A Perfect Day Trip to Lahemaa National Park from Tallinn

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by Maggie Turansky

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Heading on a day trip to Lahemaa National Park from Tallinn is one of the best things to do if you’re spending a few days in the Estonian capital. Though Tallinn itself is a dynamic and hip city that is worth exploring in its own right, it’s a great idea to head outside of the city and to the beautiful country in order to get a great feel for regional Estonia.

Particularly known for the vast Viru Bog, Lahemaa is located only about 30-40 minutes outside of the capital city and boasts lush forest, dynamic bogs and beautiful beaches among a lot of other things.

For those who want a natural escape and enjoy one of Estonia’s most beautiful national parks, a day trip from Tallinn to Lahemaa is sure to be something you won’t regret.

Getting to Lahemaa National Park from Tallinn

Lahemaa National Park is relatively close to Tallinn and it’s easy to reach from the capital. Whether you go via your own vehicle, public bus or via organised tour, there are several options to visit this lovely natural area from the Estonian capital.

By Organised Tour

If you don’t want to hire a car and don’t care to deal with navigating the public transport system, then your best bet for getting from Tallinn to Lahemaa National Park is going to be via organised tour.

This can be a great option for those who want to take all kinds of stress and guesswork out of their day trips and simply want to give the planning to someone else.

For instance, this full-day tour will take you from Tallinn to the Viru Bog, the fishing village of Altia and to the Jägala Waterfall. You will also get the opportunity to learn about Estonian culture and folklore along the way.

Another great option is this small-group tour. This tour also includes stops at the Viru Bog, Jägala, Altia village and also the Sagadi Manor. It’s a great choice if you want to spend the day exploring some areas outside of the city and learning about a more rural side of Estonia.

Finally, you can also book a private tour if you want to go with just your own group.

Beautiful Lahemaa National Park
Beautiful Lahemaa National Park

By Car

If you want the ultimate flexibility and the ability to do things on your own terms, then driving to Lahemaa National Park from Tallinn in a hire car is probably going to be our best bet.

By taking your own vehicle, you don’t have to share the trails with a tour group nor do you have to be beholden to erratic bus timetables. It also allows you to visit the places you’d like and leave the ones that don’t interest you too much.

Lahemaa National Park lies about 40 minutes outside of Tallinn, but it does depend on where in the park you choose to go. The roads are very well-maintained and driving is a breeze. It’s worth noting that the majority of parking is free of charge, as well, though it’s always a good idea to double-check!

If you’d like to rent a car for your day out from Tallinn, have a look at Rentalcars.com to find some great deals across a range of different car hire companies.

Watchtower on the Viru Bog Trail
Watchtower on the Viru Bog Trail

By Bus

If you want to visit the national park independently but also don’t want to hire a car, then your best option is going to be to take the bus. This limits your ability to easily see a lot of the park in one day, however, you can definitely enjoy the Viru Bog walk.

From Balti Jaam (Tallinn’s central station) you can grab bus number 155 in the direction of Loksa. Ride the bus for 26 stops (about 1 hour 20 minutes) and get off at the Loksa tee stop.

From there, it is about a ten-minute walk to the start of the Viru Bog walk. You can catch the same bus back to Tallinn, as the bog walk is a loop and can end in the same place. You can see the latest schedules here.

Because of the bus connections, it doesn’t really make sense to add any other destinations to your day trip as you will likely be spending the majority of your time on the bus. However, the Viru Bog is very much a highlight of the park and you’re certainly not missing out.

View from the watchtower on the Viru Bog
View from the watchtower on the Viru Bog

Lahemaa National Park Itinerary

If you’re able to drive yourself while visiting Lahemaa National Park, this is the ideal way to spend your day in this beautiful area. If you want the sites and trails to yourself, consider leaving Tallinn as early as possible.

Jägala Waterfall

Located about thirty minutes from central Tallinn, the perfect first stop on this day trip is at the Jägala Waterfall.

Though Estonia isn’t a mountainous country with a lot of cliffsides, this waterfall is nothing to turn your nose at. Located on the Jägala River, this waterfall is a few metres high and is absolutely beautiful and charming to visit.

Located off of the main highway on the way to Lahemaa National Park, there is a vast (free) car park at the top of the falls. You can then view the waterfall from the top before climbing down the staircase to see it from below.

It is a peaceful and gorgeous place to visit and very much worth the stop of you’re able – you certainly won’t regret it!

Jägala Waterfall
Jägala Waterfall

Viru Bog

The highlight of any Lahemaa National Park day trip is a visit to the Viru Bog.

There is lots of bog land in Estonia – including in Soomaa National Park nearby Parnu – but the Viru Bog is the closest to the capital and therefore, a great place to visit if you want to learn more about this unique ecosystem without venturing too far from Tallinn.

The Viru Bog walk is one of the best things to do in this national park and very much worth it on any trip to this natural area. It also happens to be very easy and part of it is even accessible for wheelchairs and baby strollers, so plenty of people can enjoy the natural scenery!

There is a car park right at the trailhead of the Viru Bog walk. You will have to walk a few hundred metres on a flat dirt trail before you reach a boardwalk area. The first kilometre of the walk is on a wide planked boardwalk that can accommodate wheelchairs and prams.

At the end of the accessible portion, there is also a viewing tower. The great thing about the tower is that it is accessible via a ramp to the first floor – however, there are some stairs to get to the very top. The views of the bog and boardwalk are beautiful.

Initial wide boardwalk on the Viru Bog
Initial wide boardwalk on the Viru Bog

If you wish to continue, know that the walk is about five kilometres more – though it is all on flat ground with no incline. The boardwalk thins a bit, but there are plenty of stopping points where you can admire the ponds and flora of the beautiful bog.

The boardwalk, in total, is about three kilometres long. To get back to the car park from the walk, you do need to follow the trail through the forest for another few kilometres.

Again, the trail is flat and very well-marked, so it’s quite an easy and enjoyable stroll. It can be worth using Google Maps or Maps.me to double-check that you are heading the right way back to the car park, however.

All in all, the Viru Bog walk is about 6 kilometres of easy trail and boardwalk and will take an hour or so to complete. It may take more time if you go at a slow pace, sit at some of the benches and really enjoy your surroundings.

Walking through forest after finishing the Viru Bog
Walking through the forest after finishing the Viru Bog


Though Lahemaa National Park is well-known for its bogs, there are also some beautiful beaches and coastal areas to explore. And one of the best beaches to see in the park is Võsu beach in the lovely little village of Võsu.

Located a bit further east from the Viru Bog along the coast, Võsu is a popular seaside getaway for locals and there are a few restaurants and cafes in the town. The beach is the main highlight and it is absolutely charming.

Set in a secluded cove, the water is calm and shallow and the sand is fine, soft and white. There is also a great playground for children and changing areas available.

Võsu is located about an hour’s drive from Tallinn, so it makes for the perfect final stop on your day trip to Lahemaa National Park.

Võsu beach
Võsu beach

Where to Stay in Tallinn

Citybox Tallinn – This hotel is a great option for those looking for a mid-range option in Tallinn. Centrally located within easy walking distance of Tallinn’s Old Town, harbour, Teleskivi and Kalamaja, they have a range of clean and comfortable rooms on offer and several other amenities to ensure your stay is a great one.

Savoy Boutique Hotel – For those looking to splurge, this is a wonderful luxury option located in the Old Town. This boutique hotel has lovely rooms available all within easy distance of the top attractions in Tallinn. there are also countless other amenities to ensure you want for nothing in the Estonian capital

Bob W Telliskivi – If you’re the kind of traveller who would rather have your own place than a hotel, these apartments are a great option. Located near hip Telliskivi, they have a few fully-furnished apartments that can suit plenty of visitors.

Fat Margaret’s Hostel – If you’re travelling solo or on a budget, then this hostel is an excellent choice. Located on the harbour within easy reach of the city’s top attractions, there are both dorm and private rooms on offer. There are also great common areas – including an on-site sauna and hot tub!

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Tallinn!

Tallinn's City Walls
Tallinn’s City Walls

Visiting Lahemaa National Park is one of the best day trips from Tallinn. Easy to reach from the Estonian capital, the national park boasts an incredible ecosystem to explore and lots of great experiences.

Are you planning to visit Lahemaa National Park? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


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