Estonia / Cities

Tartu: Estonia's Cultural Capital

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Town Hall Square in Tartu, Estonia (Photo by Julius Jansson on Unsplash)

Tartu, often called "the Athens of Estonia", is a beautiful city in southern Estonia. At first glance, it looks like any other European city, with its cobbled streets, historic buildings, and vibrant energy. But if you dive into the city, you will find that Tartu has a unique charm, different from other cities.

The heart of Tartu is undoubtedly its old town, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here you will find the famous town hall square surrounded by colorful buildings and cafes. The town square is a great place to sit and people-watch, enjoy a cup of coffee, and soak up the pleasant atmosphere. If you are interested in history, Tartu offers many museums and exhibitions. Located on the outskirts of the city, the National Museum of Estonia is a fascinating institution that showcases Estonian culture in all its forms. The KGB Museum is also worth a visit if you want to learn more about the Soviet occupation of Estonia.

One of the main attractions for students is the University of Tartu, one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. The university has played an important role in the history of the city and has brought vitality to the whole region. The campus, with its beautiful old buildings and vast parks, is a beautiful place to explore.

Tartu is also a cultural center with many events and festivals held throughout the year. One of these events is the Tartu Hansa Days, which take place every summer and energize the city with music, dance, and food. There is also Tartu Student Days, a lively festival celebrating the city's student culture.

But Tartu is not only a city of tourists and students. It's a city people call home, and those who live here love it. You cannot miss the sense of community in Tartu, where everyone looks after each other and participates in various local events. Many of these events are related to arts and culture, and theater performances, concerts, and art exhibitions are a regular part of the city's calendar.

Despite being a relatively small city, Tartu has a vibrant food scene that is sure to surprise even the pickiest of eaters. Here you can find everything from traditional Estonian cuisine to fusion food. For a taste of local food, head to the Tartu Market Hall, where vendors sell fresh produce, meat, fish, and dairy products.

Another thing that makes Tartu special is its proximity to nature. Surrounded by lush forests and pristine lakes, the area is an ideal destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing. The nearby Ahya River is also great for canoeing, a fun way to explore the beautiful countryside.

All in all, Tartu is a city with something for everyone. It is a place where history, culture, and nature come together and offer a unique experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether you are a tourist, student, or local, Tartu is a city that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more.

Frequently Asked Questions about Estonia

  • What is the capital of Estonia?

    The capital of Estonia is Tallinn. Tallinn is known for being largest city of Estonia and has a population of around 450,000 people. Situated on the coast of the Gulf of Finland Tallinn possesses a rich and fascinating history that can be observed in its stunning architecture.

  • What currency does Estonia use?

    Estonia uses the Euro (€) as its official currency.

  • Are credit cards accepted in Estonia?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in Estonia, especially in urban areas and popular tourist destinations. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly used credit cards.

  • What is the best time to travel to Estonia?

    The best time to travel to Estonia is during the summer months, from late May to early September. This is when the weather is relatively mild and the days are longer, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the country's natural beauty. The winters can be quite cold, but they also offer a unique experience if you're interested in winter sports and festive celebrations.

  • What is the population of Estonia?

    The population of Estonia is around 1.3 million people.

  • What language do they speak in Estonia?

    The official language of Estonia is Estonian. It is a Finno-Ugric language and is unrelated to most other European languages. English is also widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among younger generations.

  • Do I need a visa for Estonia?

    Visa requirements can vary based on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Citizens of many countries within the European Union (EU) and the Schengen Area do not need a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) in Estonia. However, it's essential to check the latest visa requirements and regulations based on your specific situation before you travel.

  • Is Estonia a safe country?

    Estonia is generally considered a safe country to visit. Crime rates are relatively low, and the country has a stable political and social environment. However, like in any destination, it's recommended to exercise basic precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and being aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or tourist areas.

Hotels in Tartu

Hotel DorpatTartuHotels

Restaurants in Tartu

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Estonia stands out as a distinctively captivating country that blends rich history with breathtaking natural beauty and cutting edge technological advancements.

About Me


Hey there! I'm Rainier and I'm the person behind Roaming with Rainier. I've always been really into traveling and photography. I've been fortunate enough to visit incredible destinations and there are still so many more on my bucket list. My plan is to explore breathtaking places around the world and share my experiences through articles and reviews.

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Tartu, Estonia

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