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Estonian Institute in collaboration with podcast “Found in Estonia” brings you a series of recommendations from English-speaking local foreigners. Estonian Institute is presently developing its web environment at Culture.ee to make integration and cultural exchange more accessible.

Jaime Delgado Ugrin (31) is from Santiago, Chile, and has lived in Estonia for a year and a half as a student at the University of Tartu. He says, “I admit that I came to Estonia with low expectations, but soon I got amazed by the tranquility and the serene beauty of the country. Now, I declare myself a Tartu (and Estonia) fan.” You can listen to his episode on Found in Estonia podcast here.

These are his recommendations.

An excellent way to renovate old buildings is lighting them up with the magic of the street art. Tartu has learned the lesson and it has encouraged street artists to give their touch to many residential buildings. Many outstanding artists have taken over the task and have painted impressive murals in the walls. The mix of colors and engaging design give the passer by the sensation that a piece of art can be discovered around any corner! Tartu Street Art can be enjoyed at any point of the year and it is definitely an Instagrammable spot of the city.

One of the most picturesque places in Tartu is the Angel’s Bridge. This old bridge was built in 1838 and it is located in a beautiful area of the city, next to Toome Hill and the ruins of the old Cathedral. These are all places that make the surroundings so enjoyable. 

The Bridge has plenty of stories, but probably the one best known is that if you cross it holding your breath, your wish will come true. I know there are some wishes difficult to accomplish, but trying it in the Angel’s Bridge deserves the attempt. 

It’s spring and blossoming is happening around us at every minute. For many, it is the preferred season of the year since flowers announce to us the hardship of the winter is over. Then, why not go to the very place in which you can get the best spring glimpses? The Tartu University Botanical Gardens is placed just steps from the city center and it displays an outstanding number of plants and trees from diverse geographical zones. Species that could not tolerate Estonian weather are sheltered in a greenhouse while others are exhibited in the gardens outdoors.

The visit to the gardens is free of charge whereas if you want to get amazed with exotic and tropical plants you shall have to pay a small fee.

In the middle of a beautiful scenery surrounded by parks, trees, and cobblestone streets, an inspiring small-scale entrepreneurship led by former students of University of Tartuinvites you to take a drink, a craft beer, or a coffee accompanied with the best vibes of a city that wonderfully combines the seniority of the University and the young spirit of the students. 

During the snowy winter, ULA Baar displayed an eye-catching ice environment that got the attention of visitors and became a focal point for Tartu citizens. 

  • Karlova

If you like to stroll and appreciate the vibe of a neighborhood through the contemplation of architecture, shops, squares, and cafes, then you ought to direct your footsteps to Karlova, probably the coziest neighborhood in Tartu.

The quarter stands out because of the elegance of their wooden houses, the warm atmosphere of their cafes, and the energy of Barlova, the bar that salutes the area through its name. These ingredients are highlighted by the unique character of their residents who ooze cordiality and affection for the neighborhood.

Hiking lovers may probably have heard or visited this place already. However, I would like to invite everyone to visit Taevaskoja because it is a gorgeous natural sight full of attractive views that will stay in your mind for a long time. The gem of the place are the sandstone cliffs adorned by a river that flows around them. 

The hiking trail is not difficult and it can be done by adults and kids, although it may get quite slippery on icy days. Taevaskoja is easily reached by car or by train (40 min from Tartu approximately). There are no excuses not to visit Taevaskoja, just make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes and that you take something to eat and drink on the way. 

I admit that I love to appreciate the work of craftsmen. I admire the beauty and sensibility of potteries, knitting, sewing, and painting. All these things made by the hands of a person carry a uniqueness and value that you cannot find in mass-production items. 

I recommend you to visit this guild in the coastal city of Pärnu because they have reunited in one place artisans in different techniques elaborating and selling their work as well as organizing interesting workshops for adults and kids eager to learn the basics of these wonderful abilities.