top of page
  • 2062783smeets

What to visit in Tartu?

Updated: May 8, 2023

Tartu is the city of students, intellectuals, and creatives. It is the second-largest city in Estonia. It is a hotbed for creative and scientific culture. Tartu is a compact city in which most of the sights, restaurants and entertainment venues are scattered along several parallel streets. There is always something to do in Tartu, below you will read more about what there is to do.

Discover with us:

🎫 Events


What not to miss?

Tartu's Old Town

Tartu's Old Town is the oldest part of Tartu. In this part, there is a lot of cultural history of Tartu and Estonia. There are the following buildings, the Town Hall Square, the University of Tartu, St. John's Quarter, and the greenery of Toome. You can visit Tartu's city center via the bridges.

Estonian National Museum

Estonian National Museum is the largest museum in Estonia. It has nearly 6,000 square meters of space for exhibitions. The museum features an exhibit on the life of Estonians throughout history called "Encounters. Also on display is an exhibition on the life of the Finno-Ugric peoples called 'Echo of the Urals.' Otherwise, temporary exhibitions are displayed.

Outdoor areas for resting or picnicking are available. There is also a restaurant to get food.

AHHAA Science Center

The AHHAA Science Center is a place for science, excitement, adventure, and fun. It is a learning environment where you can always learn something new. Most exhibits are "hands-on," meaning you can try everything yourself within the center. So super fun to spend a day learning new things yourself!

University of Tartu (botanical gardens)

The botanical gardens of the University of Tartu offer study programs and excursions for visitors of all ages. There are more than 10,000 species of plants in the garden. These plants are divided into natural plants, protected plants, and ornamental plants. The greenhouses feature rainforest and desert plants.

The botanical garden of the University of Tartu is the oldest botanical garden in the Baltic states. The garden was designed by botanist professors Ledebour and Bunge. The garden is open to all and the greenhouses can be visited with a ticket.

What else to visit?

The Upside Down House

The Upside Down House is a fun and dizzying experience. The Upside Down House has all the usual things like furniture and a refrigerator but on the ceiling. Or yes actually just on the floor, but it is upside down. Walking through this house is very confusing, which makes it funny and fun to visit.

Visit Tartu

When you visit Tartu you can visit many things! To give a better guideline on what you can all do in Tartu, how to plan for it, and more, we have noted an organization

We recommend Visit Tartu! You can find the tour operator on Instagram by clicking this link VisitTartu. Visit Tartu offers all the information you need for a trip to Tartu!

If you want to know the best places of Tartu, explore Visit Tartu now!

For more information about Visit Tartu, we direct you to the website. Here is the link

How to travel there?

By Plane

Tartu can be reached by plane. There is a flight connection between Helsinki and Tartu 5 days a week. The flight time is about 45 minutes.

Tartu can also be reached from the international airports of Tallinn and Riga. From here it is possible to travel to Tartu by public transportation. From Tallinn is about a 2-hour drive to Tartu and from Riga about 3.5 hours.

By Bus

Tartu can also be reached by bus. Tartu's bus station is located in the city center, and there are direct bus connections from here to the larger centers in Estonia and across the border. There are more than 50 buses a day in one direction between Tallinn and Tartu.

Lux Express buses are ideal for longer trips. In fact, these buses contain a toilet, free Wi-Fi, power outlets, and coffee is available. Through these bus rides, Tartu can be reached from further cities.

By Train

Tartu can also be reached by train. Tartu's train station is 1.5 kilometers from the city center. There are daily routes from the train station to Tallinn, Valga, and Koidula.

From the train station, the city center can be reached by the free electric bus 25 or the regular bus 20. It is also possible to take a cab or walk the stretch.

By car

And finally by car. Tartu is the junction of the main national roads. Namely, the roads Tallinn-Tartu-Luhamaa (E263), Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga, and Pibbe.

The distance between Tartu and Tallinn is 186 kilometers, to Pärnu 170 kilometers, and to Narva 182 kilometers. These trips take less than 2.5 hours.

When to travel there?

When it is the best time to visit Tartu depends on what you think is the best season.

The months with the best weather in Tartu are May, June, July, August, and September.

The warmest months in Tartu are July and August.

The coldest months in Tartu are January and February.

And the months with the most rainfall in Tartu are June, July, and August.

Average costs

A 1-day trip with normal expenses costs around 35 euros.

A 1-day trip with luxury expenses costs around 84 euros.

A 3-day trip with normal expenses costs around 104 euros.

A 3-day trip with luxury expenses costs around 251 euros.

A one-week trip with normal expenses costs around 244 euros.

A one-week trip with luxury expenses costs around 585 euros.

Food costs an average of 6.60 euros.

Meals in a restaurant cost an average of 16 euros.

Local transportation costs an average of 3.40 euros.

Where to eat?

Of course, there are a huge number of restaurants in Tartu. Therefore, here are the top 3 of the best restaurants.

Vilde Ja Vine

This is the perfect restaurant if you love wine with food. They serve delicious food here, it has an aristocratic atmosphere, it has huge wine cellars and a lively summer terrace. Live music is also often expected if you visit on weekends.


Spargel is located in the Karlova neighborhood, therefore it is a bit of an unusual place. But it is a place where you can get to know people and enjoy a delicious bite to eat at the same time. In this restaurant, you will get to know the local people and the real Estonian Culture. The food they serve is prepared by great chefs and is definitely recommended!

La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita is the best Italian restaurant in Tartu. So if you like Italian food, definitely recommended! It is also owned by Italians who do everything they can to please their guests. So delicious Italian food from real Italian cuisine! Another little tip, try the desserts these are delicious!


The Tartu Marathon

The Tartu Marathon is one of the best ski races in the world and it attracts huge crowds every year.

There are classic cross-country races of 63 kilometers and 31 kilometers, an Open Track race, a Relay marathon, and races for children. It is also possible to virtually participate in the marathon.

Estonian Independence Day

During this parade, there are more than 800 participants, almost a hundred vehicles, around 40 flags, 4 military organizations, 2 units, 8 platoons, and 2 orchestras.

During this celebration, Estonia's allies are represented by the flag holders. It is a big day in Estonia. A day where everyone comes together to celebrate with each other.


Jazzkaar is an international jazz festival that has been held in Tallinn for more than 20 years. It is the largest jazz festival in the Baltic States. The main event takes place in April, but there is also a Christmas Jazz in December.

This is the end of the Tartu guide. We believe that this article will you help by planning your trip. Tartu is a beautiful city and we are sure you will be amazed by it. We also have other places for you to explore, see our guides to Kaunas, Vilnius and Lithuania! Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page