The best overview of cultural life in Tartu can be found online at the Kultuuriaken (City’s "cultural window"). Kultuuriaken allows anyone to post relevant information on the web. Thanks to active users, Kultuuriaken is updated daily and offers visitors the most up-to-date information on cultural events, museums, youth activities, and sports in Tartu.
Monthly cultural calendars in Estonian, English and Russian are available at the Visitor Centre of Tartu.
Tartu is home to the theatre Vanemuine , the oldest theatre company in Estonia. It also stands out as the only three-genre theatre in the country, staging operas, operettas and musicals, classical ballet and modern dance and drama.
Theatre Vanemuine has 3 different buildings in Tartu – Grand Building (Vanemuise St. 6), beautiful art-nouveau style Small Building (Vanemuise St. 45a) and black-box Harbour Theatre (Soola St. 5b). Children`s perfromances are also staged at Tartu Toy Museum’s Theatre House (Lutsu St. 2).Tartu Uus Teater (Tartu New Theatre) (Lai St. 37) is a small theatre company which aims to bring alternative and contemporary theatre performances to wider audiences.
The University of Tartu also has its own theatre company – Tartu Student Theatre. Although its members are not professional actors, the critics have often considered it as semiprofessional theatre for its high-quality productions. Performances are staged at various venues around town, such as Genialistide klubi (Lai St. 37), Tampere maja (Jaani St. 4), and Athena Conference Centre (Küütri St. 1).
Most films are shown in their original language with Estonian subtitles, with the exception of dubbed children’s movies.
Tartu’s main concert venues are Vanemuise Concert Hall (Vanemuise St. 6), St. John’s Church (Jaani St. 5), White Hall of the University of Tartu History Museum (Lossi St. 25), and the University Assembly Hall (Ülikooli St. 18).
For lovers of jazz and rock music, the places to check out are: Tartu Jazz Club (Ülikooli St. 20), Genialistide Klubi (Magasini St. 5) and Klubi Rock n Roll (Tiigi St. 76A).
For its size, Tartu has a remarkable number of museums, including a beer museum, print museum, toy museum, and the AHHAA Science Centre, the largest of its kind in the Baltics. Estonian National Museum's new building was opened in 2016. More information on museums is available at: www.visittartu.com.
Cultural centres provide information and organize a wide range of events. In addition, they operate as cultural embassies or networks for the nations whose cultures they represent.
Sports activities are carried out by various amateur and professional groups under the Academic Sports Club of the University of Tartu. Courses mainly take place in the designated sports facilities of the University of Tartu:
In addition to the University’s facilities, you can also choose from various fitness clubs (MyFitness, Arctic Sport Club, Arena Sport etc.) in town. Tartu has a water sports centre, Aura (Turu St. 10), with a full-size swimming pool, water park and fitness club.