10 Activities to Plan Before Coming to Tartu in Winter 2024


Imagine a serene winter escape wrapped in the intellectual charm of Estonia’s renowned city of learning and culture – Tartu. As the leafy town of students, intellectuals, and creatives dons its winter coat, it invites you to bask in its educational and cultural history, serving as a picturesque backdrop to the upcoming DeepEST Forum and Tartu StartupDay this January.

1. Sauna Visits

In Estonia, the sauna is more than a place to warm up; it’s a sanctuary of health and community. Winter amplifies this tradition, allowing you to alternate between the embrace of steamy warmth and the exhilarating plunge into snowdrifts or a frozen lake, a true Estonian winter rite.

sauna tartu 2024


2. Culinary Delights

Tartu’s cozy cafes are havens for the soul, offering steaming cups of hot chocolate and an array of sweets from cinnamon rolls to gingerbread. Mandel’s pastries, Säde’s ambiance, Tüümian’s flavors, and the homey feel of Karlova Kohv beckon with their delicious treats.

Mandel Cafe
Mandel Cafe

3. Snow Activities

From the thrilling descent on a sled down Toomemägi hill to playful snowball fights, Tartu’s snow-covered landscapes offer endless joy. Nearby, well-kept skiing tracks and ice rinks offer more structured winter fun.

4. Winter Walks

Stroll through Tartu’s illuminated streets, where the Raekoja light village and festive decorations conjure a magical winter atmosphere, perfect for those serene evening walks.

5. Cultural Experiences

Experience the arts at Vanemuine Theatre or dive into the contemporary at the Widget Factory, where creativity flows as freely as the winter winds.

6. Historical Exploration

Step back in time with a visit to the snowy Alatskivi Castle, indulging in local culinary delights and warming wine as you explore the historical grounds.

Alatskivi Castle in Winter
Alatskivi Castle in Winter

7. Outdoor Adventures

Discover Estonia’s winter wildlife along nature trails or visit the Elistvere Animal Park to see how the local fauna, from bears to reindeer, thrives in the colder months.

8. Street Art and Craftsmanship

Engage with Tartu’s vibrant street art and immerse yourself in creativity at local workshops, crafting anything from acrylic art to hand-bound notebooks.

9. Active Recreation

Seek adventure in winter sports, from sled dog rides through Järvselja to hiking the Alam-Pedja trail, or find a tropical respite within the Botanical Gardens.

10. Tartu Old City

Lose yourself in the Old City of Tartu, where historic architecture meets the vibrancy of modern cafes and bars, all exuding a strong sense of community and history.

DeepEST Forum 2024

Amidst this winter splendor, DeepEST Forum emerges as the beacon for early founders and deep tech enthusiasts. Set against Tartu’s enchanting winter backdrop, the forum promises to ignite your entrepreneurial drive with thought-provoking discussions, practical mentoring, and invaluable networking opportunities. Register early to secure your spot https://deepest.online/tickets – onsite seats are free but limited, with unlimited online access available.


After DeepEST, extend your journey at sTARTUp Day 2024, where the startup community comes alive to celebrate entrepreneurship amidst Tartu’s winter charm. Here, the ‘Zero to Hero’ theme resonates through engaging sessions, workshops, and the collective energy of over 3500 participants.

Come for DeepEST, stay for the wonder – Tartu awaits!