Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Tartu

Estonian National Museum

When we last visited, the immense, low-slung, architectural showcase built to house the Estonian National Museum had yet to open its doors. Built on a Soviet airstrip on the grounds of Raadi Manor (the museum's orig…
Top Choice Museum in Tartu

Tartu University Museum

Atop Toomemägi are the ruins of a Gothic cathedral, originally built by German knights in the 13th century. It was substantially rebuilt in the 15th century, despoiled during the Reformation in 1525, used as a barn,…
Top Choice Square in Tartu

Town Hall Square

Tartu’s main square is lined with grand buildings and echoes with the chink of glasses and plates in summer. The centrepiece is the Town Hall itself, fronted by a statue of students kissing under a spouting umbrella…
Creperie in Tartu


Locals love this place. Its warm, stylish decor belies its bargain-priced crepes (of the sweet or savoury persuasion, with great combos like cherry-choc and almonds). It serves tasty salads too.
Italian in Tartu

La Dolce Vita

Thin-crust pizzas come straight from the wood-burning oven at this cheerful, family-friendly pizzeria. It’s the real deal, with a lengthy menu of bruschetta, pizza, pasta, grills etc and classic casual decor (checke…
Pub in Tartu


Set in a cavernous 18th-century gunpowder cellar built into the Toomemägi hillside, this boisterous pub serves beer-accompanying snacks and meaty meals under a soaring 10m-high vaulted ceiling. There’s regular live …
Cafe in Tartu

University Cafe

This venerable institution inhabits a labyrinth of elegantly decorated rooms. It's simultaneously grand and cosy, with serves to sate the most ravenous of scholars. In the evening the Tartu Jazz Club takes over the …
Pub in Tartu


This battered cellar bar attracts an alternative, down-to-earth crowd with its inexpensive drinks and lack of attitude. Student bands sometimes play here.
Museum in Tartu

A Le Coq Beer Museum

Located at the famous brewery, this museum briefly covers the history of beer-making but tours focus mainly on the machinery and brewing techniques, with free samples at the end. A Le Coq has churned out its tradema…
Gardens in Tartu

Tartu University Botanical Gardens

Founded in 1803, these gardens nurture 6500 species of plants including a large collection of palms in the greenhouse. In summer it's always full of local families wandering the paths and strolling around the orname…