooden architecture as well as the unusual and unique street art, cozy cafes, shops and bars that adorn these areas. Providing an excellent opportunity to get a closer look at street art is the Stencibility street art map – it leads to exciting hidden street corners of different neighbourhoods where one might not end up otherwise. Raadi, the Estonian National Museum and the Upside Down House at the edge of the city, are just a 2-kilometer-long way from the city centre along the safe Roosi Street promenade. Nature lovers are greeted by plenty of greenery and parks, a botanical garden, and the shore paths and hiking trails of Emajõgi River, which lead to farther parts of the city by the riverside and also pass by Tartu`s bridges.

  • By bike

    By bike

    Tartu is a very bike-friendly city, and in the recent years, developing the cycling infrastructure has become the means of transport that is being advanced the most. Tens of kilometres of new non-motorised transport paths have been added to the numerous current roads and streets in good condition, and year by year the number of users of these paths increases. The city actively works in the interest of making sure that the bicycle paths form a complete and logical network, and making the public bicycle system a part of the public transportation system through the planned public bicycle project.

     

    It is already possible to rent bicycles from various rental and service points, and to get help with repairs, technical questions and routes, or acquiring equipment. In addition, bike rental services are offered by some of the best-known lodging establishments that offer both classical as well as electric powered bicycles.

     

    To popularise cycling, many great events take place in the city, and it’s possible to participate in fun tours. Every spring the start of the cycling season is celebrated. During these celebrations, people are encouraged to ride bikes and help is lent with bike maintenance, children`s events and competitions are held, and titles for the most bike-friendly establishments are given out. Every autumn on the Car-Free Day, motorists are encouraged to give up navigating the city centre by car, and instead use bikes, public transportation, or get around on foot. In order for school children to acquire and improve riding skills, cycling courses are organised twice a year. Exciting bicycle and kickbike tours are organised by various service providers and guides, who have to be contacted directly in order to book a tour.

  • Public transport

    Public transport

    The inner city bus transportation is constructed in a very user-friendly way: there are 25 bus lines in Tartu, the routes having a total length of 491 kilometres, thereby covering the whole city with the bus network. The city of Tartu has already invested in the modernisation and development of the public transportation service for years, and thanks to that, a good quality and environmentally friendly service can be provided.

     

    The bus stops are modern and passengers have access to real-time information on the web and by phone, the timetables are also available in paper form at the bus stops and in various information brochures. Departures are quite frequent in the more important connecting points of the city, the buses are good-looking, clean and low-floor, which makes using public transportation convenient with a baby carriage as well as a wheelchair. In 2011, Estonia`s first five environmentally friendly compressed-gas buses started operating in Tartu. Increasing the share of environmentally friendly solutions has been set as a firm development goal. For instance, by the year 2019, only environmentally friendly gas buses will service Tartu city lines. Townspeople highly appreciate these aspects, and when planning the proposal for the new bus network, the aim is to increase the quality of today`s service even more, while at the same time integrating the public bicycle project into the public transportation system in the future.

     

    To ride city line buses, a ticket can be bought from the driver or an electronic bus card can be used. Tickets bought from the bus driver can only be paid for in cash. Electronic bus cards (contact-free plastic chip cards and stickers) can be bought from R-Kiosk convenience stores, the bus station, Tartu Visitor Centre in Town Hall, information counters in Selver supermarkets and elsewhere. To use an electronic bus card, it has to be swiped when entering the bus at the device or validator installed near the bus doors until a beep sound is heard.

     

    Tartu bus card is in cross-usage with Tallinn`s green Smartcard, and the public transportation cards of Ridango, GoBus and Atko.

     

    Prices and discounts:

     

    • Single ticket 0.83 €
    • Single concession ticket for pupils and university students 0.51 €
    • Single ticket bought from the driver 1.50 €
    • 1-hour ticket 0.96 € (To acquire a 1-hour ticket, the balance on the card has to be at least the amount of two single tickets. The system will register a 1-hour ticket, and return the excess amount back to the card.)
    • 1-day ticket 2.11 € (To acquire a 1-day ticket, the balance on the card has to be at least 2.75 €. The system will register a 1-day ticket, and return the excess amount at the end of the day.)
    • 10-day ticket 7.03 €
    • 10-day concession ticket 3.52 €
    • 30-day ticket 15.34 €
    • 30-day concession ticket for pupils and severely disabled individuals 5.11 €
    • 30-day concession ticket for university students and Estonian pensioners 7.67 €
    • 90-day ticket 35.15 €

     

    Additional information about Tartu bus card can be found at tartu.pilet.ee. 24-hour free info- and helpline 1789. Information about Tartu city lines can be found at tartu.peatus.ee.

  • By taxi

    By taxi

    Various taxi companies offering quality and secure service operate in Tartu. Taxis can be hired by phone, through mobile applications (for example, Taxify, Taxofon or TaxiGo), or directly at taxi parks, which are located for instance on Vabaduse Avenue in the area between Poe Street and Town Hall Square, near the intersection of Vallikraavi and Ülikooli Street, on Uueturu Street, on Soola Street in the parking lot of Hotel Tartu and elsewhere.

     

    The fares of taxi service providers differ – before beginning a ride, be sure to check the initial fee and the rate per kilometre of the service provider in question. We also recommend to specify the number of passengers, payment by card, or usage of additional safety equipment (such as a child safety seat) with the dispatcher or taxi driver. When using mobile applications, we recommend to read the terms of use and keep in mind that a mobile data connection is necessary to use these applications.

     

    Tartu Taksopark, whose selection also includes environmentally friendly gas cars, and Elektritakso, offering eco-friendly and inexpensive transportation solutions, help to create a nature-friendly traffic environment.

  • About parking

    About parking

    Parking charges apply in the city centre on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. See the scheme for the paid parking area.

     

    Parking is free on weekends and national holidays. The chargeable parking area is divided into two zones: the parking fee in zone A is 2 euros per hour, in zone B the parking fee is 1 euro per hour. If the starting time is displayed, parking is free for 15 minutes in zone A, and for 90 minutes in zone B. The parking ticket machine automatically adds the free parking time to the validity period of the ticket. When making use of the free parking time by mobile phone indicate the zone and the respective parking space number (A15 / B90). In the chargeable parking area, there are free designated parking zones for buses, motorcycles and mopeds. Parking conditions in private car parks may vary.

     

    Payment options:

     

    • At parking ticket machines, in cash (machines accept 0.10 €, 0.20 €, 0.50 €, 1 € and 2 € coins) or by card payment;

    • Making a mobile payment (use short code 1902 to send a text message in the following format: vehicle registration plate number, space, combination for the parking zone and space (123ABC A15 / B90). To end the parking time, call 1903. Info hotline: 1910);

    • Buying a parking permit. Parking permits for a day, month, or year can be bought at information centre on the ground floor of Town Hall (tel. 736 1101). Parking permits for a day can also be purchased at parking ticket machines when paying for 5 hours of parking.

    • At the web portal Parkimine.ee;

    • Through parking applications for smartphones and tablets. We recommend to use parking applications of known companies, such as Parkimine.ee (Ühisteenused AS), PARGI.EE (Telia Eesti AS), or Autlo (Autlo OÜ). Using the applications is at the user’s own risk.

     

    Free parking areas near the city centre:

     

    • Uus Street 63d

    • Riia Street 26a (behind Hektor Design Hostel)

    • Taara Avenue 1d

    • Courthouse parking lot (between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.)

    • Vaksali Street parking areas at the side of the train tracks (Vaksali Street 12b and 2d)

     

    Tour buses can be parked in the city centre at the following locations:

     

    • Vabaduse Avenue (between Uueturu and Poe Street) 
    • Vabaduse Avenue (near Kaarsild (Arched Bridge)) 
    • Ülikooli Street (in front of Vanemuine Theatre) 
    • Ülikooli Street (next to Hotel Draakon) 
    • Lossi Street (on the section between Inglisild (Angel`s Bridge) and the Supreme Court of Estonia)
    • Opposite Jakobi Street 2
    • Lai Street 37 (in front of the Botanical Garden)
    • Küütri Street (next to Hotel London) 
    • Sadama Street parking lot
    • Väike Turu Street parking lot 
    • Turu Street (Aura Water Centre)

  • Traffic restrictions

    Traffic restrictions

    Tartu is in constant development in order to be a place that keeps getting better and better for locals as well as visitors. It is precisely for this purpose that road works are carried out in Tartu from time to time, so that moving and driving around the city would in the future be even more convenient. During major sports and cultural events, there may be some redirections and road closures on the streets of Tartu. We recommend following traffic signs. Information about roadworks and closures can be found on the city’s website, from various navigation applications and on the website www.tarktee.ee.

On foot

There is a saying that it’s as if there is more time in Tartu – this is because the distances here are short and the connecting roads and pavements are in good condition. Parking is mostly free on the streets and in parking lots outside the city centre, and the stations for public transportation are close to the city centre: it’s a 5-minute walk along the shore path of Emajõgi River from the bus station to the Town Hall Square in Old Town, and from the train station the city centre is just a quarter-hour walk away.

 

Tartu Old Town together with Toome Hill (Toomemägi) are largely heritage conservation areas, and walks around Toome Hill Park or the historical streets provide an excellent opportunity to explore the architecture, culture, people who have lived here, urban nature as well as the current way of life. The walks are made even more memorable by different thematic tours that allow you to go on fun exploratory strolls on your own. The necessary guide maps Strolls in Tartu can be downloaded here. The guides can also be picked up from Tartu Visitor Centre, where you can get city maps and many more interesting things as well. It is definitely worth enquiring information about the various exciting tours from the city guides.

 

In the culturally and historically valued neighbourhoods surrounding the city centre, Supilinn and Karlova, it is possible to explore the old wooden architecture as well as the unusual and unique street art, cozy cafes, shops and bars that adorn these areas. Providing an excellent opportunity to get a closer look at street art is the Stencibility street art map – it leads to exciting hidden street corners of different neighbourhoods where one might not end up otherwise. Raadi, the Estonian National Museum and the Upside Down House at the edge of the city, are just a 2-kilometer-long way from the city centre along the safe Roosi Street promenade. Nature lovers are greeted by plenty of greenery and parks, a botanical garden, and the shore paths and hiking trails of Emajõgi River, which lead to farther parts of the city by the riverside and also pass by Tartu`s bridges.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

Public transport

The inner city bus transportation is constructed in a very user-friendly way: there are 25 bus lines in Tartu, the routes having a total length of 491 kilometres, thereby covering the whole city with the bus network. The city of Tartu has already invested in the modernisation and development of the public transportation service for years, and thanks to that, a good quality and environmentally friendly service can be provided.

 

The bus stops are modern and passengers have access to real-time information on the web and by phone, the timetables are also available in paper form at the bus stops and in various information brochures. Departures are quite frequent in the more important connecting points of the city, the buses are good-looking, clean and low-floor, which makes using public transportation convenient with a baby carriage as well as a wheelchair. In 2011, Estonia`s first five environmentally friendly compressed-gas buses started operating in Tartu. Increasing the share of environmentally friendly solutions has been set as a firm development goal. For instance, by the year 2019, only environmentally friendly gas buses will service Tartu city lines. Townspeople highly appreciate these aspects, and when planning the proposal for the new bus network, the aim is to increase the quality of today`s service even more, while at the same time integrating the public bicycle project into the public transportation system in the future.

 

To ride city line buses, a ticket can be bought from the driver or an electronic bus card can be used. Tickets bought from the bus driver can only be paid for in cash. Electronic bus cards (contact-free plastic chip cards and stickers) can be bought from R-Kiosk convenience stores, the bus station, Tartu Visitor Centre in Town Hall, information counters in Selver supermarkets and elsewhere. To use an electronic bus card, it has to be swiped when entering the bus at the device or validator installed near the bus doors until a beep sound is heard.

 

Tartu bus card is in cross-usage with Tallinn`s green Smartcard, and the public transportation cards of Ridango, GoBus and Atko.

 

Prices and discounts:

 

  • Single ticket 0.83 €
  • Single concession ticket for pupils and university students 0.51 €
  • Single ticket bought from the driver 1.50 €
  • 1-hour ticket 0.96 € (To acquire a 1-hour ticket, the balance on the card has to be at least the amount of two single tickets. The system will register a 1-hour ticket, and return the excess amount back to the card.)
  • 1-day ticket 2.11 € (To acquire a 1-day ticket, the balance on the card has to be at least 2.75 €. The system will register a 1-day ticket, and return the excess amount at the end of the day.)
  • 10-day ticket 7.03 €
  • 10-day concession ticket 3.52 €
  • 30-day ticket 15.34 €
  • 30-day concession ticket for pupils and severely disabled individuals 5.11 €
  • 30-day concession ticket for university students and Estonian pensioners 7.67 €
  • 90-day ticket 35.15 €

 

Additional information about Tartu bus card can be found at tartu.pilet.ee. 24-hour free info- and helpline 1789. Information about Tartu city lines can be found at tartu.peatus.ee.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

By taxi

Various taxi companies offering quality and secure service operate in Tartu. Taxis can be hired by phone, through mobile applications (for example, Taxify, Taxofon or TaxiGo), or directly at taxi parks, which are located for instance on Vabaduse Avenue in the area between Poe Street and Town Hall Square, near the intersection of Vallikraavi and Ülikooli Street, on Uueturu Street, on Soola Street in the parking lot of Hotel Tartu and elsewhere.

 

The fares of taxi service providers differ – before beginning a ride, be sure to check the initial fee and the rate per kilometre of the service provider in question. We also recommend to specify the number of passengers, payment by card, or usage of additional safety equipment (such as a child safety seat) with the dispatcher or taxi driver. When using mobile applications, we recommend to read the terms of use and keep in mind that a mobile data connection is necessary to use these applications.

 

Tartu Taksopark, whose selection also includes environmentally friendly gas cars, and Elektritakso, offering eco-friendly and inexpensive transportation solutions, help to create a nature-friendly traffic environment.

Last updated: 02.07.2018

About parking

Parking charges apply in the city centre on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. See the scheme for the paid parking area.

 

Parking is free on weekends and national holidays. The chargeable parking area is divided into two zones: the parking fee in zone A is 2 euros per hour, in zone B the parking fee is 1 euro per hour. If the starting time is displayed, parking is free for 15 minutes in zone A, and for 90 minutes in zone B. The parking ticket machine automatically adds the free parking time to the validity period of the ticket. When making use of the free parking time by mobile phone indicate the zone and the respective parking space number (A15 / B90). In the chargeable parking area, there are free designated parking zones for buses, motorcycles and mopeds. Parking conditions in private car parks may vary.

 

Payment options:

 

  • At parking ticket machines, in cash (machines accept 0.10 €, 0.20 €, 0.50 €, 1 € and 2 € coins) or by card payment;

  • Making a mobile payment (use short code 1902 to send a text message in the following format: vehicle registration plate number, space, combination for the parking zone and space (123ABC A15 / B90). To end the parking time, call 1903. Info hotline: 1910);

  • Buying a parking permit. Parking permits for a day, month, or year can be bought at information centre on the ground floor of Town Hall (tel. 736 1101). Parking permits for a day can also be purchased at parking ticket machines when paying for 5 hours of parking.

  • At the web portal Parkimine.ee;

  • Through parking applications for smartphones and tablets. We recommend to use parking applications of known companies, such as Parkimine.ee (Ühisteenused AS), PARGI.EE (Telia Eesti AS), or Autlo (Autlo OÜ). Using the applications is at the user’s own risk.

 

Free parking areas near the city centre:

 

  • Uus Street 63d

  • Riia Street 26a (behind Hektor Design Hostel)

  • Taara Avenue 1d

  • Courthouse parking lot (between 6 p.m. and 1 a.m.)

  • Vaksali Street parking areas at the side of the train tracks (Vaksali Street 12b and 2d)

 

Tour buses can be parked in the city centre at the following locations:

 

• Vabaduse Avenue (between Uueturu and Poe Street) 
• Vabaduse Avenue (near Kaarsild (Arched Bridge)) 
• Ülikooli Street (in front of Vanemuine Theatre) 
• Ülikooli Street (next to Hotel Draakon) 
• Lossi Street (on the section between Inglisild (Angel`s Bridge) and the Supreme Court of Estonia)
• Opposite Jakobi Street 2
• Lai Street 37 (in front of the Botanical Garden)
• Küütri Street (next to Hotel London) 
• Sadama Street parking lot
• Väike Turu Street parking lot 
• Turu Street (Aura Water Centre)

Last updated: 27.06.2018

Traffic restrictions

Tartu is in constant development in order to be a place that keeps getting better and better for locals as well as visitors. It is precisely for this purpose that road works are carried out in Tartu from time to time, so that moving and driving around the city would in the future be even more convenient. During major sports and cultural events, there may be some redirections and road closures on the streets of Tartu. We recommend following traffic signs. Information about roadworks and closures can be found on the city’s website, from various navigation applications and on the website www.tarktee.ee.

Last updated: 27.06.2018

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Märten Owatzky
Kerly Ilves
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Jalgrattalinn Tartu

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