Top 5 Historic Places to See in Estonia


Number one among the top 10 places of interest in Estonia is Toompea Castle. It is situated on a spur of the rock on the edge of the Old Town of Tallinn, and it is believed to have been built by the Danes in 1219 on the site of an ancient wooden fortress, the remains of which date back to the ninth century. The castle first served as a residence for the Danes, then the Teutons, the Swedes, in 1710 Toompea Castle was the seat of the Governor of Estonia in the Russian Empire, and in 1922 the castle became the seat of Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament.

Almost nothing remains of the original Danish castle, but three of the four corner towers are believed to have been built by the Danes, sometime between 1227 and 1229. Each subsequent ruler significantly altered the castle, and the current pink baroque facade is from the great reconstruction of the 18th century during the reign of Catherine the Great.

You can visit the castle and parliament with a guided tour only. Tours are held on weekdays and last about half an hour.

2. Tallin Old Town

Old Town of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, a real treasure trove of interesting places and attractions, in guidebooks it is often called the “Diamond Box” because of the joy of meeting the old, which it gives tourists.

The old town is located in the center of Tallinn. It is compact and largely a pedestrian zone. Charming, atmospheric, and often bewildering with its mix of medieval churches, soaring spires, towers, cobblestone alleys, medieval warehouses, and pointed merchant’s houses.

The main attractions of the Old Town are the City Museum, which contains an excellent collection of medieval art and the Church of St. Nicholas. You should take a walk to Toompea Castle, which offers a view of the roofs of the Old Town and the Baltic Sea. Toompea Hill is also home to one of Tallinn’s most iconic landmarks, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

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3. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is located on Toompea Hill, opposite the Parliament of Estonia and Toompea Castle. Cathedral is a popular among tourists rivals Toompea Castle.

The Cathedral, which is the largest in Estonia, was built in the classical Russian Renaissance style by architect Mikhail Preobrazhensky between 1894 and 1900 when Estonia was part of the Russian Empire and is located on the site of a statue of Martin Luther. The cathedral is distinguished by domes typical of Russian Orthodox churches, and the interior is filled with mosaics, icons and paintings.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is open to visitors every day.

4. Museum Manor (Palmse Manor)

Palmse Manor Museum is a landmark in the Estonian Lahemaa National Park. This baroque structure is now an open-air museum and the first fully restored manor complex in the country.

The Palmse Manor is first mentioned in documents from 1287 when it was part of a nunnery in Tallinn, but the building you see during the tour was built in the 18th century and belonged to the noble family of von Palen, famous in the Russian Empire. Today it is managed by the Virumaa Museum Foundation and all buildings are under state protection as architectural monuments.

Palmse Manor is located in Lahemaa National Park, which is about an hour outside of Tallinn.

5. Lahemaa National Park (Lahemaa Rahvuspark)

Lahemaa National Park is Estonia’s largest national park, covering almost 72,500 hectares of wetlands, pine forests and the Baltic Sea coastline. The jagged coastline winds its way around horseshoe-shaped bays and elongated peninsulas, while deep in the forest are lakes, waterfalls and peat bogs that are interspersed with rocky soils with lots of boulders left over from the last ice age.

6. Saaremaa

The largest island in Estonia, Saaremaa is an interesting place for every traveler and all because of its atmosphere of antiquity. The island’s main attraction is a well restored medieval castle in its only town, Kuressaare. Saaremaa has preserved its uniqueness because of its location and isolation. The villages still have stone fences and thatched-roof houses, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer, which is a symbol of Saaremaa.

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7. Narva Castle (Hermann Castle)

Narva Castle, a true medieval castle that is perfectly preserved. It was founded by the Danes in 1256, and the current building was mostly built in the 14th century. Its dominant feature is the tall tower “Long Hermann” which is 51 meters high. The castle stands in front of Ivangorod Fortress from the Russian side.

8. Kadriorg Palace

Kadriorg Palace, is a well-preserved baroque palace with beautiful gardens around it. Construction began in 1718 by order of Peter the Great and was rebuilt by Nicholas I in 1827. Currently serves as a gallery of Estonian art.

9. Kõpu Lighthouse

Kõpu Lighthouse on Hiiumaa is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world in continuous use. It was built in 1531 and stands out with its great height of 36 meters.

10. St. Nicholas’ Church

A large medieval church of St. Nicholas, the first stone church built in Tallinn in 1230 and rebuilt in Gothic style in the 14th century. Its tower dominates the landscape of Tallinn, being 105 meters high, it was the tallest building in Estonia for many centuries.

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