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Points of Interest: Parks, Gardens, and Zoos

Lahemaa National Park

Lahemaa Rahvuspark

Off Route 1
East of Tallinn, Estonia

Established in 1971, Lahemaa National Park ranks first in the country and covers an area of 725 square kilometers (280 square miles). The park was set up to preserve distinctive landscapes, ecosystems, biodiversity, and national heritage, as well as to encourage research. The panoramic view of adjoining areas, along with a number of waterfalls, peninsulas, bays, valleys, limestone plateaus, rivers, and pine trees, adds to the beauty of the park. In Altja village, visitors can get plenty of information from the only geological museum in the country. The exhibits include different kinds of rocks and boulders. The Muuksi and Palmse nature study paths throw light on the cultural heritage of the Baltic Germans.

Rocca al Mare Tivoli

Paldiski mnt.100
Tallinn, Estonia

Located on the sandstone bank of the Tallinn's Kopli Bay, Rocca al Mare Tivoli is the largest amusement park in the country. It provides great opportunities for family fun, offering 18 different rides and more than 100 video and carnival games. In addition, it also hosts daily shows that are performed in the main tent.

Soomaa National Park

Soomaa Rahvuspark

West of Viljandi, Estonia

Established in 1993, Soomaa ("Land of Bogs") National Park covers an area of 370 square kilometers (142 square miles) along the Parnu River. This park's natural features include grasslands, bogs, forests, and rivers. The landscape is bordered by swampy areas separated by rivers. Among all the raised bogs, the Kuresoo bog soars to a height of eight meters (26 feet) and extends over a distance of 100 meters (328 feet). The eastern territory is distinctly marked by high dunes, among which the Ruunaraipe Dune tops the list. It runs to a distance of 1.2 kilometers and rises to a height of 12 meters (39 feet).

Tallinn Botanical Garden

Tallinna Botaanikaaed

52 Kloostrimetsa tee
Tallinn 11913, Estonia

Originally known as the Academy of Sciences and formally opened to the public in 1970, the Tallinn Botanical Garden extends over an expanse of 110 hectares (271 acres) of land. It houses over 8,000 species of plants from around the world. The plants are beautifully showcased in glass houses, thematic gardens, and arboretums. Other tourist attractions include monthly exhibitions, thematic trips, night aroma tours, and rose days. The park virtually transports visitors from European meadow-like settings to the Tundra region in Africa and from desert regions to dense rain forests.

Tallinn Zoo

Tallinna Loomaaed

145 Paldiski maantee
Tallinn 13522, Estonia

Founded in 1939 with the intention of protecting animals from cruelty, Tallinn Zoo is a favorite place for visitors in Estonia, especially visitors who come with their families. It houses more than 6,000 animals, including polar bears, Siberian tigers, crocodiles, and chimpanzees, representing a wide array of wildlife species. It also has mountain goats, sheep, eagles, vultures, owls, and cranes from around the world. The zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and other related associations.