Song festivals and dance festivals are symbols of the Estonian national spirit. Programmes of song and dance festivals include both traditional and modern-day performances by singers and dancers who can total tens of thousands.
Architectural monuments in Estonia are maintained in good condition. Many manors and castles now have hotels and restaurants and all visitors are welcome. Tallinn’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. All over Estonia there are old fortifications, churches and other examples of historically valuable architecture.
Our coastal villages and settlements of followers of old beliefs are unique in the world. Discover our cultural treasures on the shores of Lake Peipus, in Setumaa, on the islands of Kihnu and Ruhnu, and in Lahemaa.
Our theatres will certainly provide a vivid cultural experience. Every year Estonia is the venue for many international festivals of theatre and opera. Autumn is ushered in by the festival of Estonian theatres in Tartu called Draama.
Some of the museums worth visiting include the KuMu Art Museum, the Estonian History Museum with excellent multimedia installations and the amazing interactive branch of the Estonian Maritime Museum in the Seaplane Harbour.
As you travel around Estonia, be sure to view local sculptures and visit little themed museums.
- In Southern Estonia: Ice Age Centre by Lake Saadjärv, Road Museum in Varbuse and Saatse Seto Museum in Saatse.
- In Northern Estonia: Käsmu Maritime Museum and Kohtla Mining Park.
Those interested in the musical side of the culture can enjoy attending several international music festivals in our country. Top musicians come to Tallinn to participate in the Jazzkaar Festival, the refreshing Tallinn Music Week dedicated to Estonian pop music and the Birgitta Festival of classical music. There are plenty of music festivals taking place outside the capital city, too. In Southern Estonia you have the Festival of Estonian Composers in Tartu and the Viljandi Folk Music Festival. The island of Saaremaa is the Opera Days venue and the city of Haapsalu offers the Haapsalu Early Music Festival.
In the summer Pärnu hosts a festival of documentaries and anthropological films and the city also boasts annual festivals of amateur cinema and animation. The most important event for cinema buffs in Estonia is the Black Nights Film Festival featuring the best films from all over the world.
Discover Estonia through our nation’s creativity!