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Tartu - European Capital of Culture 2024

Tartu, with its population of around 100,000 in an area of 154 square kilometres, is the second largest city in Estonia. The first written records of Tartu date from 1030, making it the oldest city in the Baltic States.

Tartu has all the best of the globally new but with the local advantage – the costs are lower, security is higher and the air is cleaner than in Tallinn, Helsinki or New York. The city successfully combines modern infrastructure and facilities with a green and friendly environment. A serene park with medieval ruins and a river running through the city give it a romantic allure. Part of its appeal is the way Tartu blends old and new – walking through the city, one can literally touch its history, at the same time feeling a renewed energy and curiosity about what the future will bring.

At every corner in Tartu, there are concert venues, exhibition halls, theatres, churches, museums and charming little cafés as well as various pubs and restaurants. An inseparable part of the city is its students who comprise around a quarter of the population and generate a lot of fun and energy. There is a lively cultural scene with something for every taste as exciting events and festivals take place all year round.

Tartu 2024

Tartu together with Southern Estonia is the European Capital of Culture in 2024.

Tartu 2024
 is the main event in Estonia in 2024, and the largest regional cooperation project between Tartu and Southern Estonia.

The year-long programme in Tartu and Southern Estonia presents the story of the Arts of Survival – the knowledge, skills, and values that will help us lead a good life in the future, and everything that we endorse, cherish, share with and learn from Europe. The four most important Arts of Survival featured in the Tartu 2024 programme are uniqueness, sustainability, awareness, and co-creation.

Tartu 2024 brings over 1000 events to Tartu and Southern Estonia. Learn more about the programme here.

Places definately worth to visit

Estonian National Museum
Muuseumi tee 2, Tartu

The Estonian National Museum was founded in Tartu in 1909 on the initiative and with the support of the nation – with the task to protect and develop the history and culture of Estonia. Today, Estonian National Museum preserves the feeling of continuity and tradition. The museum is the generator and developer of cultural dialogue which links the past and the future.

Emajõgi – Mother River

The Emajõgi River connects Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipus, and is the only river in Estonia that is fully navigable. The river, known in the Middle Ages as an important trade route, connected the western Hanseatic cities to Pskov and Novgorod, and is nowadays one of the most important symbols of the city of Tartu. Marshy banks, which are characteristic of the Emajõgi River, have made building bridges as well as crossing the river difficult over the centuries. Within the city limits of Tartu, the Emajõgi River has five bridges for vehicles and two pedestrian bridges, several docks (including the guest dock in front of the building Atlantis) and five boat harbours.

Colourful street art

There aren’t very many cities in Europe where graffiti is created in cooperation with city authorities. With its colourful and versatile street art, Tartu is just one of these cities. While strolling down main streets and smaller side streets, you will quite often encounter interesting masterpieces or slogans with graffiti motifs and drawings.