1) Pirogov Park
The small park on the foothills of Toomemägi is the traditional gathering place for students of Tartu. Since it’s considered a picnic area and used to be the only public drinking place in Tartu. And the perfect place for meeting locals.
2) Genialistide Klubi
You can’t have lived in Tartu and not have heard of the Genialistide klubi. If this place believed in translations, the name would mean something akin to “Genius club”, but better. An establishment within subcultures, it makes for a venue where theatre, music, cinema and joy meet. With something so eagerly defying attempts at definitions, it can be hard to pin the place down. There’s regular events, but they all paint a blurry abstract of electro, jazz, indie rock and countless other styles. Whatever’s happening, you can be sure you’ll enjoy the way-more-than-casual atmosphere.
3) Botanical Garden
If you want to stop and smell the roses then that’s the place to go to. This is also a venue for many concerts and events.
4) The Museum Dungeons of the KGB
The Museum Dungeons of the KGB is situated in the former regional KGB headquarters, also notoriously known as the Grey House. Some cells have been restored and some give an overview of the crimes of communist regime, Siberian prison camps and Estonian resistance movement. You’ll get a very genuine feeling of what it meant to be kept in those cells by the surrounding atmosphere. This the place to go, if you want to travel back in time.
5) Aura Keskus
Their selection of different saunas (it’s a must for a true Estonian experience), water slides, hot tubs and swimming pools should bring a smile to the face of every visitor.
6) Sculpture of Kissing Students
The statue in the middle of the fountain on Raekoja Square really characterises the romantic and spontaneous student life. The inspiration for the statue was actually the author’s newphew who was kissing a girl in the rain. Making a picture of imitating the sculpture is a definite must over here!
7) Dome Church’s ruins
The construction of the Old Dome started already in the 13th century but it was destroyed in a fire in 1624. The preserved part accomodated the university library in the 19th century and now contains the Tartu University History Museum.
8) Angel’s Bridge & Devil’s Bridge
These two bridges are the oldest ones in Tartu, with the Angel Bridge dating back to 1838 and Devil’s Bridge to 1913. The legend says that if you walk across the Angel Bridge for the first time and make a wish, it will definitely come true.
Estonians, love theatre and every decent town has at least got a stage or two. Vanemuine being the oldest theatre in Estonia could quite easily be called the heart of cultural Tartu. It’s one of its kind in the country to work in three different genres in three different buildings. Its repertoire includes around forty performances and it’s no wonder while Vanemuine stages productions from classical drama to opera, musicals to children’s shows and ballets to symphonies.
10) Tartu Art Museum
The Tartu Art Museum is housed in the Pisa Tower of Tartu. Today, it offers temporary and varied displays in addition to the permanent Estonian exposition.