Things to See and Do in Estonia
Lonely Planet’s 2016 Best of Travel has included the country of Estonia and it’s not hard to see why. Its uniqueness is what sets it apart, although sharing a similar geography and history with Latvia, it’s cultural worlds away. The sparsely populated countryside is drawing visitors from all over the globe to explore its medieval towns, swathes of forests, beautiful national parks, sandy white beaches and incredible museums and galleries. Discover 8 things to see and do in this hot new tourist destination.
8. Visit the Alatskivi Castle
This castle originally dates back to the 16th century and was rebuilt between 1876-1885 by Baron von Nolcken, who was inspired by the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland. The building is thought to be one of the most beautiful neo-gothic manor houses in the Baltics with its protruding towers with cone-shaped roofs. The surrounding estate encompasses 130 hectares of parkland which is open to the public, filled with oaks, ashes, maples, and alders.
This tourist site boasts a visitors center which gives an overview of the castle and its renovation along with a nature center, museum, and a great restaurant. Visitors will be privy to tour guide services, hiking trails and heritage guides to keep you informed about the surrounding area. Tours take about an hour and opening hours vary, depending on the season.
7. Discover Viljandi
This quaint little town sits in Southern Estonia and happens to be the capital of folk music. The town looks more like a postcard than real life as it overlooks a picturesque lake and is home to the impressive hilltop ruins of the 12th-century castle of the Teutonic Order. Think cobblestone streets, ancient oak trees, and charming locals.
Visit during the last weekend of July to attend the country’s largest annual music festival, during which concerts are held both within the castle and other venues around town. This small town doesn’t just appeal to folk music lovers, but for those visitors who enjoy parks, beautiful views and an atmosphere that feels both ancient and modern at the same time.