Attractions

Top Choice Castle in Viljandi

Viljandi Teutonic Order Castle

Set within a lush park, the scant remains of Viljandi's hilltop castle form a picturesque set of ruins and offer sweeping views over the valley and the lake below. Built in 1224 by the German Knights of the Sword on…
Top Choice Beach in Pärnu

Pärnu Beach

Pärnu’s long, wide, sandy beach – sprinkled with volleyball courts, cafes and changing cubicles – is easily the city’s main drawcard. A curving path stretches along the sand, lined with fountains, park benches and a…
Top Choice Gallery in Pärnu

Museum of New Art

Pärnu's former Communist Party headquarters now houses one of Estonia's edgiest galleries. As part of its commitment to pushing the cultural envelope, it stages an international nude art exhibition every summer. Fou…
Church in Viljandi

St John’s Lutheran Church

This medieval church looks like it’s been given a Cape Cod Better Homes makeover, with pale-grey walls and a stone altar – rescuing it from its Soviet incarnation as a furniture warehouse. It was originally part of …
Gate in Pärnu

Tallinn Gate

The typical star shape of the 17th-century Swedish ramparts that once surrounded the Old Town can easily be spotted on a colour map as most of the pointy bits are now parks. The only intact section, complete with it…
Gallery in Viljandi

Kondas Centre

Housing vibrantly colourful works by local painter Paul Kondas (1900–85) and other self-taught artists working outside the mainstream, this is Estonia’s only gallery dedicated to naïve and outsider art. It’s not har…
Museum in Viljandi

Viljandi Museum

Facing the old market square, this modest two-storey museum has displays tracing Viljandi’s history from the Stone Age to the mid-20th century. There are folk costumes, stuffed animals, old photos of the city, Vikin…
Museum in Pärnu

Koidula Museum

The memory of one of Estonia’s poetic greats, Lydia Koidula (1843–86), is kept alive in this modest six-room museum in her former home/schoolhouse. The old classroom and the antique-strewn living room and bedrooms a…
Lake in Viljandi

Viljandi järv

Accessed by a steep path leading down from Pikk street, the lake is a popular place for a swim on warm summer days. All the usual hallmarks of the Estonian beach are here (volleyball court, cafes, boat rental) and t…
Church in Pärnu

St Elizabeth’s Lutheran Church

Named after John the Baptist's mum but also the Russian empress at the time it was built (1747), this baroque church has low dangling chandeliers, a Gothic-style carved wooden pulpit and a wonderful altarpiece of th…