Tartu Microsatellites workshop 2024


Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

During the summer school it will be summer, although pollen seasons of different plants arrive later in Estonia than in Central Europe, at that time of the year pollen concentrations are low or very low. If you have a pollen allergy, check with your doctor about possible medication during your trip to Estonia. Real time pollen concentrations can be found here (Estonian only). If you have any food allergies, please inform the local organisers (mentioning it on the registration form will do).

Banks are usually open from Monday to Friday 09.00(10:00)-17:00.. Most banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. There are several bank branches in Tartu. A Luminor office is very close to Dorpat hotel (Kaluri 2), Swedbank office is at Turu street 1, SEB office at Ülikooli 2 (intersection to Vanemuise street) and LHV Bank next to a SEB bank. A cash machine is located at the main bus station and at the shopping centers. They are frequent in downtown but harder to get by in the outer parts.

The climate in Estonia is like the one in Scandinavia, but slightly more continental, characterised by warm summers and fairly severe winters. The weather is often breezy and humid (average humidity in August 76 %) due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea. The average overall temperature in August is 16 degrees centigrade, the average max temperature being 23 degrees C and the minimum 12 degrees C. Precipitation in August amounts to around 100 mm, with 14 wet days on the average. Bring your umbrella and a light raincoat in case of occasional showers and something warm for chilly nights. 

Tartu is a very safe place. The most common problems to hit foreigners are pickpocketing and car break-ins. Also hoards of drunk people  (often tourists) can be annoying, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to report a crime, contact the local police station. In Tartu it is located at Riia 132, phone :+372 612 3000. Reception hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00 For emergencies call 112. The non-emergency local number for the Estonian police is (+ 372) 612-3000. Although many operators speak English, at times those answering this line may have minimal English speaking skills.

Dangers and annoyances
We do not plan any extreme activities, so people should be safe if they take care. Participants will take part in all activities of the course at their own risk and the organisers do not have any liability for accidents or illnesses affecting any attendee(s) due to course activities.

Dress code
There is definitely no dress code at the summer course.

Estonians are fond of beer, A Le Coq and Saku are two of the leading brands. Also craft beer is widely available in shops and bars. There is no significant amount of grape wine grown in Estonia, but fruit wines (apple, pear) and, increasingly, ciders, are often on restaurant’s menues. A traditional sweet herb liquor is Vana Tallinn (very dangerous, since it does not taste strong, but is). The bread beer “Kali” also remains popular, as well as vodka (Viru Valge). For soft drinks try the Saaremaa mineral water or some local organic fruit juices (apple, pear)

Driving in Estonia
Driving in Estonia is done on the right-hand side of the road. Many rules on driving resemble those in the Nordic Countries. For example, car headlights must be lit at all times (even during the day and the Nordic twilight). EU and EEA driving licences are OK, if yours is issued by another state check before. Seat belts in front and rear are mandatory, as are infant and child seats. Speed limits in urban areas 50 km/h, highways 90 km/h, dual carriageways 110 or 120 km/h. Drivers who have had their licence for less than two years must keep below 90 km/h. Your vehicle must carry a warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and wheel chocks. Most petrol stations are self-service and are open 24/7. Petrol service stations in Estonia are generally open from 8 am to 8 pm with big stations in major cities and on the motorways open 24 hours. Credit cards are accepted at most petrol stations. Elmo.ee rents out electric cars on need-only basis, so you pay for the time you use the car.

DO NOT drink even minute amount of alcohol before and during driving. The legal limit of alcohol in the blood is zero and drink-driving is punished by heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

Parking is a problem in Estonia, but Tartu is still a bit less crowded still. Illegally parked cars will be fined. 

112 is the general emergency line throughout the European Union (similar to 911 in the U.S.) The number can be dialed from any phone, and the call is free.

Estonian cuisine shows influences from Germany (from the Hanseatic times), Sweden, Russia and other countries, although there is a distinct Estonian cuisine. Popular starters are selections of sausages, meats and potato salad. Sour cream is widely used. Other appetizers are rosolje (bettroot, meat and herring), räim (Baltic herring) and pirukad (pastries with different fillings). Soups (bean soup, cabbage cream soup, fish soups) are often eaten after the starter.

Pork in many forms (with sauerkraut and potatoes) is a very common main course, often with a rich gravy. Popular dessert are kama (mixture of roasted barley, rye and oat flour served with milk or kefir), and kissel (a fruit soup).

Rye bread is served with almost every meal. It is common that Estonians instead of wishing “bon appetit”, say “jätku leiba” (“May the bread last”).

Estonia is an associate member of the Schengen agreement which exempts travelers from regular personal border controls between most European Union (EU) countries: (Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden, and three European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Switzerland, Norway and Iceland). People coming from Great Britain and Ireland are subject to personal border controls upon entry to the Schengen area. Border controls can, however be imposed on travellers from all states.

A list of countries whose citizens DO NOT need a visa to visit Estonia can be found here. If you need a visa, please start the paperwork AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not only can handling times be long, but it might be difficult to find the embassy responsible for citizens of your nationality and location. In many cases, Estonian embassies do not hold consular offices and the visa applications are handled by embassies of other countries. This can delay procedures

It can be said that Estonians are a bit of IT freaks. The Soviet Institute for Cybernetics was located in Tallinn and Skype was invented in Estonia. Free Wifi is available in even the most rural areas (although it can be congested and thus slow in cities). Also Hotel Dorpat and the hostel offer free wireless connections.

Laundry facilities
It is best to use the laundrerette at Raatuse Hostel, Raatuse 22.

Lunches (lecture days) are served in the Restoran Aparaat. With lunches table water is served for free. Restoran Aparaat is located at Kastani 42 close to the lecture room. For people at Hotel Dorpat breakfast is included. Dinners are included on August 27th and during the excursion to Ice Age centre and Lake Peipsi (August, 29th).

Medical Services
In case of emergency, call 112 (general emergency). The medical service is quite good (better than its reputation with many Estonians). Pharmacies (Aapteek) are widespread in Estonia. There are several in central Tartu. One is located in the “Kaubamaja shopping center ar Riia 1. Duty pharmacy (24/7) can be found at the Town Hall (Raekoja) building.

Estonia has the Euro since 2011. Notes of the old Estonian “kroon” currency are no longer accepted as payment.

The poster session will be held on Friday, 24th of August 2023. DIN A0 in portrait format should be OK. Participants will be allowed a 4 minutes presentation for their posters (no discussion). The presentation will take place in the lecture room at the Estonian Biocentre at Tartu University, Riia 26b. Powerpoint slides can be used. For a smooth run of these poster talks, they are asked to bring their talks on a memory stick. Posters can be printed at Kaanoni Koopiakeskus, W.Struve 3. On-line submisssions of posters for printing is possible. The organisers cannot give any guarantee for timely printimg of posters. Early submissions of postersto print out is encouraged.

Post office
The closest one is “Kvartali” at Riia 2. It opens from 09.00 to 19.00 hours on weekdays, and 09.00 – 15.00 on Saturdays, closed on Sundays.

Public transport in Tartu
There is a good public transport in Tartu, but, due to the short distances there normally is no need for attendes to use it.

Public holidays
There are no official public holidays during the course.

Registration will be at the lobby of Hotel Dorpat on  August 23rd, 2024 from 14:00 to 19:00 and from 09:00 to 09:30 on August 24th, 2024 at the Estonian Biocenter. Later arriving lecturers can get their material in the lecture room during coffee breaks.

Tartu is the European Cultural Capital of 2024  very nice town with lots of  activities and interesting sights. Since we do not have a lot of time during the course you should plan some extra time before and after the course. Highlight include

Information about these sights can be found at the Tartu Tourist Office website. It is located in the town Hall (Raekoja square). Phone: + 372 744 2111, Address: Raekoda, Tartu 50089 e-mail: info@visittartu.com. It opens Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00

Grocery shops are generally open 09:00 – 22:00 (Mon to Sun). The large shopping centers “Tasku” “Kvartal” and “Kaubamaja” are open 10:00-21:00 (Mon-Sat) 10:00-19:00 (Sun). Most popular souvenirs are:

  • Pickled food, honey, mead candles and bee wax products.
  • Handicraft items such as hand-knitted woolen sweaters with traditional Estonian folk patterns, carved wooden beer mugs, juniper coasters and carved limestone product.
  • Original art such as graphic prints, handmade jewellery, colourful glassware or fine ceramics.
  • CDs of Estonian composers of international acclaim (Tormis, Pärt, Tubin).
  • Estonian liquor (Vana Tallinn, Viru Valge).
  • Dark, bittersweet Estonian chocolate and other local sweets produced by the Kalev confectionery factory.
  • Hand-painted marzipan.

A lot of shops sell amber (especially in Tallinn). However, most of the raw material is imported from other countries bordering the Baltic Sea, since not a lot of this stone is found in Estonia.


Best option is to use Bolt app. A ride within city center is 3-4 Eur and can be twice the price during busy nights. Bolt electric scooters are readily available throughout the city and perhaps the best option to navigate central Tartu if one faovors motorized movement. A ride within the city is 1-2 euros.

Taxis are safe and cheating tourists is still not very common in Tartu (has become a bit of a nuisance in Tallinn though). It is thus wise to remember the following points:

Prices are not uniform, taxi operators can set their own rates. Take a close look at the yellow price list, which is posted on the right side rear door. Here you will find rates for the base fare (usually 3-4 EUR),the waiting charge (usually 6,40-19,20 EUR/hr), and the pre-kilometre charges (both usually around 1 EUR/km). Anything much more than these is considered high. Make sure that taxi driver holds an operator’s card – a white plastic card with the driver’s photo and name, attached to the middle of the dashboard.

When setting off, the taxi’s meter should be turned on. It is illegal for driver to smoke or to allow others to smoke in the taxi. The driver is not allowed to ask for more than what is on the meter. The driver must be paid in Euros. Ask the taxi driver for the receipt from the meter’s printer. If the meter or printer is out of order, the driver should not be in service and you have the right to refuse to pay the fare.

For calls to Estonia: Dial +372 (the country code for Estonia), then the subscriber’s number. If you want to make a call from Estonia, dial 00 + the country code + area code + the subscriber’s number.

There are no pay phones in Estonia anymore.

Eastern European daylight saving time (GMT + 3) will be in force during the meeting. There are one hour time shift between Germany, France and Estonia and a 2 hour time shift between London and Estonia. If it is 1 o’clock in London and 2 o’clock in Frankfurt and Paris, it is 3 o’clock in Tartu.

Tipping is less common in Estonia than in the rest of Europe. In restaurants, service is included in the bill, but if you get a good service in a restaurant where the bill is sent to the table you can tip 5-10 %. In case of bad service it is OK to give nothing.

A triangle pointing down (dinner jacket) signifies the gentlemen’s room (sometimes also marked with “M”, “Meeste”, “H” or “Härrad”), while the triangle pointing up (skirt) is the ladies’ room (sometimes marked with “D”, “Daamid”, “N” or “Naiste”).

Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

The electricity supply in Estonia is 230 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use. 

Weights and measures
Estonia uses the metric system.

All the information given above is to the best of our knowledge. However, we cannot accept any liability for inadvertently false or incomplete information on this site.