Angelina Pjatkovskaja

Accessibility in the Old Observatory

The Tartu observatory is located on the eastern side of Toomemägi. On this page you can find information about getting to the museum, moving around here and other things that affect the visitor experience.

For additional questions, please contact or +372 737 6932.

Getting to the museum

The Old Observatory is located at the eastern end of Toomemägi (Toome Hill), above Pirogov Park.  

The museum has no car park. You can use the public parking areas nearby, for example the car park of the university building at 36 Lossi Street or of the Supreme Court. These are A zone parking areas. Read about parking zones and rates in Tartu here: 

With the prior agreement of the administrator, those renting venues or visitors with special needs can park in the observatory’s employee car park.  

The nearest parking place for people with reduced mobility is 100 metres away in front of the building at 36 Lossi Street.  

The nearest bicycle racks are located in front of the university building at 36 Lossi Street and the Supreme Court. Bicycles can also be locked to the fence of the observatory.  

There is a bicycle share station on Toomemägi. Information on bicycle sharing in Tartu and the locations of stations is available at:

The closest bus stops to the Old Observatory are:  

  • Vallikraavi (550 metres, buses 3 and 25),  
  • Raeplats (550 metres, buses 6, 7, 13 and 21), 
  • Kesklinn bus stops (650 metres, buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 22, 25, 37).  

The Old Observatory is located on Toomemägi on a natural elevation. In front of the entrance there is a steep uphill slope (up to 17%). 

The outdoor exhibition in the courtyard of the observatory is renewed every year. You can reach it by turning left before the main door. There is no separate road leading to the outdoor exhibition, and you have to walk across the grass. 

Cloakroom and toilets

  • Outerwear can be left on the rack in the lobby or in the closets located on the basement floor. It is important to note that the Eastern Hall and the tower cannot be heated due to the storage conditions of the historical instruments there.  
  • You can leave your child’s pram or pushchair in the observatory lobby, or you can take it with you to the exhibition halls. 
  • Toilets are located on the first floor and basement of the observatory.  
  • There is no accessible toilet in the Old Observatory. 

Getting around

  • The three larger exhibition rooms (Eastern Hall, Clock Room and Western Hall) are located on the first floor of the building. 
  • There is no elevator in the Old Observatory. The planetarium, the tower and the balcony can only be accessed via a narrow stone staircase, the ceiling of which is low in some places.  
  • There are no thresholds on the main door of the observatory and the entrances to the Eastern and Western Halls. The other doors have low thresholds, except for the door between the Clock Room and the Western Hall, which has a high threshold. The Western Hall can also be entered from the lobby, the door of which does not have a threshold.  


  • The Eastern Hall, the highest floor of the stairwell and the tower are illuminated with natural light. The remaining rooms are lit either by ceiling lamps or directional lights.  
  • There is usually no background soundtrack to the observatory’s exhibitions. The exception is the Clock Room, where music composed by Ernst Öpik plays in the background.  

Guide dogs

You may take a trained guide dog to the museum with you.