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20 best museums in Tallinn

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State institutions that collect, preserve the cultural, historical heritage appeared on the planet in about 290 BC in Alexandria. Since then, they have become not only repositories of collections, but also the country’s strongest educational centers. It is advisable to begin acquaintance with it by visiting art galleries and exhibitions of artifacts belonging to the country. Amazing exhibits demonstrating everyday life, historical events. Museums in Tallinn contain complete information about people’s lives, show treasures carefully preserved for posterity. Among them are the following city museums.

Estonian Maritime Museum

Морской музей Эстонии, Таллин

An institution was organized on the initiative with the direct participation of former captains and sailors in 1935. It got a permanent place in 1981 in the gun tower Tolstaya Margarita. The building has its own history of over 500 years. A new exposition was located in 2012 in the building of Flight Harbor. In the former hangar for seaplanes at the site of the permanent exhibition “Sea of ​​Interesting” are the 1937 Lembit submarine. The hull of the oldest ship Maasilinna, found in the waters of the country. Seaplane “Short 184”, sea mines, a collection of guns, sailboats, boats.

On the territory of the restaurant, shops. Specialized exhibitions, seminars, conferences on the topic of navigation are held. This is of interest to students. Nearby is the existing port. It offers a look at the centennial icebreaker Suur Tull, over 100 models of ships of different times. In some expositions, auxiliary equipment for marine vessels, navigation charts, and compasses are presented. Address: Vesilennuki, 1.

Kumu Art Museum

Художественный музей Куму, Таллин

A place of storage, exhibitions, permanent, temporary expositions of works of art by Estonian craftsmen working since the end of the 18th century. Works of the Soviet period contain works of socialist realism, unofficial art. KUMU stands for KUnstiMUuseum (Museum of Art). The building was designed by an Estonian architect in 2006. An architectural landmark is located on the edge of a cliff, decorated with copper elements in harmony with natural stone massifs.

It houses the largest collection of works by foreign and Estonian artists in Northern Europe. The expositions of the National Gallery are built with orientation to different age groups. They store sculptures, paintings, modern installations with effects built on computer technology. In 2008, Kumu received the title of European Museum of the Year. Address A. Weizenbergi tn 34.

Museum of Occupation and Liberty Vabamu

Музей оккупации и свободы Vabamu, Таллин

For each country, freedom and independence are valuable. On the way to its conquest, the people overcome a difficult historical struggle. Descendants will want to know her motives, ways, names of heroes who have defended the life of the motherland. A permanent exhibition of elements characterizing the latest history of Estonia attracts visitors of any age. An electronic guide in different languages ​​talks in detail about the stored materials. Including genuine memories of freedom fighters, rebels, collaborators. “Freedom” is presented in the form of a story of perseverance, survival, evil, cruel tragedies. The permanent exhibition consists of five parts: “Soviet Estonia”, “Freedom”.

“Restoration”, “Inhumanity”, “In Exile”. There is an institution in the Old City, in a building where there were prison cells, an interrogation room, crimes were committed under the leadership of the KGB. Having learned the history of crimes against humanity, you begin to evaluate freedom, independence, and justice differently. Address: Tallinn center.

Museum of Health

Музей здравоохранения, Таллин

The main wealth of the country is considered the health of residents. Throughout existence, man has been looking for ways to prolong life, alleviate diseases, and the causes of their occurrence. Ancient people kept the secrets of medicinal potions of traditional medicine. Invaluable teachings were created that went into practice, the experience of modern and traditional medicine. How a person works, what happens to his organs during an illness, how to make him a long-liver, it is proposed to learn from interesting exhibitions.

Over 20 thousand exhibits are located on two floors of the building on the territory of Old Tallinn. There is a permanent exhibition “Frankly about your body.” For the accumulation of information for each individual body a specific room is allocated. It necessarily has an interactive exhibit with the ability to touch it. The first study of exhibitions takes place along with an acquaintance with the human skeleton, determining the location of all its organs.

Морской музей Эстонии, Таллин

Entertaining events allow you to check the reaction, choose a new hairstyle due to the original photo. On bright educational stands it is proposed to read a maximum of information about the history of the development of medicine in the country. Celebration services are organized in special rooms, classes are held with schoolchildren. Address: Tallinn, Lai 30.

Estonian History Museum

Эстонский исторический музей, Таллин

11 thousand years of the history of the native people, from the ancient period to the present, are presented in the State Historical Museum of the country. After the reconstruction of 2011, he acquired the capabilities of amazing interactive technologies. Thanks to them, proposals appeared to effectively plunge into the world of art, history, traditions, culture of the native land. Live screens, quizzes, assignments, films, games present information in English and Estonian, captivate with a variety of children, adults.

Exposition halls are located in the historic building of the Great Guild since 1952. The Gothic building, erected in 1430, is considered a landmark of Tallinn and a worthy place for organizing temporary, permanent exhibitions of historical artifacts. These are expositions “Strong in spirit”, “11000 years of Estonian history”, “Easy money”. The arms room presents a variety of types of small arms. Visitors are invited to play on electronic devices. The appearance of the building has been preserved. The collection archive has been formed since 1842, starting with the collections of antiquities of pharmacist Johann Burkhardt (he lived in 1776-1838).

The institution received the status of a museum in 1940. In 1975, part of Maaryamägi Castle was added to it, opening a branch in it with expositions covering the beginning of the 19th century. Monuments to the Communists, whose activities are connected with the Estonian SSR, are collected in the park next to the building. When visiting exhibitions, an audio guide in 6 languages ​​is provided on bail with a subsequent return.

Estonian Open Air Museum

Эстонский музей под открытым небом, Таллин

In the Rocca al Mare district of Tallinn, there is a corner with a lively history of Estonia. 74 wooden buildings assembled in the style of farms, ancient settlements of the country return visitors to a cozy, quiet agricultural country. It seems that it is about to smell delicious dishes of national cuisine, a fragrant smoke swirls over the roofs of houses and a cart creaks with a silent, obedient horse. The life of Estonians in the west, north, south, islands is shown from all sides. Churches, chapels, taverns, windmills, schools, shops, fishing houses and boats with fishing gear come to life in peasant settlements (14 of them are formed).

Inside the houses are furniture, kitchen utensils, tools, ancient jewelry, and clothes. There are special rooms for special occasions, weddings, banquets. In summer, all expositions are open. Near each house guests are greeted by hospitable Estonians dressed in national clothes. In winter, the Kouyo Schoolhouse, Colu Tavern, is open to the public. All year around the outskirts of “Ancient Estonia” it is proposed to race on a horse-drawn cart, sleigh. Listen to many interesting stories about the ancient homeland, for example, look at which island one of the oldest pine trees in the world grows on.

Marzipan Museum

Музей марципана, Таллин

The favorite delicacy of the peoples of the Baltic appeared in the Middle Ages in the form of a pharmacy drug. It is difficult to say in which country they began to produce it first. In Estonia, George Stude opened factories for the production of aromatic sweets in the early 19th century. Now the “tasty” institution includes an exhibition hall, a shop, a cafe and belongs to the Sweets House OU confectionery complex. Over 200 bright figures made in ancient forms are invited to enter and try marzipans. They are made according to special recipes from almond flour of special grinding, additives, powdered sugar.

Special skill is necessary when coloring sweet products. At the request of visitors, the process can be done in the presence of the customer and according to his fantasy proposals. From marzipan, figures of any shape are made. Almost fresh flowers, animals, voluminous portraits of people, cakes, the height of a person’s height, stand on display windows. When conducting a master class, it is proposed to sculpt and paint products yourself. It is difficult to refuse a child to visit an amazing place. Moreover, it is located next to the Town Hall Square at 40 Pikk Street.

Nuku Puppet Museum

Музей кукол Nuku, Таллин

Here is not just a collection of dolls of different nations. In the luxurious exhibits are dolls that played specific roles in the Estonian Puppet Theater. More than a hundred familiar models played in performances, performed on stages. In 2020, the oldest doll was 82 years old. The most terrible specimens (from fairy tales) are placed in the “Room of Fear”. Unusual interactive galleries are located in the building of the historical center of Tallinn on 8. Nunne Street. They appeared in 2010 and became a clear reflection of theatrical history.

During the excursions, it is proposed to find out how the stage is arranged, to discover the secrets of the stage arrangement of the puppet theater. Going down to the basement, it is proposed to listen to the voices of living people who worked in the theater due to the work of a huge screen with unusual buttons. Not every daredevil dares to cross the glass bridge located next to the expositions. The institution has workshops, master classes. You can learn how to make a puppet on your finger, a puppet, a character for a shadow theater, a classic version of the product. To get acquainted with outfits, costumes of dolls, make them out of paper, metal. Perform the required makeup.


Маарьямяги, Таллин

A memorial complex rises next to the old castle. It includes historical monuments: Reconciliation Square, designed in honor of the memory of the Ice Campaign. Military cemetery with the burial places of German, Soviet, Estonian soldiers who died in the battles of World War II. A modern architectural ensemble dedicated to residents of the country who have been victims of political repression, deportation. In 1960, the first object of the memorial monument appeared on a hillside. It was an obelisk of the future Square of Reconciliation, with a height of 35 m. Next to the stands there is a sculpture “Extinguishing Flame” and the architectural composition “Dying Gulls”.

Their bronze bodies are pressed by dolomite rocks and form a gate to the Military Cemetery. During the Soviet Union, orchestras of parades and pioneer salutes sounded on the square. The new part of the architectural masterpiece, which opened in 2018, is striking in flight of thought. It is called the Way and the Garden. Two black walls form a corridor (Path) to death from the ruthlessness of the totalitarian system. 22 thousand names are written on the walls. At the end of the tunnel is an apple orchard. He plays the role of a symbol of memories of his native home, faith in a happy future.

Kadriorg Art Museum

Кадриоргский художественный музей, Таллин

In 1927, after a major reconstruction, the famous Kadriorg Baroque palace was opened. After the events of 1919, Weizenberg’s sculpture workshop settled in the building, and exhibitions of artists of that time were held. The palace has become a center of attraction for creative names. It was not surprising that the birth of a place where the works of foreign artists were exhibited, and not only of Estonian masters, arose within these walls. Active museum activity began in 1946. The new birth of the institution occurred after the restoration of 2000.

It houses the largest collection of works of Western European, Russian art in the country. A separate exhibition is dedicated to elements donated by Johannes Mikkel. It contains paintings, sculptures, graphics, porcelain, elements of applied art. The solemn halls filled with rare exhibits return to the palace interior its former splendor and grandeur. Together with the fascinating history of the palace and the park, they form an invaluable creative heritage and attract many tourists. Address: A. Weizenberg 33.

Bank of Estonia Museum

Музей Банка Эстонии, Таллин

Here you can exchange Estonian kroons, buy commemorative coins, original souvenirs. This is the only point on the planet where Estonian kroons can still be exchanged for euros, or replace a damaged banknote. Together with the usual banking operations, visitors are given the opportunity to plunge into the historical world of the appearance of money in the country. Play interactive games, learn the rules for managing the assets of the Central Bank, modern payment methods. Touch the activities of the bank and its role in the financial operations of the eurozone.

The permanent exhibition contains samples of genuine banknotes brought from all over the world. During the tour listen to the stories of making money methods. Those who wish can learn to determine their authenticity. Halls with interesting exhibits are located in the old, historical building of the Estonian Noble Credit Society, built in 1904. The rooms in the corner tower of red brick are reserved for them. Visiting exhibitions is free with Tallinn Card.

Estonian Museum of Nature

Эстонский музей природы, Таллин

Many secrets of the geological life of Estonia. Her living, plant world, hidden river and sea puzzles are invited to learn from the expositions in the building, standing near the famous Tolstaya Margarita tower. The main entrance gate of the building with the Loodusmuuseum sign appears after the passage into the courtyard through a prominent arch. Three floors are filled with elements of thematic exhibitions. At the interactive stand, among the stands with photographs, it is proposed to learn in detail the features of the landscape. To clarify where the forests are noisy, and where almost impassable swamps doze off.

By the way, the country was included in the lists of the first inventors of tourist routes laid in a special way along a living quagmire. Every year, an exhibition of mushrooms is held in the halls. It is not only interesting, but also useful. The younger generation sometimes cannot distinguish a pale grebe from a green russula. Stuffed animals made in full size, well complement the curriculum of schoolchildren. Here you are invited to see bears, moose, wolves, foxes, learn all about their life. A useful helper in this will be an audio guide with four languages: Estonian, Finnish, English, Russian.

Niguliste Museum

Музей Нигулисте, Таллин

In the western part of Old Tallinn rises the beautiful medieval St. Nicholas Cathedral or the Niguliste Church. Since 1944, in the sacred building there is a rare collection of elements, works of art that adorned the old churches, monasteries of the city. A rare altar, made in the Old Dutch style, designed by local artist Zittov, has been preserved here.
Numerous tombstones of medieval burials, Silver Room. There are expositions of church items made of silver. A real treasure of the city is a fragment of the dance of death, by Berthe Notke. It depicts a chain of people (starting with the pope and ending with a baby) and dancing figures of Death, attracting people. A work created 5 centuries ago is relevant in all times of human existence.

It is a pity that a fragment with 13 figures was preserved from a 30-meter canvas. It is believed that the artist created two similar works, but one painting died during the war. The special properties of acoustics in the church helped to organize a concert hall in it. The magical power of the ancient building, the beauty of its decoration increases during music concerts. Address: Niguliste, 3.

Estonian Museum of Modern Art

Эстонский музей современного искусства, Таллин

Talent, creativity of artists of different generations was expressed in specific techniques, methods inherent in the current time. There was always an alternative space for self-expression, approval of new names. Contemporary art includes not only classical works of art, but also compositions aimed at the philosophical perception of art. Museums appear, similar to the original exhibition sites. One is located in an old boiler house.

There is a showroom with original exhibits, a cafe. Exhibitions have been held in the restored building (5 international exhibitions of photographs have already taken place), experimental films are shown, and an art fair is being held. Thematic seminars, meetings, conferences on the political impact on art, the consequences of climate chaos on the planet are held.

Tallinn City Museum

Таллиннский городской музей, Таллин

All aspects of city life, the historical stages of its development are reflected in permanent, temporary expositions. Since 1965, they are in the former trading house of the XIV century. It preserved a salt cellar, a chimney, a window frame. Acquaintance with numerous artifacts (there are almost 150,000 units) is accompanied by modern musical design. Since 2001, the permanent exhibition “City that never gets ready” has been running. It reflects the historical events of Tallinn. On the upper floors with the help of modern displays, it is proposed to watch live action taking place during the wars, occupation, birth of modern Estonia.

The online show was created from three-dimensional virtual travels and photos. A separate exhibition is dedicated to the period of restoration of independence of the country. The institution unites 10 objects located near Tallinn. Among them are interesting galleries for children, collections of photographs, ancient fortifications of the city. Since 2016, an exhibition of decorative stones began to work in one of the tunnels of the former bastion. Address: Vene Street, 17.

Estonian Architectural Museum

Эстонский архитектурный музей, Таллин

Each country has its own style of building construction, its own methods of implementing the ideas of local architects. Architectural complexes from modern materials appear that hit the world, become elements of imitation. Such masterpieces have an interesting history, surrounded by legends, myths. Residents of all corners of the planet try to save them for posterity. Such a place in Tallinn was organized in 1991 on the territory of the medieval Loewenschede tower. After 5 years, the expositions moved to Rotermann’s former salt warehouse.

The collection consists of models of buildings erected by architects of the country at different times. During the tour, it is proposed to learn the history of the formation of building achievements, the emergence of new trends in the architectural industry. Birth of discoveries, inventions in the construction field. In a separate exhibition are drawings, schemes of famous buildings. It constantly hosts exhibitions of fine art. The modern design of the halls using electronic methods has been completed.

Estonian Fire Museum

Эстонский музей пожарной охраны, Таллин

Buildings of fire stations appeared one of the first on the streets of cities. From here came help to people during a fire. Technical achievements, the development of new methods of extinguishing fires were quickly reflected in the activities of this city service. In many places, the buildings of the first firefighters were preserved. They contain interesting expositions of elements that have gone into the past (buckets, hooks). In Tallinn, such a place is the 1939 building, designed by the architect Herbert Johanson.

The complex has a 32 m tower used for drying fire hoses. The exhibition contains elements of fire fighting equipment, protective suits of lifeguards, a hand pump. The original proposal is a model of a residential building during a fire. With the help of flashing lights, 27 places of frequent fires are indicated. This helps explain fire safety rules to children in normal home environments. And it will be interesting for them to sit behind the wheel of a real fire engine. Take part in an entertaining excursion is proposed by pre-booking a trip.

House-Museum of Peter I

Дом-музей Петра I, Таллин

The appearance of the palace, Kadriorg Park, is associated with the name of the Russian Tsar Peter I. During the Northern War, he stayed in Reval (future Tallinn) 11 times. The plans of the king was the creation of a summer residence in the vicinity of the famous limestone Lasnamäe. The first step in realizing his dream was to buy a nondescript building on the territory of a local estate in 1714. The choice was made thanks to the views of the harbor, sea, ships that opened from the house.

From here it was easy to observe enemy ships during the Northern War. Subsequently, the house was called “the old palace of Peter I”. At the direction of Emperor Alexander I, the oldest museum of Peter the Great was opened in the house (1806). The exposition includes the premises of a bedroom, a dining room, a living room, a later completed basement and an attic. The interior of the rooms is decorated with things, furniture belonging to the royal family. The halls provide for various events. Address: Kadriorg, Mäekalda 2.

Museum of Applied Arts

Музей прикладного искусства, Таллин

While relaxing in the resorts of the Estonian coast of the Baltic Sea, sightseeing trips, I want to get to know the ancient original culture of the country. To see the found and modern elements of applied art of local creators. They will best tell about life in this place of the planet. It is proposed to make such discoveries for oneself when examining expositions in the premises of a former three-story warehouse for grain storage. The building of 1695 was considered one of the largest outbuildings in the city.

Since 1980, it houses over 15,000 exhibits from design elements and professional arts and crafts. Separately shown photos, negatives, slides. Archive designed, rich library. The main exposition includes ceramics, glass, metal, jewelry, numerous copies of ancient books. The institution often hosts thematic exhibitions and various events. Separately presented objects from the applied arts of Western Europe, made in the XVIII, XIX centuries. Address: Lai tn 17, next to Town Hall Square.

Kik in de Kök

Кик-ин-де-Кёк, Таллин

Tallinn’s amazing place is filled with historical facts, legends of two seemingly incompatible concepts: the history of the use of coffee and the emergence of powerful fortifications. This was made possible by combining three unique exhibition offers: the gun tower, underground bastions, the Maiden Tower cafe and structures in the form of the Gate, the Stable Towers.
The coffee culture was not born immediately. The product was considered a delicacy and was available to the wealthy classes with special permission. You could learn about its use by commoners only by looking at the kitchen from a great height. Thus was born the name of the New Tower “Kin-in-de-Kök” at Harju Gate or translated from German as “look into the kitchen.” The main elements of the expositions of towers and underground corridors were the armor of knights of the Middle Ages, tools of different times.

Кик-ин-де-Кёк, Таллин

Among them are rare cannons, real cores. In the powerful tower, special ovens have been preserved. They split up the kernel before use. Open loopholes for shelling from guns. Secret passages in deep dungeons are revealed. During the excursions, it is proposed to find out the story of the battles that took place near the tower. Enjoy a cup of great coffee and delicious treats in Maiden’s Tower. At the same time, admiring the unforgettable views of the surroundings of Tallinn.


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