Lying on southeastern Estonia, Tartu makes an enchanting destination with its traditional spiritual architecture and lively population. Those planning to visit this gem in Estonia can make their way through Tartu Airport, which lies about five miles from the city. Also called Ulenurme Airport due to its proximity to a village with the same name, Tartu Airport remains a small-sized facility even if Tartu has become a generally popular to see in this Baltic country.
Opened in 1946, Tartu Airport became a convenient gateway to the province. It was renovated in various times of its service to meet the increasing needs of its customers. Tartu Airport, however, handles an average of only 10,000 passengers or so every year. This makes it unable to form direct flight connections with other airports, which has hampered its expansion of flight services. The airport, however, operates a codeshare arrangement with Finnair, which allows travellers from Helsinki to visit this part of Estonia.
What to see & do
When in Tartu, travellers will find a variety of sights to appreciate. There is the Town Hall at the centre of Raejoja plats topped by a tower and weather vane. Those going here will see a statue of lovers kissing under a spouting umbrella, which can make a rather romantic welcome to the city. From here, tourists can check out Tartu Cathedral, a large Gothic church built in the 13th century. It has quite a rich history, which can be interesting to hear from a knowledgeable guide. Within the cathedral, a small museum can be found where a range of exhibits await which will let visitors learn more about the story of the local university. Those intrigued with the displays can turn to see the main building of Tartu University, which is an impressive structure to behold.
Tourists going around can also visit the museums to learn more about this country in the Baltic region. There is the Estonian National Museum to see, which features displays on the regional folk culture and other parts of Estonian heritage. There is also the Tartu Art Museum, where one can view various paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other modern pieces, as well as the Toy Museum, a popular area for the young and the young at heart. Dolls, rocking horses, toy soldiers, and model trains are only some of the delights to see here. Those interested in the past of Estonia in the time of the Soviets, can look for the KGB Cells Museum. One will see here displays on deportations, life in the gulags, and the routine in the Grey House or the former KGB headquarters.
Other parts of Tartu can also be fascinating to view, such as the Toomemagi, a landscaped park behind the Town Hall. Visitors can stroll through the trees and relax in the surroundings before heading out to the Angel's Bridge which is rife with local superstition. One can hold their breath and make a wish when crossing it for the first
time. From here, one can then look at the Sacrificial Stone where offerings are still left behind, which hark back to the pagan times of the city.
How to get around within Tartu
Those going around Tartu can look for buses on Riia maantee. These take passengers to the main thoroughfares of the city. Tourists also have the option to rent a car or bicycle, which can be useful for those who want to follow their own itineraries closely. A variety of affordable shops can be found here, making it convenient to choose a car for hire.
How to get there
Travellers going to Tartu will have to connect with Helsinki Airport in Finland, where one can fly aboard Flybe Nordic, an airline offering direct flights to this city in Southeast Estonia.
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