Discover TARTU and TARTU COUNTY 2018

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925 km


220 km


180 km




717 km

PECHORY 111 km


210 km


VILNIUS 430 km

BERLIN 1055 км

How to get to Tartu BY PLANE Tartu is situated in South Estonia and directly accessible by plane via Helsinki. Helsinki-Tartu flights are operated by Finnair ( and the flight takes 50 minutes. Tickets for the flights leaving from Tartu Airport ( can be bought on the Finnair website. You can also travel to Tartu through Tallinn and Riga. Tallinn Airport (, providing numerous international flight connections, is located just outside the city centre of the capital, on the road to Tartu. It is comfortable to rent a car, take a bus or use Airport Shuttle ( service. Riga International Airport ( is connected with Tartu through Lux Express ( and Ecolines buses ( BY BUS The trip from Tallinn to Tartu takes around 2.5 hours, with buses leaving Tallinn every half an hour or so from 5:40 to 23:00 ( Every hour on the hour from 6:00 to 23:00, comfortable Lux Express buses depart on the Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu route. You can read newspapers, use the free WiFi, listen to music or watch movies on the bus. All Lux Express buses stop at Tallinn Airport in both directions. There are also international bus connections with the Latvian capital city Riga (, www.luxexpress. eu) as well as with St. Petersburg (, Pechory and Pskov ( in Russia.

BY TRAIN Tartu Railway Station is 1.5 km from the city centre and you can take trains between Tartu and a number of destinations such as Tallinn (incl. Jõgeva, Tapa, Aegviidu), Valga (incl. Elva) and Koidula (incl. Põlva, Piusa) several times a day ( Connections to Narva and Jõhvi are also available through Tapa as well as to Riga, Latvia, through Valga and Valka ( From the Tartu Railway Station, you can take the bus no. 20 or a taxi to the city centre or take a short walk while looking at the sights. BY CAR Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia, is also the biggest centre in South Estonia and many important national roads pass through here. Tallinn (186 km), Pärnu (170 km) and Narva (182 km) are only about a 2.5-hour drive away, while Riga is only 260 km or about 3.5 hours to the south-west. Driving here also means you can stop and admire some of Estonia’s prettiest and most interesting sights along the way! For ideas, see www.visit Those travelling between Riga, Tartu and St. Petersburg can plan their trip through Estonia using the Via Hanseatica travel planner (www.viahanseatica. info). Visitors who want to explore Tartu and the county first-hand can hire a car or a bike – information about both options is available from the Tartu Visitor Centre ( and online at

Welcome to Tartu, the City of Good Thoughts! I have often asked this of my friends and colleagues: what is the one, most important reason that would bring tourists and new visitors to the city? A simple question that should be easy to answer but, as I know Tartu and its people, I also know that there are just as many answers as there are people to give them. The first of them mentions the cosy restaurants that cater for different tastes, the second one likes the revival of the Emajõgi river, the third values the peace and quiet of Toomamäe, the fourth speaks about the city’s youthfulness and universities and the fifth (and by no means the last) person likes the lively and noisy Rüütli street that is always bursting with ideas.

Tartu has often been called a free city. A city passed by the ideas and the people who spend shorter or longer

Dear friends, what is the one and the most important thing that you see and value in Tartu? Which good idea comes with you and which one do you take back home when you leave? I believe that the good thoughts of Tartu become a part of you and transfer to your loved ones, so that the spirit of Tartu will always be there, supporting you. Welcome to Tartu, the City of Good Thoughts! Urmas Klaas Mayor of Tartu


Tartu County


First mentioned: in 1030 by chroniclers of Kievan Rus Historical names: Tarbatu, Dorpat, Jurjev, Dorpt, Derpt Area: 153.99 km² Population: 99 thousand Slogan: Tartu – City of Good Thoughts

Area: 3349.3 km² Population: 150 thousand Longest river: Suur-Emajõgi (100 km – 10 km of which passes through Tartu) Biggest lakes: Lake Peipus (3555 km² – 5th largest lake in Europe) and Lake Võrtsjärv (270 km²) Biggest island: Piirissaar (7.5 km², in Lake Peipus)

Official name: Republic of Estonia Capital: Tallinn Area: 45,339 km2 Population: 1,3 million Local time: (GMT +2) Country code: +372 Emergency number: 112 Member of the EU: since 2004 Currency: euro (€)

Statistics as of 04.04.2018

If you asked me about that one and only word or sentence that could be used to describe Tartu, it would probably fit into the word ‘spirit’ and not only as the ‘spirit of Tartu’, which really has been unfairly overused. When I use the word spirit, I speak about the unique blend of ideas, sounds, colours, actions and amazement that only characterises Tartu, that lives in the city whatever the season and reveals itself in the most unexpected places and situations, in the river and on the bridges, in parks and on the walls of houses, in tiny cafés and secret yards.

periods of their lives here. The number of students living in Tartu all year round is in five figures and they bring us the ideas and colours of their homes in Estonia and other corners of the world – this is why Tartu is constantly changing and never becomes the same as in the previous year or season. But this is just one side of Tartu, because a lot happens here that only belongs to this city and can never be taken away (or only in the shape of good emotions) – the numerous festivals and singing events, exciting museums and galleries, concerts and open air events, summer cafés and sporting facilities. Last summer, there was a big festival or open air event in Tartu every weekend, and some of them had the chance to work together and share their places in the city. Tartu lives and offers good emotions.


Tartu – an oasis of intellectual activity, rich culture and history Being the oldest city in the Baltic States, Tartu successfully combines modern infrastructure and facilities with green and friendly environment: the city is very compact and easily accessible. A serene park with medieval ruins and a river running through the city give it a romantic appeal. Part of its appeal is the way Tartu blends old and new. Walking through the city, one can literally touch its history, at the same time feeling a renewed energy and curiosity about what the future will bring. The balance between the past and the future is an essential part of the celebrated spirit of Tartu. At every corner in Tartu, there are concert venues, exhibition halls, theatres, churches, museums and charming little cafÊs as well as various pubs and restaurants. An inseparable part of the city is its students, who constitute around a quarter of the population and generate a lot of fun and energy. There is a lively cultural scene with something for every taste. Exciting events and festivals take place all year round.

The University of Tartu (, which was founded in 1632, has been one of the most important influences on national culture, identity and awareness. Its main building, which was completed in 1809, remains the jewel in the crown of Estonian neoclassical design.


A key role in the development and promotion of Estonian culture has also been played by the Vanemuine Theatre ( Vanemuine is the only theatre in the Baltics that performs all genres: plays, operas, ballets, operettas and musicals. Subtitles in other languages can be provided on request for a number of performances. Concerts are staged at the adjacent Vanemuine Concert Hall ( While wandering in the centre of Tartu, you are likely to come across a building that is very important to the city – St. John’s Church (, which is one of the most unique examples of medieval sacral construction in Northern Europe due to its almost 1,000 terracotta sculptures. From its bell tower you can enjoy the views over the historical Old Town and the surrounding St. John’s quarter. Another remarkable building is St. Paul’s Church of Tartu (, designed by Finnish-American architect Eliel Saarinen. It is the only Estonian sacral building in art nouveau style as well as one of the most outstanding 20th century sacral buildings in Estonia. The church and its wings form one of the most remarkable ensembles of sacral architecture. St. Peter’s Church, a grand and stylish neo-Gothic brick church (architects Viktor Johann Gottlieb Schröter, Georg Hellat) is situated right next to the site of the first national song festival of Estonia, held in 1869. The main building of the National Archives called Noora ( is situated in Tartu. The front side of Noora is covered with a facade textile presenting a groove motif that symbolises the processes of thinking and remembering, describes the process of exploration, and the twists and turns as well as the triumphs of research. A permanent exposition and temporary exhibitions of the National Archives are on display in the foyer and the ground floor presents a sound installation that uses the building, employees and location of the archives as activating pulses.

The Widget Factory, or Aparaaditehas (www., is an old manufacturing complex that has developed into a unique “cultural factory”, uniting creative entrepreneurs, art studios, design studios and entertainment. The creative city also boasts several restaurants and food studios as well as numerous small and exciting shops.


City of museums Tartu offers a wide selection of museums, most of which carry an important role of introducing the city’s history and culture. In addition to traditional museums, visitors can get a glimpse of the KGB cells, crazy science and many other interesting exhibitions and workshops.

Estonian National Museum ( – the largest and most modern museum and cultural centre in Northern Europe successfully connects modern solutions with national heritage. Everyone is welcome to discover the extensive, educational, high-tech and hands-on exhibitions. You are invited to participate in daily art, film, theatre and music events, broaden your mind at conferences and educational programmes and become actively involved in creating these events (such as exhibitions) yourself. Estonian National Museum offers direct experiences, but also a lasting relationship with the museum via original e-solutions.

Tartu City Museum (

introduces the colourful history of the city, its citizens as well as Estonian history of communism. Visitors can get a good overview of Tartu’s past – medieval brick structures of Dorpat, 18th century handicraft and the background to signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty are just a few highlighted samples that the museum offers.

In the Printing and Paper Museum (www.tryki, you can explore how paper is made and admire historical printing presses as well as a variety of thematic and temporary exhibitions. Different workshops are held regularly so you can make 3D postcards, print posters and bind handmade notebooks. A. Le Coq Beer Museum ( offers an insight into the history of Estonian beer industry and the historical equipment as well as an introduction into beer brewing and beer culture around the world. You can also have a taste of the locally made brew!


In Ăœlenurme, 3 km south of the city, is the Estonian Agricultural Museum ( where you can explore the rural culture, agricultural traditions and working machinery of the local people. The museum offers a range of workshops and family events, and if you wish to, then you can even take a pony ride. In Hellenurme Watermill-Museum (www.veskimuuseum. ee), about 35 km from the city, you can watch and take part in the entire process of bread making from the grains being made into flour to a fresh-baked loaf of bread. The watermill was established in the 1880s by the family of Alexander Theodor von Middendorff, a Baltic German zoologist and explorer. Make sure to book a visit in advance! About 16 km outside of the city in Veskioru lies the Estonian Aviation Museum (www.lennundus Started from a private collection, its exhibition space showcases almost 400 highly detailed model planes as well as life-sized helicopters and aircraft. Estonian Aviation Days, held at the museum each June, is the largest aviation event in the Baltic States. Intriguing cultural history awaits visitors along the shore of Lake Peipus, which has been a home to Russian Old Believers since the 17th century. Their unique culture and traditions have made the area a fascinating place to visit. You can find out about the history and customs of the Old Believers at the museums in

Kolkja ( and Varnja. Further information about the activities and options along the lakeside is also available at the Peipsimaa Visitor Centre ( and on the Onion Route network website ( In addition to the Old Believers, this part of the region is closely associated with the cultures of Estonian serfdom and the Baltic German nobility. A great place to learn about both cultures is at one of the true architectural pearls of the Lake Peipus region – Alatskivi Castle ( It has been renowned for its neo-Gothic appearance since the 19th century. The castle with its museum has something for everyone and offers tours, workshops, accommodation and a fine restaurant.


Tartu – city of good thoughts and smart solutions As a university town, Tartu has long enjoyed an important place on the map of the world as an influential hub of science and research. It is the centre of both in Estonia today and a home to 11 institutions of higher education. The oldest and most well-known of them is the University of Tartu which is among the top 400 most reputable universities in the world in two prestigious university ranking league tables. There are altogether more than 16 000 students who constitute about 20% of Tartu’s inhabitants. The students are an essential part of the city’s spirit and culture, and have achieved remarkable results in medicine, space and information technology, linguistics and in numerous other significant fields throughout the centuries. The history of science and university education of Tartu from the 17th century right up to today is showcased in the University of Tartu Museum (www.muuseum., the extensive collections of which ensure there is something new to discover for every visitor. The museum’s main house is situated in the ruins


of Tartu Cathedral, one of the oldest and most remarkable Gothic brick constructions in the Baltic States. In addition to soaking up history, little visitors can have fun learning something new in the Crazy Scientist’s Office (www.hull and riding up and down in a historic lift. At the 200-year-old University of Tartu Old Observatory (, you can study

the night skies through a telescope, test your skills as a meteor observer or take a ride among the stars in the planetarium. Tartu Observatory ( in Tõravere, 21 km south of Tartu on the road to Valga, is home to astrophysics, cosmology and atmospheric physics departments where you can find out all about the different branches of astronomy. Be sure to contact them in advance to book a visit. Alternatively, try your hand and measure your knowledge using the attractions at the AHHAA Science Centre (, the biggest and most modern centre of

its kind in the Baltic States. AHHAA popularises science among visitors of all ages – you can see how the laws of physics operate by trying out hands-on exhibits, taking part in a wide range of workshops and enjoying the performances at the planetarium and science theatre. The centre is home to a fully spherical planetarium which is unique in the world and in which you can see as many as 5 million stars at a time. Tartu boasts an excellent climate for business. It is easy to launch a small or large business solution because the city authorities are always prepared to think along with the entrepreneurs and offer flexible options aimed at ensuring that good concepts and business ideas are rapidly implemented. Tartu has served as the starting point for several global technological enterprises and developments as the city has a strong start-up community.

SPARK Demo ( is a perfect place to learn everything about business and manufacture in our region. It is an exhibition and collaboration centre where the most successful exporters and employers as well as the brightest start-ups of the region are presented. This is the place where hardware companies in the fields of wood, metal, food, IT, medicine, and plastic can showcase their strengths and uniqueness by arranging exhibitions. The SPARK building also houses the first makerspace in Tartu – SPARK Makerlab (www.makerlab. ee), which provides workspace as well as tools, materials and various programmes to let your imagination run wild and make something incredible.


Take a break with your family Tartu is the best place for a family holiday – a safe and easy-going place that has plenty of fun to offer visitors of all ages. Numerous playgrounds and playrooms, interesting museums, serene parks and various water attractions delight the whole family. No trip to Tartu with the kids would be complete without a visit to the Tartu Toy Museum (, which will be a trip down memory lane for older visitors as well. The museum exhibits toys that children in these parts have played with over the centuries, while its courtyard is home to puppets and dolls from Estonian films. Fun awaits in the museum’s playroom and crafts room as well. Next door, in the Theatre House (www.teatri, kids can watch performances and put on their own puppet shows. About 30-minute drive away from the city lies the biggest playland in Estonia – Vudila


( The playland welcomes both the young and the old as it combines the fun and adventures of a water park, amusement park, trampoline centre and animal park. 21 km outside of Tartu by the Lake Saadjärv is the Ice Age Centre (, a unique environmental

education and visitor centre that provides an overview of the history and future of the whole universe in an entertaining and informative way. You can see full-scale prehistoric animals as well as learn how the nature of the world and Estonia has developed. In summer, you can also go on guided nature trips from the centre, taking a raft out onto picturesque Lake Saadjärv. Those interested in science should definitely visit the AHHAA Science Centre and the Crazy Scientist’s Office (more information in the previous chapter).

If you love water, then you have a great opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself right in the city centre! V Spa (, inspired by vitality, is the biggest and most modern spa in South Estonia. In addition to exceptional treatments, the spa has an outstanding water and sauna centre with 11 different saunas, impressive salt world with a pool and salt saunas, plenty of Jacuzzis, a Japanese bath and massaging streams. The smallest ones can have fun with water attractions in the children’s pool and in the babies’ ship floating track. There is also a spa bar that offers light snacks and a wide selection of drinks.

has a Jacuzzi and a Japanese bath, different saunas such as the Finnish sauna, juniper sauna, steam sauna, aroma sauna, rock salt sauna, steam and aroma sauna as well as the igloo sauna. The centre also has a swimming complex for both training and competitions. In the summertime, you can enjoy the sunshine, summer air and the lovely view of the Emajõgi River on the sun terrace.

Enjoyable saunas and awesome attractions also await in Aura Water Centre ( The centre boasts water slides (55 and 38 metres long), streams of the water cannon, water curtains, a fountain, a waterfall, Jacuzzis and the possibility to swim against the stream. Children can have fun on the small slides, splash in the children’s pool and play with water toys. The health club

There are numerous cafés and restaurants that offer excellent dishes but also have playrooms for the smallest members of the family. For example, restaurants Ylicool and Hõlm can be found in the Old Town, V Café and restaurant Joyce in the shopping centre Kvartal, restaurants Aparaat and KarriTehas in the Widget Factory, restaurant Fii of the hotel Sophia in the shopping centre Lõunakeskus. In addition to cafés and restaurants, the big shopping centres also offer entertainment options – be it a cinema visit, virtual reality experience or ice skating. More information can be found at


Enjoy nature in the city and the vicinity While you are in Tartu, you are likely to experience something quite remarkable – there is no need to hurry since everything you will want to see is just a short walk away! What also makes the city so cosy is how green it is: there are numerous parks as well as Toome Hill (Toomemägi) and the banks of the Emajõgi River, all of which are ideal places to relax and unwind. But if you would prefer to take time out a little further afield, then just a short drive away you will find some stunning lakes, the shores of which are perfect for picnics and camping. There are also plenty of well-marked hiking and nature trails to explore. For those who enjoy hiking, some of the best places to explore the nature in Tartu County are its biggest nature reserves – Peipsiveere (formerly known as the Emajõe-Suursoo nature reserve) and Alam-Pedja, which is a site of pan-European importance. Its wetlands, unaffected by direct human activity, are a habitat for the eagle, the black stork, the great snipe and many other rare birds. Its meadows become a resting place for thousands of migrating birds during spring. Deer, elk and foxes can be seen on the riverbank, and signs of beaver activity can be seen everywhere (although the animals themselves are shy). Information on guided nature tours can be found online at

Local wild animals can also be seen at Elistvere Animal Park ( The park

provides nature education and offers possibilities to observe wild animals in their natural environment. You can see animals such as the European bison, the Eurasian elk, the reindeer, the roe deer, the fallow deer, the brown bear, the European polecat, the European hare and many more. Traces of beaver activity and varied forest biota can be seen on nature trails. Domestic animals can be petted in the Estonian Agricultural Museum – there are goats, sheep and rabbits, but also ponies and horses. The horses are renowned thoroughbreds: the Estonian Draft, the Tori Horse and the Estonian Native Horse.

Tartu County’s densest network of hiking trails centres around the town of Elva, 30 km from Tartu. Here you can observe the activities of beavers and see first-hand how wild boar feed. Elva is a small town that is well known for its forested parks, among them the Nature Energy trail (, which is dotted with wooden sculptures based on local folk tales. The Elva River is ideal for boating and canoeing. More information about the Elva recreational area is available from the Elva Tourist Information Point and online at www.elva You can discover South Estonia through 24 yellow frames of the National Geographic that point

out some of the most exciting natural and cultural places worth discovering. There are altogether 7 frames in Tartu and its vicinity: in Järvselja Primeval Forest, in


Piirissaar, by the Lake Saadjärv and Lake Võrtsjärv, in the park of Alatskivi Castle on the Onion Route, in Tõravere and on the Tartu Town Hall Square. Apart from Lake Peipus and Lake Võrtsjärv, Tartu County also has a number of smaller lakes and rivers on the shores and banks of which you can spend your time. One area that offers a range of possibilities is Lake Saadjärv, around 22 km from Tartu. To maximise the lake’s beauty, Saadjärve Yacht Club makes both a floating sauna and a barbecue area available to visitors ( On the shore of Lake Võrtsjärv, 48 km from Tartu, is Akva:rium (, where you can study Estonian live fish, aquatic plants and creatures from the very bottom of the lake. Its exhibits include fishing gear, primeval fish and fish fossils as well as equipment used to study water. If you like being on the water, then you can enjoy trips on Lake Võrtsjärv on a kaleboat called Paula (www. and admire the Emajõgi River and Lake

Peipus from a medieval barge Jõmmu or a Viking ship Turm ( You can also take trips on modern boats such as Pegasus ( pegasus) as well as Alfa and Hilara (www.setoline. ee). Setoline also gives you the chance to visit Piirissaar – the only permanently inhabited island in Lake Peipus. Nature-lovers will be at home in the city centre too – you can explore the Natural History Museum ( and the Botanical Gardens (, both of which are part of the university. Founded in 1803, the gardens are among the oldest in the Baltic States and boast the biggest palm house with the greatest diversity of species in the region. More information on spending time in nature can be found online at and


Looking for adventures? Both the summer and winter season offer visitors a broad range of options for active recreation. Whether you enjoy bike rides or hiking, like to challenge yourself in adventure parks or want to take a look at the area from another perspective, like from the air or from a river – there are fun and memorable adventures for everyone. Sports-lovers will find some excellent bike and rollerblading tracks in Tartu County. A number of EuroVelo

routes pass through it as well as hundreds of kilometres of Tour de LatEst routes (tourdelatest.vidzeme. com), which can be found in both southern Estonia and northern Latvia. One of the longest bike tracks in the region encircles Lake Võrtsjärv, covering 140 km. Cyclists can also get back to nature in the Elva landscape protection areas in Vitipalu (23.5 km track), Vellavere (8 and 13 km tracks), Ilmatsalu (8 km) and Vapramäe (6.5 km) ( While in Elva, it is worth going to Elva Adventure Park ( seikluspark) where the biggest adrenalin rush is without


a doubt the aerial crossing of Lake Verevi: 800 metres of free-fall between the water and the sky, one of the longest in the Baltic States. Of course there are places in Tartu itself where you can also get your adrenalin pumping. Tartu Adventure Park ( is a 20-minute walk from the city centre and offers trails with different levels of difficulty, long zip lines, fun activities for kids and climbing walls for the whole family. In addition to great outdoor adventure parks, there is also a fantastic indoor adventure park waiting for you above the ice rink of the biggest shopping centre in South Estonia, Lõunakeskus. You can also spend your free time in Tähtvere Recreational Park (, which is a

20-minute walk from the city centre. It has its own skate park, children’s park and sports park, a disc golf course, a BMX track and an ice rink during winter. You can hire any equipment you need in summer or winter.

While in Tartu, you can also go paintballing (www. or hot air ballooning (www.airven Those who love the water will get an adrenalin boost at Rahinge Extreme Sports Park (www., where you can try snowboarding and trick ski jumps – even in the middle of summer – as well as wakeboarding, water-skiing, wakeskating and snowtubing. You can also go on canoe and boat trips in different parts of Tartu County (, and

If you want to take a short break to catch your breath, then be sure to visit Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum (, where you can have an overview of sports history and the achievements of various athletes in their respective fields. You can also test your skills in tug of war and cycling simulators, take part in virtual Olympics, have your picture taken in the company of old weightlifters and much more. An entirely unusual experience awaits you in the Upside Down House (www.tagurpidi where everything is upside down – upstairs is downstairs and vice versa and all the pieces of furniture hang from the ceiling. Actually, they are still on the floor because in this house it is you who is upside down and walks in the ceiling? To make the experience even crazier, the house has been built on a slant as well.


Shopping, handicrafts and local food Tartu is a town that was made for shopping: whether it is cosy little stores you are after in search of local handicrafts and eco-products or sprawling shopping centres offering the latest fashions from worldrenowned designers, Tartu has it all. A number of shopping centres also offer beauty treatments and entertainment services as well as a range of places to eat and drink. The biggest shopping centres in Tartu are Lõunakeskus (, Kaubamaja (www., Tasku ( and Kvartal ( Somewhat smaller are Kesklinna Keskus (, Eeden ( and Zeppelin (

lable from the farmers’ market Taluturg (www.talu in the biggest shopping centre in South Estonia, Lõunakeskus. Well worth a visit are the beer and wine cellars, mainly found in the Old Town, that frequently offer local artisan beers and wines as well as more exclusive ranges. The most well-known are Beer Shop No. 1 Gambrinus (www.face and the beer cellar of the brewery Emajõe Pruulikoda (www.emajoe

ECO-STORES A number of stores selling eco-products can be found in Tartu, the best known of which are Looduspere (, Valete Ökokaubad (www., Via Naturale (, Mahemarket ( tartu), Biomarket ( and Naat ( There are several markets in the city as well. Local farmers sell their produce at the indoor and outdoor markets in the city centre ( by the Emajõgi River. Organic and local produce is also avai-


ANTIQUES AND SOUVENIRS Most antique dealers are found in the Old Town and city centre in Tartu, including Barokk Antique (www. and Saurus ( Those

interested in furniture might want to pay a visit to Mööbliait ( There are also several souvenir shops at the Town Hall Square and a selection of items can be found in the Visitor Centre as well. HANDICRAFTS – DO IT YOURSELF! Tartu is known as a former Hanseatic town. It joined the Hanseatic League in the late 13th century which led to the expansion of its role in world trade as it was located midway between Western Europe and the trade routes of the Russian Hanseatic towns of Pskov and Novgorod. During the Hanseatic era, Tartu was home to some true masters of handicrafts, and those traditions have been passed down through the generations and live on today. You will find numerous stores and workshops selling special souvenirs, and some will even offer the chance to make something on your own. Why not make a friend a beautiful piece of jewellery, a silk scarf or some organic soap with your very own hands?

If you are looking for something by local craft specialists, pop into Antonius Courtyard ( antonius), where all manner of handicrafts are produced in workshops according to old and new traditions. A more modern take on crafts and design can be found at the Tartu Centre for Creative Industries (www. There are several cozy little shops in the creative city Widget Factory that offer a wide range of local design products from jewellery to board games and from notebooks to children’s clothing. Tartu Handicraft Club ( and the Uhti Public Studio (, in a historical tavern 10 km outside of the city on the road to Võru, also offer different workshops such as handicrafts, pottery, cookery and more. Book the workshops in advance! Local handicrafts can also be bought at various fairs, for example the traditional spring fair, the Hanseatic Fair, the autumn fair Maarjalaat as well as a number of Christmas fairs. Popular fairs in the county are: Kallaste Fish and Onion Fair, Alatskivi Vintage Fair, and Võrtsjärve Fish and Crafts Fair.

TREAT YOURSELF TO LOCAL FLAVOURS People who enjoy restaurant and food culture will be happy to know that Tartu has lots of cosy cafés and restaurants that offer both national dishes and a variety of world cuisines. A list of Estonia’s 50 best restaurants is published every year and always features several Tartu’s restaurants as well ( The city and the county host a variety of culinary events that delight even the most demanding tastes. During the winter, Tasty Tartu ( awaits gourmets to enjoy unique three-course menus in selected restaurants throughout February. The participating restaurants surprise guests with dishes that combine local produce, modern trends and rich fantasy. In August, Tartu celebrates Estonian food, our local fresh produce and excellent wine with Tartu Food and Wine Festival ( In addition to a number of cafés and restaurants presenting delicious dishes, the 3-day festivities include concerts, workshops and various family-friendly entertainment programmes. The last day of the festival is dedicated to the enthusiastic and generous community members who welcome visitors to their homes for tasty treats in their pop-up cafés. Needless to say, great food can also be found outside of the city in other parts of Tartu County. For instance, the Estonian Agricultural Museum ( makes its own bread as well as bakery items using flax, while the Uhti Public Studio ( produces handmade sweets. Local food can also be found in Elva, around 30 km from Tartu, which every year celebrates the Café Day. Freshly smoked fish can be ordered from Saadjärve Yacht Club (, which is served straight from the oven. Fresh fish can also be enjoyed on the water aboard a barge ( or kaleboat (, at Pangodi Kalarestoran ( and at Vapramäe Forell ( Elsewhere, you can try local food along the Onion Route – at the Fish and Onion Restaurant in Kolkja ( kalajasibula) and at Alatskivi Castle (www.lossires where the dishes are prepared from local ingredients in the styles of the Manor’s, Estonian and Scottish cuisine.


Main events in Tartu A lot of fun and unique events take place in Tartu all year round, giving you even more reasons to visit the city. Whether you are interested in history, culture, music, literature, film, science, food or sports – there is something for everyone! JANUARY - MARCH sTARTUp Day Tasty Tartu International Gymnastics Tournament “Miss Valentine” Tartu Ski Marathon

Tartu Mill Triathlon - The summer concert of Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra Tartu Food and Wine Festival Tartu Love Film Festival “tARTuFF” Urban Festival “UIT” Tartu Inline Skating Marathon APRIL - JUNE Festival in Aparaaditehas Agricultural fair “Maamess” Tartu Student Days: Spring Tartu Student Days: Autumn Tartu International Literature Festival “Prima Vista” OCTOBER - DECEMBER Estonian Aviation Days Tartu City Marathon Tartu in Light Street Art Festival “Stencibility” Tartu International Jazz and Rhythm Music Festival “IDeeJazz” Tartu City Day Tartu Black Nights Film Festival “PÖFF” JULY - SEPTEMBER Christmas City Tartu and Wintry Tartu Folk Tartu Hanseatic Days Dance Day Rally Estonia For more information on everything that is taking place in Tartu, take a look at the websites of Kultuuriaken, or Window of Culture (, the online ticket selling network Piletilevi (, Vanemuine Theatre ( and Vanemuine Concert Hall (


GUIDED TOURS Have you ever wondered how many bridges there are in Tartu? Or why the Leaning House of Tartu is in such a slanting position? And how great is the slant? If you want to know the answers to these questions and even more, then explore the city with a proficient guide. Find a suitable guide from our website at or ask for further information from the Tartu Visitor Centre.

Did you know…? Tartu is the oldest city in the Baltic States. It was first mentioned in writing in 1030.

Polish king Stephan Batory presented a red and white flag to Tartu in 1584 which still serves

as the city’s flag today. Although Poland adopted a similar standard in 1919, Tartu has been using its flag for more than 400 years.

The Old Town of Tartu is a heritage conservation area. Most of the buildings in the area are in the classical style of the 19th century as well as in neoclassical style of the later period. The only exception is the tower of the Town Hall which is in the baroque style. Nowadays, the City Government of Tartu is situated in the Town Hall, but in the past the building has been used as a bank, prison and the city board of weights and measures. In 2016, the carillon of Tartu Town Hall was renewed – to mark the 15th anniversary of the carillon, 16 new bells were cast by one of the world’s most reputable bell-makers – the Royal Eijsbouts Belfry in the Netherlands. To achieve the best harmony of the bells, the 18 old bells were returned to the Karlsruhe Bell Factory for restoration. With the 34 bells, the carillon in Tartu is now internationally recognised as the biggest in Estonia. The chimes are connected to the seasons of the year as well as the national and international public holidays. The sound and harmony of the carillon have been praised by international experts as very melodic and the best contemporary carillons can create. The University of Tartu is one of the oldest universities in Northern and Eastern Europe. It was established in 1632 by Swedish King Gustav II Adolf. Many famous people have worked and studied at the University of Tartu, including Wilhelm Ostwald (a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry), Karl Ernst von Baer (an embryology pioneer), Jakob von Uexküll (an animal behaviour studies pioneer), Nikolay Pirogov (one of the first surgeons in Europe to use ether as an anaesthetic) and Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve (an astronomer and geodesist famous for his meridian arc measurements that form a UNESCO world heritage site).

The University of Tartu clinics, established in 1804, form the biggest medical institution in Estonia. They integrate research, studies and health care, and introduce new medicines and methods of treatment. Tartu is a city of bridges – total of seven bridges cross the Emajõgi River within the city’s limits. However, there are also 2 bridges at Toome Hill (Toomemägi) as well, even though there are no waterbodies! The Angel’s Bridge was built in 1838 and there is a bas-relief of the first rector of the reopened University of Tartu, Georg Friedrich Parrot with the writing “Otium reficit vires” (“Rest restores strength”) on the bridge. The name of the bridge probably comes from the phrase “English bridge” as the park surrounding it was established in the English style. The Devil’s Bridge is a rare example of a concrete bridge that was built in 1913 and dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty of the Russian tsars. The bridge‘s name may have come from the fact that it complemented the Angel‘s Bridge or might have been derived from the name of its lead construction engineer, Werner Zoege von Manteuffel (“Teufel” meaning “the devil” in German). The Gunpowder Cellar, in the city centre of Tartu, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest pub ceiling in the world (11 metres). Tartu is home to the Leaning House, which is also known as the Pisa Tower of Tartu. Today it houses the exhibitions, education centre and shop of the Tartu Art Museum. The University of Tartu is well known for the Estonian Student Satellite Programme. Its satellite, ESTCube-1, was launched into the orbit from French Guiana in May 2013, making Estonia the 41st space nation in the world. The connection was lost in May 2015. ESTCube-2, a new and more durable satellite, will hopefully be launched in 2019.

In Koosa (about 20 km from Tartu), lies a field of naturally growing daffodils, which is unique in the Baltic States. They originate from the farmyard that was situated in the same spot, but today the flowers do not need any nurture and spread naturally.


Raekoja plats 1A / Town Hall, 50089 Tartu Ph: +372 744 2111 Open: Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00, Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00 (15 May-15 September) Mon 9:00-18:00, Tue-Fri 9:00-17:00, Sat & Sun 10:00-14:00 (16 September-14 May)


Tourist Information Point at Lõunakeskus Ringtee 75, 50501 Tartu


Publisher: Tartu County Tourism Foundation • Translation: Luisa Translation Agency Updates: Tartu County Tourism Foundation Photos: Tartu County Photostock, Photostock of Enterprise Estonia, partners΄ photostocks, L. Laurikainen, J. Talts, A. Sooaru, T. Tuudelepp, H. Kalberg, M. Lokk, L. Kulpsoo, M. Osijärv, A. Klink, M. Kaasik • Design: Pilv • Print: Ecoprint.

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