If you are already dreaming of where to travel next summer, then we have a good idea for you - visit the city of Tartu. Why Tartu? Tartu has been named European Capital of Culture 2024. There will certainly be many interesting events in Tartu in 2024.
In fact, three cities have been named European Capitals of Culture 2024: Tartu (Estonia), Bad Ischl (Austria) and Bodø (Norway). Bodø is not that easy to get to. European travel lovers could already visit Bad Ischl earlier. But Tartu is something new for many of us, and getting to Estonia is not difficult. Have you decided to go to Estonia next summer?
Tartu is the second most populous city in Estonia, after Tallinn. Tartu is a city with quite a long history. The year of the first mention of Tartu is considered to be 1030. Population - approximately 100 thousand people.
The distance from Tartu to Tallinn is approximately 180 kilometers, to Riga - 250 kilometers, to Helsinki - 270 kilometers (via Tallinn, by ferry + by car), to St. Petersburg (Russia) - 330 kilometers.
Tartu has a diverse cultural life: there are several theaters in the city, there are quite a few museums, and events interesting for tourists are regularly held.
There are more than 20 museums in Tartu. The most famous are the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian Literary Museum, the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum, the Tartu Art Museum, the Tartu City Museum and the University of Tartu Museum.
Tartu is famous in Estonia for its street art. The city was even called the street art capital of Estonia. (We cannot assess how valid this is.) The spring street art festival Stencibility was held in Tartu.
Events in Tartu 2024
There will certainly be a lot of interesting things happening in Tartu in 2024. Here are some of the events that you might be interested in attending.
January 26, 2024.
Opening of the European Capital of Culture year. The opening ceremony will take place in the very heart of Tartu, on the banks of the Emajõgi River. It will be fun.
February 02-03, 2024.
The XIII European Sauna Marathon.
February 17-18, 2024.
Tartu Ski Marathon. Tartu Ski Marathon is one of the oldest ski marathons in the world. 63 km and 31 km are the Tartu Ski Marathon traditional distances .
February 28 - March 3, 2024.
International gymnastics tournament "Miss Valentine 2024". Venue: Gymnasium of the University of Tartu.
March 03, 2024.
"Kolkja Kelk" winter festival. Kolkja Kelk is a traditional kick sledding competition that takes place either on Lake Peipus or on its shore. The event takes place in the village of Kolkja.
March 2-3, 2024.
Happy Big Band Weekend. The 10th International "Happy Big Band Weekend" will take place from 2 to 3 March 2024 in Tartu (and possibly Tallinn), Estonia.
April 20-21, 2024.
Tartu Open day. Open House Tartu - on this day you can visit some unique urban objects that are usually inaccessible.
April 27, 2024.
The Varnja Fish Fair. The Varnija Fish Fair was created to preserve the fishing traditions in the Lake Peipsi region. Venue: Varnja, Estonia.
April 27 - May 4, 2024.
Student days: spring 2024. The spring festival Tartu Student Days is held twice a year.
May 12, 2024.
Tartu Forest Marathon is the largest cross-country running competition in the Baltic countries. The distances start and end at the Tartu Health Sports Center in Elva.
May 17-19, 2024.
Green bike tour: “How are you, Tartu 2024 – European Capital of Culture?” This is a great event for bike lovers.
May 24-25, 2024.
Tour of Estonia 2024.
May 27 - June 1, 2024.
RUA Steet Art Festival #Elva. Street art festival in the municipality of Elva.
May 27 - June 2, 2024.
Kaera-Jaan Festival. Kaera-Jaan Festival is a land art and folk culture festival on the Vooremäe hills in Kastre rural municipality.
June 10, 2024.
Sting: My Songs 2024. 17-time Grammy Award winner Sting will perform a special concert “My Songs” at the Tartu Singing Field.
June 8-19, 2024.
Estonian Aviation Days 2024. Estonian Aviation Days is an event designed for aviation enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Where: Lange küla, Kastre vald, Tartu maakond.
June 16-22, 2024.
Tartu Song and Dance Festival. Song and dance festivals have always been significant events for Estonians. Location: Tartu, Town Hall Square and other places.
June 29, 2024.
Tartu City Day (Tartu linna päev). Look for interesting events throughout the city.
June 29 - July 10, 2024.
Inland Waters Festival. The Inland Waters Festival is part of the main program of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024.
Lake Peipsi: 06.29-07.5 2024.
Emajõgi River / Tartu: 6.07-7.07 2024.
Lake Võrtsjärv: 7.07-10.07 2024.
July 6, 2024. Emajõe Festival.
(The festival takes its name from the Emajõgi River, which flows through the city.) The Emajõgi Festival is an inland water festival, a river festival. The program includes River Parade, music, fishing.
July 6, 2024.
Summer celebration of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024.
July 6-7, 2024.
Tartu Hanseatic Days (Tartu Hansalaat). Venues: Town Hall Square, Central Park, Kuyun Street, Market Hall and its surroundings, Open Market.
July 13, 2024.
Old Technology Day in Haaslav. You can see old cars, tractors, steam engines, and all the exhibits of the aviation museum. At 10 a.m. there will be a parade of old equipment.
The event opens at 11 am. Location: Lange, Estonian Aviation Museum, near Tartu.
July 19, 20, 2024.
Ostrova festival. The Ostrova Festival is a musical and cultural event that has been taking place since 2011 in Setomaa, in the village of Ostrov.
October 4, 2024.
Tartu Marathon. The entire marathon distance of 42 km takes place in one circle, each kilometer of the distance is unique. The route passes through iconic places of Tartu. The festival program includes the entertaining Friday Night Run.
Festival of films about love "Tartuffe". The festival takes place on Tartu Town Hall Square.
Crazy Tartu (Hullunud Tartu). An annual interdisciplinary cultural festival combining literature, art and music. Each year this festival was held in a different location.
The easiest way to get to Tartu is from Tallinn, by bus or train. (You can get to Tallinn both by plane and by other means of transport.)
There are a sufficient number of hotels in Tartu. But, at the same time, booking services offer only a few four-star hotels. Book in advance if you prefer hotels with more stars.
If you are planning a trip to Estonia, then you will probably not limit yourself to just visiting the city of Tartu. We recommend setting aside at least a couple of days to visit the city of Tallinn.
This map will help you choose a hotel in Tartu.