Experience Estonia's Cultural Explosion in Tartu, 2024 Capital

Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia, has been designated the European Capital of Culture for 2024. This presents a unique opportunity for this university town to gain international recognition and attract visitors beyond the country's usual tourist hotspots.

Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia

From its capital Tallinn, with its medieval Old Town, to its stunning western islands and numerous national parks scattered throughout the country, Estonia has become a tourist destination in its own right in Northern Europe over the years. Agnia Nast works for the Estonian Tourist Board.

Even National Geographic, in its "Cool List 2024" of 30 must-see destinations this year, recommends Tartu!

Tartu, the City of Youth, Artists, and Poets

While Tallinn is the economic heart of the country, Tartu is undoubtedly its artistic and cultural center. A member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature since 2015, it is known for its high density and variety of museums, including the must-see Estonian National Museum.

Experience Estonia's Cultural Explosion in Tartu, 2024 Capital

The city of 120,000 inhabitants, including some 20,000 students, is also home to the oldest and most prestigious university in Estonia, founded in 1632. Simply strolling through its historic center with its cobbled streets, visiting its museums, or attending an outdoor show along the Emajõgi River is enough to feel the vibrancy of its cultural and student life: the famous Tartu vaim, "the spirit of Tartu" in Estonian.

In 2024, three countries are honored with the "European Capital of Culture" label: Norway with the city of Bodø, Austria with the city of Bad Ischl and the Salzkammergut region, and Estonia with Tartu. Thus, more than 300 events are planned to bring the city and the southern region of the country to life throughout the year. Exhibitions, concerts, performances, screenings, literary meetings...

Several themes guide visitors through this rich program. "Tartu with Earth" to raise awareness of respect for nature; "Tartu with Humanity" with the aim of fostering connections between inhabitants and intergenerational transmission; "Tartu with Europe" to enhance the European dimension of the city and highlight the local languages and customs of this country, a member of the European Union for twenty years!

Access to Culture and Creativity

One of the exciting projects of the year in Tartu, "Curated Biodiversity," aims to improve and beautify the urban environment by increasing biodiversity in parks and green spaces. In August, Tartu Pride will celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country since January 1, 2024.

Becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2024 is a unique opportunity for Tartu to showcase the richness and diversity of Estonian culture, to work by involving citizens, to take an interest in the cultural and tourism policies implemented in other European countries, and to stimulate cultural tourism in Estonia. 

Since its creation in 1985 by Melina Mercouri, the actress who became Greece's Minister of Culture, and Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture, this title has enabled many cities to develop cultural projects that continue to have an impact on their regions and contribute to their tourism and economic attractiveness.

City website :  https://tartu2024.ee/en


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