Why Tartu?

1. Tartu is Estonia’s leading centre of education and research. University of Tartu, founded in 1632, is one of the oldest universities in North-eastern Europe and ranked in the top 3% of the world’s best universities and the University of Life Sciences is one of top 100 universities in the world in the field of agriculture and forestry.
Photo by: Sille Siniavski
2. Tartu is also Estonia’s centre of medicine and science. It is home to the 200-year-old University Clinic, the largest complex of hospitals and laboratories in the country.It is no wonder that Tartuhas a tradition of organizing medical and biotechnology conferences. For example, theEstonian Genome Project (EGP), a research venture of the University of Tartu, is the third biggest such project world.
Photo by: Estonian Genome Centre
3. Tartu is a fast developing and competitive city. Two-thirds of Estonian biotechnology companies and some of the largest Estonian software companies are based in Tartu and it has long traditions and high competence levels in electronics, engineering, ICT and biotechnology. Of well-known international companies, Tartu is home to Zero Turnaround, Fortumo, Plumbr and Tarmetec. Other innovative initiatives include Buildit Accelerator and Smart City Lab, an electronic and mobile services development cluster where stakeholders include companies, research institutions and the city of Tartu. Did you know that some of the Estonian developers of Click & Grow and Skype have graduated the University of Tartu?

4. The culture-rich Hanseatic city Tartu is a modern city with a rich historical heritage and culture. It is the cradle of the Estonian Song Festival, Estonian national theatre and the Estonian state; the  intellectual capital of the country, where national awareness and culture were born. The city is also famous for its international events – Tartu Marathon, Tartu Hanseatic Days, Rally Estonia etc. More than 4000 events and festivals are held here during throughout the year – so you are sure to find something for everybody!

Photo by: Caspar Lootsmann
5. Tartu is also known for its numerous museums, which also carry on the idea of Tartu as a city of research and science. Science buffs can also make their acquaintance with the subject at the specialised Tartu museums such as the Ahhaa Science Centre, the Tartu University Museum and the Tartu Observatory, the Estonian National Museum, and in many places around Tartu County, such as Tõravere Observatory.
Photo by: University of Tartu Old Observatory
6. Tartu is a green, safe city where the lively bustle goes hand in hand with natural beauty. Besides many parks and hiking tracks, 11 km of one of Estonia’s longest rivers – the Emajõgi (Mother River) – flows through Tartu, offering visual beauty as well as many opportunities as a recreational waterway and event venue.
Photo by: Ahto Sooaru
7. Tartu is a compact city and has a walking culture, which means that you can easily get from one point to another by foot. No need to use public transport: just stroll across Town Hall Square to your conference venue, hotel or wherever it is you need or want to go! It’s also worth visiting Tartu’s historic neighbourhoods – Supilinn and Karlova districts and Toome Hill, the latter being the site of the first settlement.
8. Tartu is new and undiscovered destination, an ideal place for conferences attended by 100-500 delegates, but it can accommodate gatherings with up to 1,000 delegates. The largest venues are Vanemuine Concert Hall (959 delegates), theatre Vanemuine (700), Dorpat Conference Centre (560) and Tartu University ́s Assembly Hall (470). In addition, the Universiy of Tartu and University of Life Sciences buildings offer very many modern halls for up to 500 delegates. The city has all of the necessary lodging, dining, entertainment and other services for a successful conference.
Photo by: Ahto Sooaru
9. Tartu is the capital of southern Estonia. Within several hours’ drive lie very distinctive regions that are worth discovering – windows on Estonian culture, history and natural heritage. One such place to visit is Setomaa–an ethnically and linguistically unique region, where the small local community still cling to their language, customs, cuisine, folklore and traditional folk costume; or the Onion Route – the region of Russian Old Believers, where three different cultures and histories – Estonian, Russian and German – mingle and offer you unforgettable emotions. You will find many interesting ideas for your pre- and post-tours in Tartu and South Estonia.

Old Woman Selling Onions in Lüübnitsa Fair, Setomaa, Põlva County, Estonia

Photo by: Jaak Nilson
10. Tartu is closer than you think, as the comfortable intercity passenger trains and coaches make the kilometres go fast – free Wi-Fi in buses and trains allow you to spend the time working, communicating with friends, reading the newspaper or other pastimes.