Discover Estonia in this quick tour around the country, starting in the capital city of Tallinn where you'll peruse its historic Old Town, Kadriorg Park, and the WWI-era Estonian Maritime Museum. Continue to Tartu with its historic university and the Estonian National Museum, plus enjoy time in the small village of Haapsalu at a spa hotel. You'll also explore Estonia's serene nature at Keila Waterfall and in Lahemaa National Park, which is home to many historic manors and an old wine cellar.

Highlights

  • Explore the medieval streets of Tallinn's Old Town
  • Visit the village of Haapsalu and relax at a spa hotel
  • Discover the historic manors and serene nature of Lahemaa National Park
  • Enjoy guided tours of Tartu and the Estonian National Museum
  • Explore the WWI-era planes and ships at the Estonian Maritime Museum

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tallinn - Explore the city with a walking tour Tallinn
Day 2 Visit Keila Waterfall and transfer to the small town of Haapsalu Haapsalu
Day 3 Explore the villas and nature of Lahemaa National Park Tallinn
Day 4 Enjoy a tour of Tartu and the Estonian National Museum Tallinn
Day 5 Visit the Estonian Maritime Museum - Depart Tallinn  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tallinn - Explore the city with a walking tour

The Streets of Estonia
The Streets of Estonia

Welcome to Tallinn!

Upon arriving in the city, you'll transfer to your hotel where you can take some time to settle in before meeting your guide for a short walking tour.

You'll start in Tallinn's Old Town, where you'll stroll around cobbled streets while admiring towers, stone walls, and historic houses. Head to Town Hall Square to visit the 15th-century hall and enter Europe's oldest continuously-operating pharmacy, which was opened in 1422 and is now a museum. You can't miss Toompea Hill where you'll find the castle that houses Estonia's Parliament, nor the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin (Tallinn's oldest church) and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (constructed in Russian Revival style when the country was under Russian rule).

After the tour, enjoy a traditional Estonian meal at the oldest-operating eatery in Tallinn, the Maiasmokk Cafe. Here, you'll also find a marzipan museum where a local artist decorates marzipan figures.

For the remainder of the day, spend your time at Kadriorg Park, home to an impressive baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia. Peruse the art museum with exhibits ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries, then head outside to stroll through the grounds, with its manicured lawns, Dutch-style canals, French-inspired, asymmetrical pathways, and a Russian garden. Nearby is the Presidential Palace and KUMU, an excellent art museum featuring works by both Estonians and international artists.

In the evening, settle into a restaurant for dinner and then head back to your hotel.

Day 2: Visit Keila Waterfall and transfer to the small town of Haapsalu

Haapsalu Castle
Haapsalu Castle

In the morning, you'll start today's journey with a visit to Keila Waterfall, which is set on the Keila River in Northern Estonia. At 20 feet (6 m) high, it's one of the most powerful waterfalls in Estonia, along with Narva Waterfall and Jägala Waterfall.

Along the way, you'll stop at the coastal limestone cliffs in Turisalu, as well as the Padise Abbey with its historic monastery ruins. Nearby is a closed military town, as well as the Murru Prison and Rummu Quarry, which all provide insight into the country's wartime history.

You'll end in the small countryside town of Haapsalu, known for its narrow streets, wooden houses, and seaside promenade. Visit Haapsalu Castle, which was founded in the middle of the 13th century and used up until the end of the 17th century. 

In the late afternoon, you'll settle into your accommodation at a spa hotel, where you can enjoy relaxing treatments and dinner.

Day 3: Explore the villas and nature of Lahemaa National Park

Marshland in Lahemaa National Park
Marshland in Lahemaa National Park

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then meet your driver for a trip to one of the country's most scenic areas, Lahemaa National Park. The park features picturesque coastline, dense forests, hidden waterfalls, and even abandoned Soviet-era military remains.

Within Lahemaa National Park, you'll visit the captains' village of Käsmu, which features a unique bog landscape with many lakes and streams. You'll stop by an abandoned Soviet military submarine base, plus the fishermen houses and historic manors of Palmse, Sagadi, and Vihula. The Palmse manor is a living museum of the Baltic-German aristocracy, complete with a wine cellar that contains more than 130 varieties of wine, including local sweet-berry wines.

As you return to Tallinn, your guide will show you unique places within the region, divulging historical facts and stories to help you better understand the culture of northern Estonia.

Settle into your accommodation and enjoy dinner in the city.

Day 4: Enjoy a tour of Tartu and the Estonian National Museum

Tartu Town Hall
Tartu Town Hall

After breakfast, you'll head to Estonia's second-largest city, Tartu. Upon arrival, you'll join a tour of the acclaimed Estonian National Museum where you'll explore the country's national heritage.

Afterward, enjoy Tartu's young, bohemian atmosphere, as it's known as the city of students, intellectuals, and artists. A guided tour will take you through its vibrant streets, starting in Town Hall Square with a visit to the statue of Kissing Students. Nearby you'll find St. John's Church with its many terracotta sculptures, plus Tartu University, which was founded in 1632.

After your guided tours, grab lunch at one of the city's trendy cafes near the university. You'll have some free time to continue exploring the city on your own. Check out the red-brick relics of the Tartu Dome Church, then stroll along the paths of the city's riverside Ülejõe Park. In the late afternoon, you'll return to Tallinn in time for dinner.

Day 5: Visit the Estonian Maritime Museum - Depart Tallinn

Maritime museum
Estonian Maritime Museum

On your last day in Tallinn, head to the seaplane hangar at the Estonian Maritime Museum. This 100-year-old hangar was built for the Tsar's navy in 1916 and restored to display WWI-era planes, as well as boats and submarines from throughout the 20th century, all set amid dramatic lighting.

Then take a stroll through the Telliskivi Creative City, where you can have lunch and do some last-minute souvenir shopping. This edgy, industrial complex is the city's bohemian hub and plays host to art exhibits, flea markets, vintage boutiques, and trendy cafes.

When you're ready, head to the airport or train station to start your journey home, or to continue onto your next destination.