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.

90 things to do

All Places Estonia

Barclay House

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.

SEE   —  Raekoja 18

Arched Bridge

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.

SEE   —  Map

Tartu University

Established in 1632, it's one of the oldest universities in Europe. The main building was built in 1804-1809 according to university architect Johann Wilhelm Krause's plans in classical architecture. It includes the historic lock-up on the attic, Assembly Hall and the Tartu University Art Museum which displays ancient art.

OTHER   —  Ülikooli 18

KGB Museum

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.

SEE   —  7461717 —  Riia 15b

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.

SEE   —  Map

Old Observatory

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.

SEE   —  Lossi 40

National Court

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.

SEE   —  Lossi 17

Old Anatomical Theatre

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.

SEE   —  Lossi 38

Hotel Starest

In the Annelinn suburb, is a quality budget hotel. All rooms are equipped with Sat-TV and an internet connection. Located just few minutes by car from Tartu Town Hall square, with frequent bus service from right in front of the hotel.

Tartu Centre for Creative Industries

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.

SEE   —  Kalevi 13, 15, 17


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.

DO   —  Mõisavahe 21

Tartu City Museum

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.

SEE   —  Narva 23

Cathedral ruins

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.

SEE   —  Map

Uspensky Orthodox Church

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.

SEE   —  1 Magasini St

Barclay Hotell

49 rooms including 2 suites with saunas. Amenities include safe-box, hairdryer, cable TV, mini-bar, phone and complimentary wireless internet. Restaurant serves authentic Estonian food.

SLEEP   —  +372 7 447 100 —  Ülikooli 8

St. Alexander`s Orthodox Church

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.

SEE   —  19a Sõbra St

Hanseatic Days

Third week of July, exact dates vary from year to year. Medieval festival featuring fairs, festivities, exhibitions, concerts, dances, merchants and tradesmen.

DO   —  Map

Guesthouse Kastani

Small guest house. The lady who runs it speaks a little English but she is delightful and you can communicate without too much hassle. Best to email ahead.

SLEEP   —  Kastani 3

Domus Dorpatensis Guest Apartments

Apartments are located in a historical house on the main square. They offer spacious and clean apartments with all the equipment and privacy needed.

SLEEP   —  Raekoja plats 1

Genialistide klubi

An alternative club with concerts, theater performances, seminars, etc. Recently joined with the bar Möku which now resides on the ground floor.

DRINK   —  Magasini 5

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.

SEE   —  Map

Annelinna keskus

There is a [http://www.selver.ee Selver] (big department store), as well as clothes shop, lots of small boutiques and other small shops.

BUY   —  Map

St. Peter's Church

A Neogothic Lutheran church from 1903, is built on the grounds of the first general Estonian song festival which took place in 1869.

SEE   —  104 Narva St

Tartu Kaubamaja

Department store with several floors full of fascinating things to buy. "Kaubamaja" belongs to Kaubamaja consortium.

BUY   —  Map

St. Paul's Church

An outstanding redbrick Finnish National Romanticist style building by the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen.

SEE   —  Riia

Loov Gallery

Loov Gallery sells souvenirs produced by young Estonian artists, ranging from jewelry and accessories to paintings.

BUY   —  Kalevi 13

Soup Neighborhood

Neighborhood where all of the streets are named after soup ingredients. Features charming old wooden houses.

SEE   —  Map


Different pizza and pancake dishes (both as desserts and as main courses), soups, rice dishes, etc.


Legendary meeting place for students and alternative fashion people. Popular among foreigners.

DRINK   —  Lai 30


A popular movie theatre. It has two movie screens and first-rate Dolby SR/DTS sound system.

DO   —  Map


Features a wide range of small boutiques, as well as a big department store Maksimarket.

BUY   —  Map


English speaking, overlooking the Town Square, Excellent kitchen and bathrooms.

SLEEP   —  Raekoja Plats 10

St. John's Church

14th century church is famous for its thousands of medieval terracotta figures.

SEE   —  Map


English style pub. Offers 40% discounts on any alcoholic beverages after 20:00.

DRINK   —  Jakobi 34


Jazz Club. Many sporting events (mainly football) are broadcasted.

DRINK   —  Ülikooli 5

Asian Chef

Authentic Asian cuisine, good price soups and meals of the day.

Lodi River Cruises

Offers various cruises for up to 30 people along River Emajõgi.

DO   —  +372 551 8386 —  Emajõe 3

Hostel Tartu Student Villa

Self-service accommodation in apartments with all comforts.

SLEEP   —  Tähtvere 48


Film festival in August. Themes include love and tolerance.

DO   —  Map

Werner restaurant

Cosy restaurant with good food in a relaxed environment.

EAT   —  Map

Roman Catholic Church

A beautiful neo-Historical redbrick building from 1899.

SEE   —  1 Veski St

Town Hall Square

The kissing students fountain is a symbol of Tartu.

SEE   —  Map

Angel´s Bridge

Built in the 19th century and spans Lossi Street.

SEE   —  Map


Shopping centre next to Kaubamaja. Opened in 2016

BUY   —  Map

Toome Hill

Many monuments, statues and historical buildings

SEE   —  Map

Tourist Information Centre

Located in the ground floor of Tartu Town Hall.

OTHER   —  +372 744 21 11 —  Raekoja plats

Hotel Dorpat

200 standard rooms and 5 business class rooms.

SLEEP   —  Soola 6

AHHAA Science Center

Interactive and entertaining science center.

DO   —  +372 745 6789 —  Sadama 1

Aura Center

Swimming pool, water park, fitness center

DO   —  +372 7300 280 —  Turu 10


Built inside an ancient gunpowder cellar

EAT   —  Map

Café Crepp

French-themed, serves delicious pancakes

DRINK   —  Map

PÖFF - Black Nights Film Festival

Film festival at the end of November.

DO   —  Map


Shopping centre near the bus station.

BUY   —  Map


The biggest movie theater in Tartu.

DO   —  Map

Hostel Looming

An eco-friendly boutique hostel.

SLEEP   —  +37256994398 —  Kastani 38


BBC TV. Wheelchair accessible.

SLEEP   —  +372 7 442045 —  Raekoja plats 2

Café Werner

Excellent café since 1895.

DRINK   —  Map

Pappa Pizza


EAT   —  +372 7427933 —  Riia 7

Hotell Tartu

SLEEP   —  Soola 3

Hiie Maja B&B

SLEEP   —  Hiie 10

Barclay Park

SEE   —  Map

Raadi Park

SEE   —  Map

Suudlevad tudengid

EAT   —  Map


EAT   —  Kalevi 13


DRINK   —  Map


DRINK   —  Map


DRINK   —  Küütri 7

Club Tallinn

DRINK   —  Map


DRINK   —  Map


DO   —  Vanemuise 6


BUY   —  Map


BUY   —  Map

About Tartu

Tartu is 185 km south-east of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for 10 km within the city limits.

Source: wikivoyage