Due to the heavy damage of the Second World War, Narva had to be almost completely rebuilt. This is why the city is dominated by Soviet architecture today. Narva's "modern" Town Hall, for example, is a prime example of typical Soviet architecture.
Over 90% of the current population are Russian-speakers, mostly either Soviet-era immigrants from parts of the former Soviet Union and their descendants.
There’s plenty to do in Narva, concerts, annual festivals and open-air shows that take place both in the inner yard of the Narva Castle and elsewhere in the town, such as in the newly-built ice skating stadium.
- Tourist Information Center, Puškini 13, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Mo-Fr 9-18, Sa-Su 10-15. The staff at the tourist information office on Pushkin street (next to Alexandr Kohvik), can offer plenty of help in fluent English.
Edelaraudtee AS runs a daily train from Tallinn, departure time is 16:00 and it arrives at 19:30. Also, the daily over-night train between Moscow and Tallinn train operated by GoRail makes a stop-over here, journey time from Moscow is 11½ hours. Departure time from Moskva Leningradsky station is 18:05, from Tallinn 17:20.
The train station's address is Vaksali 23B, just southeast of city centre.
- Narva Museum/Castle, St.-Peterburi mnt. 2., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mo-Su 10-18, winter: We-Su 10-18. The Castle tower overlooks the Ivangorod castle on the Russian side of the river and offers an eclectic display of Estonian and Narva history. Tickets are €4..
- Kuremäe Pühtitsa Uspenski convent.
- Tank T- 34, Jõesuu tn. The monument commemorates battles of World War II and indicates breakthrough of Soviet forces. Narva’s tank is the only such memorial, being exhibited in Estonia from the war until today.
- Pimeaed (Blind Garden), Pimeaia tn. This is Narva’s oldest part, an example of park architecture from the end of the 19th century.
- Narva Bastions, Raja tn. A total of seven bastions were built in the 17th century: Honor, Gloria, Victoria, Fama, Triumph, Fortuna, and Spes. Work has been started to dry and light the bastions.
- The Lords Resurrection Cathedral, Bastrakovi tn 4. It was built in 1890-1896 for the orthodox workers of Kreenholm Manufactory. Architectural solution comes from Byzantine tradition. You can see three part iconostasis and 17th century’s Christ’s crucifix. The bombing of the city on year 1944 during the second world war, left only the church untouched.
- Narva Art Gallery, Vestervalli tn 21. The gallery the art centre of East-Viry County. It is located in 18th century former ammunition warehouse. In addition to the permanent collection, exhibitions of modern Estonian and Western European art are organized and a traditional art party takes place on the last Sunday in May.
- Narva Alexander Megachurch, Kiriku tn 9. Built in 1881-84, the Alexander Church was damaged during both world wars. The bell tower was destroyed in 1944 along with the Walcker organ that was located there. Today the church's bell tower has been restored. You can visit the bell tower and the observation platform installed there, as well as a museum where artworks from the 14th to 21st century are displayed.
- Kreenholm area and Kreenholm Textile Factory, Joala tn 20. The famous Kreenholm Textile Factory was built on the shore of the waterfall in the 19th century, and was the largest factory in the Russian Empire at that time. In 1913 over ten thousand people worked there! A compact complex of industrial architecture developed around the factory that included the factory, a hospital, workers' barracks, directors' houses, and Kreenholm Park.
- Narva Town Hall, Raekoja plats 1. German, Swedish and Italian architectural influences are mixed in the building style of the Town Hall that dates back to the 17th century. The building is currently not open to the public.
- Mravinski's International Music Festival. in May.
- Narva Town Days. in July.
- Narva History Festival. in August.
Russian is spoken and understood by virtually everyone. If you are able to speak the Russian language, you will be fine. Estonian is spoken as the second language mainly by the younger generation (as learning Estonian at schools became compulsory after Estonia declared independence in 1991). Older people are likely to have zero knowledge of Estonian. English is spoken (or at least understood) by younger people, but the degree of proficiency may vary greatly. Street signs are Estonian-only or in Estonian and English.
- Second hand shopping, Pushkin 13. Generally there are many second hand stores in Narva. Most of them sell assorted clothing and shoes from the 80s and 90s. The one next door from Alexandr has a selection of Soviet and WWII artifacts; jewelry and memorabilia.
There are a few shopping centres along Tallinn street.
- Fama, Tallinna mnt. 19c.
- Astri, Tallinna mnt. 41. Has also a cinema and a bowling hall.
- Cafe Aleksandr, Pushkini tänav 13. Relatively low prices, clean and cosy interior. More than 100 dishes of European and Russian cuisine including salads, soups, pelmeni, fish, chicken and meat courses, pancakes and desserts. Nearby the cafe is Narva castle, Narova river and the tourism information office. Tourist groups of up to 40 people are welcome!
For more expensive dining options, consider the restaurants in the hotels in the sleep section.
- Hostel LELL, Partisani 4. Features authentic Soviet architecture and service — except instead of being ironic, it's very real. Located in a derelict, desolate housing block, 2 km from the center of town. Doubles are €35, with toilet and sink in the room, and moldy showers in the basement. Surprisingly, the hot water actually works. Some floors are equipped with empty lounges reminiscent of a 1950s nursing home.
- Hotel King, Lavretsovi 9, ☎ , fax: +372 35 72404, e-mail: email@example.com. single room from €48, double room from €60,.
- Hotel Inger, Pushkin 28. singles from €50, doubles from €65.
As in any other Russian majority town, take extreme care if you're dark-skinned. Avoid non-touristic places, bars and pubs at all, especially at night as skin-heads are known to be violent.