Kärdla (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈkærˑ'dlɑ]; Swedish: Kärrdal; German: Kertel) is the only town on the island of Hiiumaa, Estonia. It is the capital of Hiiu County and the administrative center of Hiiumaa Parish.

The town square of Kärdla.
The town square of Kärdla.
Kärdla is located in Baltic Sea
Location of Kärdla by the Baltic Sea
Kärdla is located in Estonia
Location in Estonia
Kärdla is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 58°59′53″N 22°44′48″E / 58.99806°N 22.74667°E / 58.99806; 22.74667Coordinates: 58°59′53″N 22°44′48″E / 58.99806°N 22.74667°E / 58.99806; 22.74667
CountyHiiu County
MunicipalityHiiumaa Parish
Town status1938
 • Total4.5 km2 (1.7 sq mi)
 • Total3,160
 • Rank28th
 • Density700/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
 • Estonians98.2%
 • others1.8%
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
92401 to 92420
Area code(+372) 46
Vehicle registrationH


Kärdla is located on the northeastern coast of Hiiumaa, by the Tareste Bay; to the southeast of the town lies the 455 million year old Kärdla meteorite crater. Several small rivers flow through the town. There are also artesian wells in Kärdla. The Swedish name Kärrdal means "marsh valley"; the town is located in a lowlands valley.


Kärdla was first mentioned in 1564 as a village inhabited by Swedes. Its growth was greatly influenced by the cloth factory founded in 1830. A port was built in 1849. Both the port and the factory were destroyed in World War II.

Kärdla officially became a borough in 1920, and a town in 1938. In 2013 the town was merged with Kõrgessaare Parish to establish Hiiumaa Parish, therefore Kärdla lost its municipality status.


Population census
Year 1897 1922 1934 1959 1970 1979 1989 2000 2010
±% p.a.—    −0.33%−0.30%+2.30%+0.91%+1.60%+1.88%−1.05%−0.10%
Kärdla harbor


Road transport from Estonian mainland to Hiiumaa involves a 90-minute (28 km (17 mi)) ferry crossing from Rohuküla to Heltermaa, which is 25 kilometers (16 miles) by road from Kärdla. There are up to 10 ferry departures a day operated by TS Laevad.[2] In the summer weekends, getting car space on the ferry usually requires advance booking. There are about 2 scheduled buses a day between Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) and Kärdla.[3]

There are no scheduled passenger boats directly to Kärdla.

Kärdla is served by Kärdla Airport, with regular flights to Tallinn.

Kärdla town itself is small enough to get around on foot. Bicycle rental is available, and there is a good bicycle path built from Kärdla towards Kõrgessaare.


June's first weekend annual Hiiumaa Children's festival takes place.

In the first week of August, the coffee-loving people of Kärdla expect visitors to Kärdla Cafés' Day celebrated just for one day in their own gardens, serving coffee and home-made pastry.[4]

Notable peopleEdit

International relationsEdit

Twin towns – Sister citiesEdit

The former municipality of Kärdla was twinned with:



  1. ^ "Population by sex, age group and place of residence after the 2017 administrative reform, 1 January". Statistics Estonia. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  2. ^ Praamid.ee. Ferry schedules and booking.
  3. ^ "Bus schedules and booking". T pilet.
  4. ^ Hiiumaa kohvikutepäevad
  5. ^ "Twinnings" (PDF). Central Union of Municipalities & Communities of Greece. Retrieved 2013-08-25.

External linksEdit