Travel Guide to Tartu
Welcome to Tartu, Estonia's second-largest city, located in the southeastern part of the country. Tartu is a vibrant university town with a rich history and culture, and a thriving contemporary scene.Getting there: You can reach Tartu by plane, train or bus. The Tartu Airport is a small airport with daily direct flights from Helsinki, Riga and Stockholm. The train ride from Tallinn to Tartu takes about 2.5 hours, and there are several daily departures. Buses depart hourly from Tallinn and take approximately 2 hours.Where to stay: There are plenty of accommodation options in Tartu, ranging from luxury hotels to guesthouses and hostels. The heart of the city is the Old Town, where you'll find charming and historical accommodations. If you're looking for a more modern experience, there are several hotels and apartments available in downtown Tartu.What to do: Start your journey in Tartu by exploring the Old Town. The Town Hall Square is the heart of the Old Town, surrounded by colorful and picturesque buildings. You'll also find a charming town hall and a beautiful fountain here. Next, visit the University of Tartu, which has been operating since the 17th century. You can take a guided tour of the main building, which includes some of the oldest lecture halls in Europe. The university's botanical gardens are also worth visiting, especially in the summer months.Another must-see attraction is the Tartu Art Museum. The museum showcases contemporary and historical art, and it's located in the lovely 18th-century Old Town building. For more history, visit the Tartu City Museum, which is housed in a restored 18th-century merchant's house. The museum features exhibits on the city's past, including its notable figures and turning points in history.Food and drink: Tartu has a diverse food scene, from traditional Estonian fare to international cuisine. One of the most popular restaurants is the romantically lit and elegant Art Priori, situated in a 15th-century house. Their menu highlights seasonal ingredients and inventive flavor pairings. Another notable option is Pierre, an intimate restaurant that serves upscale European dishes in a warm setting.For drinks, head to the trendy Püssirohukelder, located in the basement of a former gunpowder cellar. The bar specializes in craft beer and cocktails, and it's beloved by locals and visitors alike. If you're looking for a cozy and laidback atmosphere, then Moku is the perfect spot. The café-bar offers tasty drinks and bites that are inspired by Hawaiian cuisine.Outdoor activities: During the warmer months, Tartu has plenty of outdoor opportunities. The Emajõgi River flows through the city, offering relaxing boat rides and paddling adventures. The riverbanks are also popular for picnics and afternoon strolls. Another option is the Hiking and Study Trail, which is one of the most popular hiking trails in the area. It takes you on a scenic journey through the forests and hills of southern Estonia.Overall, Tartu is a wonderful city that combines rich history, culture, and modern amenities. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's past, enjoying contemporary art and cuisine, or soaking up nature in the surrounding countryside, Tartu has something to offer every traveler.