National Geographic has listed Tartu – Estonia’s second-largest town – as one of the 30 most exciting destinations to visit in 2024.
Calling it “the cool list 2024”, the nature magazine says that Estonians have long considered Tartu to be the country’s cultural and intellectual heart, due to its top-notch museums, lively cafes and the country’s oldest university.
“Little wonder, then, that this UNESCO City of Literature has been selected as one of three European Capitals of Culture for 2024, alongside Bad Ischl in Austria and Bodø in Norway,” the magazine notes.
“Tartu and the wider southern Estonia region are marking the occasion with a year of events, from classical concerts and film screenings to edgy outdoor art installations. One of the highlights will be Kissing Tartu, a nod to the city’s Kissing Students fountain. Its roster of events will celebrate the joy of locking lips — with a kissing demonstration set to take place in Town Hall Square and broadcast live.”
“Stencibility, the annual roving European street art festival, will also hold a special edition in the city, showcasing Europe’s biggest sticker exhibition. The Curated Diversity scheme, meanwhile, will oversee a major drive to spruce up Tartu’s public spaces with new greenery.”
Among the other most exciting destinations, National Geographic also lists the Albanian Alps; Saimaa, Finland; Lima, Peru; Texas; Sierra Leone; Sikkim, India; and many other places around the world.
Tartu has a population of approximately 100,000 people and is home to the oldest and largest university in Estonia, the University of Tartu.