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Things to do in Riga

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Riga Art Nouveau Centre
The Riga Art Nouveau Centre is the only museum in the Baltics that presents a complete picture of the historical heritage of Art Nouveau and offers an authentic environment for discovering and savouring Art Nouveau in an early 20th century apartment in Riga. http://www.latvia.travel/en/sight/riga-art-nouveau-centre
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Riga Central Market
Riga Central Market, which opened in 1930, was recognized not only as the largest, but also the best and most advanced marketplace in Europe. Riga Central Market has invariably remained in the very heart of Riga city, ensuring diverse shopping experience, a personal touch, lively conversation, tall tales and exuberant bargaining with the vendors. http://www.latvia.travel/en/sight/riga-central-market
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Rundale Palace and Museum
The Rundale Palace is set amidst the fertile Zemgale Plains in the south of Latvia. Most of the interior decorations were created between 1765 and 1768 when a sculptor from Berlin Johann Michael Graff, and Italian painters from St. Petersburg Francesco Martini and Carlo Zucchi worked at the palace. http://www.latvia.travel/en/sight/rundale-palace-and-museum
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Tostamaa Manor
The beautifully renovated Tõstamaa Manor has a colourful history and it is one of the best-known sights in the area. Even though it has a late classicist appearance, the manor was established in the Middle Ages. It has been used as a school since 1921. You can go on a tour of the manor where you will learn about its history and see its rooms. The wall and ceiling murals, the beautiful main staircase and the room under the mantle chimney are particularly impressive. Useful information! The last owner of the manor was Alexander Stael von Holstein, a famous Orientalist who even became a professor at the University of Beijing. The crown of the manor, which is under heritage and nature conservation, is oak with a top whose diameter is 23 m. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/tostamaa-manor
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St. Elizabeth's Church
Eliisabet's Church, inaugurated in 1750, is the most outstanding sacral building of the Baroque period in Estonia. The beautiful church in the centre of Pärnu invites you to step in and look around to see a pulpit in the Neo-Gothic style from the middle of the 19th century, the altar and the altarpiece “Resurrection”. One of the best organs in Estonia is in Eliisabet's Church and the place is popular as a concert hall among music lovers. Interesting to know! The church got its name from Russian Empress Jelizaveta thanks to whom the congregation got a Lutheran church. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/eliisabets-church-in-parnu
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Haeaedemeeste Mihkli kirik
In 1874, the Häädemeeste Lutheran Church, which was built around the same time as an orthodox church, received a smaller but architecturally worthy opponent. The church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael and is celebrated on the 29th of September in the year of celebration. https://www.visitparnu.com/avasta-parnu/kultuuripuhkus/2452/haeaedemeeste-mihkli-kirik
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The Red Tower
The Red Tower was built in the 15th century as a prison in the Southeastern corner of the medieval fortress that surrounded the town of Pärnu. It is the only defensive tower of the Hanseatic town of New-Pärnu that has been preserved. This granite tower got its name from the brick that used to line the inside and outside of the tower. In the 17th century, the tower had four storeys and a prison cell that was 6 metres deep. Three storeys have been preserved. In the 19th century, the building was renovated into the town archives, but the building served a number of different purposes over the following century. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/the-red-tower#
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Paernu Museum
The Pärnu Museum is one of the most modern historical museums in the Baltics and offers an experience for the whole family. Permanent exhibition "The History of 11,000 Years - Experience from Ancient Times" brings you an exciting time line through the Stone Age, the medieval trade routes, the Baroque Fortress to the nostalgic Soviet period. https://www.visitparnu.com/component/visitestonia/3244/paernu-muuseum
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Sangaste Castle
Sangaste Castle is one of the 21 Southern Estonian places worth discovering that are marked with a yellow National Geographic window; if you are interested in culture and history, it is definitely worth a visit. Sangaste castle and park were fashioned after the famous Windsor castle in England. The magnificent halls, architecture and history of the castle make this a good place for a big wedding, get-togethers or spending the night in a genuine castle. The castle restaurant serves local food and real rye vodka made from Sangaste rye. In addition to the castle, the stables, dairy, barn, water tower and arboretum are also open for visitors. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/sangaste-castle#
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Kuressaare beach
Kuressaare beach is one of the warmest sandy beaches in Estonia. Thanks to its low water level and the fact that the bay warms quickly, it is perfect for families with small children. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/kuressaare-beach
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Kuressaare Episcopal Castle
Kuressaare Episcopal Castle, also known as Kuressaare Castle, is one of the most interesting and best-preserved fortresses in Estonia. The castle has become one of the most remarkable buildings in Northern Europe built during the 14th–19th century. There is a history museum which tells stories of the distant past and recent history of Saaremaa and the locals through permanent exhibitions and travelling exhibitions. There are also activities for both children and adults – from treasure hunts to archery! https://www.visitestonia.com/en/kuressaare-episcopal-castle
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Kuressaare St. Nicholas Church
The church together with the gates from dolomite and surrounding wall is under protection as architectural memory. The church built in 1790 is three-naved in low-key late classicistic style. Interesting is built at the same time three-part gate. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/kuressaare-st-nicholas-church
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Kuressaare Sport Centre
The Sport Centre has three full sized basketball courts where you can also play volleyball, floor hockey and indoor football. The Sport Centre also has a athletics hall with two tennis courts, a weight room, weight equipment, a wrestling and judo hall and an aerobics hall. Badminton (4 courts) and table tennis (3 tables) can also be played. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/kuressaare-sport-centre
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Soomaa National Park
Soomaa National Park, founded in 1993, is the second largest national park in Estonia. Soomaa, located on the border between Pärnu and Viljandimaa, is one of the pearls of nature in Estonia, with its large, man-made, almost untouched bogs and wild rivers. https://www.visitparnu.com/avasta-parnu/soomaa-rahvuspark
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Lake Viljandi
Lake Viljandi is in a primeval valley, which is 11 m deep, 450 m wide and 4600 metres long. The lake is well-known in Estonia thanks to the song about the boatman of VIljandi, who day-dreams about the beautiful blue eyes of a girl he once saw when he was young. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/lake-viljandi-2
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Viljandi Suspension Bridge
The bridge made by the Riga company Felser & Co in 1879 was erected amid the castle hills in Viljandi in 1931. It was a present by the lord of the Tarvastu Manor Karl von Mensenkampf. Interesting to know: *The bridge is over 50 m long. * It was erected over a valley which is 15 m deep. * At first, the bridge was located over the moat in Tarvastu to make it easier for the family of the lord to visit the chapel in the ruins. The suspension bridge has become a favourite object of both citizens and visitors of Viljandi and one of the town’s important symbols. It was reconstructed in 1995. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/viljandi-suspension-bridge
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Ugala Theatre
Founded in 1920, Ugala is one of Estonia's oldest professional drama theatres. It became a professional theatre in 1926. In 1981, the theatre received a new, large and modern building that was one of the most advanced ones in the Baltic countries at the time. The Ugala offers a varied repertoire from children's stories and musical plays to world classics and contemporary world dramaturgy. Estonian originals also have their place in the programme. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/ugala-theatre
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Viljandi Musical Instrument Park
The park in front of the main building of Viljandi Manor is home to a 'world tree' bearing national patterns carved out of the old, dry oak. Both the tree and the large wooden Hiiu zither nearby made a home for themselves in the park in spring 2009, when Viljandi held the title of Forest Capital of Estonia. The park's 'orchestra' obtained new players in 2010: a willow whistle and bellows. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/viljandi-musical-instrument-park#
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St. Johns Church
The oldest church in Viljandi is the St. John's Church, which was built near the castle in the years 1466-1472. A triangular home church, made of limestones and brick, was first prepared for the Franciscan monastery. https://www.puhkuseestis.ee/vaatamisvaarsused?sightseeing_id=388
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Viljandi Old Water Tower
The 30m high red brick water tower was constructed in 1911 and was preserved until today with its small windows and the octangular wooden upper part. The tower was actively used for about 50 years. After a long time of emptiness, the building was renovated in 2001 as an observation tower. You are welcome to visit and enjoy the beautiful view over the lake and Old Town of Viljandi! Interesting to know: ·Viljandi was one of the first towns in Estonia to receive waterworks and canalisation. ·The three storeys of the tower accommodate one permanent and several travelling exhibitions. The water tower is an important part of the skyline of Viljandi as a so-called town of towers. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/viljandi-vana-veetorn-viljandi-old-water-tower
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Viljandi Museum
The museum is located in an old pharmacy , with a permanent exhibition on two floors reflecting the history of Viljandi County until the mid-20th century. Wildlife showcases contain many animal and bird species that are special favorites for the smallest visitors. https://www.puhkaeestis.ee/et/viljandi-muuseum
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The Garden of Arcadia
There is a pedestrian mall in the heart of Viljandi where you will see an amazing array of things - fragments of the medieval town wall; a modern walking track with unique fountains and benches; and examples of drying barn architecture from the olden days. The Garden of Arcadia was inspired by a dance hall and meeting place here that went by the same dreamy name among locals in the early 1930s. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/the-garden-of-arcadia#
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Rueki Gallery
Rüki Gallery is an exhibition and sales gallery of contemporary art in the Old Town of Viljandi. The exhibitions organised both paintings and photography, graphics, sculpture, installations, and other alternative art. The purpose of the gallery is to introduce the works of Estonian professional artists to local residents, as well as visitors from Estonia and the rest of the world. The gallery is housed in a historic barn building where a sign saying ‘Rüki jahu’ (rye flour in the local language) was found during renovation work. The sign indicated where flour was stored at that time. Hence the name of the gallery. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/ruki-gallery
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Ridala Church
Ridala Church is one of the most valuable churches in Läänemaa from the artistic point of view. It has been dedicated to Mary Magdalene whose figure in the church is one of the oldest sculptured figures in Estonia. This archaic sanctuary lacks a belfry. Be sure to take a look at the medieval paintings. The altar, the triumphal arch group and pulpit are also remarkable. In the churchyard the most valuable things are the trapezoid gravestones dating back to the 13th century with sun cross and arbour vitae motifs. The two massive stone crosses near the main entrance of the church are very old. Interesting facts: According to a folk tale the church was built by a giant maiden as a dwelling house. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/ridala-church#
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Ungru Castle Ruins
The ruins of the Ungru manor used to represent one of the most impressive Neo-Baroque buildings in Estonia, although it never was really finished. Its sophisticated footprint and the numerous baroque volute ornaments on its gables are characteristic for the castle. Interesting to know: The Ungru Manor was an almost exact copy of the Merseburg castle in Germany. After World War II the manor fell into the hands of Soviet troops, in 1968 the chief of the airport decided to use the ruins of the manor to fill in the holes in the runway. About one-third of the manor was torn down, fortunately, the rest was preserved until today. Compare the neat ruins of the manor to the contrasting Soviet airfield remains next to them. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/ungru-castle-ruins#
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Small House of the Tartu Vanemuine Theatre
The art nouveau Small House of the Vanemuine Theatre was built from 1914 to 1918 (architect A Eichhorn). The decision to build a new, modern theatre building was made after the building of the summer theatre of the German Society of Artisans that used to be located in this spot perished in a fire. http://www.visittartu.com/en/small-house-of-the-tartu-vanemuine-theatre-former-german-theatre/
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Tartu Cathedral
Tartu Cathedral, located on the beautiful Toomemägi Hill, is one of the largest churches in Estonia. It is also the only mediaeval church with two towers in Estonia. The construction of the church started in the 13th century and the church was fully completed in the beginning of the 16th century. The church towers were the last things to be finished. During the Livonian War, the church was destroyed and since then, it has not operated as a church. The ruins of the Tartu Cathedral are one of the most prominent examples of brick-Gothic buildings in Old Livonia. The University of Tartu Museum, which introduces the history of science and university education, operates there. In addition to the museum, there is also the Toompood store, and visitors can also go to the cathedral’s towers, which offer beautiful views. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/tartu-cathedral
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A. Le Coq Beer Museum
Tartu is the birthplace of beer brewing in Estonia and it has been a beer city for almost 1,000 years. A beer museum was opened on the territory of the A. Le Coq Brewery in 2003 to introduce the history of industrial beer brewing. It also provides the most thorough overview of the history of beer in Estonia, its culture, and origin story. Almost 2,000 items are exhibited in the malt tower built in 1898, including an original bottle of Imperial Extra Double Stout from the year 1869. All museum visits end at the museum pub, where guests can sample A. Le Coq’s beverages. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/a-le-coq-beer-museum
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Laeaenemaa Health Path
Läänemaa Health Path is an almost 60-kilometres-long path for pedestrians and cyclists along the embankment of the Riisipere-Haapsalu-Rohuküla line. The road has been marked with kilometre posts and with pickets every 100 metres. When at the section between Haapsalu-Rohuküla you should visit the remains of Ungru Castle not far from the path, also the old airfield in Kiltsi. When at the section between Haapsalu-Risti near Taebla, go visit the Laikmaa Museum and Koela Museum and Lääne-Nigula church. When near Risti, go and take a look of Marimetsa bog. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/laanemaa-health-path#
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Tartu Toy Museum
Tartu Toy Museum, situated in the Old Town of Tartu, takes adults back to the brighter days of their childhood and offers children plenty of interesting things to see and do. The permanent exhibition displays toys that Estonian children have played with throughout the years. Artist-made dolls, souvenir dolls of different nations, and Finno-Ugric traditional toys are also exhibited. Playrooms and workshops are also open. You can see puppets from Estonian puppet films and temporary exhibitions in the outbuilding. The museum also has a theatre building named ’Teatri kodu’ (The Home of Theatre) with a theatre hall, a museum of puppets, and a children’s studio. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/tartu-toy-museum
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AHHAA Science Centre
Want to surprise yourself? The AHHAA Science Centre offers science, excitement, adventure and useful skills, as well as a fun time for everyone. Our centre is an attractive learning environment in which you are bound to learn something new. The majority of our exhibits are 'hands-on', so you can try everything yourself, whether it be the planetarium, the school laboratory pilot programme, creating educational materials or the science theatre. You can even host your own birthday party here. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/ahhaa-science-centre-tartu-1
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University of Tartu Botanical Gardens
The University of Tartu Botanical Garden offers study programmes and excursions for visitors of all ages. There are more than 10,000 species and varieties of plants in the garden. In addition to natural plants, including rare protected plants, we introduce new decorative plants. In the greenhouses, rainforest and desert plants can be seen. It is the oldest botanical garden in the Baltic States, operating for more than 200 years in the same location. The garden is designed by world-renowned botanists, professors Ledebour and Bunge. Guests can visit the greenhouses with a ticket, but the garden is open for everyone for free. There is a playground for children. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/university-of-tartu-botanical-garden
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Haapsalu Sports Hall and Stadium
Haapsalu Sports Hall includes a modern sports centre complex. Here, you can play basketball, volleyball, and tennis in an indoor hall and, if the weather is warm, on the outdoor stadium as well. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/haapsalu-sports-hall-and-stadium
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Railway and Communications Museum
The former terminal station of the railway was constructed between 1903 and 1905 to serve the resort town of Haapsalu. With its mysterious and grand station building, it now invites you to discover the nearly century and a half of Estonian railways and retired iron horses. During the time travel in the old station with an unusually long roofed platform and a royal pavilion, you can hear the sound of a locomotive and meet the courteous station master from the 1930s. In addition, we welcome you on a trip through the fascinating world of telecommunications and to explore the development and history of communication devices from telegraphy and crank telephone to mobile phones and computers. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/railway-and-communications-museum
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Epp Maria Gallery
The creative work of Epp Maria Kokamägi, one of Estonia’s most famous artists, includes oil paintings, watercolours, book design and theatre and film design. The building, which was built as a café during Estonia's first period of independence, now houses a gallery over two floors, where exhibitions change according to the seasons. In addition to Epp Maria's wonderful paintings, you can also enjoy the paintings and furniture created by her husband Jaak Arro, the ceramics of Liisu Arro and the paintings of Imbi Lind. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/epp-maria-gallery
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Haapsalu Castle
Haapsalu Castle is an architectural gem built in the 13th century, which until the end of the 17th century was the seat of power of the local authorities. The museum in the main castle focuses on the history of the castle itself. You can learn about the construction of the castle, the birth of the town of Haapsalu, and the fate of the rulers and locals of the Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek. In order to better understand the life of that time, guests can try out different mechanisms. The passages on the walls offer a wonderful view of the castle and the picturesque town of Haapsalu. https://www.visitestonia.com/en/haapsalu-castle-museum