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Photo by: Paul Kuimet

Photo by: Krõõt Tarkmeel

Photo by: Noora Karppi

Photo by: Maret Põldveer-Turay

Museums where you can spend a whole day

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By Noora Karppi  •  22.06.2018

Tallinn boasts of excellent and diverse museums – big and small, old and new, traditional and innovative.

If you are looking for the heavyweight museums, where you can spend a whole day wondering around, you have come to the right place. Explore these museums and dive deep into the history, maritime culture and art in Tallinn.

Estonian History Museum - Maarjamäe Palace

It's not a wonder, that people “get lost” in this immersive complex of Estonian History Museum at Maarjamäe. Up on the Maarjamäe hill you can choose to do any or all of the following things:

  • Visit the freshly renovated and newly opened Estonian History Museum inside the Maarjamäe Palace
  • Spend quality time with the small ones at the “Children’s Republic” play area
  • Get to know the art of film-making at the Estonian Film Museum
  • Dine at the new and trendy Restaurant Maarjamäe and admire the artwork by Estonian artist Peeter Allik or have a cup of coffee at Carmen Café inside the Estonian Film Museum
  • Step inside the Palace Stables to experience the history of Estonian pop music
  • Take amazing selfies with Soviet leaders who lie about in the park behind the palace (=outdoor exhibition of Soviet monuments)
  • Catch the sunset over the Tallinn Bay and city skyline from Maarjamäe hill
  • Don’t forget to shop for souvenirs at the museum shops!

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Lennusadam – Seaplane Harbour

Modern high-tech maritime museum is hidden inside this gigantic seaplane hangars in Kalamaja. If you arrive to Tallinn by boat, you can see the museum on the west coastal line of Tallinn. The Seaplane Harbour has collected several awards. In 2013 it was awarded with Europa Nostra Gran Prix in the category of conservation. Since its opening in 2012 people have enjoyed special exhibitions here presenting artefacts from Titanic, the life of Vikings and the past and present of maritime rescue. In one of the most visited museums in Estonia you can:

  • Explore the inside of British-built submarine Lembit
  • Learn about maritime history
  • Take an educational ride with the yellow submarine and navigate on Tallinn Bay
  • Fly above Tallinn with a simulator plane
  • Test maritime war machinery
  • Step on board historic ships
  • Break the ice with Suur Tõll, Europe’s largest steam-powered icebreaker
  • Dine at the café called Maru and enjoy the exiting atmosphere of the Seaplane Hangars
  • Promote yourself to a captain with a proper captains hat, available at the museum store

Estonian Open Air Museum

Estonian traditions, old buildings, handicraft and culture are waiting for you at the Estonian Open Air Museum in Rocca al Mare. The museum is open every day of the year ...almost (except 24.-25.12. and 31.12.). Enjoy the fresh air and activities taking place at the museum grounds. Estonian Open Air Museum is lovely and offers a refreshing change to our busy daily lives and routines. Here you are invited to:

  • Swing at the traditional Estonian village swing
  • Take a horse carriage ride with the wind in your hair through old Estonian countryside
  • Get a tasty old-fashioned snack from the Lau village shop
  • Clear your thoughts at the Sutlepa chapel
  • Breathe in the fresh sea air by the net sheds
  • Listen if the windmills make any sounds while whirring round
  • Learn about the traditional life at Estonian farms from different eras
  • Enjoy traditional Estonian food at the Kolu inn
  • Visit Western, Northern and Southern Estonia, plus the islands, all in one day
Once in Rocca al Mare, you can combine your visit to the Estonian Open Air Museum with a visit to Tallinn Zoo and say hi to the polar bears!

Kumu

Kumu is the main building of Art Museum of Estonia and displays the Estonian art from 18th to 21st centuries. The modern museum building fits perfectly the scenery in leafy Kadriorg, and was opened in 2006. In 2008 Kumu won the European Museum of the Year award (there were 140 candidates). To explore all the five floors open to the public you’ll need at least one whole day. Some things that you can do in Kumu:

  • See
  • Listen
  • Think
  • Experiment
  • Take selfies with the busts
  • Eat cake at the Reval Café
  • Visit the museum shop for some artistic souvenirs
While in Kadriorg, visit also Kadriorg Art Museum – a palace built by Peter the Great that now houses the foreign collection of Art Museum of Estonia.

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