50 Amazing Things to Do in Estonia
Estonia is one of Northern Europe’s best kept secrets. This small country is tucked away between Finland and Latvia on the border of Russia.
From magnificent art to the sites of some of the world’s most impressive breakthroughs, this country has so much to do and see.
Let’s head on over to Estonia to explore the best things to do in Estonia.
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Things to Do in Estonia
Estonia was a part of the USSR until 1991 when it gained its independence. Because of this. some of the most interesting things in Estonia are the remains and traces of war and the Soviet soldiers which help bring history to life.
From the rich history to the interesting art to the cool culture, Estonia is a wonderful destination for your holiday.
Check out some of the most amazing things to do in Estonia so you can plan your trip the right way!
1. Visit the Underwater Prison
The Soviet’s old Underwater Prison in Ruumu is by far one of the most amazing places in all of Estonia. This abandoned prison is now a favorite spot of many divers and lovers of adventure. If you’re in Estonia during the warmer months, you absolutely have to arrange for a dive at this prison.
2. Explore an Abandoned Missile Hangar
Abandoned sites are always a blast, especially when they were previously used as a missile hangar. The abandoned missile hangar in Türisalu is proof that they Soviets have left their mark all over Estonia.
3. Stop by the Estonian “Eiffel Tower”
Who needs to go to Paris when you have the fabulou Estonia? Jaan Alliksoo created his own version of the famous French Eiffel Tower. His creation was named after the original and is still known as “Hiiumaa Eiffel Tower.”
4. See Tallinn’s Protector
Old Thomas, which is English for “Vana Toomas,” is thought to be the guardian of Tallinn, has an adorable story. This boy, whose mother was a fisherman, had such a good shot that the city guards asked him to join their squad when he was a young teen.
5. Visit the Türisalu Cliff
The Türisalu Cliff is one of Estonia’s most beautiful and impressive nature objects on the Northern Estonian coast. Popular spot for rappelling activity and for enjoying the Northern Lights in the vinter period.
6. Eat Your Way Through Estonia
Cuisine is a phenomenal way to get to know a new city and culture. One of most popular food in Estonia is rye bread.
Check out some of the best places to eat in Estonia!
Best Places to Eat in Estonia
7. Fall in Love All Over Again at Pärnu Seawall
Want to hear a lovely legend? If you walk to the end of the jetty at Pärnu Seawall, you are bound to love the person you’ve walked with forever. Wouldn’t it be sweet if this story was true?
8. Learn About Estonian History at Noora
Want a first hand source of Estonian history? Stop by Noora, Estonia’s national archives headquarters.
9. Visit the Ruhnu Lighthouse
The Ruhnu Lighthouse offers an absolutely magnificent sight. It is located on the small island of Ruhnu, which is right off of the coast of mainland Estonia.
10. Admire Estonia’s Brown Bears
Brown bear watching hides are one of the coolest ways to get up close and personal with nature. These little cabins were designed so that visitors could hang out and view the brown bears safely.
11. Stop by the Bronze Soldier Statue
The Bronze Soldier Statue in Tallinn is heavily guarded because it is one of the most controversial spots in all of Estonia. This statue is a symbol of Estonian liberation, so it has angered the Russians over the years.
12. Search for the Graves in Madise’s Lost Cemetery
The Madise Lost Cemetery isn’t completely lost, but some of the graves are. Make it your mission to find some of the lost graves in this old cemetery. Be sure to navigate the grounds with respect to the dead that lie beneath your feet.
13. Learn About the Cold War at the Tartu KGB Museum
Estonia is full of museums relating to the USSR, Soviet soldiers and the KGB. The KGB Museum in Tartu exhibits the cells that the KGB members lived in.
14. Have a Bowl of Soup in Supilinn
Supplinn, which translates to “Soup Town,” is one of the smallest towns in Estonia. The population isn’t quite 2000!
While you could surely find a bowl of soup in this neighborhood, this delicious dish isn’t how its name originated. It is quite silly, in fact! Each of the major streets is named after a delicious type of soup.
15. Explore the Tree Crosses in Rosma Forrest
Location: Põlva Parish
The Rosma Forest is filled with mysterious crosses engraved into trees. Spend your day exploring the woods and trying to discover connections between the mysterious symbols. Prepare for an adventure with a bit of imagination.
16. Ride Out to Kihnu Island
Kihnu Island is a baby island off the coast of Estonia. This little island has a museum, lighthouse and more fun activities. It offers a great way to spend your afternoon.
17. Step into the Kingdom of Torgu
It’s all fun and games until a clerical error brings a fantasy land to life. This is what happened in the Kingdom of Torgu. Since this small area was mistakenly left out of the country’s constitution upon gaining independence, a joke of a monarchy was set in place.
18. Visit the Meteorite Crater Field
What better place to house an entire cult than a crater field? The Meteorite Crater Field of Kaali is believed to have been the home of an ancient cult due to animal skeletons that were positioned in a fashion indicative of sacrifices.
19. Feel the Magic Tuhala Witch’s Well
Location: Kose Parish
If you want to stop by a spookier attraction, head to the Tuhala Witch’s Well. This small geyser comes and goes from time to time. Is it magic or is it rainfall? Some may never know.
20. Learn How to Measure the Earth at the Struve Geodetic Arc
The Struve Geodetic Arc is a tool used to measure the size of the earth. It uses a collection of reference points to collect its data. This system is one of Estonia’s most impressive scientific accomplishments.
21. Honor the Dead at Vormsi Cemetery
Estonia is full of famous cemeteries, but the Vormsi Cemetery is one of the most notable. Its array of cross shapes and grave markers are what makes it so unique.
22. Learn of the Ungru Manor’s Tragic Love Story
Location: Ridala Parish
According to legend, the Ungru Manor was created by a prince who yearned to marry a delightful princess who didn’t want to leave her father’s castle. The prince had the Ungru Manor built as a replica so that the princess could enjoy a copy of her father’s castle for the rest of her life.
When the prince returned to take the princess’s hand in marriage, he was informed that the young lady had passed away.
23. Make Your Way to the Top of the Tallinn Teletorn
The Tallinn Teletorn, which is “TV Tower” in English, offers one of the best 360 degree views of Tallinn. You can go the whole way to the top of the tower, which is 22 stories off the ground, to see the beautiful city.
24. Visit the 2015 Tree of the Year
Did you know there was such thing as the European Tree of the Year Award? In 2015, the Orissaare Oak was the lucky winner of this award. You can’t miss this famous tree!
25. Jump Back in Time at the Military Remains of Hiiumaa
The Hiiumaa Military Museum is home of some of the oldest Soviet artillery. Some describe it as “the best military collection” in Estonia. If you are into war and history, you’ve got to stop by this museum. They’re open every day but Monday!
26. Move On Over to the Museum of Soviet Vehicles
Although Estonia is an independent state today, the Soviets are still deeply ingrained in the Estonian history and culture. The Museum of Soviet Vehicles houses an awesome collection of vehicles that the Soviets used many moons ago.
27. Appreciate the Art of the Lasva Water Tower
The Lasva Water Tower once operated as fully functioning water tower, but today is serves as a super unique art gallery. This empty tower houses rotating art exhibits. This is by far one of the coolest places in Estonia.
28. See the Remains of one 1980 Olympics Venue
The 1980 Olympics was held in Moscow, but since Estonia was part of the USSR, the Tsar commanded that an additional arena must be quickly built. This building was named Linnahall.
The poor planning of this venue only took a could decades to notice. This venue is less than 40 years old and is deteriorating relatively quickly.
29. Say a Prayer or Make a Wish at the Hill of Crosses
Location: Hiiu Parish
The hill of crosses is thought to be one of the luckiest places in Estonia. You can go here to make a wish or say a prayer for good fortune.
30. Visit the Sacred Peko
Peko is the Seto god of fertility. He has a magnificent statue on the top of Jumalamägi, which translates to “god’s hill.” This statue is a place where locals go to revitalize their energy.
31. Take a Walk Through the Man Made Sand Caves
Book your visit to the Piusa Sand Caves. These man made sand caves serve as the home of thousands of little bats. You don’t want to miss this experience.
32. Listen to the Music of Nature on Loud
Location: Varstu Parish
The Pähni Megaphones are a cool place to take a breather in the woods of Võru County. If you sit in these wooden megaphones, you can hear the amplified harmony of the nature around you.
33. Explore the Kohtla Mining Park
The Kohtla Mining Park is not your average attraction. You can hike or ride your way around the mines, but either way, it will be an experience like no other.
34. Drive Over to the Hara Submarine Base
Location: Hara Harbor
If you’re looking for a cheap but wonderful attraction, the Submarine Base at Hara Harbor is the place for you! If you plan ahead, you can book a submarine adventure experience.
35. Admire the Art at Ichthus Art Gallery
The Ichthus Art Gallery is one of the coolest art galleries in the whole world. This gallery is housed in the basement of a medieval building and all of the art is by the man who rents the space. There is no set fee to enter, but it is asked that you leave a donation.
36. Feel the Breeze of the Ninase Windmills
Location: Mustjala Parish
Windmills are used as a source of clean energy around the world, but the Ninase Windmills simply serve as an icon of Estonian culture
37. Drive Through a Kilometer of Russia on the Saatse Boot
The Saatse Boot is one of the strangest destinations in Estonia. It is a chunk of an Estonian road that dips into Russia for less than a kilometer.
Instead of putting up a border control station, the Russians decided that Estonians could continues to use this road as long as they never traveled by foot, kept their cars moving and didn’t pick mushrooms.
38. Be Wowed at the Seaplane Harbour
The Seaplane Harbour is one of the world’s most exquisite maritime museums. It is equipped with revolving exhibits and areas that are perfect for the whole family.
39. Indulge in the Eclectic Art of Glehn Park
Glehn Park is on the grounds of an old estate that was designed by the owner of the property. In addition to an interesting home, the man created an interesting collection of artwork to grace the lands.
40. Get Spooked at Tallinn’s Haunted Guest House
Legend has it that the Devil got married in Tallinn. A cloaked man is said to have requested to rent a room in a house that belonged to a man who was struggling financially. The homeowner agreed because the small chunk of change would help him pay his bills.
The cloaked man asked for privacy, but the man spied through the keyhole. The spying man was found withering away the next day and the only thing he could utter before he took his last breath was that he witnessed the Devil’s wedding.
41. Admire the Dance of Death
Danse Macabre, which translates to “Dance of Death,” is a beautiful 15th century painting located in St. Nicholas Church in the nation’s capital.
42. Visit the Old Observatory
The Old Observatory at Tartu is the first reference point of the Struve Geodetic Arc. The Arc is a large spanning tool that was first used to find the size of the earth, so that makes this attraction particularly important.
43. Street Race at Haapsalu Airfield
Location: Ridala Parish
…or maybe just watch!
The abandoned Haapsalu Airfield was once used by small Soviet fighter planes, but it has not seen an aircraft in many years. The airfield is now used for street racing. While it might be fun, you probably should just watch instead of drag racing your rental car.
44. See the Coats of Arms at The Saint Mary’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Mary in Tallinn has an interesting feature: a wall of coats of arms. While most churches are decorated with stained glass and religious symbols, this dome church is decked out in symbols of the nobel people that are buried on the church grounds.
45. Examine the Extinct Aurochs Statue
The Aurochs is a large animal that once graced the lands of Europe, North Africa and Asia. To celebrate the 700th anniversary of Rakvere, an Estonian town, a giatn statue of an Aurochs was raised.
46. Explore the Nation’s Capital
Tallinn is certainly the center of Estonian culture. It is full of museums and activities that will help you learn about the country’s rich history. You’ve got to start your journey around Estonia with this seaside city.
47. Stop by the KGB Museum at the Viru Hotel
Tallinn’s KGB Museum is quite unique. It is located at a hotel that used to house KGB officers during the 1970s. Here, you will hear stories of the Soviet Union and how the history of the hotel has been shaped by some unwelcome guests.
48. Check out the Unique Graves at Ämari Pilots’ Cemetery
Many fallen Soviet soldiers lie in this interesting looking cemetery. The graves are decorated with large red stars. Many of the headstones are accompanied by the tail wings of actual planes.
49. Honor Karl Ernst von Baer at His Famous Statue
Stop by the statue that honors revolutionary biologist, Karl Ernst von Baer, who was an Estonian native. His most notable accomplishment was as a trailblazer in the science of descriptive and comparative embryology.
50. See the Sphere in the Science Center
The World’s Largest Hoberman Sphere is located in an Estonian Science center. The Estonians have made some great contributions to modern science.
Admission to the Science Center is very affordable. Be sure to add admission to the planetarium to your reservation when you book online!
Our Tours to Estonia
Hekla has a few tours that make stops in the beautiful Estonia. Since this country is so small, it is often lumped into larger nordic or Scandinavian tours.
Explore all of our wonderful Northern European tours.
Other Helpful Travel Guide
When you’re in Northern Europe, it would be a shame to begin and end your travels with Estonia. Estonia is a wonderful place to visit, but the great Northern Europe offers so much more.
We’ve created a few travel guides to make planning your trip a breeze. Check out some of our favorite destinations.
Where else would you like to go?
Contact us today to learn about all of the places that you can go with Hekla.
Estonia is often overlooked by travelers who are out to explore Europe. Since it is less than 30 years old, it’s understandable that people do not recognize its name, but it certainly deserves more recognition!
It is clear that there are so many amazing things to do in Estonia. A trip to Estonia could be the holiday of a lifetime.
Are you ready to visit this wonderful country?