The 25 best sights of Estonia 2024

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

The small and hospitable northern country of Estonia is the pearl of the Baltic States. A lot of cultural, historical and natural monuments have been surprisingly grouped in a small area of Estonia. The territory of this state slightly exceeds the area of the 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 will be able to enter the route of your trip. Among the advantages of choosing an Estonian destination, it is worth noting 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 come here for the first time? Guided by the rating below of the most interesting places in this wonderful country, you will be able to choose the most interesting excursions for yourself together with a guide. You can independently plan an excursion route, taking into account your capabilities, and go on a vivid tour of interesting and fascinating sights of Estonia.

What to see in Estonia first of all

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

1. Tallinn Old Town (Tallinn)

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

Tallinn Old Town Quarter

Where should you go first of all if you are in Estonia for the first time? Of course, to her cozy capital Tallinn. The historical center of the city is replete with a variety of notable places, thanks to which it was included in the UNESCO Heritage List.

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

In general, the Old Town is conditionally divided into 2 parts — Vyshgorod and Nizhny Novgorod. 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 Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky (19th century), as well as the majestic Toompea Castle, which nowadays serves as a government institution.

In the center of the Lower City there is a Town Hall Square, where all kinds of festivals, concerts and festivals are held. There is also something to see here:

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

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2. Toompea Castle (Tallinn)

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Toompea Palace Complex

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 nowadays it is one of the main attractions of Estonia. The area of the castle is about 9 thousand square meters, and it rises 50 meters above sea level. The history of the castle began in the distant 13th century. It was built on the territory of the wooden settlement of the Estonians. The castle’s inaccessibility and good defensive properties were ensured by its location on a high, almost steep 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, which were built at different times:

    The “knight” part is the western fortress wall with the Long Herman tower, the tallest tower in Vyshgorod (height 45.6 meters); administrative buildings — buildings erected in the era of Catherine the Great in 1773; the Riigikogu — a building with an exquisite facade in pink tones, erected in 1922, and today the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia is located here the republic.

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

3. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Tallinn)

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn

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The interior of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn © Ralf Roletschek

Guests of the aforementioned Old Town in Tallinn have a lot to visit in Estonia. The ancient monuments located on this small territory alone will be enough for a multi-day excursion program. Thus, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral has become an important religious site in Tallinn. The five-domed cross-domed church was built 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 blessed Prince Alexander III Nevsky during a railway disaster. 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, held the collapsed ceiling of the carriage on his shoulders until the last moment, while his family members were getting out from under the rubble.

In the more than 100-year history of its existence, the temple was on the verge of destruction twice. For the first time it happened during the Second World War, when the buildings of the temple were threatened by fascist violence. 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 at the time to save the cathedral.

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

Official website: http://tallinnanevskikatedraal.eu

4. Lahemaa National Park (Tallinn)

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Wooden paths in Lahemaa Park

Among those traveling in Estonia, there will definitely be those who prefer not the greatness of the country’s cultural and historical monuments, but the natural beauty of its natural attractions. And they certainly have something to see in Estonia. This is 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 coves, waterfalls, rocky landscapes, dense forests, rivers flowing through the crevices of limestone blocks, and huge boulders preserved here since the Ice Age.

In addition, 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 are a huge variety of plants, including 44 species of protected plants and 10 protected species of fungi.

Lahemaa Park was founded in 1971. Its area is as much as 725 square kilometers. The purpose of creating 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 recreational recreation.

5. Palmse Manor Museum (Tallinn)

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Palmse Manor Museum

In the heart of Lahemaa National Park, there is another interesting attraction in Estonia — the von Palen Palmse Manor Museum, which today is considered one of the most beautiful preserved estates in the country. The buildings of the Manor were built in the middle of the 18th century in the Baroque style, and for more than 2 centuries the estate belonged to the barons von der Palen.

What is remarkable to see in the manor museum?

    The manor house, built in the 17th century and rebuilt in 1785, has an interior characteristic 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 antique clothes that visitors can not only examine or touch, but even try on themselves; in the greenhouse of the estate there is a huge collection of plants; in the building of the former wine factory there is a hotel, 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 an executive car of the Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai; a large park stretches around the estate, the trails of which pass by picturesque waterfalls.

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

Feel the atmosphere of Estonia in this beautiful video!

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

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Aerial view of the coast of Saaremaa Island and the Syrve Lighthouse

When the so-called “iron curtain” collapsed, a 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. While this place was untouched due to its secrecy, its ecology could not be spoiled either by emissions from industrial enterprises or by-products of large ports.

The largest Estonian island is located in the western part of the country and is part of the Erzund 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 ATV racing.

The only city in Saaremaa is Kuressaare, which houses 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 body and soul.

7. Narva Castle (Narva)

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

The main symbol of the Estonian border town 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 built in the 13th century on the site of the 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 strengthened. The territory of Narva was additionally protected by an external wall. A high dujon tower was also erected. Nevertheless, this did not become an obstacle to the capture of the castle in 1558 by the troops of Ivan the Terrible. And in 1581, Swedish troops already laid siege to the castle, and the shells of their military guns, piercing the walls, showed the complete combat unsuitability of the castle. At the beginning of the 18th century, the fortress was re-captured by the Russian troops of Peter I, and during the Second World War the fortress was already completely destroyed. And it was only in the 1950s of the 20th century that 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:

    the castle houses a museum designed to bring the rich history of the castle to the present day; on the top floor of the castle there is an observation deck with a great view of the surrounding area; various city events, performances by visiting groups and numerous fairs are held in the western courtyard.

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

8. Kadriorg Palace (Tallinn)

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Kadriorg Palace and Park Ensemble

The question of what to visit in Estonia resolves itself when you find yourself in the center of Tallinn, a few minutes walk from the Old Town. Tallinn Kadriorg Palace, together with the adjacent park, is an important historical landmark of Estonia. The fresh sea air, the abundance of greenery and the picturesque alleys of Kadriorg Park have made it a popular place for locals and visitors to the city to walk. All this splendor is headed by a beautiful palace, whose history dates back to the time of the Northern War (the first quarter of the 18th century), when the Russian Emperor Peter I, having conquered the Estonian lands, ordered the construction of a mini-Versailles for his wife Catherine here. 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, the Russian tsar himself laid the foundation stone of the future palace in 1718. Together with the court architect, he determined the future composition of the palace and the location 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 tsar. 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 manner, includes the palace itself on a hill and two pavilions on both sides of the palace. Fountains, gazebos, ponds are equipped in the park, alleys are laid, and outdoor concerts are held on the island of the Swan Pond in the summer.

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

9. St. Nicholas Church (Tallinn)

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The building of the Church of St. Nicholas

Among the historical monuments of the Old City in Tallinn is the Church of St. Nicholas, a Danish landmark that has preserved its appearance for many centuries and survived even after the troubled time of the Reformation. The temple was named in honor of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of all seafarers and itinerant merchants. Therefore, the temple was one of those fortified commercial churches that have been used since the 12th century as storages 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 severely damaged during the Second World War. Most of the valuables were destroyed, and only a few of them were 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, confessions, paintings, church silver, tombstones and other props that once decorated Estonian monasteries.

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

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Toyla-Oru Park Alley

On the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the valley of the Pyuhaygi River, there is a small resort town of Toila, which is popular among local residents. Along with the beautiful nature and the 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 famous Riga architect Georg Kuphalt at that time.

The landscapes of the park, which has an area of about 80 hectares, are diverse and especially beautiful. 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 during the pre-Glacial period, the winding and stormy Pyukhaygi River flows.

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

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

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

Sights of Estonia: what else to visit while in Estonia

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

11. Piuza Caves (Piuza River Valley)

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Sand Gallery in Piusa Caves

Huge underground galleries made of sandstone, with a total length of about a dozen kilometers, inhabited by a large colony of bats. Have you ever seen something like this? If not, then you certainly have something to see in Estonia. In the valley of the Piuza River, famous for its sandstone deposits, there are man-made caves formed during the excavation of sand from 1922 to 1966. Later research revealed that this underground area has as many as 6 caves of various types. Their total area is 46 hectares. This territory was recognized as a protected area in 1999. Today, the Piusa caves are known to many as the wintering place of Europe’s largest colony of bats.

What do caves look like? They are galleries with rounded vaulted ceilings and columns of sandstone — sedimentary and clastic rock, light and having a low density. When visiting caves, the main rule must be observed: do not make noise, make loud noises, as this may disturb sleeping bats. This rule applies especially to the wintering period — from September to April. In addition, you should not touch sleeping mice or even come closer than 1 meter, as this can result in bite-borne diseases for visitors.

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

12. Soomaa National Park (south-west of Estonia)

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Swamp in Soomaa Park

In order to protect untouched swamps, woodlands, forests and flood meadows, Soomaa National Park was established in southwestern Estonia in 1993, which has become a popular attraction in Estonia. This was facilitated by the 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 has led to the fact that the Halliste River flows into the Navesti River at an unnatural angle of 160 degrees against its course, annually causing unprecedented floods. The flood period has even acquired its name here – “the fifth season of the year”. These natural processes, in turn, led to the formation of peat bogs and swampy forests on the territory of 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 will be by canoeing along one of the rivers that cross the park. Dissecting the water surface, you can occasionally 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)

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Rakvere Castle

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

The first mention of the castle dates back to the 13th century. Around the middle of the century, the crusaders of the Livonian Order began building a castle on Vallimyagi Hill. Then the first buildings appeared, and a fortress wall was erected. The construction and permanent strengthening of the castle continued until the 16th century. During the Livonian War, the castle area 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, which could recreate a general idea of the 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 along long corridors and steep spiral stairs to the roof, which offers a wonderful view of the surroundings of the city. Those who wish are invited to visit the dungeon of the castle with a torture chamber located there, experience the work of instruments of corporal punishment, and also see the tomb of the castle.

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

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Jagala Waterfall

Not only the capital of Estonia is famous for its numerous attractions, but also 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.

The stormy stream of water falling down formed an entire valley about 300 meters long, where the depth of the river reaches 14 meters. Moreover, the valley is increasingly eroded from year to year and increases in size towards the source of the river. Falling down, the water continues its way, passes 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 World War II.

It is noteworthy that there is a certain ledge under the waterfall, 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 stormy flowing stream of water, and in winter there will be impressive ice blocks.

15. Kypu Lighthouse (Hiiumaa Island)

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View of the Kypu Lighthouse

Once on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, the second largest after Saaremaa, you will find something to see in Estonia. After all, one of the oldest lighthouses in the world that have survived to this day is located here. This is the Kypu Lighthouse, the construction of which was started back in 1505 and lasted for 26 years. It was only in August 1531 that a fire first lit up at the top of the lighthouse tower. At that time, an important trade route ran from Hiiumaa Island, and ships, which were often lost in the sea waters at night, needed a lighthouse. Since then, for almost 5 centuries, the Kypu Lighthouse has been lighting the way for ships and vessels heading to numerous ports on the Baltic coast. Until the 20th century, the light in the lighthouse was provided by ordinary bonfires, which were kindled on dry firewood from resinous trees. It was only in 1901 that 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, Kypu 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 lighthouse owner, 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. Taageper Castle (Valgamaa county)

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The main building of the Taageper estate in the Art Nouveau style on the edge of a small Estonian settlement

Those who want to relax in a romantic atmosphere cannot find a better place in Estonia than Taageper 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. Only a 40-meter tower and features of the Art Nouveau architectural style remain from the former greatness of the knight’s castle. But the magnificent 25-hectare park with a lake located on its territory remained the same. Nowadays, the castle is a private property, it is a spacious villa, the premises of which are equipped with 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 feathered game.

Official website: https://www.wagenkull

17. Vilsandi National Park (Saaremaa County)

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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 founded in 1993 with the aim of protecting the coastal zone, exploring it and preserving the cultural heritage of the archipelago of Western Estonia. Among all the islands, only the main island of Vilsandi is inhabited, its coastline is indented by coves, 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 entire colonies of common gaga, sibilant swans, variegated terns, ducks, thin-billed kiras, sea sandpipers, golden squinters and many others have become widespread. The local flora has also distinguished itself – about 600 species of plants grow in the reserve, including rare ones. For tourists, there are a number of routes with a large number of viewing platforms on the territory of the reserve.

18. Tolstaya Margarita (Tallinn)

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Tolstaya Margarita – gun turret with 155 loopholes of the Tallinn City Wall Tanya1980

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

Official website: http://meremuuseum

19. Pyukhtitsky Assumption Monastery (village of Kuremae)

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Courtyard and Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Pyukhtitsky monastery in the village of Kuremae

On Bogoroditskaya Hill, near the village of Kuremae, the Pyukhtitsky Assumption Monastery is located, the history of which is closely connected with the names of many ascetics of the Orthodox Church – among them Patriarch Alexy III and St. John of Kronstadt. It is also the only Orthodox monastery in Estonia, covered with numerous stories of miracles of healing thanks to the icon of the Assumption. The monastery got its name from the word “Pyukhtitsa”, which means “Holy Place”, 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 Virgin, and since that moment the monastery has never been closed, even during the years of Soviet power. Among other things, the Pukhtitsky Monastery is a wonderful example of Estonian architecture and a blessed place that preserves its own special atmosphere. In the most beautiful of the buildings of the complex, the Assumption Cathedral, the main part of the divine services takes place and all the shrines are kept, including the image of the Assumption of the Mother of God.

Official website: https://www.puhtitsa

20. Matsalu National Park (west of Estonia)

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View from the watchtower of the Kazari 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, among them gulls, terns, gags, turpans, crumbs, cossacks, geese, mallards. The reserve is located in the western part of the country and covers a huge area of almost 500 square kilometers. These regions are dominated by forest landscapes, vast areas with reservoirs and flood meadows. In addition to birds, some species of large mammals are common in the park – wild boars, moose, roe deer, among small animals – hedgehogs, foxes, raccoon dogs, moles, water rats. The flora of the reserve is represented by almost 8 hundred species of plants. Visitors can observe the fauna, especially birds, from special observation towers, and admire the beauty of protected areas during hiking or boating. A hotel and a museum are also equipped for visitors in the very center of the park.

Official website: https://kaitsealad

21. Estonian Open-Air Museum (Tallinn)

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Exhibits of the Estonian Open-air Museum in the Rokka 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 farms that were built on the territory of Estonia for several centuries in a row serve as exhibits. On a huge area of 80 hectares, the atmosphere of an Estonian village of the 17th and 20th centuries has been recreated, today you can see 74 different structures with recreated realistic interiors, antique furniture corresponding to a certain era. Visiting village streets and houses, you can get an idea of how the poorest segments of the population and its most prosperous representatives lived. Horse–drawn carriage rides are presented here as entertainment in summer, and sleigh rides in winter. After exploring the museum’s exposition 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)

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The bridge over the moat to the Bishop’s castle Kuressaare or Arensburg Castle on the Estonian island of Saaremaa

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Kuressaare Fortress is 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 — the bishop’s castle of Kuressaare is located here, the history of which 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, and has preserved the grandeur and rigor of architecture. The fortress has repeatedly changed its owners – for example, the Danes, who once owned it, modernized the fortifications, 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 blacksmith shop. The main exhibits of the museum are the ancient cannons standing at the castle gates.

Official website: http://www.saarema

23. Suur-Taevaskoda and Vyake-Taevaskoda (Pylvamaa county)

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

The Suur-Taevaskoda sandstone in the valley of the Ahya River in the protected area in southern Estonia

Southeastern Estonia is rich in various kinds of 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 the Pylvamaa county, there are other interesting places that attract with their natural beauty. First of all, these are the steep cliffs of Suur-Taevaskoda and Vyake-Taevaskoda, the most visited sites in Southern Estonia. Suur-Taevaskoda is a sandstone cliff that rises 23 meters above the river. The recreation center of the same name is located less than a kilometer from the cliff. Another equally interesting object is Vyake–Taevaskoda, a sheer cliff about 13 meters high, in which the Maiden Cave was washed by springs – many interesting legends are associated with it. The Akhya River flows nearby, where canoe and kayak trips are common today.

24. Valaste Waterfall (Ida-Virumaa County)

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

A convenient observation deck at the highest Estonian waterfall – Valaste

Valaste is a waterfall in Ida-Virumaa 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 melting snow or heavy rains, its waters turn orange from the surrounding soil, so locals often call the waterfall “Red Tail”, 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. In front of the waterfall there is an observation deck with interesting views of the cascading 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 trees into ice sculptures. Therefore, Valaste is a universal option for those who are not afraid of the winter cold to see in Estonia in winter.

Official website: http://valaste.eu/

25. Suur-Munamyagi Observation Tower (Haanya village)

25 лучших достопримечательностей Эстонии 2024

Suur-Munamyagi Observation Tower Eero Kangor

The ideal region for making quick tourist trips is the Baltic States, which includes Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. It is not difficult to cover the sights of these countries in a short period, given their minimal geographical distance from each other. Almost on the very border of Estonia with Latvia, in the village of Haanya there is the highest mountain in the Baltic States with a height of about 320 meters. At various times, five towers were erected on it, the first of which was built back in 1812, and the most recent in 1939. And only the last of them was destined to survive intact to the present day. The tower is called Suur-Munamyagi and consists 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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