Estonia

Estonia's top tourist attractions

Tallinn's Medieval Old Town
Tallinn
The Rotermann Quarter
Tallinn, Shopping district
Kadrioru Park
Tallinn, Park
KUMU
Tallinn, Art museum
Tartu Jaani (St. John's) Church
Tartu
Pärnu Beach
Pärnu
Narva Hermann Castle
Narva, Museum
The Kaali meteorite craters
Saaremaa
Setumaa
(http://www.visitestonia.c...), South-East Estonia
Rakvere Ordu Castle
Rakvere, Museum
medieval history & manors

The main reason most people first come to Estonia is to see the best protected and intact medieval city in Europe - Tallinn. The unique value of Tallinn's Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved intact nature of its medieval milieu and structure, which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

Living under the rule of Scandinavian kings, Russian empire and Teutonic Knights has left Estonia with unique and rich blend of historic landmarks. Over one thousand manors were built across Estonia from the 13th century onwards. Some of the manors have perished or fallen into ruins but a lot have been reconstructed and now are favourite attractions with tourists. Nowadays there are about 200 manor houses (http://www.visitestonia.c...) under state protection as architectural monuments and 100 in active use.

islands & coastline

Estonia has over 1,500 islands. The nature is essentially untouched and offers quite a different beach experience with their remoter rustic feel. Most of the public beaches are sandy and the average water temperature is 18°C in summer. Inland waters and some shallow bays' waters are even warmer.

The largest island is Saaremaa with an intact and well-restored medieval castle in its only city, Kuressaare. Stone fences, thatched roofs, working windmills and home made beer are all distinctive to Saaremaa. Hiiumaa, on the other hand, is well known for its lighthouses, unspoilt nature, the Hill of Crosses and the sense of humour of its inhabitants. Both islands have an airport so they can be quickly reached from Tallinn.

Other important islands include Kihnu, Ruhnu with its "singing sand" beach, Muhu and Vormsi, each with its own unique characteristics. Most of the other tiny Estonian islands don't carry much cultural significance, but can be appealing for bird watching, canoeing, sailing, fishing etc.

In July and August, Pärnu, Estonia's summer capital, is the main attraction. The coastline itself has loads of untouched beaches and a tour from Narva-Jõesuu in the East towards Tallinn is great for exploring the coastline. Some of the well known places include Toila, Võsu, Käsmu and Kaberneeme.