Tartu, the capital of students and wisdom, is the second biggest city in Estonia, attracting many tourists and travelers every year. Depending on your taste and preferences, there are plenty of wonderful things that you can see and do in Tartu, starting with a historic journey in the Old Town and finishing with wild parties in the best nightclubs.
AHHAA Science Centre
AHHAA Science Centre is the biggest technology center in Estonia and the entire Baltic States. Its main purpose is to promote science and show people how it can be both interactive and useful in everyday life. There are hundreds of different exhibits in AHHAA Science Centre, including a huge planetarium and 4d Adventure Cinema. If you only have time to visit one place in Tartu, it should probably be this.
Tartu is a very old city with a rich history, which you can learn by walking around the beautiful Tartu Old Town. It is definitely the most stunning part of Tartu to visit. Most of the attractions, including museums and restaurants, are located in the Old Town as well.
Tartu University Botanical Garden is one of the finest gardens in the Baltic States, designed by true professional gardeners and biologists. There are an awful lot of different plants you can see while enjoying your peaceful walk around the garden. The entrance to the outside part of the garden is free and you only need to pay to visit exhibitions which are inside.
The Kissing Students fountain is the most recognizable symbol in Tartu. It is a must for lovers who are in the city, to visit the statue of two kissing students under the umbrella as it is considered to be a sign of everlasting love! Most newlyweds also come to kiss under the fountain so you can expect to see traditional Estonian weddings as well!
If you come to Tartu with kids, you have to visit Tartu Toy Museum and see all the traditional Estonian toys from different eras. There are plenty of exhibits that you can play with! Also, this museum is worth visiting even without kids as it is one of those nostalgic places where adults can remember their childhood.
Luke Manor and Manor Park is a little outside of Tartu, but it is definitely worth a visit for people who are interested in old manor houses with huge parks and ponds. This Neo-Baroque and Heimat manor house dates back to 1557 and it has been through a lot since then. Sadly, the main house was destroyed in 1941. The best time to visit this place is during the summer when the weather in Estonia is hot and sunny.
Estonians pay a lot of attention to the food they eat so the quality of restaurants in Tartu is very high. There are a lot of wonderful restaurants where you can try traditional Estonian food and understand a little more about the cuisine and culture.
Estonian National Museum is one of the top museums in the country and the best place to learn about Estonian history, including folk culture and weaponry. The museum was opened in 1909 in memory of Jakob Hurt, the most influential Estonian collector.
There are a lot of wonderful churches built all over Tartu. Some of the most popular are St Paul’s Church, Roman Catholic Church of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Tartu St Peter’s Church. You can learn all about Estonian architecture just by carefully studying the magnificent churches, which are still open for masses and other events.