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Press trip

European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 Grand Opening

Let's meet, dance, and have fun - a memorable year is about to begin in Tartu and Southern Estonia!

On Friday, January 26, European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 opens its year with the spectacular show “All Is One!” in Tartu.

Registration for the press trip is now closed.



25 January

The hotel is in the city centre (Soola 6, Tartu), near the Tartu bus terminal. Breakfast is included.

We invite all journalists, who are in Tartu on 25 January to see the grand opening ceremony’s dress rehearsal. The spectacle is played through exactly as it will be on the following day. This exclusive viewing experience allows also to get a close look at the show from a better vantage point on the tribune and take pictures or film clips day earlier.

We invite you to a welcome dinner at restaurant TOKO. For those arriving at a later time, we can organise food in the hotel.

  • OPTIONAL: 25-26 January sTARTUp Day business festival

During your stay in Tartu, you can visit sTARTUp Day, the biggest and most startup-minded business festival in the Baltic states. The annual festival gathers 3500+ attendees to celebrate entrepreneurship in the smart city of Tartu, and offers a perfect opportunity to explore the thriving startup scene in Tartu and Estonia, meet dozens of founders and the region’s most innovative organizations. A place where business meets celebration, as the festival tagline goes.

The festival venue is located at University of Tartu Sports Hall (Ujula 4) in the city centre. For sTARTUp Day media accreditation, please apply here.

26 January

  • Optional: 06.00-10.00 Arts of Winter Swimming 

Start the opening day of Tartu 2024 like a true champion! From six in the morning until ten, you are invited each full hour to join the winter swimming instructor Margus Ruusmaa, who will conduct a quick workshop on how to enter ice holes and what rules to follow when going winter swimming. You can also enjoy a warm sauna, hot tea, and a superb feeling!

The event is ticketed.

  • 11.00-12.00 Tartu 2024 Grand Opening Press Conference

The event takes place in Kolm Tilli restaurant (Kastani 42, Tartu).

Following the press conference, media representatives may request additional information and conduct interviews with speakers. Please contact [email protected] in advance if you require specific accommodations.

Tartu 2024 will not stream the press conference live online.

  • 12.30 Lunch at Kolm Tilli Secret Bar
  • OPTIONAL: 13.30-15.00 Taste testing at Peninuki Bar. Requires pre-registration!

After lunch we invite you to join a taste testing at Peninuki Bar. Local distillery Peninuki has crafted two special drinks for Tartu 2024. The taste testing lasts for 1.5 hours, should there be more interest in this visit, we will split the group in two.

  • OPTIONAL: 13.00–22.00 Work or hang out in our press lounge

We have created a pop-up press lounge for all of our visiting journalists on the banks of river Emajõgi at the restaurant TOKO. Entrance to the restaurant is with a wristband/list only. It is a space for working,  conducting interviews and resting. If you wish, you can even watch the grand opening ceremony in the warmth of the restaurant.

  • OPTIONAL: 15.00–23.00 Warm-up Party, Tartu Townhall Square

To beat the January chill, we invite all partygoers to join us at the opening ceremony warm-up party to warm their toes and hearts together. An unexpected stage solution arises on the Tartu Town Hall square, and electronic music adds excitement.

  • OPTIONAL: 16.00-18.00 Dinner at Humal

You can visit restaurant Humal for dinner during our opening day. Your meal will be free if you show your press wristband to the staff.

  • 19.00–20.00 Tartu 2024 Opening Ceremony „All Is One!”, Vabaduse puiestee

The opening performance of European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 “All Is One!” is a story about the interrelationships between people, places, and eras. The play is set on the banks and river of Emajõgi, which is symbolic of Tartu. This one-of-a-kind production is played only once at the premiere.

At the centre of the story is Tartu: the real and idealistic, dreaming of the future and remembering the past, full of energy, warm and safe Tartu, where there is room for everyone and life is good.

  • 20.30-21.30 Procession from Vabaduse puiestee to the Estonian National Museum

The evening continues with a parade to the after-party in Estonian National Museum, which is accompanied by boisterous music and dance. The trek takes about 45 minutes to complete: just enough time to warm up for the forthcoming dance marathon.

  • 21.00-03.00 Tartu 2024 After-Party, Estonian National Museum

The party lasts into the early hours of the morning. The official Tartu 2024 after-party will take place outside and within the Estonian National Museum. We invite everyone to an extraordinary open-air rave beneath the roof of ERM entrance A, as well as to discover the party zone in the halls. Everyone is welcome to the outdoor rave, and indoor events are €10 with a ticket. The revival of Tartu’s nightlife starts right now!

Open-air Rave
The opening day of the European Capital of Culture is rounded off by a free open-air rave under the roof of the Estonian National Museum. Sigma (UK), Emily Makis (UK) perform live, with DJ sets by Heidy Purga, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, Sound in Noise (Eero Muiste), and OLIVAR (Rene Oliver Muiste). The outdoor after party is free and open to the public.

Opening Night at Estonian National Museum
This night, you can also experience a unique atmosphere within the Estonian National Museum. Exhibition views full of night poetry unfold in a completely different way as you walk the DJ timeline. Peeter Volkonski, Jüri Makarov, Heivi Saaremets, Paul Oja, Hannaliisa Uusma will DJ. You can find yourself enjoying the last night of the KEHA exhibition, and you can take a first look of the major exhibition “Who Claims the Night,” which will delight ERM visitors in 2024.

27 January

  • Departure from Tartu
  • Optional: For those departing later, check out our opening week programme for fun activities!

Travel and Accommodation

Due to the high level of interest in the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 programme, we are unable to provide full coverage for travel expenses for all journalists. Therefore, we are choosing a select group of journalists who align most closely with our event’s objectives based on this accreditation form. For chosen journalists we are willing to cover the travel and accommodation costs.

Irrespective of the outcome regarding travel and accommodation expenses, we wholeheartedly encourage your participation in the event!


Estonia lies in the northern part of the temperate climate zone and in the transition zone between maritime and continental climate. January is one of the coldest months and temperatures can vary widely depending on the week and the year. On average, the temperature falls between -10°C – -1°C. Snow and snow storms can be expected along with windy weather. You can expect it to be cloudy and 7-8 hours of daylight. Please check here for more specific predictions as the time comes. We strongly urge you to dress appropriately for the weather as our opening ceremony will be outside. Layers, hats, gloves and warm boots are a must.