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Estonia's second largest town, Tartu lies 180 kilometres south from Tallinn. It is home to the country's oldest and most famous university, founded by king Gustav Adolf of Sweden in 1632. The whole town's life flows and ebbs around the university and students form a very visible and lively core of the population. The central old town is very compact and easily managed on foot and there is little of interest for visitors outside of it.
Summers, though warm, are not particularly inviting. Although temperatures of over 30 degrees are possible, they are around 20 degrees during the day on average. Winters are cold with snowfall. Average maximum temperatures are around -5 degrees Celsius while nights average around -10 degrees. Occasionally, when the winds blow east from Siberia, temperatures can plummit way below -20 degrees. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, but winters and spring tend to be a bit drier. On average, there are between 10 and 15 wet days with around 50 mm of rain or snow a month.
Estonian Railways provides daily connections to/from Tallinn, with the early morning train connecting to Valga, where you can catch the train towards Riga. The train leaves early morning (around 7:00am) from Tallinn, Tartu at around 10:00am and arrives around 11:30am in Valga, where you can catch the onward train at 11:42am to Riga.
|Hiie Maja||Hiie 10||Hostel||79|
|Kastani Bed and Breakfast||Kastani 3||Guesthouse||-|
|Tartu Student Villa||Tähtvere 48||Apartment||85|
|Vikerkaare Hotel||Vikerkaare 40||Guesthouse||-|
|Looming Hostel||Kastani 38||Hostel||85|
|Terviseks||Raekoja Plats 10||Guesthouse||89|
Estonia is one of the most connected nations on earth when it comes to internet, boasting 'Internet access is a basic human right'. You will find no shortage of Wi-Fi hot spots around the city, with most hotels and hostels offering high speed internet and Wi Fi included in their prices. Access to wireless, free internet is widespread in Tallinn and Tartu. As with most cities you will find the Wi-Fi spots in most good cafes, bars, pubs, libraries and public areas. Outside of the city you will even find Wi-Fi spots in petrol stations! You can also find internet cafes around town but with the advent of internet enabled phones and wireless connections all over the city many of these establishments may not be around for so long. On the open road you will often find petrol stations which offer wireless internet access too. Most hotels also have a computer with internet access available. The departure lounge at Tallinn airport has several free internet access points for passengers
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international phone code for Estonia is 372. The general emergency number is 112, but you can also use 110 for police only if you prefer.
For local calls, dial the 7 or 8 digit number given. There is no "0" dialled before local numbers
GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover the whole country. Main operators include AS EMT, Radiolinja Eesti and TELE2. Mobile access is available everywhere, even on the smaller islands and at sea. Prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM cards and their top up cards can be bought from R-kiosks (ask for a "kõnekaart" - calling card in English). Popular brands are Smart, Simpel, Diil and Zen. Start-up packages are in a range of €1.55-10.
If you use your own cell phone and don't buy a local SIM card, switch off data roaming to avoid high costs for internet. Only use wifi in that case.
Eesti Post is Estonia's national postal service with generally fast and reliable services for sending postcards, parcels and letters. It can take up to 4-5 days to send mail to Western Europe though, longer outside the continent. Domestic services are much faster though. Post offices are generally open from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:30am to 3:00pm on Saturday, though some variations might be possible depending on the post office. Some larger central ones might be open evenings and on Sundays. There is no need to buy stamps at the post offices though; just get your stamps at some shops or kiosks and drop your mail off in any of the small orange post boxes, which are abundant throughout the country. Within Estonia, the postage cost for a letter up to 50 grams is €0.45. To other EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine the cost is €1 and to the rest of the world €1.10.
If you want to send packages to other countries, it is best to use international courier companies like TNT, UPS, DHL or FedEx, as they offer fast, reliable and competitively priced services.
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