Tere! This is my second post here and I would like to tell you about the things that are definitely worth trying when you are in Tartu.
Let us assume that you are a foreign student who came to Estonia for a week to visit your friends (by the way, it is the thing to do. I guess people who study in Tartu just share their stories about how amazing is life here and everybody wants to experience it personally). Most likely, you will stay in a hostel. I know that some of them placed in beautiful streets. I really enjoy walking there and taking a view of all the wooden houses. Sometimes they have very interesting specificities. For example, old blue mailboxes and «Почта» (“mail” in Russian) written on them, sculptures of a few dogs in the yard, even the tombstone of an old pet on the façade of one of them! Surely, you will find things that are even more impressive, just walk around and do not forget to take your good mood with you.
Now I should say something about places where you can eat. However, to be honest, I cannot point out to any certain café because there’s too many to count on one hand. I think you can go to any place in the city center and you will definitely get a good meal there. A good one for a good price.
If you are not hungry but want to take a cup of coffee or tea with piece of cake then you have to go to the most famous (and I guess the oldest) café in Tartu – Werner. I am not a regular visitor of that place because I like to cook myself, but, anyway, I have to admit that the atmosphere is very cozy there.
If your friends live in Raatuse dorm you will come to one of the parties there. My friends from Russia who came with me for such party told me that it feels like “in American movies about student life but even better”.
When evening is coming, you will go to Rüütli street, because there is no other options to go since everybody will be there. You will meet most of your friends there starting from Wednesday night (yes, weekend starts on Wednesday in Tartu) and the rest of the week. My personal choice is Möku. I know that people move between three pubs, but I usually stay in one. I think it is a habit for me that I got when I was an exchange student here. Trepp was not very popular among international students and Kivi did not exist yet, so we had no real choice apart from Möku. Not the most original advice, but I pass it on anyway: try the Sparta shot. Yes, just try if you have not done yet.
To finish your night you have to choose where to go after pub: Illusion, Tallinn or Atlantis. The order of visiting of those places can vary, depending on theme of the parties there, but I strongly recommend following the established tradition to go to at least two of them in one night. The reason of that is unclear, nevertheless, people do it.
I could say that despite Tartu is small town, but whenever you come, even in the most severe winter season, you will find where to go and what to do. Tested and proven by all of the people who come back here repeatedly.