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The two Ruhnu churches together.
Traditional shed on Ruhnu.
Ruhnu Lighthouse

Ruhnu is a small island in Estonia, isolated from the rest of the country in the Gulf of Riga. The island is called Runö in Swedish.


Prior to 1944 the island was populated by ethnic Swedes for centuries and traditional Swedish law was used. Ruhnu has currently less than 100, mostly ethnic Estonian permanent inhabitants who like to keep to themselves.

Get in[edit]

By ferry[edit]

A ferry runs from Munalaid in the mainland to Ruhnu. The trip takes approx. 4,5 hours. Bookings can be made via phone and internet.

By plane[edit]

Ruhnu Airport [dead link] operates regular flights to Pärnu and Kuressaare.

Get around[edit]

You can reach pretty much everything by walking. If arriving by airplane, there is a free shuttle bus to the village. Tell the bus driver the name of the place of the family where you are staying, he will take you there. The same for getting to airport - ask your host to call the bus, it will pick you up.


  • St. Madeline's Church in Ruhnu +372 4533835. It's the oldest known wooden building still standing in Estonia - its construction was started in 1643. Free.
  • Ruhnu's New Church. The new church was built only two meters from the old wooden church. The walls of the church are made from rocks and the church tower from wood. The church bell is one of the oldest in Estonia. Free.
  • Ruhnu lighthouse. Made in France in 1877. According to rumours, it was designed by Gustave Eiffel (known for Eiffel Tower). Free.


The island is popular with hikers and swimmers, the best beach for swimming is Limo beach, with its "singing" sands.


There are few small shops on the island. Write down their opening times, because they may not be open all day long. As in mainland Estonia, the official currency is the euro. Credit and debit cards are usually accepted.




Go next[edit]

  • Saaremaa, the largest island with an intact and well-restored medieval castle
  • Pärnu, historical resort seaside city with a small harbour, Estonia's summer capital
  • Kihnu, another small island in Gulf of Riga
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