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Wonders of Estonia

Old Tallinn from St. Olaf's Church tower
Old Tallinn from St. Olaf’s Church tower / Ilya Dobrych, Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Even if it is small , Estonia offers a wide array of very interesting natural and man-made landmarks. The most amazing wonders of Estonia are:

  • Medieval Tallinn – one of the most amazing historical cities in this part of the world, built on and around a tall limestone cliff.
  • Medieval castles and churches – Christianity came here with fortified stone buildings – castles and churches. In Estonia are located some of the most impressive palaces in this part of Europe.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Estonia

Geological wonders

Kaali crater


Fairly recent (7 600 – 4 000 years old), well preserved meteorite craters. The largest crater has a diameter of 110 m and 22 m in depth. It has a lake at its bottom and exposed limestone along its rim. The fall of meteorite created legends.

Kaali crater, Estonia
Kaali crater, Estonia / Siim Ainsaar, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Jagala Waterfall (Jägala juga)


The largest waterfall in Estonia, 8 m tall and more than 50 m wide screen of falling water.

Jägala Waterfall
Jägala Waterfall. / Andres Papp, Flickr / CC BY 2.0


The largest glacial erratic in Estonia, 930 m³ large (the part above the soil), some 2500 tons heavy.

Ehalkivi. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 3.0
Keila Waterfall


The most beautiful waterfall ins Estonia, 6.1 m tall and 60 – 70 m wide.

Keila Waterfall
Keila Waterfall./ Zairon, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Valaste Waterfall


The tallest waterfall in this part of Europe, with a single, 30 m tall drop.

Valaste Waterfall, Estonia
Valaste Waterfall / Hannu, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Archaeological wonders

Varbola Stronghold


Prehistoric fortress with impressive, up to 10 m tall drystone walls. Built mostly in the 10th – 12th centuries. Stronghold contained some 90 structures.

Entrance in Varbola Stronghold
Entrance in Varbola Stronghold, August 2023. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0

Architecture wonders

Tallinn Old Town


The oldest city in Estonia, developed on and around a limestone tableland – Toompea. Well preserved city walls that originally had 66 towers. Settled since the 12th century at least, town status since 1248. Contains numerous valuable monuments of architecture.

Tallinn Old City
Tallinn Old City. / TausP., Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Kuressaare Castle


Episcopal castle. The time of construction is not known with certainty, most likely built in the 13th – 14th century. One of the best preserved and largest medieval castles in the Baltics.

Kuressaare Castle
Kuressaare Castle. / MinuHiiumaa, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Haapsalu Castle and Haapsalu St. Nicolas cathedral


Ruins of a medieval castle with an enormous cathedral. This single naved church was built in 1260 in Romanesque-Gothic styles. Site of legends.

Haapsalu Castle with the St. Nicholas Cathedral
Haapsalu Castle with the St. Nicholas Cathedral, April 2023. / Gatis Pāvils, CC BY-SA 4.0
Tallinn Town Hall


The only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe, built in 1402 – 1404.

Tallinn Town Hall
Tallinn Town Hall./ Medvedev, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Kõpu Lighthouse


One of the oldest continuously used lighthouses in the world. Constructed in 1531, 36 m tall.

Kõpu Lighthouse, Hiiumaa in Estonia
Kõpu Lighthouse, Hiiumaa / Ilme Parik, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Kadriorg Palace


Well preserved Baroque palace with fine gardens around it. Construction started in 1718 upon the orders of Peter the Great, rebuilt by Nicholas I in 1827 and Konstantin Päts. Now serves as a gallery of art.

Kadriorg Palace
Kadriorg Palace. / Jorge Franganillo, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Toompea Castle


Medieval castle of great historical significance to Estonia, built on the top of limestone tableland. The first fortress was built there sometime around 1050, later this fortress included the whole of medieval Tallinn. Now it houses the Parliament of Estonia. Includes Pikk Hermann – 45.6 m tall watchtower, built in 1360 – 70 and in the 16th century.

Palmse Manor


Huge manor complex, built in 1697 – 1740. Restored not just the manor house but also the park and numerous other buildings in the manor complex.

Palmse Manor
Palmse Manor. / Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
St. Olaf’s Church


Medieval church, the tallest church in the world in 1549 – 1625. Now the spire is 123.7 m tall. A church could have existed here already in the 12th century, first mentioned in written sources in 1267.

Hermann Castle (Narva Castle)


A massive, well preserved medieval castle, founded in 1256, the present building was constructed mainly in the 14th century. Its dominant is the 51 m high Long Hermann tower. Castle is facing the Ivangorod Fortress on the Russian side.

Hermann Castle (Narva Castle) in Estonia
Hermann Castle (Narva Castle) / Priit Tammets, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
St. Mary’s Cathedral in Toompea (Dom Church)


The oldest church in mainland Estonia. The first stone church was built here sometime around 1240, and later extended.

Karja Church


Small medieval church, built in the late 13th – early 14th century. This small church is ornamented with amazing, mysterious symbols.

Pöide Church


Medieval church, possibly the oldest one in Estonia. A chapel was built here in 1227, there are also murals from this time.

Pöide Church
Pöide Church. / Bobo Boom, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
St. Nicholas’ Church (Niguliste Church)


Large medieval church. The first stone church was built here sometime around 1230 – 1275, rebuilt in Gothic style in 1405 – 1420. Now the church has a 105 m tall tower and contains interesting art values.

Valjala Church


One of the oldest churches in Estonia, with parts of it built in 1227 – 1228. Contains remnants of medieval murals. Built in Romanesque and Gothic styles.

Taagepera Castle


An unusual manor house, built in National Romanticism style in the early 20th century. Includes 40 m tall tower.

Taagepera Castle, Estonia
Taagepera Castle / Ivar Leidus, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 EE
Koguva village


Unusually well preserved traditional village with some 100 historical buildings from 1880 – 1930.

Alatskivi Palace


Large Neo-Gothic palace, built in 1876 – 1885.

Koluvere Castle


Medieval castle that gradually developed here since the 13th century. Castle is built on an artificial island in the river, with a park around it.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Estonia (Bradt Travel Guides)

Bradt’s Estonia remains the only English-language guidebook to this Baltics destination and this seventh edition reveals more of the country than any previous guide. Readers now discover why Miss Estonia likes antique cars, where Eiffel built before Paris, and why Edward VII could not land in Tallinn to meet Tsar Nicholas II and had instead to spend three days in the harbor.

Estonia – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts.

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