Visit Tartu - the city of good thoughts!

Visit Tartu, the European Capital of Culture 2024!
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Tartu has so much history, culture and leisure opportunities.
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A home to one of Northern Europe’s oldest universities, Tartu has a wealth of museums and an upbeat nightlife. Upon your arrival in Tartu, you are soon welcomed by a statue of kissing students standing in a large Classicist town square nearby museums, cafes and a large park formed around a hill.

Tartu is very compact, with most sights, restaurants and nightlife nestled across a couple of parallel streets. Being the second largest town in Estonia and a hot bed for creative and scientific culture, there is always something on from theatre performances to concerts and festivals.

Most important sights in the city centre of Tartu:

  • Town Hall Square
  • Toome Hill and the Dome Church
  • University of Tartu
  • Angel's and Devil's bridges
  • Walks along the river
  • Botanical garden

To find out more about Tartu there is a tourism infocentre in the Town hall. There you can find Tartu's map and people there kindly suggest you many opportunities what to do in you free time.


Some our suggestions what to do in Tartu

Estonian National Museum (ERM)

The Estonian National Museum as a museum of Estonian people helps to interpret what it means to be an Estonian and preserves the fundamental values of the nation and its continuity. It opens both a material and virtual world that invites visitors to discover and become part of it. The museum has two permanent exhibitions. The Encounters exhibition is a journey that brings together people who have lived here at different times and allows the visitors to take part in their daily activities. In addition, the permanent exhibition includes 11 thematic exhibitions, including The Language Brew and Man and the Environment. The Echoes of Ural presents the traditional everyday culture of Finno-Ugric people.

More information here:


The University of Tartu Museum

The University of Tartu Museum introduces the history of science and university education from the 17th century to the present day; come and discover the rich historical heritage of the university and listen to stories about science, art, astronomy, medicine, and student life! The museum offers something for the whole family and you will definitely learn something new here!

More information here:


Tartu Art Museum

Tartu Art Museum is an open and welcoming museum, full of exciting encounters with new and old art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Tartmus builds bridges between the past and the present and speaks to contemporary people on important topics. Tartmus was founded in 1940 to collect, preserve, and promote contemporary art. Tartmus is located in a crooked house in Tartu Town Hall Square, built in 1793. The house has been slanted by 5.8 degrees due to the banks of the marshy River Emajõgi. This means that the house is more tilted than the Pisa Tower. The art collections and the professional library are located at Rüütli 23.

More information here:


Tartu Old Observatory

Tartu Old Observatory, which used to be one of the world's most important centres of astronomy, is a pearl among the Estonian research facilities. Here, you can enjoy a comprehensive permanent exhibition about the research of astronomy and space, admire the world's best telescope and the Arabic Globe, count the falling meteors, and learn about the constellations. In 2005, its Struve Geodetic Arc was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Old Observatory is a branch of the University of Tartu Museum.  Bring your family and friends and come visit us!

More information here:


Tartu City Museum

This aristocratic residence in the Ülejõe district dating from the late 18th century is worthy of note for its original interior. Adjacent to its Louis XVI style grand hall on the main floor you will find the exhibition "Dorpat. Jurjev. Tartu", which provides a wealth of detail on the colourful history of the city. Highlighted from different periods of Tartu's past are the medieval brick structures of Dorpat, the ruins that remain from the time of the Livonian War, and the spiritual life of that era, 18th century handicraft and the background to signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty.

More information here:


Street art tour in the Old Town of Tartu

Tartu is known as a city rich in street art – at almost every step, you can encounter contemporary interpretation of art through graffiti and colourful messages. The meanings of the latter are both political and satirical, but they all adorn the cityscape in their unique way.
This street art tour takes you on a journey in the Old Town of Tartu.

Find a route for the walk here:


The Widget Factory

The Widget Factory (Aparaaditehas) is an old factory complex at the corner of Riia and Kastani streets in Tartu. During the Soviet times, the factory was used for manufacturing refrigeration equipment, secret submarine parts and in order to mislead the public, also non-functioning umbrellas and zippers. At its heyday in the middle of 1970s, the factory provided employment for almost 1,500 people, it had its own health centre with sauna and a pool, a canteen, it's own artist and enough administrative premises to occupy several buildings.

In 2006, the complex of the Widget Factory was purchased by a real estate company called ABC Kinnisvarateenuste OÜ that is also the current owner of the factory. Since 2014, the 14,000 m2 centre has been developed into a culture factory.

By today, the Widget Factory and its surrounding city block have become one of the most rapidly developing areas in Tartu. This universal culture factory brings together creative entrepreneurs, artist and designer studios, commerce and entertainment.

More information here: