Top things to do

Castle in Haapsalu

Haapsalu Episcopal Castle

Haapsalu’s unpolished gem is its bishop’s castle, which was western Estonia’s centre of command from the 13th to 16th centuries but now stands in partial but very picturesque ruins. A turreted tower, most of the out…
Gallery in Haapsalu

Ilon’s Wonderland

Showcasing the works of Estonian-Swedish illustrator Ilon Wikland, who spent her childhood in Haapsalu and is best known for her illustrations for the Pippi Longstocking books, this gallery is fabulously set up for …
Museum in Haapsalu

Museum of the Estonian Swedes

This quaint museum has relics, photos, old fishing nets and a marvellous tapestry tracing the history of Swedes in Estonia from the 1200s to their escape back to Sweden on the Triina in 1944.
Church in Haapsalu

St John’s Lutheran Church

Although it has its roots in the 16th century, the exterior of this whitewashed church owes much to a renovation in 1858. Inside, look out for the sculpted reliefs above the altar (dating from 1630) and the carved p…
Museum in Haapsalu

Town Hall Museum

Built in 1775, Haapsalu's former town hall now houses a charming little museum with displays on the history of the resort town, regional history, a re-created pharmacy and the well-preserved Mayor's office.
Museum in Haapsalu

Estonian Railway Museum

Haapsalu’s colourful former train station, with its wooden lace ornamentation and grand colonnade, was opened in 1907 to transport the Russian nobility to the spa resort. Designed to keep the royals dry, its 214m-lo…
Cafe in Haapsalu

Müüriääre Kohvik

With more umlauts in its name than seems reasonable (the name means ‘beside the walls’), this gorgeous cafe is clearly the town’s favourite, if the crowds are anything to go by. And what’s not to love in the warm in…
Beach in Haapsalu

Paralepa Forest Park

On the western edge of town, beyond the train station, this shady park has a popular beachfront which, despite being a bit swampy, attracts plenty of sunseekers. In summer there's a cafe and a kiosk which rents rowb…
Historic Building in Haapsalu

Haapsalu Kuursaal

This fairy-tale wooden confection painted pale-green and white sits plumb on the waterfront, surrounded by rose gardens. Stepping into the cavernous spa hall (1897) is like stepping back into a more genteel time, wi…
Cafe in Haapsalu

Hapsal Dietrich

With a menu that jumps from wild garlic risotto to Thai tom yum soup, this comfortable cafe has a tasty international menu and a cosy lived-in feel. Charming service and a divine cake display make it a very appealin…