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Estonia

Republic of Estonia Europe Tallinn 1,257,921 inhabitants 45,228 sq km 27.81 inhabitants/sq km kroon (EEK) population evolution

Top tourist attractions in Estonia

Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Estonia. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Estonia section.

Curious if any of these place from Estonia made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

You can also view all tourist attractions in Estonia and other countries on our tourist attractions map.

Tallinn Zoo

Zoo

Tallinn Zoo is a zoo in Tallinn, Estonia that was founded in 1939. It is the only zoo in Estonia, and as of 2012 it housed 13,336 animals representing 548 species. Since 2009 it is the most visited zoo in the Baltic states.

Lahemaa National Park

National park

Lahemaa National Park is a park located on Northern Estonia, 70 kilometers east from capital Tallinn. The Gulf of Finland is to the North of the Park and the Tallinn-Narva highway is to the South. Its area covers 725 km². It was the first area to be designated a national park of the former Soviet Union. Given its size it is the largest park in Estonia and one of Europe's biggest national parks. Its charter calls for the preservation, research and promotion of North-Estonian landscapes, ecosystems, biodiversity and national heritage.

Kumu

Museum

Kumu is an art museum in Tallinn, Estonia. The museum is the largest one in the Baltics and one of the largest art museums in Northern Europe. It is one of the five branches of the Art Museum of Estonia, housing its main offices. Kumu presents both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. The main collection covers Estonian art from the 18th century onwards, including works from the occupations period and showing both Socialist Realism and Nonconformist art. Temporary exhibitions include both foreign and Estonian modern and contemporary art. Kumu is an abbreviation of the Estonian "Kunstimuuseum". The designer was a Finnish architect, Pekka Vapaavuori, who won the competition in 1994. It was constructed from 2003 to 2006. The building is successfully positioned in the limestone slope of Lasnamäe Hill, and therefore, despite its size, is in harmony with the intimacy of the ancient Kadriorg Park. Kumu received European Museum of the Year Award 2008 by European Museum Forum.

Toompea

Tourist attraction

Toompea is a limestone hill in the central part of the city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The hill is an oblong tableland, which measures about 400 by 250 metres, has an area of 7 hectares and is about 20–30 metres higher than the surrounding areas. In folklore the hill is known as the tumulus mound over the grave of Kalev, erected in his memory by his grieving wife. The history of Toompea is closely linked to the history of rulers and power in Estonia. Today Toompea is the center of the Government of Estonia and the Riigikogu, both of which are often simply referred to as Toompea. The location of the Riigikogu is the Toompea Castle, situated in the southwestern corner of the hill and topped by the Tall Hermann tower. The flag on the top of the tower is one of the best-known symbols in Estonia of the government in force. Toompea is part of the Tallinn Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn

Tourist attraction

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is an orthodox cathedral in the Tallinn Old Town, Estonia. It was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhensky in a typical Russian Revival style between 1894 and 1900, during the period when the country was part of the Russian Empire. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander Nevsky who in 1242 won the Battle of the Ice on Lake Peipus, in the territorial waters of present-day Estonia. The late Russian patriarch, Alexis II, started his priestly ministry in the church. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral crowns the hill of Toompea which is one of several places where according to legend the Estonian folk hero Kalevipoeg's father Kalev is said to have been buried. The cathedral was built during the period of late 19th century Russification and was so disliked by many Estonians as a symbol of oppression that the Estonian authorities scheduled the cathedral for demolition in 1924, but the decision was never implemented due to lack of funds and the building's massive construction. As the USSR was officially non-religious, many churches including this cathedral were left to decline. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Soomaa National Park

Protected Site

Soomaa National Park is national park in south-western Estonia. Soomaa protects 390 km², and is a Ramsar site of protected wetlands. The park was created in 1993.

Matsalu National Park

Protected Site

Matsalu National Park is a nature reserve and national park situated in Lääne County, Estonia. Matsalu National Park spans an area of 486.1 km², comprising Matsalu Bay, the Kasari River delta, and surrounding areas. Matsalu Bay is one of the most important wetland bird areas in Europe, due to its prime position on the East Atlantic Flyway. Large numbers of migratory birds use Matsalu as a staging area. Every spring over two million waterfowl pass Matsalu, of which around 1.6 million are Long-tailed Ducks. Matsalu National Park is a home for a number of endangered species, many of which are listed in the Estonian IUCN Red List, including the White-tailed Eagle of the highest conservation category, a lot of bird species of the second and third protection categories, 22 strongly protected plant species, the Natterjack Toad, and ten species of mammals of the second conservation category.

Estonian Maritime Museum

Museum

The Estonian Maritime Museum is located in the Fat Margaret tower in the old town of Tallinn. The museum presents history of ships and navigation in Estonia and related to Estonia. Other parts of the Maritime Museum are the mine museum and the Seaplane Harbour where museum ships are presented.

Estonian Open Air Museum

Museum

The Estonian Open Air Museum is a life-sized reconstruction of an 18th-century rural/fishing village, which comes complete with church, inn, schoolhouse, several mills, a fire station, twelve farmyards and net sheds. The site spans 79 hectares of land and contains 72 separate buildings and is located 8km to the west of Tallinn city center at Rocca al Mare. Established in 1957, the museum showcases 68 farmhouses assembled into twelve farmyards from North, South and West Estonia. Along with the farmyards, old public buildings are arranged singularly and in groups in a way that represents an overview of Estonian vernacular architecture of the past two centuries. The plans for founding the museum were first discussed in 1913, when Estonian literati, inspired by Scandinavian open-air museums, wanted to establish such a museum in Estonia.

Suur Munamägi

Mountain

Suur Munamägi is the highest peak in Estonia, reaching 318 metres above sea level. It is located near the village of Haanja, in Võru County in the south-eastern corner of Estonia, close to the borders of both Latvia and Russia. The landscape around the peak - the Haanja Upland - is gently hilly.

Estonian National Museum

Museum

The Estonian National Museum founded 1909 in Tartu is a museum devoted to folklorist Jakob Hurt's heritage, to Estonian ethnography and folk art. The first items for the museum were originally collected in the latter part of the 19th century. The museum tracks the history, life and traditions of the Estonian people, presents the culture and history of other Finno-Ugric peoples, and the minorities in Estonia. It has a comprehensive display of traditional Estonian national costumes form all regions. A collection of wood carved beer tankards illustrates the traditional peasant fests and holidays. The exhibition includes an array of other handicrafts from hand-woven carpets to linen tablecloths. The main building of the museum was destroyed in the Tartu Offensive during World War II. In 2005 the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Union of Estonian Architects announced together with the museum an international competition for the Estonian National Museum’s New building. The project was won by an international collaboration of architects for the work Memory Field: Lina Ghotmeh, Dan Dorell and Tsuyoshi Tane.

Karula National Park

Protected Site

Karula National Park is national park in southern Estonia. It was established in 1979 as a protected area and in 1993 became a national park. Karula National Park is characterised by its hilly topography, its many lakes, the great biodiversity and traditional cultural landscape. The flora of the national park is rich, and includes several species red-listed in Estonia such as the Baltic orchid, mezereon and the daisyleaf grape fern; the latter is only found in three locations in Estonia and Karula is one of them. The fauna also incorporates unusual and threatened species, such as the pond bat, the lesser spotted eagle and the black stork. Mammals like elk, lynx and polecat are common.

Vilsandi National Park

Protected Site

Vilsandi National Park is a national park in Saare County, Estonia. It includes part of the island of Vilsandi, a number of smaller islands, adjacent parts of western Saaremaa and the Harilaid peninsula on Saaremaa, all in Kihelkonna Parish. The park grew from a bird reserve founded in 1910. It is a highly sensitive ecosystem due to the use of the area as stop-over by many migratory birds, like barnacle geese and Steller's Eider, and as a breeding and nesting ground for over 247 species of birds, of which the most common is the eider duck. One third of all protected plant species in Estonia can also be found in the national park. Hunting is absolutely prohibited. This park is a popular tourist destination for both Estonians and foreign visitors, particularly from Finland.

Valaste Waterfall

Body Of Water

Valaste Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Estonia and neighboring regions situated between Ontika and Valaste in the Kohtla Parish of the Ida-Viru County and formed by a stream as it flows over the Baltic Klint not far from the shore of the Gulf of Finland. It is a popular tourist attraction with its spray freezing up spectacularly in winter. There is a parking lot, some explanatory signs, and a very well made trail using a double spiral staircase to get down the cliff. Opposite the waterfall a viewing platform has been built for tourists, and this offers spectacular views of the falls.

Jägala Waterfall

Tourist attraction

The Jägala Waterfall is a waterfall in Northern Estonia on Jägala River. It is the highest natural waterfall in Estonia with height about 8 meters.

Estonian History Museum

Museum

The Estonian History Museum is a museum about the history of Estonia in Tallinn. It was initially established by chemist Dr. Johann Burchard who ran the town hall pharmacy known as the Raeapteek. Inaugurated in 1987, it picks up where its counterpart leaves off in the mid-nineteenth century to cover the political and social upheavals of the twentieth century. The exhibits include historically dressed mannequins and recreations of domestic interiors. The 1940s and 1950s are represented by army uniforms and weapons. There is an original hut used by the Forest Brothers, the legendary partisans who fought against the Soviet occupation, and a replica of a desk used by a communist party secretary.

Estonian Literary Museum

Museum

The Estonian Literary Museum, is a national research institute of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia. Its mission is to improve the cultural heritage of Estonia, to collect, preserve, research and publish the results.

Ahja River

River

Ahja River is river in Estonia. The river is 103.4 kilometres long. The river begins from Lake Erastvere and ends in river Emajõgi.

Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve

Protected Site

Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve is a protected area in Harju County, Northern Estonia, some 50 km east of Tallinn. With an area of 130.9 km², it is the third largest nature reserve in Estonia. Dominated by forests and bogs, it aims to protect rare and endangered species, their habitats, and valuable natural landscapes. Põhja-Kõrvemaa occupies the northern part of Kõrvemaa, which itself forms the northern part of Transitional Estonia, a large forested and sparsely populated area spanning in northeast-southwest direction through Estonia, from Lahemaa through Soomaa to Latvia.