Ilus Eestimaa: Top places to visit in Estonia

This blog post was written by our student ambassador Ana, a student of the semiotics programme at the University of Tartu.


It's true spring time in Estonia now! The weather is warm, the sun is shining and the sky is clear. And what better way to spend a beautiful spring day than to go on a field trip to some of the cities or smaller places in Estonia? It's a great way to escape the everyday routine of going to lectures, studying and working.

In this blog post, I selected the top 5 most beautiful and enjoyable places that I have visited and that left a very special trace in my traveling experience and memory. Of course, all the places of Estonia are amazing and unique and I hope you will have the chance to visit and enjoy as many places in Estonia as you can. 


  1. Pärnu

  3. pärnu


Pärnu is considered the summer capital of Estonia. The beach, Pärnu muul (Pärnu mole), the old town, the statue of Lydia Koidula and many restaurants and spa hotels, are just some of the attractions of this breathtaking jewel in Southwest Estonia. Pärnu is also considered the main health tourism attraction in Estonia, as Pärnu has many spa resorts with healing mud baths. 

I have been to Pärnu twice. Both of the times, I was really amazed by the old town which has such unique architecture. Also, I love the Lydia Koidula monument, since Lydia Koidula is my favorite poet and the best woman who ever lived in my humble opinion. I also had a stroll through the Pärnu beach and the Pärnu muul (Pärnu mole). It was such a memorable experience. Pärnu Postimees, the first newspaper in Estonia was established in Pärnu by Johann Voldemar Jansen, an Estonian journalist and the composer of Estonian national anthem;  Mu Isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm. Those are just some of the interesting facts which Pärnu so awesome and definitely worth a visit.


  1. Elva

  3. elva


Located in Tartumaa, and only a 30 minute train ride from Tartu, Elva is considered the Estonian capital of pine trees. I have been to Elva 3 times already. Elva is definitely my favorite small city of Estonia. It has two beautiful lakes; Arbi and Verevi. During hot summer days, people can swim there.

What really impressed me about Elva is the forest and nature. Elva has the most enchanting and breathtaking forest ever. I remember the first time I visited Elva and the forest, it felt like I was in a fairy tale, without princesses and monsters, of course. The greenery, the tall pine trees, flowers and the fresh air really made me fall in love with the forest of Elva. Also, the peaceful and serene environment of Elva, the resort on lake Arbi where you can just sit on a bench and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and the nature, make Elva the ideal destination for a relaxing field trip.


  1. Piusa

  3. piusa


Located in the heart of Southern Estonia, Piusa is the kingdom of caves and nature. The caves are one of the symbols and the natural treasures of this small country.  People can go on guided tours in Piusa caves, explore the wildlife and cold temperatures inside the caves. If you are not a big fan of closed spaces, then the sand quarry, the hiking trail and the forest of  Piusa which is also full of smaller caves.

Hiking in the sand quarry was a true adventure for me; I descended from the forest to the quarry, I explored the sandy trails and also discovered some smaller bodies of water in the quarry and by the swimsuit I saw on the sand, I realized the people swim there as well. During the spring and summer period until the late autumn, there is a train stop in Piusa, so I highly recommend this adventure to everyone.


  1. Valga

  3. valga


Valga is the city on the exact border between Estonia and Latvia and one of the most famous railway centers of Estonia. For me, Valga is a very colorful city, as it has a lot of colorful wooden houses and parks. There is also a colorfully structured border designed between Estonia and Latvia, and the city is actually divided into Valga and Valka.

Valga is the Estonian side of the city where everyone speaks Estonian and everything is in Etonian; and Valka is the Latvian side of the city where everyone speaks Latvian and everything is in Latvian. For me, the statue of Toomas Nipernaadi, the character from the novel by August Gailit, is my favorite attraction in Valga. He loved to travel all around Estonia, just like me. Valga has beautiful parks with ponds and small lakes where you can have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful weather and nature. If you want to experience the best of both worlds (Estonia and Latvia), then Valga is the right place for you!

  1. Haapsalu

  3. haapsalu


The capital of Läänemaa and one of the historical  jewels of West Estonia, Haapsalu is the top destination for everyone. Whether you are a history and archaeology lover or you would just like a nice stroll by the sea, Haapsalu has you covered. 

The fort of Haapsalu and the ruins around the fort are definitely the places to visit in Haapsalu. You can buy the tickets and explore the medieval surroundings of Haapsalu fort or you can walk around it and enjoy the green park with colorful flowers. The old town has medieval and folklore vibes and many folk tales regarding the Haapsalu fort are recorded as well. 

Haapsalu has a stunning beach and you can climb on top of the bird tower and be amazed by the majestic views of the sea, the sky, and the panorama of the city in general. Interesting fact is that the city was conquered by the Swedish in history, so Swedish people are also among the most common tourists in Haapsalu.  Haapsalu is a must visit place in Estonia and you can go there by bus from Tallinn.


I really hope you will enjoy my blog and if you haven't yet, visit all these listed places and many other places of Estonia. Estonia is a true paradise.



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