Haapsalu Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do and see in Haapsalu, Estonia, including cultural attractions, natural wonders, food and drink, where to stay, and much more.

Introduction to Haapsalu

Welcome to the charming seaside town of Haapsalu! Located in West Estonia and Islands, Estonia, Haapsalu is a popular tourist destination, famous for its unique mix of culture, nature, and history. If you’re planning to visit Haapsalu soon, this comprehensive guide will help you make the most of your trip! Here’s everything you need to know about the top attractions, activities, accommodation, and more.

List of Places to Visit in Haapsalu

Here’s a list of the top places to visit in Haapsalu:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Haapsalu Castle
  • Train Station Museum
  • Ilon’s World of Wonders
  • Haapsalu Episcopal Castle and Cathedral
  • Haapsalu Shawl Museum

Natural Attractions of Haapsalu: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Laheema National Park
  • Matsalu National Park
  • Haapsalu Beach
  • The Promenade
  • Ungru Castle

Hiking/Biking Routes of Haapsalu

If you’re an adventure seeker, Haapsalu won’t disappoint you! Here are some of the top hiking and biking routes in Haapsalu:

  • Laheema National Park Hiking Trail
  • Haapsalu Bicycle Route
  • Matsalu National Park Birdwatching Trail

Best Things to Do in Haapsalu: Activities and Tours

  • The Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
  • Haapsalu Maritime Festival
  • Vintage Car Parade
  • Cultural Nights in Haapsalu
  • Rib-Boat Adventure Tours

Week-Long Itinerary for Haapsalu

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Haapsalu, here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day Itinerary
Day 1 Visit Haapsalu Castle, Train Station Museum, and Ilon’s World of Wonders. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 Take a guided tour to Haapsalu Episcopal Castle and Cathedral. Spend the evening at Haapsalu Beach.
Day 3 Explore The Promenade and Ungru Castle. Have lunch at a local restaurant before taking a Rib-Boat Adventure Tour.
Day 4 Discover Matsalu National Park Birdwatching Trail. Enjoy lunch by the shore.
Day 5 Visit the Haapsalu Shawl Museum. Attend the Vintage Car Parade in the evening.
Day 6 Take a day trip to Laheema National Park. Explore the hiking trail.
Day 7 Attend the Haapsalu Maritime Festival. Have dinner at a local restaurant.

Food and Drink Scene of Haapsalu

Haapsalu is known for its delicious and traditional Estonian cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages you should try!

Must-Try Dishes

  • Black bread
  • Blood sausage
  • Small freshwater fish
  • Cream cheese pastries
  • Estonian haggis

Local Beverages

  • Vana Tallinn liqueur
  • Saku beer
  • Craft beer
  • Kali (fermented bread drink)

Where to Stay in Haapsalu: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Haapsalu offers plenty of accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here’s a list of some of the top places to stay in Haapsalu:

  • Hotel Laine
  • Fra Mare Thalasso Spa & Hotel
  • Haapsalu Residence
  • Baltic Hotel Promenaadi
  • Hermannuse Maja Guesthouse

What to Buy in Haapsalu: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

While in Haapsalu, you’ll find many unique and locally-made products that make great souvenirs. Here’s a list of some of the top products to buy in Haapsalu:

  • Haapsalu Shawl
  • Unique jewelry and clothing

Local Culture and Customs of Haapsalu

Estonian culture is shaped by its rich history, unique geography, and longstanding traditions. Visitors to Haapsalu can experience Estonian culture firsthand by exploring its many museums and historical places, participating in cultural festivals and events, and trying local cuisine.

Best Time to Visit Haapsalu

The best time to visit Haapsalu is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny, and many outdoor activities and events take place.

Do’s and Don’ts of Haapsalu


  • Embrace the local culture and traditions.
  • Try local cuisine and beverages.
  • Take part in cultural festivals and events.


  • Disrespect local traditions and customs.
  • Litter or damage natural attractions.
  • Overstay your visa or violate local laws.

Safety and Health

Safety in Haapsalu

Haapsalu is a safe place to visit, with low crime rates and a friendly population. However, visitors should still take normal safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on their belongings and avoiding deserted areas at night.

Health in Haapsalu

Estonia has a modern healthcare system, with many well-equipped hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Visitors to Haapsalu should ensure that their health insurance is valid in Estonia and that they have any necessary vaccinations or medications before their trip.

Getting to Haapsalu: Transportation Options and Logistics

Haapsalu is easily accessible by plane, bus, and car. Here’s how to get to Haapsalu from different locations:

Airports Near Haapsalu

  • Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (121.2 km)

Bus Stations Near Haapsalu

  • Haapsalu Bus Station (Located in the center of town)

Other Options

  • By car: Haapsalu is connected to the rest of Estonia by a network of highways and secondary roads.
  • By train: Haapsalu Railway Station offers connections to Tallinn and other Estonian cities.

How to Get Around in Haapsalu

Getting around in Haapsalu is easy, with many transportation options available. Visitors can take a taxi, hire a car, or rent a bike to explore the town and its surroundings.

Where to Go Next from Haapsalu: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have more time to spend in Estonia, make sure to visit these nearby destinations and attractions:

  • Tallinn (121.6 km)
  • Tartu (175.6 km)
  • Parnu (80.7 km)
  • Keila Waterfall (99.2 km)


Haapsalu is a beautiful and fascinating destination that offers a mix of culture, nature, and history. We hope this comprehensive guide has given you all the information you need to plan your trip to Haapsalu and make the most of your stay!