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For the French captain, see Jean-François Tartu

—  City  —
Emajoe Business Centre


Coat of arms

Motto: Heade mõtete linn (city of good thoughts)
Tartu is located in Estonia
Location in Estonia
Coordinates: 58°23′N 26°43′E / 58.383°N 26.717°E / 58.383; 26.717
Country  Estonia
County Tartu County
First settled 5th century AD
First mentioned 1030
Named for Taara or tarvas (Aurochs)
 - Mayor Urmas Kruuse (Estonian Reform Party)
 - Total 38.8 km2 (15 sq mi)
 - Land 37.9 km2 (14.6 sq mi)
 - Water 1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi)  3.39%
Elevation 57.2 m (188 ft)
Highest elevation 79 m (259 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 - Total 102,817
 Density 2,538/km2 (6,573.4/sq mi)
 - Estonians 80%
 - Russians 15%
 - other 5%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia. In contrast to Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, especially since it is home to Estonia's oldest and most renowned university. Situated 186 km southeast of Tallinn, the city is the centre of southern Estonia. The Emajõgi river, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, crosses Tartu. The city is served by Tartu Airport.

Historical names of the town include Tarbatu[2], an Estonian fortress founded in the 5th century[3], Yuryev (Russian: Юрьев) named c. 1030 by Yaroslav I the Wise, and Dorpat as first known by the German crusaders in the 13 century.


Historical names

As Tartu has been under control of various rulers throughout its history, there are various names for the city in different languages. Most of them derive from the earliest attested form, the Estonian Tarbatu. In German, Swedish and Polish the town has been and sometimes still is known as About this sound Dorpat , a variant of Tarbatu. In Russian, the city has been known as Юрьев (Yuryev) after Yaroslav I the Wise and Дерпт (Derpt), a variant of Dorpat (however, since 1917 the Estonian name Tartu is used). Similarly, the city has been known as Tērbata in Latvian.



Archaeological evidence of the first permanent settlement on the site of modern Tartu dates to as early as the 5th century AD. By the 7th century, local inhabitants had built a wooden fortification on the east side of Toome Hill (Toomemägi).

The first documented record of the area was made in 1030 by chroniclers of Kievan Rus. Yaroslav I the Wise, Prince of Kiev, raided Tartu that year, built his own fort there, and named it Yuryev (literally "Yury's" – Yury being Yaroslav's Christian name). Kievan rulers then collected tribute from the surrounding ancient Estonian county of Ugaunia, possibly until 1061, when, according to chronicles, Yuryev was burned down by another tribe of Chudes (Sosols). Russians again held Tartu from 1133 to 1176/1177. In the 12th century it was the biggest Russian settlement in Chud territory.[4][5]

Germans in Dorpat (Tartu)

Rüütli street in historical midtown Tartu.

During the period of Northern crusades in the beginning of the 13th century the fort of Tarbatu (or Tharbata, Tartu) was captured by the crusading Livonian Knights and recaptured by Estonians on several occasions. In 1224, after additional troops lead by prince Vyachko of Kukenois had been installed in the fort, it was besieged and conquered for one last time by the German crusaders. Subsequently known as Dorpat (Tarbatum), Tartu became a commercial centre of considerable importance during the later Middle Ages and the capital of the semi-independent Bishopric of Dorpat.

In 1262 the army of Prince Dmitri of Pereslavl, son of Alexander Nevsky launched an assault on Dorpat, capturing and destroying the town. His troops did not manage to capture the bishop’s fortress on Toome Hill. The event was recorded both in German and Old East Slavic chronicles, which also provided the first record of a settlement of German merchants and artisans which had arisen alongside the bishop’s fortress.

In the 1280s Dorpat joined the Hanseatic League. In medieval times Tartu was an important trading city. As in all of Estonia and Latvia, the largely German-speaking nobility, but in Tartu/Dorpat (as in Tallinn) even more so, the Baltic German bourgeoisie, the literati, dominated culture, religion, architecture, education, and politics until the late 19th century. For example, the town hall of Dorpat was designed by an architect from Rostock in Mecklenburg, while the university buildings were designed by Johann Wilhelm Krause, another German. Many, if not most, of the students, and more than 90% of the faculty members were of German heritage, and numerous statues of notable scientists with German names can still be found in the city today. Most Germans left during the first half of the 20th century.

Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish rule

During the Livonian War in the 16th century, southern parts of the Livonian Confederation and Tartu fell under rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, later the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth within the Dorpat Voivodeship of the Duchy of Livonia. A Jesuit grammar school was established in 1583. In addition, a translators' seminary was organized in Tartu and the city received its red and white flag from the Polish king Stephen Bathory.

The activities of both the grammar school and the seminary were stopped by the Polish-Swedish War (1601). Tartu then became Swedish in 1629, which led to the foundation of the university in 1632 by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

Imperial Russia

Tartu town hall, built in 1789.

With the Treaty of Nystad in 1721, the city became part of the Russian Empire and was known as Derpt. Due to fires in the 18th century which destroyed much of the medieval architecture, the city was rebuilt along Late Baroque and Neoclassical lines. During the second half of the 19th century, Tartu was the cultural center for Estonians in the era of Romantic nationalism. The city hosted Estonia's first song festival in 1869, as well as the Vanemuine, the first national theatre, in 1870. It was also the setting for the foundation of the Society of Estonian Writers in 1872.

In 1893, the city was officially retitled to the ancient Russian name Yuryev. The university was subsequently russified from 1895 on with the introduction of compulsory Russian in teaching. The Russian imperial university was relocated to Voronezh in 1918, but the Estonian University of Tartu opened in 1919.

With Estonian independence after World War I, the city officially became known by the Estonian name Tartu.

Soviet influence

At the end of Estonian War of Independence following World War I, a peace treaty between the Bolsheviks and Estonia was signed on 2 February 1920 in Tartu. The treaty meant that Bolshevist Russia renounced territorial claims to Estonia "for all time." However, as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia and Tartu in 1940.

During World War II, a large part of the city as well as the historical Kivisild (Stone Bridge) (built by Catherine II of Russia in 1776–1778) over the Emajõgi were destroyed by the fighting Red Army, partly in 1941 and almost completely in 1944.

After the war, Tartu was declared a "closed town" to foreigners, as an air base for bombers was constructed on Raadi Airfield, in the northeast outskirts of the city. The asphalt runway there now houses a large used cars market, and is sometimes used for automotive racing.

During Soviet times the population of Tartu almost doubled from 57,000 to 100,000, in large part due to mass immigration from other areas of the Soviet Union.


Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, the old town centre is being renovated.


Tartu lies within the temperate humid continental climate zone. The climate is rather mild considering the high latitude, largely due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea and warm airflows from the Atlantic. Nevertheless, continental influence can be felt on hot summer days and cold spells in winter, when temperature can occasionally (but rarely) drop below −30 °C (−22 °F). Generally, summers are cool to warm and winters are cold, although very mild and rainy in recent years.

Climate data for Tartu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.7
Average high °C (°F) −4.2
Average low °C (°F) −10.5
Record low °C (°F) −37.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 29
Source: Estonian Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology[6] 2007-11-09


Emaje Centre commercial building.

There are 49 members on the town council, elected by residents every four years using a proportional system of representation.[7]

The executive branch of the town government consists of a mayor and five deputy mayors.[8] The current mayor is Urmas Kruuse. Andrus Ansip, the current Prime Minister of Estonia, was mayor for many years. Both Ansip and Kruuse are members of the Estonian Reform Party, which has dominated in Tartu in recent times.


According to the Statistics Estonia, Tartu's population comprised the following self-reported ethnic groups as of 2008:[9]

Nationality Number Percentage
Total 102,414 100%
Estonians 82,268 80.3%
Russians 15,998 15.6%
Ukrainians 1,214 1.2%
Finns 1,084 1.1%
Belorussians 491 0.5%
Jews 141 0.1%
Poles 140 0.1%
Germans 124 0.1%
Latvians 109 0.1%
Lithuanians 91 0.1%
Tatars 81 0.1%
Others 673 0.7%

Tartu's historic population is presented in the following table, based on data from official censuses since 1881[10] and Estonian Statistical Office:[11]

Population of Tartu (in thousands) from 1990–2009. Data by "Statistics Estonia".[12]
Year Population
1881 29,974
1897 42,308
1922 50,342
1934 58,876
1959 74,263
1970 90,459
1979 104,381
1989 113,320
1995 104,874
2000 101,241
2005 101,483
2006 101,740
2007 101,965


Mostly known as a university town, Tartu is also a site of heavy industry. In the beginning of the 21st century, many ICT enterprises and other high-tech companies have taken a foothold in Tartu. Notable examples include Playtech Estonia, Webmedia and Raintree Estonia. Skype has an office in Tartu. The university is one of the largest employers, which explains the large proportion of highly skilled professionals – researchers, professors, doctors.[citation needed]

Education and culture

The fountain "Kissing Students" (Estonian: Suudlevad Tudengid) reminds visitors that the University of Tartu and its students have a profound effect on life in Tartu.

The city is best known for being home to the University of Tartu, founded under King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1632. Mainly for this reason, Tartu is also – tongue-in-cheek – known as "Athens of the Emajõgi" or as "Heidelberg of the North".

Tartu is also the seat of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, the Baltic Defence College, Estonian Aviation Academy (formerly known as Tartu Aviation College), and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. Other notable institutions include the Estonian Supreme Court (re-established in Tartu in autumn 1993), the Estonian Historical Archives and Estonian national theatre Vanemuine.

Main sights

St. John's Church

The architecture and city planning of historical Tartu mainly go back to the pre-independence period, with Germans forming the upper and middle classes of society, and therefore contributing many architects, professors and local politicians.

Most notable are the old Lutheran St. John's Church (Estonian: Jaani Kirik, German: Johanneskirche), the 18th-century town hall, the university building, ruins of the 13th-century cathedral, the botanical gardens, the main shopping street, many buildings around the town hall square and Barclay Square.

The historical slum area called Supilinn (Soup Town) is located on the bank of river Emajõgi, near the town centre and is regarded as one of the few surviving "poor" neighbourhoods of 19th century Europe. At the moment Supilinn is being rapidly renovated, undergoing a slow transformation from the historic slum into a prestigious high-class neighborhood. The active community embodied by the Supilinn Society is committed to preserving the heritage.

The Second World War destroyed large parts of the city centre and during the Soviet occupation many new buildings were erected – notably the new Vanemuine Theater. The effects of the war are still witnessed by the relative abundance of parks and greenery in the historic centre. In the suburbs, classic Soviet neighbourhoods – blocks of high-rise flats – were built during the period between WW2 and restoration of Estonian independence in 1991.

Presently, Tartu is also known for several modern, rather sterile-looking buildings of the "steel, concrete and glass" variation, but has managed to retain a healty mix of old and new buildings in the centre of town.

Tartu's large student population means that it has a comparatively thriving nightlife, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Annually, in the summer, Tartu hosts the Hansa Days Festival (Estonian: Hansapäevad) to celebrate the Hanseatic heritage under the motto "History lives" when the old town bustles with activity from handicraft markets and historic workshops to a jousting tournament.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tartu is twinned with:


See also


  1. ^ Statistics Estonia: Population by Gender, Age and Type of Municipality
  2. ^ In the fifth century they (Estonians) built the first fortress at Tarbatu – from which both the modern Estonian name of Tartu and the Germanic name of Dorpat derive: Batten, Alan Henry (1988). Resolute and Undertaking Characters. Springer. ISBN 9789027726520. 
  3. ^ Ludvíková, Vlasta; Ladislav Skokan, Translated from Russian by E. Skelley (1976). The Soviet Union: A Guide and Information Handbook. Collet. 
  4. ^ "Юрьев уездный город Лифляндской губернии". 1957-03-14. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  5. ^ "Tartu orduajal". 2002-10-12. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Estonian Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology" (in Estonian).,299,302. Retrieved September 11, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Tere tulemast Tartusse!". 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  8. ^ "Tere tulemast Tartusse!". 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  9. ^ "Population by sex, ethnic nationality and county, 1 January". Statistics Estonia. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  10. ^ Statistics Estonia: General Data for 1881, 1897, 1922, 1934, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989 Censuses
  11. ^ Statistics Estonia: Population by Gender, Age Group and County
  12. ^ "Population by sex, age group and county, 1 January". Statistics Estonia. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Frederiksberg Municipality – Twin Towns" (in Danish). ©2007 -2009 Frederiksberg Municipality. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Tartu (also known as Dorpat or Yuryev) [1] [2] is a Hanseatic city and a nice old university town and the second largest city in Estonia with a population of 100,000. The city is about 1000 years old - the oldest in the Baltics.

part of the old town
part of the old town


Tartu, lying 185km south-east of Tallinn, is also the centre of Southern Estonia. The Emajõgi River, which connects the two largest lakes of Estonia, flows for the length of 10km within the city limits and adds colour to the city. The first written records of Tartu date from 1030.

Being a student town, English is pretty widely understood. As usual the older people are more likely to only speak Estonian and Russian but most can understand you if you speak clearly.

Important Phone Numbers

Area code for phone calls from abroad: +372

  • Emergency calls 112
  • Police 110
  • Ambulance 112
  • Customs info 880 0814
  • Bus station 12550
  • City transport 12012
  • Airport + 372 7 309 210
  • Information of the city government + 372 7 361 101
  • Information of South-Estonia: + 372 7 40 40 20
  • Tartu Tourist Information Centre +372 7 442 111

Get in

By plane

Tartu Airport [3] (IATA: TAY, ICAO: EETU) is located 11 km from Tartu downtown. International flights include Riga and Stockholm. The airport's bus stop is located in front of the terminal. Bus travels on the route Ülenurme - Tartu City Centre. The bus fare is 16 EEK (about 1EUR) and tickets can be bought from the bus driver.

Tallinn's airport is 180 km away from Tartu road by bus, car or train. Riga Airport, 250 km by Riga-Valga-Tartu road by bus or car.

By bus

Buses between Tallinn and Tartu depart several times an hour all day long. The bus journey takes a good 2 hours or more depending on road conditions; tickets cost about 9 EUR (140 EEK), discount available with ISIC card. Some buses have free wireless internet and bus attendants available. For timetables please visit [4] or [5].

N.B.: The Friday afternoon departures from Tartu to Tallinn are usually crowded during academic semester as a lot students go home for the weekend.

There are also 2 buses from Riga to Tartu, one in the morning and one in the evening.

By train

The train journey between Tallinn and Tartu takes a good three hours with the departures that stop on each station. There are two faster trains a day that make it in good two hours. The travelling times vary, however, especially in summer time when most track improvement works take place.

Paying for the first class ticket in those fast departures is worth while. In the first class you can hook up your laptop to the Internet and coffee and refreshments are served free in the bar. Limited bar services available for a reasonable price.

For timetables and other info please visit the home page of Edelaraudtee at [6] or [7].

Trains to Riga were resumed in 2008, with a change on the border, at Valga. As of November 2009 the railway is under reconstruction - it's scheduled to be reopened in the beginning of 2010.

  • Tourist Information Centre [8], Raekoja plats, 50089 Tartu. E-mail:, tel +372 744 21 11, fax +372 744 21 11. Hours: Sat 10-17, Sun 10-16.

Tartu's Old Town is pretty much navigable by foot, but if you want to go out of Old Town, then luckily Go Bus Tartu provides a public transport service with Automen.

Public transport

As said, in Tartu public transport is provided by Go Bus Tartu. There are 19 bus lines, plus an additional 2 night lines that make a circle in Tartu (21 in one direction, 22 in the opposite). Tickets are rather cheap. Single ticket costs 13 EEK from a newsstand, 16 from the driver. 10 single tickets from a newsstand cost 100 EEK. A ticket for 1 day costs 35 EEK, 1-hour ticket costs 16 EEK. 10-day ticket costs 120 EEK. On lines 6A, 31, 32 and 33, which are being operated by Automen, the ticket costs 15 EEK.

Important lines are: 8 to Lõunakeskus and Anne Kanal(popular beach); 32 to Lõunakeskus; 5, 6 and 6A to Tartu Railway Station; 2, 3, 3A, 5, 9 and 14 to Central Market and Bus Station

Town Hall in Tartu
Town Hall in Tartu


Especially worth seeing are the old town, the wooden suburbs from the past centuries around the old town, some attractive pieces of contemporary architecture and a former Soviet airfield in Raadi, north of the city.

  • Town Hall square in the centre. The kissing students fountain is a symbol of Tartu.
  • Botanic Garden of the University of Tartu 38/40 Lai St.
  • Toome Hill with many monuments, statues and historical buildings.
  • Raadi Park
  • Barclay Park
  • St. John's Church. The probably 14th century church is famous for its thousands of medieval terracotta figures.
  • Cathedral ruins, on top of the Dome Hill, are 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.
  • St. Paul's church is an outstanding redbrick Finnish National Romanticist style building by the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. (On Riga street)
  • 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. (104Narva St)
  • Roman Catholic Church is a beautiful neo-Historical redbrick building from 1899. (1 Veski St)
  • St. Alexander`s Orthodox Church A two- storey church (architect V. Lunski) with cupolas inspired by the Old Russian church architecture. The congregation was driven out 40 years ago. The church was reconsecrated in summer 2003. (19aSõbra St)
  • Uspensky Orthodox Church is 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. (1 Magasini St)
  • Vanemuine theatre (Programme at [9])
  • Small Building of the Vanemuine (former German) Theatre A gorgeous Romanticist building in 45a Vanemuise St.
  • Catherine´s House The Classicist style structure is built as a town palace in 1790 and houses nowadays Tartu City Museum. The building is popularly called Catherine´s House. The legend has it that Empress Catherine II made a short stay there. However, this legend is not true. Narva Road 23
  • Gunpowder Cellar The Gunpowder Cellar was 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 beer restaurant carrying the same name.
  • Tartu University. Established in 1632, it's one of the oldest universities in Europe. (Official website: [10]).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 basement, Mainhall and the Tartu University Art Museum which displays ancient art. Ülikooli 18
  • 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. On the Dome Hill, 17 Lossi.
  • Tartu 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. The building lies on the old castle ruins on the Dome Hill. Lossi 40 [11]
  • 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. On the Dome Hill, 38 Lossi St.
  • Aristocratic dwellings and former teacher’s college on Lai Street
  • 18 Raekoja Square The late 18th century building is called the Barclay House after Duchess Barclay who 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.
  • Remains of the Town Wall
  • Angel´s Bridge on Dome Hill The Angel’s Bridge, located on Toome hill, was built in the 19th century and spans Lossi Street.
  • Devil´s Bridge The Devil’s Bridge was 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.
  • Arched Bridge Stand in the main square and look towards the river, this is the Arched Bridge of Tartu. It 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.

Modern architecture

During the last decade Tartu has seen several interesting pieces of modern architecture being built. They are well worth a visit and give an insight of how people in modern Tartu think and live, in addition to traditionally history-driven image of the city. Some of them are right in the city-centre. See Yellow markers on official Tartu Modern Architecture map: [12]. The map is in Estonian only, but selected images speak louder than words.

  • Visit this year's Tartu Hanseatic Days

Tartu Hanseatic Days - Wisdom is more than richness

16-18 July 2010

The Hanseatic Days is a summer party for the people of Tartu and also for the visitors to our city. Exciting to see and interesting experiences can be found for the young and old.

In addition to fairs and festivities, Tartu Hanseatic Days also feature various workshops where festival goers get the chance to test their creativity and skills as well as ponder the present and future.

As the tradition goes, the festival also includes several exhibitions, concerts and dances.

Jaani Town, River Town, the Town of Children and Future, Town Hall Town and Hanseatic Town will emerge bearing different historical atmospheres: the Mediaeval times will be reanimated in Jaani Town, the antiquity in River Town, the present in Town Hall Town and the present as well as future in the Town of Children and Future.

Merchants and tradesmen from all over Estonia will come together and attend Tartu Hanseatic Days in order to bring to life the Hanseatic Fair. For centuries trading has united different eras and cultures.

All events are free except for evening concerts in Jaani Church and Glass Bead Game Festival.

For more information visit: [13]

  • Go to a concert
  • "Ekraan" is the most popular movie theatre in Tartu. It has two movie screens and first-rate Dolby SR/DTS sound system.
  • Go to a nightclub: Atlantis [14]; Club Illusion [15]; Maasikas (strawbarry) [16]; Club Tallinn [17]
  • Go to theatre:

Theatre House Lutsu Teatrimaja Lutsu 2 Tartu, [18] Athena - Conference and Incentive CentreKüütri 1, Tartu [19] Theatre "Vanemuine, Vanemuise 6, Tartu [20] Harbour Theatre (Sadamateater), Soola 5B, Tartu [21]

Ticket Offices: Theatre and Concert Ticket Office Piletipunkt: [22]Vanemuine 6, (+372) 737 7537; Tartu Department Store (+372) 731 5040; Eeden shopping centre, (+372) 740 2430;

  • KGB Museum, Riia 15b, 7461717, [23]. 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.  edit
  • Lodi, Emajõe 3, +372 551 8386, [24]. Sailing barge "Jõmmu" will hoist its square sail and take its new crew to EU's easternmost island Piirissaare, to the Old Believers' street-villages Varnja and Kolkja or south to one of the centers of Seto culture - Võõpsu.  edit


Tartu Kaubamaja

Tartu has a new department store "Kaubamaja" [25] since January 2006. Kaubamaja has a great location - it's 100 metres from the Bus Station. It has several floors full of fascinating things to buy. "Kaubamaja" belongs to Kaubamaja concerne.


Tartu's first big shopping centre was Lõunakeskus [26]. There is a wide range of small boutiques, as well as a big department store Maksimarket. To get there, take bus no. 18 from the city centre. Bus schedules and a map are here: [27].

Annelinna keskus

At Annelinn, a small suburb of Tartu, there is a big shopping centre Annelinna Keskus [28]. There is a Selver [29](big department store), as well as clothes shop, lots of small boutiques and other small shops. You can get there by taking bus 1, 5, 15, 17 from the city centre, just opposite the Kaubamaja.

Other department stores

Eeden (buses 1, 3, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16A, 17 stop Emajõe), [30]

Selver (expressbus 33), [31]

  • Püssirohukelder (built inside an ancient gunpowder cellar), [32].
  • Tsink Plekk Pang (chinese food, also home delivery), [33].
  • Krooks (English style pub), [34].
  • Suudlevad tudengid, [35].
  • Catwalk, [36].
  • Gruusia Saatkond, [37].

Pizza parlors:

  • Pizzeria La Dolce Vita, [38]. Kompanii 10
  • Ruuni Pizza, Rüütli 2.
  • Opera Pizza, [39]. Vanemuise 26
  • Pappa Pizza, [40]. Riia 7
  • Taverna Restaurant/Pizzeria, [41]. Raekoja plats 20


In a typical pub, a 0.5l/16oz beer usually costs 30-35 EEK (1.9 to 2.3 EUR). Almost all popular beers are near or more than 10-proof (5% alcohol content).

  • Pub "Zavood" Lai 30 [44] Legendary meeting place for students and alternative fashion people. Popular amongst foreingers
  • Jazz Club "Illegaard" Ülikooli 5 [45] Many sporting events (mainly football) are broadcasted.
  • Rock Pub "Underground" Küütri 7 [46]
  • Rock Pub "Krooks" Jakobi 34 [47] Offers 40% discounts on any alcoholic beverages after 8 PM.
  • Beer Colors Place [48]
  • Café Crepp (french-themed, serves delicious pancakes) [49]
  • Club Rock & Roll Tiigi 76A [50]
  • Club Tallinn
  • Club Illusion
  • "Hotel Dorpat", Soola 6. In 2007 spring opened hotel has 200 standard rooms (twin/double/single) and 5 business class rooms. Twin/double room cost is 1160EEK/74EUR per night. Including rich breakfast buffet. Situated on the banks of the Emajõgi River in the heart of the city, near bus station. [51].


Currently there are no "Hostelling International Youth Hostels" in Tartu however there are various other possibilities for cheap accommodation.

  • Vikerkaare Guesthouse, Vikerkaare 40, [52] in a quiet and safe neighborhood. 10 minute walk from downtown. Single bed rooms start at ~30 EUR.
  • Hostel Terviseks, Ülikooli 1, [53] The only backpacker style hostel in Tartu, owned and run by a Canadian and Australian, a relaxed little place full of useful information (200-250EEK/night 6 bed dorm). Located in the middle of the Old Town.
  • Hotell Tartu, Soola 3. Has dormitory rooms with 3 bed in each for 300EEK a night. Situated right across from the bus station [54].
  • Hostel Tartu Student Villa, Tähtvere 48 [55] (300 EEK/night) Self-service accommodation in apartments with all comforts.
  • Tartu Student Village, 3 different locations: Raatuse 22, Narva mnt. 27 and Pepleri 14, [56]. Has some single rooms available available. Best rooms go quickly so book ahead.
  • Hiie Maja B&B, Hiie 10, [57]. Offers individual beds or entire rooms, possibility to bring your own tent also.
  • Guesthouse Kastani, Kastani 3, [58]. (350EEK/night single). Small guest house situated on the other side of the cathedral hill. Lady who runs it speaks a little English but she is delightful and you can communicate without too much hassle. Best to email ahead.

The official Estonian tourism website provides an extensive list of options for accommodation in Tartu.

Get out

From here you might wander northwest Tallinn, west Pärnu, northeast Narva or southwest to Riga through Valka/Valga.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:


See also tartu



Proper noun




  1. The second-largest city in Estonia.



Estonian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia et

Proper noun


  1. Tartu

Simple English

Tartu town hall
File:Tartu coat of
Coat of arms
Location of Tartu in Europe
Coordinates: 58°23′N 26°43′E / 58.383°N 26.717°E / 58.383; 26.717
Country File:Flag of Estonia (bordered).svg
County Tartu County
 - Total 38.8 km2 (15 sq mi)
Population (2008)[1]
 - Total 102,414
 Density 2,640/km2 (6,837.6/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Tartu is the second biggest city in Estonia. The University of Tartu, the oldest and most famous in Estonia is found there. Around 102,000 people were living in Tartu as of 2008.

Twin towns

These are the twin towns of Tartu:

  • Bærum, Norway
  • Deventer, Netherlands
  • Ferrara, Italy
  • Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
  • Hämeenlinna, Finland
  • Kaunas, Lithuania
  • Lüneburg, Germany



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