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Where Russia begins.
Explore the Soviet past in this border city, where Russian and Estonian castles still face off.

Few cities are a better reminder of the divide between East and West than Narva. Here two castles face each other across the river dividing Russia from Estonia. We recommend Narva for those looking to get off the beaten path and explore Eastern Europe’s Soviet legacy. The Swedes developed the city, building a Baroque Old Town and extensive fortifications in addition to the castle. Largely destroyed during World War II, Narva was rebuilt and resettled by Soviet citizens. We recommend visiting the border, where one of Imperial Russia’s largest factories sits on an island between waterfalls. When the weather is warm, visit the beach near the two castles, one of Estonia’s most photographed spots. The seaside district of Narva-Joesuu, with its pine forest and fine sand, is the best place in town to stay, due to its calm surroundings and higher quality accommodations than available in the center of town. Next to Narva’s surviving Baroque town hall is an impressive new university building, with a roof that slopes outwards beyond the floor area of the building, and plenty of cozy places for travelers to rest. Photographers are fond of Narva’s Soviet architecture and Russian Orthodox and Lutheran churches, but the surrounding countryside has its own scenic and historic beauty.

Route for Narva tour

Lake Peipus, where Alexander Nevsky is said to have defeated Teutonic Knights by luring them onto the ice, forms Narva’s southern border. This quiet lake is fished by Old Believers, insular Russians who fled 17th century religious reforms and have maintained their own traditions since. Nearby lies the Puhtitsa Convent, the largest Orthodox monastery in the Baltics, built around an oak where a holy icon was miraculously discovered. One of the two monasteries kept open by the Soviets, it has changed little for centuries. Lahemaa National Park lies between Narva and Tallinn, and with its rocky coast, teeming wildlife, extensive bogs, and many manors, is Estonia’s most popular park. There are many abandoned Soviet complexes near Narva, from a secret submarine base in Lahemaa, to an oil shale mine turned into an underground museum. Many manor houses lie in this area, as well as one of Estonia’s largest and best preserved castles, in Rakvere. We recommend stopping by Sillamae, one of the largest concentrations of Stalinist architecture. Due to its role in the Soviet nuclear program, this was a secret, closed city, unmarked on maps.

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Narva

Spend some time in Narva on a tour that takes in other cities in Estonia and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Narva and other destinations throughout Estonia and Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

* Starting price is based on double occupancy in 3 star accommodation, in the most affordable month an itinerary is offered. Airfare to Europe is not included.

Click on your choice of itinerary, select number of travelers in your party, month of travel, and desired star level of accommodation to get an approximate price. Submit the enquiry form with any additional details and we can start planning your customized trip.

Where to stay in Narva

Seaside Spa Hotel in Narva
Seaside Spa Hotel
Narva-Jõesuu's newest beachfront spa hotel.
Modern Spa Hotel in Narva
Modern Spa Hotel
This modern and fully renovated spa hotel is 50 meters from Narva's beaches.

Things to do in Narva

Narva Castle Private Tour
Narva Castle Private Tour
Krenholm Factory Private Tour
Krenholm Factory Private Tour
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