Tartu may live in the shadow of Estonia’s largest city and capital, Tallinn, on the tourist map but it is certainly the most sophisticated and arguably more authentic of the two. The home of Estonia’s most distinguished university, Tartu is the country’s intellectual and cultural hub with students, professors and researchers making up a large proportion of its population. This lends the city a youthful vibrancy which is reflected in the diverse arts programmes that run all year round, bustling café culture and smattering of art galleries.
Though young at heart, Tartu is also a historical gem with beautiful cascades of classical 18th-century architecture, grand monuments and countless enlightening museums each delving into the fascinating past of Estonia and the Baltic region. This unique fusion of the old and new makes Tartu an essential calling point on any Estonia holiday.