Tartu Student Villa Hostel
Tahtvere 48, Tartu, 51007, Estonia
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Travel Tips for Tartu
The mother river
The Emajõgi or mother river, runs through the center of Taru and is lined with parks or walking paths along much of the distance in runs through town. If offers a peaceful walk right in the middle of the city, yet it is also the focus of many of Tartu’s festivals. Fireworks on New Years, and boat races and bonfires during Spring Student Days bring crowds of people to the rivers edge. The open market is located near the rivers edge. In addition several beaches are located on the shores of the river; however, many people feel that the river is not clean enough to swim in. Still, during the warm months people head to the beach to play volleyball or relax in the sun, and many do swim. Spring Student Days on the river are something I will always remember.
Since students are such a big part of Tartu's existance, summers in Tartu are actually very calm and quiet. You can find the usually day trip tourists from Tallinn or those who are on a tour of the Baltics, but the town itself becomes much less active. The locals are still out but much of the youth heads home. As a result many of the bars and clubs are much less crowded in the summer. Club Tallinn (one of the most popular night clubs in town) actually closes for the summer and moves to Parnu.
If you want to see Tartu when it is most alive, the week around the first of May is Spring Student Days when there are all sorts of events going on all around town.
Speak Estonian Chinese: Tsink Plekk Pang
This Chinese restaurant is popular with families, a local friend told me, because they are so great with children. Waiters used to speak fake Chinese with them, "tsink plekk pang tsink plekk pang..." and in the end they named the restaurant accordingly.
Sounds very Chinese, hey?! Translates to "zinc plate bucket"!
Toomemägi (Toome Hill)
Toome Hill is a lively and popular historical park near city centre. It is a nice place to take a little walk.
Toome Hill was originally a gift of Tsar Paul I to the University.
Before that it was "nomans land".
It was proclaimed public park in 1805.
Many monument´s can be found in the park.
The House of the Professors
The house next to the main building of the university is looking at the students with several dozen learned eyes... The windows on the side towards the university entrance have been decorated with life-size photos of professors. The heads of the school, rector, chancellor etc., share the semi-circular window at the top in the gable. The others - one can only guess from their outfit and presentation which faculty they might belong to. I suppose Tartu's students know who is who.
I adore the Estonians' witty sense of humour!
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