I visited Tartu to break up my journey between Tallinn and Riga and I’m very glad I did.
There were no hostels here in 2007 so I booked a room in what a thought was a cheap hotel, but it was actually much better than that!
My accommodation was in fact highly unusual, as it was basically an upmarket wendy house that they rented out to backpackers.
As you can see from the pictures, it is a house at the bottom of their garden.
Look at the tiny little living room! I was well pleased to have my own little house. I can’t imagine what it must be like when you have to share it with other backpackers as it is so tiny.
Tiny stairs to the minute bedrooms, there were three of them, so I assume that the Estonian family had three kids! I bet the parents loved the peace and quiet when they spent time playing in here.
Tartu itself is a really lovely University town. It actually has one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. It’s also a great way to break up the journey from Tallinn to Riga in Latvia.
It is the second largest city in Estonia, but as you can see its still pretty chilled out although the student population ensures that it has a good nightlife!
The kissing students fountain is the famous symbol of Tartu. It’s a lovely piece of art and newlyweds wet themselves with it for luck.
There is a rich culture of art, science and technology in Tartu which is reflected in all its museums.
You can see this in the Pisa tower of Tartu, which houses the art museum. You can’t tell from this photo but the building is actually leaning!
I really enjoyed chilling out in the wendy house. The problem came in the morning when I had to leg it through town carrying my backpack as I had a very early bus to Riga.
At that time there was only one bus a day so I was very relieved to catch it. Riga is only 3 and half hours away from Tartu by bus.