The old church (which is actually a chapel) was located on a sandbank at the northern extremity of the island. According to legend, the church was destroyed in a fire (between 1700 and 1710) during the Great Northern War. The hill where the old church stood has also revealed a burial ground (a so-called underground cemetery) used when the church still stood. The Lutheran church reached Kihnu Island in about 1530, when the land was under Swedish rule. A new chapel was built in the middle of the island, at approximately the site where the current church stands. A subordinate church was established at the same location in 1624.
As a result of the religious conversion movement that began in the 1840s, the inhabitants of Kihnu converted to Russian Orthodox en masse. In accordance with the proclamation of the tsar, the stone church building was handed over to the Orthodox congregation and the building was fitted with an onion-shaped cupola. The fence and gate made of coloured brick were built at the beginning of this century.
The people of Kihnu consider the cemetery to be as holy a site as the church. They visit it in silence, and never go after sunset, so as not to disturb the dead. The cemetery used today contains crosses erected for people who died at the end of the 19th century. After his remains were brought from Denmark to Kihnu in 1992, the famous captain Enn Uuetoa, also known as Kihnu Jõnn, was buried near the main gate of the cemetery. The person resting next to him is Karl Jerkwelt – the carpenter from Saaremaa, who built Jõnn's last ship named Rock-City. The memorial stone erected in honour of Kihnu Jõnn stands in Rootsiküla and marks the captain's birthplace.
The Kihnu Museum was opened in 1974 in an old schoolhouse. The exhibitions are displayed in four rooms. The works of local naïve artists are displayed on one side of the house along with an exhibit that introduces visitors to the famous men of Kihnu Island, including local historian Theodor Saar, self-made captain Enn Uuetoa, and silversmith Peeter Rooslaid. The other side of the house contains exhibits related to local daily life, such as tools, clothing, handwork, and furniture. The museum's collection includes more than 700 items.
The first information regarding a school on Kihnu Island dates back to 1777. The construction of the current schoolhouse was finished in 1972 and the building underwent a general overhaul in 1998, resulting in its current appearance. The school has 69 pupils and employs 8 teachers. In addition to the national curriculum, the school also teaches the local dialect and the girls learn the basics of Kihnu folk handicrafts. As a sign of respect and acknowledgement, the 2009 Estonian National Language Award was given to the individuals responsible for the publication of the Kihnu "Aabets" (reading primer). The book links the Kihnu dialect and local sayings with daily life on the island, helps retain the phraseology inherited from previous generations, and is a remarkable example of how the people of Kihnu preserve and value the distinct cultural and linguistic features characteristic of the island's population.
Kihnu lighthouse, located on Pitkänä Cape at the southern extremity of the island, was assembled in 1864 from parts made in England. The local inhabitants call the lighthouse a "puak" and the lighthouse keepers ("puagivahid") have traditionally been Russians. The height of the lighthouse measured from the sea level and the ground is 31 metres and 29 metres, respectively.
In addition to the Sangelaiud islets (ten islets near the north-western coast of the main island), two erratic boulders on Kihnu Island have been included in the list of objects under nature conservation: Kassikivi (or Kihnu Kassikivi), which has a circumference of 4.5 metres, and the Liiva-aa Suur Kivi (or Kihnu Liivaaia Kivi), which has a circumference of 12 metres.
There are also four ancient trees that are under nature conservation, including an old oak on the lands of Koksi Farm, which has a height of 26 metres and a circumference of 3.1 metres. The other trees are three lindens located near where the local manor house used to stand. The lindens have circumferences of 3.2, 2.5 and 2.3 metres and range between 16 and 17 metres in height.
Kihnu is a small island that is best explored by bicycle – a mode of transportation that allows the visitor to enjoy the calmness and silence of the surroundings when riding on forest paths while providing a faster way of covering ground compared to walking. The museum, the cemetery, and the Orthodox church are located close to each other in Linaküla, while the lighthouse and the memorial stone dedicated to Kihnu Jõnn are located further in the south. If you do not have your own bicycle or do not want to bring it with you, you can rent one on the spot. Bicycle rental services are provided by the accommodation establishments. Tourists can also go on guided tours, go for a drive around the island in a car, visit folk concerts, and go sailing or fishing in lappaja-type fishing boats.