There are a number of reasons why Kuressaare is often called as the most pleasant town in Estonia: it has beautiful architecture, a slow pace of living, a Scandinavian-influenced, laid back islander attitude, hundreds of events, comfortable hotels, restaurants and spas and it’s all surrounded by beautiful untouched nature and seaside scenery!
Make the most of your holiday in Kuressaare & Saaremaa island:
- Kuressaare – the ideal destination for culture and wellness holidays
- How to get to Kuressaare & Saaremaa island
- Saaremaa island - slow pace and beautiful nature
- Historic Saaremaa island culture
There is no doubt that summer is peak season in Kuressaare. Warm weather and plenty of sun allow you to make the most of the beach life and swimming, the town is filled with life, there are lots of different events and plenty of visitors; and the restaurants’ & hotels’ outdoor terraces stay open into the early hours of the morning.
Should you be looking for something quieter and more relaxing then come to Kuressaare during winter. Snow covered rooftops, frozen beaches and plenty of special offers at the local hotels and spas make it an ideal destination for a longer family holiday.
Kuressaare’s historic architecture
Take a walk in Kuressaare town and admire its historic architecture, influenced by different rulers and cultures and built over centuries, it’s versatile and enchanting.
One of the main architectural focal points is, for sure, the Kuressaare Episcopal castle located in the centre of the beautiful Kuressaare park. Built in the 13th century, it is the only Baltic medieval fortress preserved in its entirety. Once a powerful defensive structure, the Kuressaare Episcopal castle now operates as a museum.
You are welcome to walk around the ancient building and get to know the rich history of Kuressaare, Saaremaa island and Estonia. It is also a beloved concert and festival ground with plenty of events taking place every season. Take your time when going to visit the castle: The tower café has lovely fresh cakes as well as magnificent views over the beach and sea and if you are visiting Kuressaare during summer there are workshops, fairs and medieval displays taking place in the castle’s courtyard.
Just a short walk away from the fortress are other Kuressaare’s other architectural treasures for you to admire:
- Kuressaare Town Hall is built in so called Nordic baroque style and may look simple and dour outside, but holds one of Kuressaare’s biggest treasures: Estonia’s largest canvas ceiling painting.
- Kuressaare Weighing House was built on 1666 (during the “golden” Swedish era) and is the only one of its kind in Estonia: admire it’s strict symmetry and colourful history.
- The Dutch type stone windmill, built in 1899, now hosts a popular pub-style restaurant (Veski Trahter).
Since 1973 Kuressaare old town has been protected by the heritage conservation acts. Take a walk around the town and you will soon see and feel the difference, regardless of your architectural knowledge: Kuressaare town architecture has its own unique style, often referred to as “Saaremaa classicism” – simplified, clean and symmetric lines can be seen everywhere.
Combine your holiday in Kuressaare with cultural events and spa experiences – there is plenty to see and do here.