Top Things to do in Estonia — Tallinn, Toompea Hill, Castles and National Parks
Estonia is a Baltic country that used to be part of the Soviet Union. It’s grown and developed a great deal ever since the fall of Communism and since it has become an independent state. It is located in Northern Europe, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and it offers quite a lot of things to do and see. These are some of the best things to do in Estonia.
Tallinn is well known for its Old Town, the well preserved medieval centre of the capital with its squares, churches and towers. The iconic Gothic building of the Tallinn Town Hall is located in the Old Town together with Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Nicolas Church and Museum, and Kiek in de Kök Museum and Bastion Tunnels. The walls of the Old Town and the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform offer panoramic views of Tallinn.
The capital is also famous for its TV Tower, a 314 m tall structure that has an observation deck on top.
Also located in Tallinn, Kadriorg Palace is an important piece of history, having been one of the summer residences Czar Peter the Great built for his wife, Catherine. The palace is nowadays used as an art museum.
Toompea is a limestone hill located in Tallinn, with a total surface of 7 hectares and with an elevation of 20–30 meters above the surrounding areas. Several governmental buildings are located here, among them the Toompea castle, a former stronghold built in the 9th century, now the seat of the Parliament of Estonia.
Estonia is rich in historical sites dating back to medieval times. There are several castles in Estonia, for instance, that have been built in the 13th and in the 14th century. Some of these castles are: Hermann Castle (with a long German Teutonic history), Kuressaare Castle (built in 1380 on Saaremaa island), and Haapsalu Castle (a castle with cathedral built in the 13th century as the seat of the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek).
Things to do in Estonia — Nature, Parks and Landscapes
Estonia has something for nature lovers too. Lahemaa National Park, for instance, covers an area of 725 square kilometres, filled with beautiful landscaped gardens, hiking trails, walking trails, cycling trails and waterfalls. The park is located 70 km outside Tallinn and it is a great way to spend a day away from the city.
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If you like to go canoeing, Soomaa National Park has what you need, namely hundreds of square meters covered in wetland. Jägala Waterfall, located on the Jägala River, is another Estonian natural attraction. With a height of 8 meters, this is the tallest natural waterfall in the country.
And if you don’t want to travel away from Tallinn, then you have to visit Kadriorg Park, that covers the area surrounding Kadriorg Palace. The impressive park was built in the 18th century, and it attracts hundreds of visitors every day with its waterfalls, Japanese garden, and beautifully landscaped greenery. Kadriorg Park is a favourite among most tourists who visit Estonia.
If you are into birds watching, Matsalu National Park and Reserve offers a lot of opportunities for spotting diverse species of migratory and nesting birds. And if you would like to climb the highest Estonian mountain, you’ll have to go to Suur Munamägi, the 318 meters tall peak located in the southeast of the country.
So if you are passing through Estonia, take some time to explore this interesting, history-filled land.You will discover a country with a rich historical heritage and an unique natural landscape.
Originally published at https://globotrav.com on July 30, 2019.