25 Best Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

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The small and hospitable northern country of Estonia is the pearl of the Baltics. In a small area of ​​Estonia, a mass of monuments of culture, history and nature is surprisingly grouped. The territory of this state slightly exceeds the area of ​​Odessa region. The sights of Estonia are very diverse. There are so many of them that it is sometimes difficult to choose among them those that can be included in your travel itinerary. Among the advantages of choosing an Estonian destination, it is worth noting the fact that the short distances typical for trips in Estonia will allow you to reduce travel time and devote the saved hours and days to exploring the sights of the country. So what to see in Estonia if you came here for the first time? Guided by the rating below of the most interesting places in this wonderful country, you can choose the most interesting excursions for yourself with a guide. You can independently think over the excursion route, taking into account your capabilities, and go on a bright tour of interesting and fascinating sights of Estonia.

What to see in Estonia in the first place

Along with the descriptions, you will find real photographs of tourist sites in our list. In addition to an independent trip, there is the option of ordering an excursion in Estonia – of course, it will be a little more expensive, but you don’t have to think about how to make visiting the sights exciting and informative.

1. Old Town of Tallinn (Tallinn)

25 top attractions in Estonia 2021

Old Town Quarter of Tallinn

Where should you go first of all if you are in Estonia for the first time? Of course, to its cozy capital Tallinn. The historic center of the city abounds with a variety of remarkable places, thanks to which it was included in the UNESCO heritage list.

There really is something to see in Estonia. These are ancient fortresses, and palaces, and old temples, and historical museums. Now about everything in order. What is the Old Town? This is a single complex of ancient buildings of the Middle Ages, narrow streets and the main square, fenced around the perimeter with a fortress wall.

In general, the Old City is conditionally divided into 2 parts – Vyshgorod and the Lower City. In each of these parts you can see and visit a lot of interesting places. For example, in Vyshgorod there is one of the oldest churches in Estonia – the Dome Cathedral (18th century), the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (19th century), as well as the majestic Toompea Castle, which today serves as a government institution.

In the center The Town Hall Square is located in the lower city, where all kinds of holidays, concerts and festivals are held. There is also something to see here:

    the building of the medieval town hall (15th century) in the Gothic style; the oldest pharmacy in Northern Europe (beginning of the 15th century); Olaf's Church, which in the 15th and 16th centuries was considered the tallest building in the world.

2. Toompea Castle (Tallinn)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

Toompea Palace

Toompea Castle, which has already been mentioned as a key attraction of the Old Town, deserves special attention as an item in your excursion program.

For several centuries, Toompea has been a symbol of Estonian state power, and today it is one of the main attractions of Estonia. The area of ​​the castle is about 9 thousand square meters. m, and above sea level it rises to 50 meters. The history of the castle began in the distant 13th century. It was erected on the territory of the Estonian wooden settlement. The impregnability and good defensive properties of the castle were ensured by its location on a high, almost sheer hill. According to legend, this hill appeared as a result of the labors of Linda, the widow of the hero Kalev, the leader of the Estonians. After his death, the inconsolable widow dragged stone blocks to the grave of her deceased husband, which eventually formed this hill.

The entire castle complex consists of 3 parts that were built at different times:

    the “knight's” part – the western fortress wall with the tower “Long Herman”, the highest tower in Vyshgorod (height 45.6 meters); administrative buildings – buildings erected in the era of Catherine the Great in 1773; Riigikogu is a building with an exquisite pink facade, erected in 1922, and today it houses the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia.

Official website: https://www.riigikogu.ee

3. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Tallinn )

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

Interior of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn © Ralf Roletschek

Guests of the aforementioned Old Town in Tallinn have something to visit in Estonia. The ancient monuments located in this small area alone will be enough for a multi-day excursion program. Thus, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral became an important religious site in Tallinn. The five-domed cross-domed church was erected at the end of the 19th century and decorated in the neo-Byzantine style. The author of the project was the famous Russian architect Preobrazhensky, and the temple itself symbolized the memory of the extraordinary rescue of the noble Prince Alexander III Nevsky during a railway accident. In 1988, the train in which the royal family was returning from a vacation in the Crimea derailed, and only a few cars survived. The prince, who possessed heroic strength, to the last held the collapsed ceiling of the car on his shoulders, while members of his family got out from under the rubble.

For more than 100 years of its existence, the temple was twice on the verge of destruction. For the first time this happened during the years of World War II, when the buildings of the temple were threatened with fascist reprisals. Later, in the 60s of the 20th century, Soviet officials intended to rebuild the temple building into a planetarium. However, the young priest Alexei Ridiger, the future Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, did everything possible in his time to save the cathedral.

Inside, the temple is richly decorated: solemn mosaics and icons adorn the interior of the cathedral. The doors of the temple are open daily for numerous visitors. Thanks to its five domes of impressive size, topped with gilded crosses, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is clearly visible from many points of the Estonian capital.

Official website: http://tallinnanevskikatedraal.eu

4. Lahemaa National Park (Tallinn)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

Wooden paths in Lahemaa Park

Among those traveling around Estonia, there will definitely be those who will give preference not to the grandeur of the country's cultural and historical monuments, but to the natural beauty of its natural attractions. And they certainly have something to see in Estonia. This is the Lahemaa National Park, a picturesque corner of nature, ideal for hiking. Here you will see nature in its pristine beauty: sandy and rocky coasts, picturesque bays, waterfalls, rocky landscapes, dense forests, rivers flowing in crevices of limestone blocks, and huge boulders that have been preserved here since the Ice Age.

Above all, the Lahemaa National Park has become a haven for numerous animals and birds. During the entire existence of the reserve, 222 species of birds and 50 species of mammals have been registered here. As for the local flora, there is a huge variety of plants, including 44 species of protected plants and 10 protected species of mushrooms.

Lahemaa Park was founded in 1971. Its area is as much as 725 square meters. km. The purpose of the creation of the park was to protect the unique natural landscapes of the Baltic coast. Nowadays, Lahemaa has become a real center of mass tourism. Its territories are fully landscaped for visiting and recreation.

5. Palmse Manor Museum (Tallinn)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Palmse Manor-Museum

In the heart of Lahemaa National Park, another interesting sight of Estonia is located – the von Palen Palmse Manor-Museum, which today is considered one of the most beautiful surviving manors in the country. The buildings of the Manor were erected in the middle of the 18th century in the Baroque style, and for more than 2 centuries the manor belonged to the barons von der Pahlen.

What is noteworthy to see in the manor museum?

    the manor house, built in the 17th century and rebuilt in 1785, inside has an atmosphere typical of that era;

here you can also explore the exposition dedicated to the history of the estate;

    in one of the rooms of the manor house you can see a collection of old clothes that visitors can not only look at or touch, but even try on for themselves; in the greenhouse of the estate there is a huge collection of plants; in the building of a former wine factory, a hotel is equipped, including several restaurants, as well as a wine cellar; in the estate you can even visit the automobile museum, where, among other exhibits, there is a representative car of the Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai; around the estate there is a large park, the paths of which pass by picturesque waterfalls.

Official site: http://www.palmse.ee/en

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Feel the atmosphere of Estonia in this beautiful video!

6. Saaremaa Island (northern part of the Gulf of Riga, Baltic Sea)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Aerial view of the coast of Saaremaa and Sõrve lighthouse

When the so-called “Iron Curtain” collapsed, the variety of interesting and unfamiliar places on the territory of the former CIS became apparent. Thanks to this, many travelers today have something to visit in Estonia, and the island of Saaremaa is a vivid example of this. Once this island played the role of an important strategic point of our army. As long as this place was untouched due to its secrecy, neither industrial emissions nor by-products of large ports could spoil its ecology.

The largest Estonian island is located in the western part of the country and is part of the Moondzund archipelago. It is also the 4th largest island in the Baltic Sea. Nowadays, the island enjoys unprecedented popularity among tourists, attracting with its pristine nature, ancient architectural monuments and modern resorts. Here everyone will find something to do, whether it's fishing, horseback riding, jet skiing or quad bike racing.

The only city on Saaremaa is Kuressaare, which is home to one of the most important sights of Estonia – the Bishop's Castle. This city is a popular Estonian resort. There are mud baths, SPA centers where everyone can improve their health, relax their soul and body.

7. Narva Castle (Narva)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

Herman's Castle (left) on the banks of the Narva River

The main symbol of the Estonian border city of Narva has become a unique landmark of Estonia – Narva Castle or Herman's Castle. Located directly above the Narva River, the castle formed a harmonious architectural composition with the Ivangorod fortress. Narva Castle was erected in the 13th century on the site of a former wooden fortress, in the era when Narva still belonged to the territory of Denmark. After the Danes sold the lands of Narva to the Livonian Order, the castle was significantly fortified. The territory of Narva was additionally protected by an outer wall. A high dujon tower was also erected. However, this did not become an obstacle to the capture of the castle in 1558 by the troops of Ivan the Terrible. And in 1581, the Swedish troops laid siege to the castle, and the shells of their military guns, breaking through the walls, showed the complete unsuitability of the castle for combat. At the beginning of the 18th century, the fortress was again captured by the Russian troops of Peter I, and during the years of World War II, the fortress was already completely destroyed. And only in the 1950s of the 20th century, restoration work began to restore the original appearance of the castle, as well as the unique interiors of its interior.

Now there are many places in Narva Castle that deserve attention:

< ul>the castle houses a museum designed to convey the rich history of the castle to the present day; on the last floor of the castle there is an observation deck with a great view of the surroundings; the western courtyard hosts various city events, performances by visiting groups and numerous fairs.

Official website: http://narvamuuseum.ee/eng/narvskij-zamok/

8. Kadriorg Palace (Tallinn)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Kadriorg Palace and Park Ensemble

The question of what to visit in Estonia resolves itself when you find yourself in the center of Tallinn, within walking distance of the Old Town. Tallinn's Kadriorg Palace, together with the adjacent park, is an important historical landmark in Estonia. Fresh sea air, abundance of greenery and picturesque alleys of Kadriorg Park have made it a popular place for walks for locals and visitors. All this splendor is headed by a beautiful palace, the history of which dates back to the time of the Northern War (first quarter of the 18th century), when the Russian Emperor Peter I, having conquered Estonian lands, ordered to build a mini-versailles here for his wife Catherine. In this regard, the palace was originally called Ekaterinental, but later the local townspeople still renamed it in their own way – Kadriorg, which translates as “Kadri Valley”.

According to legend, in 1718 the Russian Tsar himself laid the first stone in the foundation of the future palace. Together with the court architect, he determined the future composition of the palace and the layout of the gardens. Unfortunately, the Russian monarch himself did not have time to see the castle in all its splendor. By his last visit to Tallinn in 1724, the interiors of the palace had not yet been decorated, and the finishing work was completed after the death of the king. Later, the palace began to serve as the residence of all Russian emperors who visited Tallinn.

The ensemble of the Kadriorg Palace, made in the Italian style, includes the palace itself on a hill and two pavilions on both sides of the palace. The park is equipped with fountains, gazebos, ponds, alleys are laid, and open concerts in nature are held on the island of the Swan Pond in summer.

Official website: https://kadriorumuuseum.ekm .ee/en/o-muzeje/

9. St. Nicholas Church (Tallinn)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

The building of the church of St. Nicholas

Among the historical monuments of the Old Town in Tallinn is the Church of St. Nicholas – a landmark of Denmark, which has preserved its appearance for many centuries and survived even after the troubled times of the reformation. The temple was named after St. Nicholas, the patron saint of all sailors and itinerant merchants. Therefore, the temple was one of those fortified trading churches that have been used since the 12th century as stores of goods and centers of trade transactions.

A notable feature of the church of St. Nicholas was its transformation, as a result of the transition from Lutheranism to Orthodoxy. In 1846-47, the inhabitants of Estonia almost completely converted to Orthodoxy, and by order of Tsar Nicholas I, the building of the former Lutheran church was transferred to the Orthodox parish. Therefore, an onion dome was erected on the bell tower.

The church building was badly damaged during the Second World War. Most of the valuables were destroyed, and only a few of them managed to be saved. Then for many years the temple remained closed. In 1953, the first restoration work began, and only in 1984 the church reopened its doors.

Today, the church of St. Nicholas houses a museum of church art. It contains the rarest exhibits of medieval art: altars, confessionals, paintings, church silver, tombstones and other props that once adorned Estonian monasteries.

10. Toyl-Oru Park (Toila, Gulf of Finland)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia Estonia 2021

Alley of Toila Oru Park

On the shores of the Gulf of Finland, in the valley of the Pyhajõgi River, there is a small resort town of Toila, which is popular among local residents. Along with the beautiful nature and clear sea, there is a magnificent landmark of Estonia – the Toila-Oru park, created at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries around the palace of the wealthy St. Petersburg merchant Eliseev. The design of the park was carried out by the then famous Riga architect Georg Kuphalt.

The landscapes of the park, which has an area of ​​about 80 hectares, are distinguished by their diversity and special beauty. Here, the steep coast of the Gulf of Finland rises above sea level to a height of up to 50 meters, and in a deep valley, formed back in the era of the pre-glacial period, the winding and stormy river Pyuhaygi flows.

In 1914, Eliseev emigrated to France. And in 1934, local industrialists bought the park, donating it to the government as a summer residence for the head of the Estonian Republic.

During the years of World War II, the park complex was completely destroyed, after which the local forestry began to carry out work to restore the territories. In 1996, major restoration work began here to renew the ruined palace, the surrounding garden, the arboretum and other areas.

Today, more than 250 plant species grow in the park. The landscape is gracefully decorated with fountains, and numerous alleys pass through the territory in the shade of old maples, lindens and poplars.

Estonian sights: what else to visit while in Estonia

Here are a couple of interesting objects that deserve the attention of tourists. It is worth visiting these places if you want to fully experience the spirit of this amazing country, where time flows slowly, but progress is felt in every little thing. Guides in Estonia will help make every excursion exciting, so do not refuse their services.

11. Piusa Caves (Piusa River Valley)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Sand gallery in the caves of Piusa

Huge underground sandstone galleries, with a total length of passages of about ten kilometers, inhabited by a large colony of bats. Have you seen something like this? If not, then you certainly have something to see in Estonia. In the valley of the Piusa River, famous for its sandstone deposits, man-made caves are located, formed during the excavation of sand from 1922 to 1966. In the course of later research, it turned out that this underground territory has as many as 6 caves of various types. Their total area is 46 hectares. This area was declared a protected area in 1999. Today, the Piusa Caves are known to many as the wintering grounds for the largest colony of bats in Europe.

What do the caves look like? They are galleries with rounded vaulted ceilings and columns made of sandstone, a sedimentary and detrital rock that is light and of low density. When visiting the caves, you must follow the main rule: you can not make noise, make loud sounds, as this can disturb sleeping bats. This rule applies especially to the wintering period – from September to April. In addition, you should not touch sleeping mice and even come closer than 1 meter, as this can result in diseases transmitted through a bite for visitors.

Official website: https://piusainfo.wixsite.com/

12. Soomaa National Park (Southwest Estonia)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Bog in Soomaa Park

In order to protect untouched swamps, forest meadows, forests and water meadows, the Soomaa National Park was established in southwestern Estonia in 1993 and has become a popular tourist attraction in Estonia. This was facilitated by natural diversity, including the richness of flora and fauna, as well as a certain anomaly of the local landscape. The fact is that since the Ice Age, here, under the upper layers of the soil, the bedrock has a significant slope. This phenomenon led to the fact that the Halliste River at an unnatural angle of 160 degrees flows into the Navesti River against its current, causing unprecedented floods every year. The flood period here even acquired its name – “the fifth season of the year.” These natural processes, in turn, led to the formation of peat bogs and wetland forests in the national park. The local population, however, managed to adapt to the peculiar conditions of nature and even achieved successful results in agriculture.

Due to the peculiarities of the landscape of Soomaa Park, the best way to explore this area is to go canoeing along one of the rivers that cross the park. Crossing the water surface, occasionally you can see representatives of the wildlife world – deer, elk, beavers and other animals in their natural habitat. Other wild animals also live here: wolves, lynxes, bears, as well as rare representatives of the bird world: meadow harrier, golden eagle, golden plover, woodpecker, black stork.

Official website: http://www.soomaa.com/

13. Rakvere Castle (Rakvere, northern Estonia)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Rakvere Castle

The main tourist attraction of the city of Rakvere, located in the north of the country, has become the medieval castle of Rakvere. This is not just another landmark of Estonia, but a whole amusement park where you can watch theatrical performances, try on the role of a knight, try your hand at archery, spear fighting, and practice pottery and blacksmithing. The typical atmosphere of the Middle Ages is skillfully recreated here, and once you get here, you can spend some time in an atmosphere typical of that time.

The first mention of the castle dates back to the 13th century. Approximately in the middle of the century, the crusaders of the Livonian Order began the construction of a castle on the Vallimägi hill. Then the first buildings appeared, a fortress wall was erected. Construction and permanent fortification of the castle continued until the 16th century. During the years of the Livonian War, the area of ​​the castle grew to 4.5 hectares.

In the middle of the last century, archaeological excavations began to be carried out here, during which a wide variety of objects were discovered, by which it was possible to recreate a general idea of ​​u200bu200bthe daily life of the inhabitants of the fortress in the Middle Ages.

Today, visitors have the opportunity to explore the interior of the castle, then climb the roof through long corridors and steep spiral staircases, from where a wonderful view of the city surroundings opens. Those who wish are invited to visit the dungeon of the castle with a torture chamber located there, experience the work of corporal punishment tools, and also see the tomb of the castle.

14. Jägala Waterfall (Jägala River, 23 km from Tallinn)

< p>Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Jagala Waterfall

Numerous attractions are famous not only for the capital of Estonia, but also for its surroundings. So, 23 km east of Tallinn there is a large-scale and picturesque Jagala waterfall, which looks most spectacular in spring, during the flood of the river. The waterfall is 50 meters wide and about 8 meters high.

A stormy water stream, falling down, formed a whole valley about 300 meters long, where the depth of the river reaches 14 meters. Moreover, the valley is more and more eroded from year to year and increases in size towards the source of the river. Falling down, the water continues its way, bypassing swamps and numerous rapids, and finally reaches the dam of the former hydroelectric power station, which was built in 1922, and then was partially destroyed during the Second World War.

Remarkably, that under the waterfall there is a certain ledge along which you can walk along its entire width. The opportunity to see this spectacle in all its glory has made the waterfall a popular place to visit in any season of the year. In summer, you will be impressed by the rapid flow of water, and in winter, impressive ice blocks will lie here.

15. Kõpu Lighthouse (Hiiumaa Island)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

View of the Kõpu lighthouse

Once on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, the second largest after Saaremaa, you will find what to see in Estonia. After all, one of the oldest lighthouses in the world that has survived to this day is located here. This is the Kõpu lighthouse, the construction of which began in 1505 and continued for 26 years. It was only in August 1531 that a fire lit up for the first time at the top of the lighthouse tower. In those days, an important trade route ran from the island of Hiiumaa, and ships, which often got lost in sea waters at night, needed a lighthouse. Since then, for almost 5 centuries, the Kõpu lighthouse has been illuminating the way for ships and vessels heading to the numerous ports of the Baltic coast. Until the 20th century, the light in the lighthouse was provided by ordinary fires, which were kindled on dry firewood from resinous trees. And only in 1901, a light-optical system purchased in Paris was installed on top of the lighthouse. On the eve of World War II, in 1940, the lighthouse was connected to the state power grid.

The walls of the lighthouse tower are made of huge stones and reach a thickness of 3 meters in the lower part. Today, Kõpu is considered the most important historical landmark in Estonia. After seeing this creation, you can continue to study its history – visit the residence of the owner of the lighthouse, the engine room and the bathhouse. All these objects are recognized as the architectural heritage of the country and are protected by the state.

16. Taagepera Castle (Valgamaa County)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

The Art Nouveau main building of Taagepera Manor on the edge of a small Estonian settlement < p>Those wishing to relax in a romantic setting will not find a better place in Estonia than Taagepera Castle – it is located in the south of the country, 250 kilometers from the capital. It is no longer possible to determine the exact year of the foundation of this castle, but the first mention of it in historical sources dates back to the 16th century. During its long history, the castle has repeatedly changed owners, rebuilt and changed its appearance. From the former grandeur of the knight's castle, only a 40-meter tower and features of the Art Nouveau architectural style remained. But the magnificent park with an area of ​​25 hectares with a lake located on its territory has remained the same. Nowadays, the castle is a private property, it is a spacious villa, which houses a hotel, a spa complex and a restaurant, and in the surrounding areas you can not only walk, but also engage in various sports, as well as arrange hunting for game birds.

Official website: https://www.wagenkull

17. Vilsandi National Park (Saaremaa County)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Panorama of Vilsandi National Park in Saaremaa County in Estonia

The group of islands in the Baltic Sea near the northwestern coast of Estonia belongs to the Vilsandi National Park, which was established in 1993 to protect the coastal zone, explore it and preserve the cultural heritage of the Western Estonian archipelago. Among all the islands, only the main island of Vilsandi is inhabited, its coastline is indented with bays, capes and bays. The national park is famous primarily as a bird sanctuary, home to 2.5 hundred species of birds, almost half of which nest in this area. The variety of birds here is represented by whole colonies of the common eider, mute swans, variegated terns, ducks, slender-billed guillemots, sandpipers, golden bee-eaters and many others are widely spread. The local flora has also distinguished itself – about 600 species of plants, including rare ones, grow in the reserve. For tourists, a number of routes with a large number of viewing platforms are presented on the territory of the reserve.

18. Fat Margarita (Tallinn)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Fat Margarita – gun turret with 155 loopholes of the Tallinn city wall Tanya1980

All travelers, when exploring the sights of Tallinn for the first time, discover an interesting feature of the city's panorama – no matter which way you look, the silhouettes of various towers loom everywhere. It is the towers that are one of the symbols of Tallinn, among them there are really strange buildings – such as Fat Margarita. This is a gun tower built in the 16th century according to all the canons of fortifications, when the defense of the port required the maximum use of artillery. There is even a whole legend that local guides willingly tell tourists – this is a story about the great love of Margarita and Herman. The evil sorceress, envious of their bright feeling, turned the guy into a tall tower – Long Herman, and the girl – into Fat Margarita. The ancient squat building really looks very powerful – its walls are 6 meters thick, and inside these walls the collection of the Maritime Museum is exhibited today.

Official website: http://meremuuseum

19. Pyhtitsa Dormition Monastery (Kuremäe village)

Top 25 sights in Estonia 2021

Inner courtyard and Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in the Pyhtitsa Monastery in the village of Kuremäe

On Bogoroditskaya Hill, near the village of Kuremäe, there is the Pukhtitsky Assumption Monastery, whose history is closely connected with the names of many ascetics of the Orthodox Church – among them are Patriarch Alexy III and St. John of Kronstadt. It is also the only Orthodox monastery in Estonia, covered with numerous stories of healing miracles thanks to the icon of the Assumption. The monastery got its name from the word “Pyukhtitsa”, which means “Holy Place” in translation, and this name was not given by chance. After all, the monastery itself was founded at the end of the 19th century after the miraculous appearance of the Mother of God, and since that moment the monastery has not been closed even once, even during the years of Soviet power. Among other things, the Pukhtitsa Monastery is a wonderful example of Estonian architecture and a fertile place that preserves its own special atmosphere. The most beautiful building of the complex, the Assumption Cathedral, hosts the main part of the divine services and stores all the shrines, including the image of the Assumption of the Mother of God.

Official website: https://www.puhtitsa

20. Matsalu National Park (western Estonia)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

View from the watchtower to the Kasari river, Kloostrina meadow in Matsalu Pimik National Park

Matsalu is not just a national park, it is a real paradise for bird lovers, of which there are about 250 species here, including gulls, terns, eiders, scoter scourges, mergansers, gooses, geese, mallards. The reserve is located in the western part of the country and occupies a vast area of ​​almost 500 square kilometers. Forest landscapes, vast areas with water bodies and water meadows predominate in these parts. In addition to birds, some species of large mammals are common in the park – wild boars, elks, roe deer, among small animals – hedgehogs, foxes, raccoon dogs, moles, water rats. The flora of the reserve is represented by almost 800 species of plants. Visitors can watch the fauna, especially birds, from special observation towers, and admire the beauty of protected places on foot or during boat trips. In the very center of the park, a hotel and a museum are also equipped for visitors.

Official website: https://kaitsealad

21. Estonian Open Air Museum (g Tallinn)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Exhibits of the Estonian Open Air Museum in the Rocca al Mare district in Tallinn blind.willow

The open-air museum in Tallinn is also known as the Museum of Estonian Life, where whole houses and farmsteads that were built on the territory of Estonia for several centuries serve as exhibits. On a huge area of ​​80 hectares, the atmosphere of an Estonian village of the 17th-20th centuries has been recreated. Today, you can see 74 different buildings here with a recreated realistic interior, antique furniture corresponding to a certain era. Visiting the village streets and houses, you can get an idea of ​​how the poorest segments of the population, and its most prosperous representatives, lived. As an entertainment in the summer, horse-drawn carriage rides are presented here, in winter – sleigh rides. Having studied the exposition of the museum and other sights of Estonia in the capital, you can go to the port, from where you can get to the neighboring state by ferry in just 1.5-2 hours and visit the sights of Finland.

Official website: https://evm.ee

22. Kuressaare Fortress (Kuressaare)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Bridge across the moat to Kuressaare Episcopal Castle or Ahrensburg Castle on the Estonian island of Saaremaa

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Kuressaare Fortress – an impressive medieval building with cannon towers

The best things about Estonia can be seen not only in the mainland, but also on the island of Saaremaa – here is the episcopal castle of Kuressaare, whose history dates back to the distant 13th century. This is the only structure that has survived in the Baltic States, which has not undergone any special changes for many centuries, retaining the grandeur and rigor of architecture. The fortress repeatedly changed its owners – for example, the Danes, who once owned it, modernized the fortifications by building a new system with ramparts and bastions, and in the 18th century the fort came into the possession of the Russian Empire, but during this period it was not used for defense. Today, there is a museum in the fortress, where you can get acquainted with the history of the island and visit the old pottery and glass workshops, a forge. The main exhibits of the museum are ancient cannons standing at the gates of the castle.

Official website: http://www.saarema

23. Suur-Taevaskoda and Väike -Taevaskoda (Põlvamaa County)

Top 25 attractions in Estonia 2021

Suur-Taevaskoda sandstone in the Ahja river valley in a protected area in southern Estonia

Southeast Estonia is rich in various sights. Tartu, for example, has a heritage in the form of the oldest university in Northern Europe, as well as numerous cultural sites – museums, theaters, monuments. And just 40 kilometers from Tartu, in Põlvamaa county, there are other interesting places that attract with natural beauty. First of all, these are the steep cliffs of Suur-Taevaskoda and Väike-Taevaskoda, the most visited sites in South Estonia. Suur-Taevaskoda is a sandstone cliff that rises 23 meters above the river. Less than a kilometer from the cliff is the recreation center of the same name. Another no less interesting object is Väike-Taevaskoda, a sheer cliff about 13 meters high, in which the Maiden's Cave is washed out by springs – many interesting legends are associated with it. Nearby is the Ahja River, where today canoeing and kayaking are common.

24. Valaste Waterfall (Ida-Viru County)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Convenient observation deck at the highest Estonian waterfall – Valaste

Valaste is a waterfall in Ida-Viru County, which is considered the highest in Estonia, its height is just over 30 meters, but this is not its only feature. As a result of snowmelt or heavy rains, its waters turn orange from the surrounding soil, so the locals often call the Red Tail waterfall, during this period it becomes the most powerful and full-flowing. In general, Valaste is fed by the river of the same name, created artificially as part of a soil drainage program. Opposite the waterfall, there is an observation deck with interesting views of the rushing streams of water and layered fossils that have been formed over millions of years. Valaste is especially picturesque in winter, when the water freezes, creating bizarre layers, and the winds blowing from the sea turn the trees into ice statues. Therefore, Valaste is a universal option for those who are not afraid of winter cold to see in Estonia in winter.

Official website: http://valaste.eu/

25. Suur-Munamägi observation tower (Haanja village)

Top 25 Things to Do in Estonia 2021

Suur-Munamägi Observation Tower Eero Kangor

The ideal region for making quick tourist trips is the Baltic States, which includes Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia. The sights of these countries are easy to cover in a short period, given their minimum geographical distance from each other. Almost on the very border of Estonia with Latvia, in the village of Haanja, the highest mountain in the Baltics is located, about 320 meters high. At different times, five towers were erected on it, the first of which was built back in 1812, and the last one in 1939. And only the last of them was destined to survive intact to this day. The tower is called Suur-Munamägi and is made of reinforced concrete, unlike its wooden predecessors. Its height is 29 meters, and inside there is a museum. Climbing to the observation deck at the top of the tower, you can see the surroundings of Estonia within a radius of up to 50 kilometers.

Official website: http://suurmunamagi


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