A town full of power! Greenery, culture and history.
Photo © Kaupo Kalda
Why visit Rakvere
There are a lot of reasons to have a green holiday in Rakvere:
Rakvere is the fifth largest town in Estonia and it is the perfect holiday destination if you are looking for urban comforts in a rural setting.
Rakvere is a fast developing smart city with long history and has lots of greenery and diverse culture.
Rakvere draws in visitors with its impressive 13th century medieval castle, renovated old town main street Pikk, contemporary town square, lots of parks and health/ski trails, museums, one of the best SPA in Estonia and Vallimägi open-air centre.
Rakvere is an attractive and rapidly developing town with an alternative edge, being the host of a range of quirky punk music events and festivals.
Vallimägi open-air center is the largest open-air center in Estonia. The unique performance venue created between the slopes of Vallimägi upland has a main stage area with 4,200 seats and a forum stage with 800 seats.
When you enter the castle, you will find yourself in a theme park representing the everyday life of 16th century. Both young and old visitors can spend an exciting day as they dress up as knights and warriors, enjoy various entertainers, and learn a thing or two about the life of people in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
Culture & Local Life
Rakvere has long history with ancient buildings, for example the Rakvere Castle from 13th century. The Pikk (long) street was most important street in 19th and 20th century – now the street is renovated to a beautiful promenade.
In the beginning of June city celebrates the birthday (founded 1302- over 719 years) with City Festival. Every year there is a fair throughout the Pikk street. Rakvere has been named the smallest city in Europe with a full-scale professional repertoire theater. Rakvere Theater is located in old manor and has beautiful old park with ponds.
Photo © Kristina Litvjak
Rakvere is 1 hour away from capital of Estonia (Tallinn). Road connection between Tallinn and Rakvere is with four lanes. From the airport and harbour you can travel to train or bus station with tram. Train ticket costs 6€ and bus ticket costs 5-6€, approximately.
During your green holiday in Rakvere, you can go anywhere by walking because the city is small. You can rent a bike from city center – there are around 10 kilometers pathways for safe riding and walking. Also city public transport covers most of the city area.
Nature & Wildlife
Rakvere has many parks and different greenery areas with seating areas. Rakvere stands out with landscape protection area called Tammik (oak), the only Estonian landscape protection area in city. In Tammik you can find oak trees that are between 150-220 years old, broadleaf forest communities, biodiversity and the oak wasp and its habitats. Rakvere manor park landscape protection area is unique old park association. The city also has small forest called Palermo with health trails where you can go walking, running and skiing in the winter.
Energy saving and environment is important for Rakvere. The goal is an environmentally conscious community where long-term environmental considerations are important in decision-making. Rakvere’s vision is “Climate-neutral Rakvere” – a clean, smart and nature friendly living environment using smart solutions in the near and distant future a municipality developed through co-creation and cultivating sustainable choices.
Rakvere is a member of the European Union pact of Mayors for climate and energy that brings together thousands of local municipalities that have voluntarily committed themselves to implementing the EU-s climate and energy goals. For example Rakvere is the first city in Estonia to use only green energy for the city lighting and is currently updating city lighting to LED lights. The aim of the project is to reduce use of energy and to make the city lighting more modern.
The City Government of Rakvere is operating in a nearly-zero energy building which is the first public house in Estonia to operate in such conditions. Newly built first stage health center is also a nearly-zero energy building.
Health and Safety
The most important requirement for people is to keep safe distance (2 + 2) to each other when and where possible.
An obligation to wear a mask or to cover one’s nose and mouth is introduced in public indoor spaces, including public transport and service points. Restaurants, museums, spas and attractions are open and welcoming visitors, with precaution methods and processes in place – to ensure, that people are and feel safe. With the HOIA mobile app, you can quickly find out about possible close contact with a COVID-19 infected person, allowing you to take steps to protect your own health and the health of others.
Good Practice Story
One of the biggest success stories is with city’s apartment associations that are actively renovating soviet time block houses which Rakvere has 52. More than ¾ of that kind of houses are already renovated and others are about to start renovating. Thanks to the renovations Rakvere’s block buildings are environment friendly and have at least C energy class. The most progressive apartment associations have solar panels systems.
Travel tips from our editors
Delicious food in Rakvere
City center offers many options to taste delicious food. You can taste genuine or traditional food, unique handmade burgers, sushi, pizza and asian food. Also handmade pastries, cakes and pies. In the summer time you can relax and have food and drink in open terrace right in the city center or near the old town.
Rakvere has many handcraft shops with local art, handmade products, local traditional clothes, souvenirs etc. Two bigger shopping centers on the city boarder and many smaller shops and groceries in city center. Check out these places during your green holiday in Rakvere!
Rakvere is listed in the 2020 Sustainable Top 100 and was nominated for Estonian Environmental Friendly Local Municipality 2020. In 2021 they also participated in the top 100 but were not selected as part of the 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories, however, participated and achieved the sustainability check requirements of 60% compliance with the Green Destinations Core criteria.