Tartu Tourist Information and Tourism

(Tartu, Tartumaa, Estonia)

View of the Emajogi RiverReferred to by many as the spiritual capital of Estonia, Tartu is the country's second-biggest city, after only the capital of Tallinn. With countless historical wooden buildings and charming 19th-century streets, Tartu boasts an especially appealing riverfront, and the Emajogi River meanders its way around the city itself, flowing gently past a number of important landmarks.

Tartu has become the main university city in the whole of Estonia and in fact, almost one-fifth of the overall population in made up of students, injecting a definite young vibe and energy when it comes to tourism. This is a surprisingly sophisticated city, with the Town Hall Square marking the very heart of the city and known locally as the Raekoja Plats. The Town Hall Square is where you will find the Tartu Tourist Information Office, which offers tour bookings and detailed local maps.

Picture of city monument

Tartu Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

The main focus of the city is without doubt the Toomemägi (Cathedral Hill), which stands behind the Town Hall and is today used as a public park, although fortifications have been based here as far back as the 5th century. Many tourist attractions are based around the University of Tartu, with the Botanical Gardens and its huge palm house being amongst the very best. During the Estonian summers, the sandy beach on the northern banks of the Emajogi River soon fills up, while cruises along the river are also extremely popular when the sun shines down. More information about Tartu Tourist Attractions and Landmarks.

Photo of the city's sports centreHome to some of the most outstanding museums in Estonia, Tartu contains some outstanding archives, folklore memorabilia, brewing and literary treasures. Situated on the Raekoja Plats, the Tartu Art Museum stands out and is known for its rather crooked and leaning architecture, as well as its extensive collection of paintings by Estonian and Russian artists. For information about the traditions of local Estonians and the cultural heritage of the country, the Estonian National Museum and its regional displays are not to be missed. More information about Tartu Museums and Art Galleries.

Image of the city's universityTourists in Tartu will easily be able to fill their time sightseeing around the city, although many also choose to see a little more of Estonia. Close by, the island of Piirisaar makes for a good day trip, as do the towns of Elva and Voru, where you will find walking trails around their large lakes. When snow is on the ground, tourists flock to the winter resort of Otepaa, to ski, snowboard and watch those brave enough to try out the ski jump and bobsled run. More information about Tartu Attractions Nearby.

More Tartu Information / Fast Facts and Orientation