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Sillamäe is a city of 17,000 inhabitants in East Estonia situated on a river near the shore of the Gulf of Finland.


Sand beach in Sillamäe

Vast majority of residents in this Eastern Eesti town are Russian speakers so in order to have a good time here it helps to know Russian language for pleasant atmosphere.

Under the Soviet era Sillamäe was a closed, secret military city that was even not marked on maps. Activities conducted there were mostly military industrial and included mining and refining uranium. Sillamäe was opened up in 1991 when Estonia became independent, though it retains a treasure trove of beautiful Stalinist architecture.

Get in[edit]

Bus and train schedules are easily available online – read more under Estonia#Get around.

By bus[edit]

There are direct bus lines from/to Tallinn (~€10), and Narva. Some buses on the Tallinn-Saint Petersburg route also stop here.

  • 1 Sillamäe bus station, Tallinna mnt 9. The ticket office is open from 09:00-17:30 (with a lunch break between 12-12:30).

By train[edit]

The train does not run through Sillamäe. However, there is a stop along the Tallinn-Narva route, called Vaivara, which is just 2 km from Sillamäe centre. There are a connecting buses, but a taxi is your best bet.

  • 2 Vaivara railway station (Vaivara raudteejaam). Vaivara railway station (Q377102) on Wikidata

Get around[edit]

Map of Sillamäe


Take a sombre moment in remembrance of the Cold War and the unfortunate nuclear arms race, and see what used to be a puddle of uranium refining waste product now a small hill or large heap.






  • 1 Hotel Krunk, Kesk 23, +372 3929030, . The room price includes a good breakfast. Double room €45-60.
  • Perjatsi, Perjatsi küla village, +372 564 2173. Situated in the village of Perjatsi, 1.5 km towards Narva from Sillamäe is the cheaper Perjatsi lodgings. Inexpensive, also weekly rates for longer stays.

Go next[edit]

  • Narva – Estonia's eastern-most and third largest city, on the Narva River, which is the border with Russia. Famous for the Hermann castle, right opposite of the Ivangorod's castle, and the Kreenholm factories. Even though it might seem grey and dull.
  • Narva-Jõesuu – The beach side town of Narva on the Narva River.
  • Toila – A small coastal and historic resort town further west.
  • Jõhvi – The capital of the county, but rather uninteresting from a travellers point of view.

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