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The two Ruhnu churches together.

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 now has fewer than 100 permanent inhabitants, mostly ethnic Estonians who like to keep to themselves.

Get in[edit]

Map of Ruhnu

By boat[edit]

A ferry runs from Munalaid in the mainland to Ruhnu. The trip takes about 4½ hours. Bookings can be made via phone and internet.

By plane[edit]

Get around[edit]

On foot[edit]

You can reach pretty much everything by walking.

By plane[edit]

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.


Ruhnu Lighthouse
  • 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 2 m 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.
  • 1 Ruhnu lighthouse. Made in France in 1877. According to rumours, it was designed by Gustave Eiffel (known for the Eiffel Tower). Free. Ruhnu lighthouse (Q3376563) on Wikidata Ruhnu Lighthouse on Wikipedia


Traditional shed on Ruhnu.

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


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




Go next[edit]

  • Saaremaa – The largest Estonian and wild seaside character island with castles and fortresses, one perfectly preserved, a beach, a spa and famous mills. Saaremaa is even sometimes called Sparemaa. Furthermore, the island is surrounded by a myriad of tiny islands including Abruka with its nudist camps.
  • Pärnu – Estonia's 4th largest city and the summer capital of Estonia, popular for its balneo-therapy complexes and spa centres, surrounded by numerous beaches.
  • Kihnu – The southernmost group of islands, Khinu, is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Cosy and warm yet exotic – folk costumes are worn here every day and the handicraft of older generations remains highly valued.

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