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Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia, following Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn. Tartu is often considered the intellectual centre of the country, especially since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu

Info Tartu


Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia, following Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn. Tartu is often considered the intellectual centre of the country,  especially since it is home to the nation's oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu. The city also houses the Supreme Court of Estonia and the Ministry of Education and Research. Situated 186 kilometres (116 miles) southeast of Tallinn and 245 kilometres (152 miles) northeast of Riga, Tartu lies on the Emajõgi ("Mother river"), which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia. The city is served by Tartu Airport.


Tartu (formerly known as Dorpat or Yuryev) is the second largest city in Estonia with a population of 100,000. It is a Hanseatic city and a university town. It is the oldest city in Estonia, dating back to 1030.

The architecture and city planning of historical Tartu mainly go back to the pre-independence period, with Germans forming the upper and middle classes of society, and therefore contributing many architects, professors and local politicians.

Most notable are the old Lutheran St. John's Church (Estonian: Jaani Kirik, German: Johanneskirche), the 18th-century town hall, the university building, ruins of the 13th-century cathedral, the botanical gardens, the main shopping street, many buildings around the town hall square and Barclay Square.

The historical slum area called Supilinn (Soup Town) is located on the bank of river Emajõgi, near the town centre and is regarded as one of the few surviving "poor" neighbourhoods of 19th-century Europe. At the moment Supilinn is being rapidly renovated, undergoing a slow transformation from the historic slum into a prestigious high-class neighborhood. The active community embodied by the Supilinn Society is committed to preserving the heritage.

The Second World War destroyed large parts of the city centre and during the Soviet occupation many new buildings were erected – notably the new Vanemuine Theater. The effects of the war are still witnessed by the relative abundance of parks and greenery in the historic centre. Typical Soviet-style neighbourhoods of blocks of high-rise flats were built between World War II and the restoration of Estonian independence in 1991, the largest such district being Annelinn.

Presently, Tartu is also known for several modern buildings of the "steel, concrete and glass" variation, but has managed to retain a mix of old and new buildings in the centre of town. Notable examples include the Tigutorn Tower and the Emajõe Centre, both built during the current period of independence; Tartu's tallest and second tallest towers, respectively. Tartu's large student population means that it has a comparatively thriving nightlife, with many nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, including the world's highest-ceiling pub, in the historic Gunpowder Cellar of Tartu.

Annually, in the summer, Tartu hosts the Hanseatic Days festival (Estonian:Hansapäevad) to celebrate its Hanseatic heritage. The festival includes events such as handicraft markets, historic workshops and jousting tournaments.

Tourist Information Centre

  • Tourist Information CentreRaekoja plats,  +372 744 21 11fax: +372 744 21 11, e-mail: . Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 10:00-16:00.. Located in the ground floor of Tartu Town Hall.


Archaeological evidence of the first permanent settlement on the site of modern Tartu dates to as early as the 5th century AD. By the 7th century, local inhabitants had built a wooden fortification on the east side of Toome Hill (Toomemägi).

The first documented record of the area was made in 1030 by chroniclers of Kievan Rus.Yaroslav I the Wise, Prince of Kiev, invaded the region that year, built his own fort there, and named it Yuryev (literally "Yury's" – Yury (a Russified form of George) being Yaroslav's Christian name). Kievan rulers then collected tribute from the surrounding ancient Estonian county of Ugaunia, possibly until 1061, when, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by another tribe of Chudes(Sosols). Kievan Rus' again controlled Tartu from 1133 for an unknown period, possibly up to 1176/1177. In the 12th century Tartu was the most notable Slavic settlement in Chud territory.

Estonian amateur historian Enn Haabsaar speculates that the "Yuryev" mentioned in this context is actually Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, a town that was also founded by Yaroslav I the Wise as Yuriev about the same time, 1032.

Medieval bishopric

During the period of Northern Crusades in the beginning of the 13th century the fort of Tarbatu (or Tharbata, Tartu) was captured by the crusading Livonian Knights — also known as the Brothers of the Sword (German: Schwertbrüder) — and recaptured by Estonians on several occasions. In 1224, after Ugaunia had recognized the supremacy of Novgorod and Pskov princes who sent additional troops led by prince Vyachko of Kukenois to the fort, it was besieged and conquered for one last time by the German crusaders. Subsequently known as Dorpat (Latin: Tarbatum), Tartu became a commercial centre of considerable importance during the later Middle Ages and the capital of the semi-independent Bishopric of Dorpat.

In 1262 the army of Prince Dmitri of Pereslavl, son of Alexander Nevskylaunched an assault on Dorpat, capturing and destroying the town. His troops did not manage to capture the bishop's fortress on Toome Hill. The event was recorded both in German and Old East Slavic chronicles, which also provided the first record of a settlement of German merchants and artisans which had arisen alongside the bishop's fortress.

In medieval times, after the Livonian Order was subsumed into the Teutonic Knights in 1236, the town became an important trading city. In the 1280s Dorpat joined the Hanseatic League. As in all of Estonia and Latvia, the largely German-speaking nobility, but in Tartu/Dorpat (as in Tallinn) even more so, the Baltic German bourgeoisie, the literati, dominated culture, religion, architecture, education, and politics until the late 19th century. For example, the town hall of Dorpat was designed by an architect from Rostock in Mecklenburg, while the university buildings were designed by Johann Wilhelm Krause, another German. Many, if not most, of the students, and more than 90 percent of the faculty members were of German descent, and numerous statues of notable scholars with German names can still be found in Tartu today. Most Germans left during the first half of the 20th century, in particular as part of the Heim ins Reich program of the Nazis, following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1939.

Polish and Swedish rule

In 1558 the forces of Muscovy led by tsar Ivan the Terrible invaded the region in what became known as the Livonian War. Dorpat was captured without a fight and the local bishop was imprisoned in Moscow, which effectively ended the period of local self-government. In the effect of the Truce of Jam Zapolski of 1582 the city along with southern regions of Livonian Confederation became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1598 it became the capital of the Dorpat Voivodeship of the Duchy of Livonia. A Jesuit grammar school"Gymnasium Dorpatense" was established in 1583. In addition, a translators' seminary was organized in Tartu and the city received its red and white flag from the Polish king Stephen Báthory.

The activities of both the grammar school and the seminary were stopped by the Polish–Swedish War. Already in late 1600 the forces of Charles IX of Sweden besieged the city defended by three banners of reiters and the city's burghers. Despite repeated assaults, the Swedes could not enter the city. Finally in 1601 Capt. Hermann Wrangel switched sides, assaulted the castellan and opened the gates for the Swedish forces. The town was retaken by Poland on 13 April 1603 following a brief siege led by hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz; roughly 1000 Swedish soldiers surrendered and were escorted to Tallinn.

In the effect of yet another Polish-Swedish War, in 1625 Tartu was once again captured by Sweden, this time for good. In the effect of the 1629 Truce of Altmark the city became part of the Dominions of Sweden, which led to the foundation of the University of Tartu in 1632 by king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

Imperial Russia

With the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, the city became part of the Russian Empire and was known as Derpt. Fires in the 18th century destroyed much of the medieval architecture, the Great Fire of Tartu in 1775 removed most of the buildings in the centre. The city was rebuilt along Late Baroque and Neoclassical lines including the Tartu Town Hall which was built between 1782 and 1789. During the second half of the 19th century, Tartu was the cultural centre for Estonians in the era of Romantic nationalism. The city hosted Estonia's first song festival in 1869. Vanemuine, the first national theatre, was established in 1870. Tartu was also the setting for the foundation of the Society of Estonian Writers in 1872.

In 1893, the city was officially retitled to the ancient Russian name Yuryev. The university was subsequently russified from 1895 on with the introduction of compulsory Russian in teaching. The Russian imperial university was relocated to Voronezh in 1918, but the Estonian University of Tartu opened in 1919.

First independence period

With Estonian independence after World War I, the city officially became known by the Estonian name Tartu. At the end of Estonian War of Independence following World War I, a peace treaty between the Bolsheviks and Estonia was signed on 2 February 1920 in Tartu. The treaty meant that Bolshevist Russiarenounced territorial claims to Estonia "for all time". However, as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia and Tartu in 1940.

Soviet period

During World War II, a large part of the city as well as the historical Kivisild (Stone Bridge) (built by Catherine II of Russia in 1776–1778) over the Emajõgi river were destroyed by the German Army, partly in 1941 and almost completely in 1944. Already heavily damaged Tartu was bombed by Soviet forces on 27 January 1943, 26 February 1944, 7–8 March 1944, and 25–26 March 1944. After the war ended, much of the historical downtown area was left in ruins. Even the less damaged buildings in entire city blocks were torn down by the order of the occupational authorities and large swaths of land turned into public parks.

After the war, Tartu was declared a "closed town" to foreigners, as an air base for bombers was constructed on Raadi Airfield, in the northeast outskirts of the city. The asphalt runway there now houses a large used cars market, and is sometimes used for automotive racing.

During Soviet times the population of Tartu almost doubled from 57,000 to 100,000, partly due to mass immigration from other areas of the Soviet Union.

Modern era

Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, the old town centre is being renovated. Notably, St. John's Church, in ruins since World War II, has been restored.


Tartu lies within the temperate humid continental climate zone. The climate is rather mild considering the high latitude, largely due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea and warm airflows from the Atlantic. Nevertheless, continental influence can be felt on hot summer days and cold spells in winter, when temperature can occasionally (but rarely) drop below −30 °C (−22 °F). Generally, summers are cool to warm and winters are cold.

Climate data for Tartu (Tõravere)

Record high °C (°F)9.7
Average high °C (°F)−2.1
Average low °C (°F)−7.1
Record low °C (°F)−35.4
Source: Estonian Weather Service (normals 1981-2010) 


Mostly known as a university town, Tartu is also a site of heavy industry. Food industry has traditionally been important for the towns economy and some bigger companies in the field include A. Le Coq, Tartu Mill and Salvest. Kroonpress in the leading printing press company the Baltic States.

In the beginning of the 21st century, many ICT enterprises and other high-tech companies have taken a foothold in Tartu. Notable examples include PlaytechEstonia, Nortal (formerly Webmedia Group), ZeroTurnaround, Tarkon, Regio and Raintree Estonia. Skype has an office in Tartu. The university is one of the largest employers, which explains the large proportion of highly skilled professionals – researchers, professors, doctors, and Tartu University Clinic has been considered the largest employer of Tartu.

NeighborhoodArea (ha)Residents 2001Residents 2006Residents 2012
Ropka industrial district354270027002511

Prices in Tartu



Milk1 liter€0.61
Tomatoes1 kg€1.55
Cheese0.5 kg€3.30
Apples1 kg€0.90
Oranges1 kg€1.40
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.00
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€6.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€1.35
Bread1 piece€0.54
Water1.5 l€0.74



Dinner (Low-range)for 2€20.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€32.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€42.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€5.50
Water0.33 l€0.82
Cappuccino1 cup€2.20
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€2.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€2.50
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.30
Coctail drink1 drink€6.00



Cinema2 tickets€10.00
Gym1 month€45.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€9.00
Theatar2 tickets€36.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.04
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€3.50



Antibiotics1 pack€14.00
Tampons32 pieces€2.70
Deodorant50 ml.€3.05
Shampoo400 ml.€2.50
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.90
Toothpaste1 tube€2.00



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)€70.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€38.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€70.00
Leather shoes1€85.00



Gasoline1 liter€1.12
Taxi1 km€0.60
Local Transport1 ticket€1.00

Tourist (Backpacker)  

62 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

158 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Tartu Airport  is located 10 km south of the city center. As of October 2015, Tartu is served daily by a single Finnair/Flybe flight from Helsinki. The airport is, therefore, little more than an embarkation/disembarkation point. If you want to rent a car, book in advance. Don't expect any food at the airport. An Airport Shuttle provides door-to-door service from the airport at €5. They can also pick you up before departure (+372 505 4342 order)

Alternatively, you can fly to Tallinn, which is only 180 km away with buses to Tartu running directly from the airport. Riga (250 km from Tartu) may be an option as well - buses from the Riga Bus Station to Tartu are operated by Lux Express.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Tartu's train station is located only 1 km from the city center (end of J. Kuperjanovi street), but it is not in the city center, and it is not well signposted either. The easiest way to find the train station is to follow Riia street uphill until you see the railway, and turn right along the tracks. The station building amply adorned with wooden carvings is a nice example of Estonian architecture. Inside, you won't find more than a kiosk (not even an R-kiosk!) and a ticket machine.

Elron operates several daily trains between Tartu and Tallinn via Tapa. The journey takes 2 hr (express train) to 2.5 hr (regular train) and costs €11 for 2nd class and €14 for 1st class on an express train, or €10 for 2nd class and €12 for 1st class on a regular train. There is free Wi-Fi and tables with electric outlets on trains. 1st class passengers get more comfortable seats and may book a specific seat online.

Trains also run between Tartu and Valga on the Latvian border, with one daily connection further to Riga (5 hr). Railway tracks likewise go in the direction of Russia, but you can only reach the small station of Koidula on the Russian border. This station is less than 1 km from the 24/7 checkpoint, which is open for pedestrians. Once you are on the Russian side, catch a taxi or simply walk to the bus station of Pechory (2 km from the border), and continue to Pskov by bus.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Buses arrive at the small bus station at Turu 2, which is across the street from the Kaubamaja department store, 5-10 min walk from the central square of Tartu. The tiny building hosts a ticket office, luggage room, decent cafeteria, and R-kiosk. If you need more, head to the nearby shopping mall. When arriving from Tallinn, you can also get off the bus at one of the stops in the city center.

Bus schedules and fares within Estonia can be accessed here and via thePeatus route planner.

Buses from Tallinn depart several times an hour between 5AM and midnight, and stop at the Tallinn airport. The journey takes 2.5 to 3 hours and costs €8-10, before a discount available with an ISIC card. Some buses have free wireless internet and free drinks available. Note that Friday afternoon departures from Tartu to Tallinn (and Sunday night Tallinn-to-Tartu) are usually crowded during the school year as lots of students go home for the weekend.

Regular buses also run between Tartu and Narva (3 hr), Viljandi (1 hr), Pärnu(2.5 hr), and Kuressaare (6 hr).

Tartu is a stop of international buses running between Saint Petersburg (8 hr) and Riga (4 hr). These buses typically run overnight, which makes their schedule from Tartu somewhat inconvenient. Another international route is from Tartu to Pskov in Russia (4 hr, note that websites and timetables use the Estonian name Pihkva).

Transportation - Get In

By Car

An excellent day trip is to drive from Tallinn to Tartu. Outside of Tallinn, it is a two-lane paved road with some construction ongoing to upgrade it. It takes two to two and a half hours. There are few sights of interest along the way. The terrain is flat and most of the road is bracketed by a birch trees and a few pines. Sam's Grill (about 1/2 way between Tallinn and Tartu) or a bit fancier Põhjaka Mõis are recommended as a place to stop. There is a gas station (Statoil) some kms away.

Transportation - Get Around

Tartu's Old Town is navigable by foot, but if you want to go out of Old Town, there's public transportation.

AS Sebe operates a network of 19 intracity bus lines and 2 night bus lines around Tartu. Single tickets cost €0.75 from a newsstand or €1 from the driver. 10 single tickets from a newsstand cost €8. A ticket for 1 day costs €2, 1-hour ticket costs €1. 10-day ticket costs €8. On lines 6A, 31, 32 and 33, which are being operated by Automen, the ticket costs €1.

Since 2011, all public transport buses are colored red with white curvy decorations.

Important lines are:

  • 8 to Lõunakeskus and Anne Kanal (popular beach)
  • 32, 6 and 7 to Lõunakeskus
  • 7 and 20 to Tartu Railway Station

Bus line 69 is free, and runs between the bus station and the Lõunakeskus shopping center on the edge of town. As this is a sponsored line, its buses do not have the red-and-white color scheme of regular municipal buses.






  • Tartu Kaubamaja (100 metres from the Bus Station). Department store with several floors full of fascinating things to buy. "Kaubamaja" belongs to Kaubamaja consortium.
  • Lõunakeskus (take bus no. 18 from the city centre.). Features a wide range of small boutiques, as well as a big department store Maksimarket.
  • Annelinna keskus (At Annelinn, a small suburb of Tartu. Take bus 1, 5, 15, 17 from the city centre, just opposite the Kaubamaja.). There is a Selver (big department store), as well as clothes shop, lots of small boutiques and other small shops.
  • Eeden (buses 1, 3, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16A, 17 stop Emajõe).
  • Selver (expressbus 33). 
  • Loov GalleryKalevi 13. M-F: 12:00 - 18:00. Loov Gallery sells souvenirs produced by young Estonian artists, ranging from jewelry and accessories to paintings.
  • Kvartal. Shopping centre next to Kaubamaja. Opened in 2016
  • Tasku. Shopping centre near the bus station.



  • Pappa PizzaRiia 7,  +372 7427933. Mon–Sat 11–22, Sun 12–22.pizzeria
  • RuunipizzaRüütli 2,  +372 7433575, +372 51929211, e-mail:. Mon–Thu 08:15–22:00, Fri–Sat 08:15–23:00, Sun 09:15–22:00. Different pizza and pancake dishes (both as desserts and as main courses), soups, rice dishes, etc. Mostly €4–€6.
  • Spargel, Kalevi 13. M 11:00-21:00 T–S 11:00-23:00.


  • Asian Chef, Võru 2+372 7 355 029, +372 53 300 464. Su-Th 11.00 - 23.00, Friday and Saturday 11.00 - 01.00. Authentic Asian cuisine, good price soups and meals of the day.

Coffe & Drink


Sights & Landmarks

  • Main building of the University of Tartu.
  • Town Hall Square. The kissing students fountain is a symbol of Tartu.
  • Soup Neighborhood. Neighborhood where all of the streets are named after soup ingredients. Features charming old wooden houses.
  • Former Soviet Airfield (In Raadi, north of Tartu).

Parks and squares

  • Botanic Garden of the University of Tartu38/40 Lai.
  • Toome Hill. Many monuments, statues and historical buildings
  • Raadi Park (Located on cross of the streets Vahi and Narva maantee).
  • Barclay Park


  • St. John's Church. 14th century church is famous for its thousands of medieval terracotta figures.
  • Cathedral ruins (on top of the Dome Hill).From the 13th century and were dedicated to apostles St. Peter and Paul. Today the choir part houses the Tartu University History Museum, and the towers are reconstructed to sightseeing platforms.
  • St. Paul's ChurchRiia. An outstanding redbrick Finnish National Romanticist style building by the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen.
  • St. Peter's Church104 Narva St. A Neogothic Lutheran church from 1903, is built on the grounds of the first general Estonian song festival which took place in 1869.
  • Roman Catholic Church1 Veski St. A beautiful neo-Historical redbrick building from 1899.
  • St. Alexander`s Orthodox Church19a Sõbra St. A two-story church, designed by architect V. Lunski, with cupolas inspired by the Old Russian church architecture. It was deconsecrated 40 years ago but reconsecrated in summer 2003.
  • Uspensky Orthodox Church1 Magasini St. An early classical church built in 1783 with typical Russian classical elements. It´s located on the same place as the St. Mary Magdalene Church of a Dominican cloister founded before 1300.

Other buildings

  • Gunpowder Cellar. Dug into the side of the hill in 1767 as part of the complex of the bishop’s citadel. It was used as a gunpowder cellar until 1809. Until 1982 it served as a storage room for many different enterprises, and was later developed into a eating place. Today, the building hosts a bar/restaurant of the same name.
  • National CourtLossi 17 (Dome Hill). Construction of the building began in 1763 as military barracks. Onto its ruins was built the university hospital in 1808, which functioned until 1990. Since 1993, the national court is again in Tartu, which is Estonia’s supreme judiciary court.
  • Old ObservatoryLossi 40 (on the old castle ruins on the Dome Hill). The observatory, designed by university architect J.W. Krause, was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Working place of many famous astronomers including Struve; indeed the observatory is a point on the world heritage listed Struve Geodetic Arc spanning from the Arctic Sea to the Black Sea.
  • Old Anatomical TheatreLossi 38 (On the Dome Hill). One of the first buildings of the re-opened Tartu University which was built in 1803-1805 according to the drawings of university architect J. Krause. Today the visitors are offered an exhibition of the history of medicine with preparates.
  • Aristocratic dwellings and former teachers' collegeLai
  • Barclay HouseRaekoja 18. Late 18th century building. Duchess Barclay bought the house in 1819 after the death of her husband, Barclay de Tolly. The longitudinal wall of the building toward the river was built on the basis of the old town wall, while the other side was built on a new foundation. This is why the house is now askew and is popularly called the Tower of Pisa.
  • Remains of the Town Wall.
  • Tartu Centre for Creative IndustriesKalevi 13, 15, 17 (Kalevi St is the continuation of Ülikooli St after Riia St). Congregates several creative enterprises and creates therefore a creative atmosphere. The three buildings of the centre were built between 1830 and 1913 and represent different architectural styles: historicism and Art Nouveau.


  • Angel´s Bridge (Toome hill). Built in the 19th century and spans Lossi Street.
  • Devil´s Bridge. Built in 1913 in honour of the 300th jubilee of tsarist Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, which is memorialised on the bridge by the dates 1613-1913.
  • Arched Bridge (Stand in the main square and look towards the river). Stands on the site of the original stone bridge of Tartu which was built in 1784 and blown up by the Soviets in WWII. This new bridge is only for pedestrians and allows you to do one of the most loved cultural activities of Tartu, walk over the top of the arch after a big night in the club. Just don't let the cops catch you.

Modern architecture

During the last decade, Tartu has seen several interesting pieces of modern architecture being built. They are well worth a visit and give an insight of how people in modern Tartu think and live, in addition to traditionally history-driven image of the city. Some of them are right in the city-centre. See the yellow markers on the official [Tartu Modern Architecture map]. The map is in Estonian only, but selected images speak louder than words.

Museums & Galleries

  • Tartu City MuseumNarva 23. Classicist style structure was built as a town palace in 1790. The building is popularly called Catherine´s House. The legend has it that Empress Catherine II made a short stay there. It is not true, though.
  • KGB MuseumRiia 15b,  7461717. This nondescript building was known as the Gray House and was the headquarters of the Estonian KGB. It tells the story of how the prisoners were treated there, and some stories about the Estonian resistance heroes, the Forest Brothers. The museum is small and does not have a very big sign, so look carefully.

Things to do

  • Cinamon. The biggest movie theater in Tartu.
  • Ekraan. A popular movie theatre. It has two movie screens and first-rate Dolby SR/DTS sound system.
  • Lodi River CruisesEmajõe 3+372 551 8386. Offers various cruises for up to 30 people along River Emajõgi.
  • SoolakamberMõisavahe 21. The salt chamber has two separate treatment rooms. One chamber is for adults and the other is for children. Natural salt treatment has no harmful side effects and it stimulates body's immune and defense mechanisms.
  • AHHAA Science CenterSadama 1+372 745 6789, e-mail:. Sun-Thu 10-19, Fri-Sat 10-20. Interactive and entertaining science center. 12€, discounts for students, families, etc.
  • Aura CenterTuru 10,  +372 7300 280. Pool: M-F 6:30-22, Sat-Sun 9-22.Swimming pool, water park, fitness center Pool: 4-5€; Water park: 6-7€.

Festivals and events

  • Hanseatic Days. Third week of July, exact dates vary from year to year. Medieval festival featuring fairs, festivities, exhibitions, concerts, dances, merchants and tradesmen. Most events are free.
  • tARTuFF. Film festival in August. Themes include love and tolerance.
  • PÖFF - Black Nights Film Festival. Film festival at the end of November.



In a typical pub, a 0.5L beer usually costs €2. Almost all popular beers are near or more than 5% alcohol content.

  • IllegaardÜlikooli 5. Jazz Club. Many sporting events (mainly football) are broadcasted.
  • KrooksJakobi 34. English style pub. Offers 40% discounts on any alcoholic beverages after 20:00.
  • ZavoodLai 30. Legendary meeting place for students and alternative fashion people. Popular among foreigners.


  • Genialistide klubiMagasini 5 (Between Magasini 3 and Lai 37). An alternative club with concerts, theater performances, seminars, etc. Recently joined with the bar Möku which now resides on the ground floor. €2 per drink.

Things to know


Since Tartu is a student town, English is widely understood. As usual, the older people are more likely to only speak Estonian and Russian; however most can understand English if you speak clearly.

Safety in Tartu


Very High /9.7

Safety (Walking alone - day)

High / 7.9

Safety (Walking alone - night)

Estonia - Travel guide