Narva Castle

Top choice in Estonia

Begun by the Danes at the end of the 13th century and strengthened by successive owners including Germans, Swedes and Russians, this castle, along with Russia’s matching Ivangorod Fortress across the river, creates an architectural ensemble unique in Europe. The outer walls enclose the large Northern Yard, freely open to the public and containing what must be one of Estonia’s last remaining public statues of Lenin. Restored after damage during WWII, bulky Hermann Tower houses the Narva Museum.

Further renovations, completed in 2019, have seen the east wing of the castle and a new exhibit on its history open to the public. The best view of the military-architectural face-off between Narva and Ivgorod is from the popular riverside beach, immediately south of the two.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Estonia attractions

1. Narva Museum

0.01 MILES

Narva Museum occupies the Hermann Tower and east wing of the castle. Climb the tower's 51m to a wooden viewing gallery, checking out the exhibits on each…

2. Alexander Church

0.34 MILES

Named after the Russian tsar assassinated while it was being built (1881–84), this Lutheran church is the largest religious building in Estonia. It was…

3. Orthodox Cathedral of the Resurrection

0.42 MILES

Hidden among dingy apartment blocks northwest of the train station, this 1896 cathedral, built for the workers of the Kreenholm textile factory, has an…

4. Narva Art Gallery

0.49 MILES

Spread over three floors of a 19th-century gunpowder storeroom on the Gloria bastion, Narva’s art gallery has an interesting collection, including…

5. The Soviet-Era Sillamäe

15.54 MILES

This branch of the Sillamäe Museum, housed in the Sillamäe Cultural Centre (a former bomb shelter), displays the museum's collection of artefacts from the…

6. Sillamäe Museum

15.64 MILES

Six rooms of exhibitions on Sillamäe, its shale-chemical factory and rural life in Vaivara parish await within this building, erected in the late 1950s in…

7. Oru Park

23.84 MILES

Oru Park was built around a grand palace in 1899 by Grigory Yeliseyev, at the time one of Russia's richest merchants. In 1935 it became the summer palace…

8. Pühtitsa Convent

26.58 MILES

Built between 1885 and 1895, the five green onion-domed towers of Pühtitsa Convent, crowning Kuremäe (Crane Mountain), are visible for miles. Murals by…