Welcome to Haapsalu - the Venice of the Nordic countries, as it has been called for more than 740 years, just an hour's drive from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.
Haapsalu is an ideal destination for families, couples looking for romance and health-seekers who want to walk, picnic, swim and visit cultural events and spas in a beautiful resort town.
1279. Founded in 1901, the city has welcomed royalty and intellectuals throughout the ages, and has been a summer paradise for visitors from east and west, north and south.
Haapsalu, the centuries-old centre of the Saare-Lääne bishopric, is reminded by the ancient castle ruins and the cathedral, where you can meet the mysterious White Lady on full moons in August….
After the discovery of the curative effects of sea mud, Haapsalu quickly became a thriving, romantic summer resort town, popular almost throughout Europe.
If you haven’t been to these places, you haven’t seen Haapsalu!
Haapsalu railway station – a magnificent railway station completed in 1906 with the longest roofed platform in all of Northern Europe at the time (216 metres). The impressive station was constructed for the summer visitors of Haapsalu – in particular with the members of the imperial family in mind.
The train station houses the Railway and Communications Museum; the engines and carriages standing on the train tracks are also museum pieces.
Concerts, fashion shows, and fancy gourmet dinners take place on the pavilion of the station.
A walk along Õhtu kallas – the Läänemaa Health Path passes the railway station and follows the old railway, leading those walking to a street called Õhtu kallas, which has the calm sea on one side and the lovely wooden architecture of Haapsalu on the other. No one can escape the sudden desire to spend a week in one of these houses!
Small streets take you all the way to Väike Viik – the name can never express how picturesque this little lake is! As a matter of fact, it should be called the Swan Lake because Väike Viik is a home to these graceful and regal birds. Naturally, they are accompanied by their courtiers – ducks, geese, and many other waterfowl.
If you make a semicircle around Väike Viik, you will arrive on the Haapsalu Promenade, the start of which is marked with Tchaikovsky’s Bench, dedicated to the world-famous composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Many famous people have sat on this bench over the decades. You can now add yourself to this mental list.
Haapsalu Promenade is a dream come true for anyone who has even a touch of romance in their soul! Many say that this is the most beautiful place for a walk that a person could wish for. Words cannot express it. You must experience it yourself.
Haapsalu Resort Hall (Kuursaal) with its timber lace ornaments is a true gem of the Haapsalu Promenade and not only because it is beautiful – the Resort Hall transforms into a restaurant with a diverse cultural programme during summers.
If you walk all the way to the end of the Promenade, you will pass Hommiku kallas Street and reach Krahviaed (Count’s Garden) and the Haapsalu Castle, which have become the symbols of Haapsalu. This is the birthplace of the legend of the White Lady.
After such a walk, there’s nothing better than relaxing in the spa and spending an hour in one of Haapsalu’s many cafés, serving the wonderful delicacies that attract people to this resort town like bees to a flower.