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The best places to visit in Estonia by car: a guide to the most scenic and cultural destinations in the country

Estonia is a small but diverse country in Northern Europe, with a rich history, stunning nature, and charming towns. It is also a great destination for a road trip, as you can easily explore its different regions and attractions by car. In this blog post, we will suggest some of the best places to visit in Estonia by car, and give you some tips on how to make the most of your journey.


Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia, and a must-see for any visitor. It is famous for its well-preserved medieval Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful in Europe. You can walk along the cobblestone streets, admire the Gothic churches and towers, and visit the museums and galleries. You can also enjoy the modern side of Tallinn, with its trendy cafes, restaurants, and nightlife.

Tallinn is a good starting point for your road trip, as you can easily rent a car and access the main highways from there. You can also take a ferry to Helsinki, Finland, or Stockholm, Sweden, if you want to extend your trip.


Tartu is the second-largest city and the cultural and intellectual center of Estonia. It is home to the oldest and most prestigious university in the country, as well as many museums, theaters, and festivals. Tartu has a youthful and creative vibe, with a lot of street art, cafes, and pubs. It is also a good base for exploring the nearby nature, such as the Emajõgi River, the Lake Peipus, and the Endla Nature Reserve.

Tartu is about 2.5 hours drive from Tallinn, and you can take the E263 highway or the scenic route along the coast. You can also stop by the Jägala Waterfall, the largest natural waterfall in Estonia, on your way.


Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, and a popular destination for its rural charm, natural beauty, and historical sites. You can visit the Kuressaare Castle, the best-preserved medieval fortress in the Baltic States, the Kaali Meteorite Crater, the result of a massive impact about 4,000 years ago, and the Angla Windmill Park, a collection of traditional wooden windmills. You can also enjoy the sandy beaches, the pine forests, and the local cuisine, such as the smoked fish, the rye bread, and the juniper beer.

Saaremaa is accessible by ferry from the mainland, and the journey takes about 30 minutes. You can also visit the neighboring island of Muhu, which is connected to Saaremaa by a causeway. Muhu is known for its traditional villages, handicrafts, and folklore.


Parnu is the summer capital and the most popular seaside resort of Estonia. It has a long and wide sandy beach, with a promenade, a park, and a pier. You can swim, sunbathe, or try some water sports, such as surfing, sailing, or kayaking. You can also relax in one of the many spas, which offer a variety of treatments and therapies. Parnu also has a lively cultural scene, with many concerts, festivals, and events throughout the year.

Parnu is about 2 hours drive from Tallinn, and you can take the E67 highway or the coastal road. You can also stop by the Soomaa National Park, a wetland area with diverse wildlife and plants. You can hike, bike, or canoe in the park, and see the phenomenon of the fifth season, when the water level rises and floods the land.


Narva is the easternmost city and the border town of Estonia, facing Russia across the Narva River. It is a fascinating place to visit for its historical and cultural significance, as well as its contrast between the two countries. You can see the Narva Castle, a 13th-century fortress that was the scene of many battles and sieges, and the Hermann Castle, a 15th-century castle that houses a museum and a gallery. You can also visit the Narva-Jõesuu, a resort town with a long and sandy beach, and the Narva Waterfall, the widest natural waterfall in Europe.

Narva is about 3 hours drive from Tallinn, and you can take the E20 highway or the coastal road. You can also stop by the Lahemaa National Park, the largest and oldest national park in Estonia, which covers a large area of forests, bogs, lakes, and islands. You can see the manor houses, the fishing villages, and the wildlife in the park.


Hiiumaa is the second-largest island in Estonia, and a tranquil and scenic place to visit. It has a long and interesting history, as it was once a Swedish, Russian, and German territory. You can see the Kõpu Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the world, the Kassari Chapel, a wooden church with a unique shape, and the Sõru Museum, a maritime museum that displays the local fishing and sailing culture. You can also enjoy the nature, such as the Ristna Cape, a popular spot for surfing and birdwatching, and the Kärdla Meteorite Crater, a large depression formed by an impact about 450 million years ago.

Hiiumaa is accessible by ferry from the mainland, and the journey takes about 90 minutes. You can also visit the smaller islands of Kassari, Vormsi, and Ruhnu, which have their own attractions and charm.


Viljandi is a small and picturesque town in the south of Estonia, known for its cultural heritage and folk music. It hosts the annual Viljandi Folk Music Festival, one of the largest and most popular music festivals in the country, which attracts thousands of visitors and performers from around the world. You can also visit the Viljandi Castle, a 13th-century ruin that offers a panoramic view of the town and the lake, the Viljandi Museum, which showcases the local history and art, and the Heimtali Museum of Domestic Life, which displays the traditional rural life and crafts.

Viljandi is about 2 hours drive from Tartu, and you can take the E264 highway or the scenic route through the forests and hills. You can also stop by the Suur Munamägi, the highest point in Estonia and the Baltic States, which has a viewing tower and a ski resort.


Estonia is a wonderful country to explore by car, as it offers a variety of destinations and experiences for every traveler. Whether you are looking for history, culture, nature, or relaxation, you will find something to suit your taste and budget. You can visit the charming cities of Tallinn and Tartu, the scenic islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, the seaside resort of Parnu, the border town of Narva, and the folk town of Viljandi. You can also enjoy the local cuisine, music, and festivals, and discover the unique identity and heritage of this Baltic nation. Estonia is a road trip destination that will surprise and delight you. 🚗

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