Photo: Toomas Volmer
Photo: Madis Palm

    Pirita – sea, nature, and historical landmarks

    With its popular beach, adventure park and yacht harbour, Pirita is Tallinn's destination for summer fun and breathtakingly beautiful nature. The district is located only a few kilometres from the city centre and is easily accessible by public transport, bike or car.

    In the early 20th century, this seaside area began to develop into a destination for Sunday rides and bathing, and the sandy beach is still a huge draw whenever the weather turns warm. 

    A short walk along Pirita promenade will bring you to the Estonian History Museum at Maarjamäe Palace: their permanent exhibition takes you on a journey from the birth of the Republic of Estonia to the modern-day. Also located in Maarjamäe, is the Estonian Film Museum, an intriguing outdoor exhibition of Soviet monuments, and a relaxation area for kids and adults alike. Next to the museum complex, you will find the thought-provoking and beautiful Memorial to the Victims of Communism and its neighbour, an architectural ensemble from the 1970s dedicated to the defenders of the Soviet Union.

    A quieter way to enjoy Pirita is to head across the road to the Pirita River delta and rent a rowboat, canoe, or a water bicycle. This is also the location of Pirita's own little piece of medieval architecture: the ruins of the 15th-century St. Bridget's Convent. The convent is still active today, although it is housed in a modern building next door.
    Further inland, you will find the Tallinn TV Tower, home to the highest viewing point in the country. Tallinn Botanic Garden is located nearby. The garden, filled with rare plant species, is a perfect place for a walk or a picnic. 

    In 1980, the sailing regatta of the Moscow Olympic Games was held in Pirita, and the area was also the heart of the Olympic village. You can still feel the Olympic spirit: Pirita is home to one of the busiest sports centres in Tallinn (Pirita Spordikeskus) with illuminated forest trails and various sports facilities for basketball, tennis etc. 

    Pirita also has the closest caravan parking area to the city centre. Tallinn City Camping is located right on the seashore, by the Pirita River, and is open during the summer season.

    Viimsi peninsula

    Not far from Pirita, about 15 km from Tallinn city centre, lies the rocky Viimsi peninsula, also a popular area for its sandy beach and some interesting sights. Highlights here include the Estonian War Museum, the Museum of Coastal Folk and the seaside Viimsi Open-Air Museum, which is built around a historic farm.