Welcome to TARTU, the city of good thoughts!

It’s a city that never gets boring, bursting with exciting culture, history and art, educational landscape, a rapidly developing start-up world, stylish restaurants, greenery and nature, and plenty of opportunities for a pleasant vacation.

Tartu has all the best of the globally new but with the local advantage – the costs are lower, security is higher and the air is cleaner than in Tallinn, Helsinki or New York. The city successfully combines modern infrastructure and facilities with a green and friendly environment.

Tartu, with its population of around 100,000 in an area of 154 square kilometres, is the second largest city in Estonia. The first written records of Tartu date from 1030, making it the oldest city in the Baltic States. Tartu has played an important role in the development of Estonian culture and national consciousness: the first national elite stemmed from the local university, the first newspapers and cultural societies, the first national theater – all began their work here, and the first national song festival took place here as well.

Tartu together with Southern Estonia is the European Capital of Culture in 2024. It is the main event in Estonia that offers special cultural experiences in Tartu and Southern Estonia. Tartu 2024 entire programme will be presented on October 19th 2023.

Photo: University of Tartu © Ragnar Vutt

Colorful history and cultural heritage

Tartu, as the oldest city in the Baltics, offers exciting sights every step of the way, especially in the city centre, which is a unique national heritage conservation area. Here you can find examples of styles from medieval times to present-day modern architecture that are complemented with cozy cafes and unique restaurants, urban nature and the lively buzz of the student city.
Tartu is a city of science.

Here is one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Tartu, which was built in 1632. The university has given us several internationally recognized scientists and scholars. Thanks to the student community, Tartu has a healthy mix of youthful joie de vivre and academic traditions.

The National Archives and the Ministry of Education and Research are also located here, as well as various important cultural institutions. The most important among them is the over a century-old Estonian National Museum where history is intertwined with innovation.

In the year 1869, the first Estonian national song festival took place in Tartu and the first professional theatre Vanemuine. began its work here in 1870. Today, Vanemuine Theater is the only three-genre theater in Estonia, offering drama, music and ballet performances. Check out the schedule of the theater Vanemuine here.

Photo: Estonian National Museum © Simo Sepp

World-class business and science hub

Tartu is known as the educational and research centre of Estonia – Tartu on tuntud kui Eesti hariduse- ja teaduse linnana – 11 institutions of higher education, medical and biotechnology center, information technology and electronics hub and home for numerous start-ups.

In addition to hundreds of annually held local and international conferences, seminars and workshops in different fields, the largest business festival of the Baltics, sTARTUp Day, is also organised in Tartu, bringing together from all over the world both specialists in their respective fields as well as entrepreneurial enthusiasts who have only just begun making plans to start their own business. Tourists and guest have the opportunity to get urgent work done at the hotel or by using the public workspace with all conveniences, sTARTUp Hub located in the city centre.

A beautiful environment both in the city and in the countryside

Tartu is known as the green oasis of Estonian cities, with plenty of parks, gardens and proximity to nature. Walks along the river Emajõgi, the natural Toome Hill foreland, the botanical garden situated offer relaxing moments and the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving the city. In addition, the nature surrounding the city is diverse and offers opportunities for hiking, cycling and other outdoor activities for both young and grown-ups.

Photo: River Emajõgi © Mana Kaasik

Rich cultural calendar

Tartu is a culturally rich city, where many different events and festivals take place, including science, art, theater, music and sports events – the Hanse Days, Tartu City Day and the Christmas City, the Estonian Theatre Festival “DRAAMA”, Tasty Tartu and  Tartu Food and Wine Festival for all the foodies, the lively student days in the spring and the autumn, Tartu Love Film Festival “tARTuFF”, the Street Art Festival “Stencibility, the festival in “Aparaaditehas” (the Widget Factory) and many more.

The best overview of Tartu’s countless possibilities can be browsed through Tartu’s Window of Culture (Kultuuriaken).

Tartu is a city where rich history and modern and unique opportunities harmoniously blend together, making it a truly exciting destination worth exploring.

Our hotel family will be happy to help you put together an interesting program. See you in Tartu!

Photo: International student song and dance festival Gaudeamus Tartus ©️ R.Pajula