Estonia, a flat country situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea, is gifted with natural beauty such as beaches, old-growth forest, and lakes, but just like its fellow European countries, it is also blessed with castles, churches, and fortresses that tell visitors stories about the country’s rich history and culture. In this article, I going to help you decide where to go in Estonia. These top ten places are excellent reasons why you and your family should visit this European nation soon.
I’ll start off with the country’s capital. Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, and definitely the most popular place for tourists visiting the country. Being a medieval city, Tallinn is best known for its historic architecture and preserved Old Town.
Among the most famous landmarks in the area is the Toompea Castle, which is located in the Toompea hill in the middle of the city. This castle, along with other buildings such as museums and the 314m-high Tallinn TV Tower that has an observation deck, is an ancient stronghold site that showcases the best of the capital. While in town, you can also enjoy the city-life since it is Estonia’s most advanced city and the center of commerce.
Dubbed Estonia’s “summer capital,” Pärnu is the best place to take the kids and the family when visiting the country during summer. The city is adorned with fine and white sand beaches, where tourists flock to enjoy the summer sun.
You can also take a leisurely walk along the promenade of Parnu to enjoy the scenery or experience the best spa services offered by resorts and hotels along the bay walk of the Parnu Bay.
If summer doesn’t appeal to you and you enjoy the chilly weather, then visit Estonia during the winter season and head straight to Otepää – the “winter capital.”
There, your family will not only find vast lands and hills covered with snow that make the place look like a winter wonderland, but you can also enjoy skiing and winter sports possibilities in Estonia. It is a resort town that should be a good choice for your next winter holiday trip.
Another reason for the family to visit Estonia, especially if you have kids who still go to school, is the city of Tartu. Aside from being Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu holds the distinction of having the oldest university in the country.
This place is a students’ haven, which stands out for its interesting architecture, as well as a young and vibrant atmosphere. Families who travel for leisure can also enjoy the place by exploring the natural beauty of the city’s landscapes and lakes. Undoubtedly, Tartu is one of the most visited places in the country for so many different reasons.
From the largest towns and cities, let’s move on to Viljandi, one of Estonia’s smallest towns. The town may be cute, but it will not run out of reasons and places to offer to visiting tourists. It has a charming aura that keeps travelers coming.
The relaxing and quiet atmosphere that surrounds this town is something people love to enjoy. But just like any other town and cities in the country, this town offers its own ruins of a medieval castle and numerous churches such as Viljandi Order Castle.
Small but adorable, quite but relaxing. This is how tourists who have been to this beautiful resort town describe Haapsalu.
Anyone who is looking forward to a relaxing weekend at the beach, away from the hectic big city life, must head to this old town that is located in the west cost of Estonia. The town is also a famous summer destination, known for its healing warm sea water, Railway museum, and promenades idle for long but pleasant walks.
Narva, which was probably one of the most heavily-bombed cities in Europe during the Second World War, is Estonia’s third largest city. The city may have a controversial past because it lies along the Narva River, which is up-to this day the natural border between Estonia and Russia,
but its present boasts so much beauty, thanks to the city’s natural landscapes and the historic Narva Castle that overlooks the Ivangorod fortress on the Russian side of the Narva river.
8. Soomaa National Park
Soomma National Park is a mesmerizing destination of bog and swamp abundant area with a flooded forest that is located in the Pärnu and Viljandi County. The park was formed when ice glaciers melted thousands of years ago.
If your family is among the outdoorsy travelers who love adventures during spring time, then, rent a canoe during your visit or join a self-guided tour along the park’s several rivers. On a fine sunny spring day, you may be able to spot elk, deer, and eagles as you paddle through the low-lying peat bogs.
9. Kuressaare and the Saaremaa Island
Out in the Baltic sea, you’ll find Estonia’s largest island – the Saaremma Island. Here you can find a small and quiet city of Kuressaare which is known for Kuressaare Castle. Altogether, the city and the island make up a good match and offer outdoorsy types, walkers and hikers included, a vast array of activities to killtheir time during their vacation.
The island’s impressively fascinating landscape that is adorned by sprawling spruce and pine trees, stretches of fine and sandy beaches, century-old windmills and buildings, and its 8,000-year old history give tourists like yourself all the more reasons to pack and visit this place soon.
10. Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park made it to this list because of its accessibility and because this park is undeniably the most popular national park in Estonia. Tourists and travelers who do not want to move or drive too far from the country’s capital can visit this park on any given day.
It’s just roughly a two-hour drive out of the city and an ideal day trip to this park would mean quality time with family walking along boardwalk, while enjoying the scenery, exploring the low-lying peat bogs, or photographing the wild and the beautiful pine and spruce that live there.