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Museums in Tallinn

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Estonia
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Fat Margaret Museum
Listed in UNESCO heritage, the complex provides an overview of maritime trade, agencies, and navigation in the Middle Ages, as well as in the era of sailing, steam, and motor ships. There is a total of 1,000 m² of exhibition space. The star exhibit is the 700-year-old Koge wreck found in Kadriorg in 2015. There are about 70 ship models out of which 17 have been created specifically for the exhibition, nearly 700 items, and 50 digital and hands-on solutions.
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Bank of Estonia Museum
The Bank of Estonia Museum is situated in a historical building in the heart of Tallinn constructed in 1904 as the headquarters of Aadlipank. The exhibition rooms shelter history – video clips, interactive games and virtual displays showcase the history of Estonian money, the activities and role of the Bank of Estonia in the eurozone and how money is made. You can have a chat with the waxworks of the cultural figures who once featured on Estonian kroons, check the authenticity of bills and differentiate real bills from forged ones, predict the economic development, and manage the external assets of the central bank. At the museum shop, you can exchange Estonian kroons into euros or buy souvenir coins and other souvenirs. You can also pre-book a tour.
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Kiek in de Koek
This massive, 38m-high cannon tower houses an extensive museum of the town's fortifications, weapons and medieval-era life.
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Niguliste Museum
Exquisite altarpieces, medieval burial slabs and other works of religious art can be seen in this 1230-era church-turned-museum. Saints, dancing skeletons and silver – not to mention the occasional organ concert – are the main attractions here.
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Pentala Archipelago Museum
The Pentala Archipelago Museum is located on an old fisherman’s estate on Pentala Island in Espoonlahti Bay. The museum area consists of fifteen different buildings. The oldest one is a fisherman’s cottage built in the early 1790s. The fisherman’s estate was inhabited year-round until 1986. Espoo’s maritime side is at its best on Pentala Island. The Archipelago Museum showcases life in the archipelago, from housing and hard work to villas and leisure activities. In the summer, the museum area is full of things to see and do. If you want to experience Espoo’s unique archipelago nature, simply follow a nature trail to Lake Pentalanjärvi and the Diksand beach.
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Suomenlinna
World Heritage Site Suomenlinna is a cultural treasure. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. The development of tourism began after the wars in the 20th century, and in the 21st century, the Suomenlinna sea fortress is one of the most popular attractions in Finland. Today, the fortress and its museums, restaurants and events are a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Suomenlinna is not only a popular visitor attraction but also a home of 800 residents. The number of visitors to Suomenlinna has continued to grow, and with over 900,000 visitors every year, the sea fortress is one of Finland’s most popular tourist destinations. Suomenlinna attracts visitors from both Finland and abroad: it offers an ideal environment for exploring a historical world heritage site, or just spending a day relaxing. Many visitors come to the island during the summer, but the number of wintertime visitors is steadily growing.
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Hanaholmen
Hanasaari is an enchanting place in the midst of the archipelago, close to the Helsinki city centre. The Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre promotes and develops interaction between Finland and Sweden, as well as co-operation in all areas of society. Hanasaari’s home is a modern well-maintained building, amply decorated with modern Finnish and Swedish art. The Hanasaari cultural centre was inaugurated on 1 June 1975 by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and President Urho Kekkonen of Finland. The building was designed by architect Veikko Malmio, and its original interior decorations by Professor Yrjö Sotamaa. An art competition was organised during the building phase, and the winner was revealed by King Carl XVI Gustaf when he inaugurated the house. The winning piece was Heikki Häiväoja‘s grand relief “Vuorovaikutus” (Interaction). Two other participating works were also purchased for Hanasaari: Marjatta Weckström‘s relief “Vuodenajat” (The seasons), which today can be seen in Restaurant Johannes, and the bronze front doors with small coloured windows embedded in them by Kauko Räsänen.
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Ateneum Art Museum
The Ateneum is Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The images held by the Ateneum are ingrained in the collective memory of the Finnish people: the beloved works in Ateneum’s collections date from the period from the 19th century to the modern age.
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Gallen-Kallela Museum
On the northern shore of Laajalahti Bay, in Tarvaspää, lies the Gallen-Kallela Museum, designed and built by one of Finland’s finest artists, Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Tarvaspää’s beautiful surroundings and the museum’s unique architecture provide the perfect setting for a museum visit. Originally a studio and residence, the museum opened to the public in 1961. The temporary exhibitions that present the art and life of Gallen-Kallela are shown alongside present-day works of contemporary art, while a wide range of events and activities are arranged during the year, with the museum acting as a centre for information on the great artist. Tarvaspää Cafe Zoceria is located in a delightful villa next to the museum where visitors can enjoy great coffee, snacks, salads and soups.
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Museum of the Coastal Swedes
This museum in Haapsalu introduces the thousand-year-old settlements of the coastal Swedes in Estonia. In the house inaugurated by the King of Sweden, you can acquaint yourself with their unique cultural heritage and see a 20-metre embroidered rug that depicts the life of the Estonian Swedes. There is a scene where Swedish peasants bought Large-Pakri Island from the Padise Monastery for 34 silver marks in 1345. Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf had great words of praise for the pictorial rug! In addition, other interesting events are organised and traditional wedding feasts are held. Good to know: the museum houses several traditional wooden boats typical of coastal Swedes.
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Haapsalu Castle
Haapsalu Castle is an architectural gem built in the 13th century, which until the end of the 17th century was the seat of power of the local authorities. The museum in the main castle focuses on the history of the castle itself. You can learn about the construction of the castle, the birth of the town of Haapsalu, and the fate of the rulers and locals of the Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek. In order to better understand the life of that time, guests can try out different mechanisms. The passages on the walls offer a wonderful view of the castle and the picturesque town of Haapsalu.
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Glims Farmstead Museum
Glims Farmstead Museum is situated in the well preserved cultural landscape of Karvasmäki village, where farms and holdings were already established in the Middle Ages.
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Railway and Communications Museum
The former terminal station of the railway was constructed between 1903 and 1905 to serve the resort town of Haapsalu. With its mysterious and grand station building, it now invites you to discover the nearly century and a half of Estonian railways and retired iron horses. During the time travel in the old station with an unusually long roofed platform and a royal pavilion, you can hear the sound of a locomotive and meet the courteous station master from the 1930s. In addition, we welcome you on a trip through the fascinating world of telecommunications and to explore the development and history of communication devices from telegraphy and crank telephone to mobile phones and computers.
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Espoo Car Museum
he Espoo Car Museum is the most diversified and oldest vehicle museum in Finland. Objects and special exhibitions are often altered, so also those who revisit beautiful Pakankylä in Espoo may find something new. There are cars and motorcycles from the early 1900s up until family cars of the 1960s and 1970s, which have disappeared from the motoring scene. Our sports car collection is of major interest, too. Famous East European cars were imported to Finland after WW II, making up a section of their own, such as Moskvich, Yalta, Volga, Pobeda, IFA etc., and not least a Russian Chaika. You can also admire beautiful American cars.
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Paernu Museum
The Pärnu Museum is one of the most modern historical museums in the Baltics and offers an experience for the whole family. Permanent exhibition "The History of 11,000 Years - Experience from Ancient Times" brings you an exciting time line through the Stone Age, the medieval trade routes, the Baroque Fortress to the nostalgic Soviet period.
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The Red Tower
The Red Tower was built in the 15th century as a prison in the Southeastern corner of the medieval fortress that surrounded the town of Pärnu. It is the only defensive tower of the Hanseatic town of New-Pärnu that has been preserved. This granite tower got its name from the brick that used to line the inside and outside of the tower. In the 17th century, the tower had four storeys and a prison cell that was 6 metres deep. Three storeys have been preserved. In the 19th century, the building was renovated into the town archives, but the building served a number of different purposes over the following century.
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Runeberg Museum
Welcome to Finland’s oldest home museum! Come and enjoy the authentic atmosphere of the 1860s bourgeois home (kirjailijakoti) as guests of the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877) and his wife Fredrika (1807-1879). The museum’s unique atmosphere is created by furniture, works of art, dishes and old house plants, many of which have been grown from Fredrika’s cuttings. During the summer season you can discover the floral splendour of the house’s carefully restored garden.
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Porvoo Doll and Toy Museum
This private collection is open to the public during the summer months and to groups by arrangement throughout the year. One of the best toy museums in the country, exhibiting a large number of toys, all of which children have played with at some point in time.
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Porvoo Museum
Porvoo Museum is both a historical museum and an art museum. The two buildings in which it is housed date from the 1760s and stand on the edge of the square beside the Old Town Hall in the heart of the oldest part of Porvoo.
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Tostamaa Manor
The beautifully renovated Tõstamaa Manor has a colourful history and it is one of the best-known sights in the area. Even though it has a late classicist appearance, the manor was established in the Middle Ages. It has been used as a school since 1921. You can go on a tour of the manor where you will learn about its history and see its rooms. The wall and ceiling murals, the beautiful main staircase and the room under the mantle chimney are particularly impressive. Useful information! The last owner of the manor was Alexander Stael von Holstein, a famous Orientalist who even became a professor at the University of Beijing. The crown of the manor, which is under heritage and nature conservation, is oak with a top whose diameter is 23 m.
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Viljandi Museum
The museum is located in an old pharmacy , with a permanent exhibition on two floors reflecting the history of Viljandi County until the mid-20th century. Wildlife showcases contain many animal and bird species that are special favorites for the smallest visitors.
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A. Le Coq Beer Museum
Tartu is the birthplace of beer brewing in Estonia and it has been a beer city for almost 1,000 years. A beer museum was opened on the territory of the A. Le Coq Brewery in 2003 to introduce the history of industrial beer brewing. It also provides the most thorough overview of the history of beer in Estonia, its culture, and origin story. Almost 2,000 items are exhibited in the malt tower built in 1898, including an original bottle of Imperial Extra Double Stout from the year 1869. All museum visits end at the museum pub, where guests can sample A. Le Coq’s beverages.
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Tartu Toy Museum
Tartu Toy Museum, situated in the Old Town of Tartu, takes adults back to the brighter days of their childhood and offers children plenty of interesting things to see and do. The permanent exhibition displays toys that Estonian children have played with throughout the years. Artist-made dolls, souvenir dolls of different nations, and Finno-Ugric traditional toys are also exhibited. Playrooms and workshops are also open. You can see puppets from Estonian puppet films and temporary exhibitions in the outbuilding. The museum also has a theatre building named ’Teatri kodu’ (The Home of Theatre) with a theatre hall, a museum of puppets, and a children’s studio.
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Upside Down House
What to do with your family, children, friends, guests, or colleagues in Tartu? Are you looking for new experiences and great photos? You have come to the right place! The Upside Down House is an exciting and dizzying experience where all of this is possible. The Upside Down House has furniture, a refrigerator, and everything else which is usually found on the floor – but here, they are on the ceiling. Well, actually, they are on the floor, but here, the ceiling is the floor. But wait – maybe it is you that is upside down? The house is also slightly sloped to test your balance. All of this is confusing, funny, and exciting :) The visit takes about 30 minutes – during this time, you will experience the house fully and are able to take cool pictures as well!
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AHHAA Science Centre
Want to surprise yourself? The AHHAA Science Centre offers science, excitement, adventure and useful skills, as well as a fun time for everyone. Our centre is an attractive learning environment in which you are bound to learn something new. The majority of our exhibits are 'hands-on', so you can try everything yourself, whether it be the planetarium, the school laboratory pilot programme, creating educational materials or the science theatre. You can even host your own birthday party here.
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Brinkhall Manor
The Brinkhall Manor, located in Turku on the island of Kakskerta, can trace its history back to the 16th century. The existing neoclassical buildings, completed in 1793, are surrounded by a rich natural and cultural landscape with parks and gardens going back many hundreds of years. The grounds are well known from the Finnish TV series Hovimäki. Brinkhall Manor has a Café, where you can also find the Interior Museum and exhibitions during the café’s opening hours. Manor tours as well as a variety of events, from concerts to parties and seminars can be arranged on request.
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Kylamaki Village
Kylämäki Village in Kurala is made up of four farms with buildings still standing at their original sites. The village has been inhabited since the 7th century. Nowadays, Kurala is a village of living history where visitors can travel back in time to a typical Southwest Finnish farm of the 1950s, complete with authentic scents and rural atmosphere. During summer in the Iso-Kohmo kitchen, oven-baked treats prepared to Grandma’s recipes are warming on the wood-burning stove. The farmer’s wife tells of everyday activities from the old days, whilst also giving handy tips on things such as making juice.
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Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova
Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova is a unique combination of history, archaeology and contemporary art in the centre of Turku.
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Biological Museum
The Turku Biological Museum is a Diorama-Museum that resides in a beautiful Art Nouveau building. The museum is a great experience for all those interested in nature and cultural history.
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Forum Marinum
Forum Marinum, a National Specialist Museum for Finnish maritime and naval history standing next to Turku Castle, is a nautical experience suitable for all ages.
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Kakolanmaeki Prison
Finland’s most legendary prison vacated its former residence on Kakolanmäki in 2007, allowing the neighbourhood to enter a new and more auspicious age. It is an increasingly popular ‘Kakola Before and After’ tours, in which participants will explore the former prison buildings as well as the locations of the most exciting and audacious escapes of all time. The tour then continues on to Kakolan Sali, the hall that served as the prison church, where visitors will view a slideshow of the cells and hear stories of daily life for Kakola’s inmates. The two-hour tour is complete after a delicious serving of cakes and coffee. Public tours are held from 15th May to 5th September. Detailed times will be published on Kakola's website and Kakola's Facebook page later in the spring. The 2-hour tour costs €20 and includes coffee and cake.
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Kuressaare Episcopal Castle
Kuressaare Episcopal Castle, also known as Kuressaare Castle, is one of the most interesting and best-preserved fortresses in Estonia. The castle has become one of the most remarkable buildings in Northern Europe built during the 14th–19th century. There is a history museum which tells stories of the distant past and recent history of Saaremaa and the locals through permanent exhibitions and travelling exhibitions. There are also activities for both children and adults – from treasure hunts to archery!
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Narva Museum
Narva Museum today – it is the Narva stronghold, the Northern Courtyard, and the Art Gallery. These are more than architectural monuments, as the castle and the gallery also have exhibition halls. The exhibition of Narva castle talks about the history of Narva from the 13th century until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1991, the Art Gallery was opened. This allowed the museum to host Estonian and foreign art exhibitions in addition to displaying its own art collection. In 2007, Põhjaõu was opened as a new tourist attraction in the Northern Courtyard of the castle; this is how Narva Museum interprets the district of artisans dating from the 17th century.
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Moomin Museum
The Moomin Museum brings a touch of magic from Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter to Terminal 1 at Tampere-Pirkkala airport.
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Musuem Mailavida
The city of Tampere bought the building and named it Näsilinnaksi. It was handed over to the oldest museum in Tampere, the Häme Museum. The first exhibitions opened in 1908.
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Tampere workers
Take a little virtual tour of the museum. It takes you to some of the houses on the block and informs you of the museum’s construction process. You will also be told how the workers’ residential are Amuri came into existence.
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Tampere Art Museum
The Tampere Art Museum was established in 1931. It was founded by the Tampere Art Society which had already been collecting art and arranging art exhibitions in Tampere since the beginning of the last century. The museum is renowned for its active exhibition policy, especially exhibitions presenting ancient cultures, wide-ranging publication activities, the Young Artist of the Year event and Moominvalley, which can be found in the city main library “Metso”. The Tampere Art Museum presents important themes from art history and phenomena of contemporary art in both its Finnish and international exhibitions. The museum’s collections consist mainly of domestic art from the early 19th century onwards.