Tourist Guide

 Cultural Life



An Introduction

Estonia Misconceptions

Getting Oriented
Info Points 
City Transit
Post Office
Medical Help
Other Tips

Wine Cellars

What’s to Drink
Cigar Lounges
Off the Beaten 



Cultural Life
Art Galleries
Performing Arts
Movie Theaters

Estonian History



High End
Mid Range
Low Budget
Dirt Cheap    
Apartment Rental  
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Real Estate



Rave/Dance Music


Fast Food/Delivery

Shopping Tips
Stores and Malls
Open Markets
Record Stores
Computer Stores


Car Rental
Buses and Trains
Boats and Ferries
Travel Agents

What's New

What's On

Yellow Pages

Additional phone numbers, 
from shoe repair to embassies.
  - Online Phone Directory

Other Estonian
tourist articles:

Prangli Island

Tallinn’s Soviet, Nazi
 Occupations Museum

Top 10 Misconceptions 
   About Estonia 

Tartu: Estonia's 2nd

Top Estonian Bands

Estonian Epic


Tallinn’s New Airport

Tallinn by Helicopter

Gone Fishin' in Estonia

Tallinn's SovietLand Park

Wine: A Baltic Guide

Eurovision 2002 in Tallinn


Latvian Guide

Lithuanian Guide



Art Galleries    Museums   Performing Arts  Movie Theaters    Reading    Cultural Luminaries

Art Galleries

A-Galerii: (H-2) Hobusepea 2. Good selection of unique local handmade jewelry. 

Aatrium: (I-2) Harju 6, tel.631-0503.

Allee: (I-2) Pikk 30, tel. 646-4500. Paintings by the pre-war generation.

Draakon: (I-2) Pikk 18, tel. 646-4110. 

Galerii G: (J-2) Vabaduse väljak 6, tel. 644-9620.

Haus Gallery: (I-3) Uus 17, 641-9471.

Hobusepea: (I-2) Hobusepea 2. Exhibitions of Estonian art.

Linnagalerii: (J-2) Harju 13, tel. 644-1388.

Lühikese Jala Galerii: (I-2) Lühike jalg 6, tel. 631-4720.

Mustpeade Galerii: (H-3) Pühavaimu 9. 

Tauno Kangro Sculpture Studio: (H-3) Uus 20, tel. 641-1002. Open: Mon.-Fri. 10-17. Tauno Kangro is one of Estonia’s very best artists—specializing in bronze sculptures. This place is an absolute must see!


Most museums are closed on Mon. and Tue. Opening hours are usually from 10 to 18. You can also find information at

Adamson-Eric Museum: (I-2) Lühike jalg 3, tel. 644-5838. A permanent exhibition of the work of a leading Estonian artist Adamson-Eric (1902-1968).

Archaeology Museum: (I-2) Rüütli 10, tel. 644-4805. Early Estonian history.

Doll Museum: (B-3) Kotzebue 16, tel. 641-3491. Open Wed.-Sun. 10:30-17:30.

Energy Center: (B-3) Põhja pst. 29, tel. 715-2650. Open:Mon.-Sat. 10-17. Interactive technology and science related hands-on, minds-on exhibits and programs. 

Estonian Art Museum (House of the Knighthood): (I-1) Kiriku plats 1, on Toompea; tel. 644-9340. Open: Wed.-Sun. 11-18. History of Estonian fine arts.

Estonian Bank Museum: (J-3) Estonia 11, tel. 668-0760.

Estonian Photography Museum: (I-2) Raekoja 4/6, tel. 644-6553. In the old city prison. 

Health Museum: (H-2) Lai 28/30, tel. 641-1732. Open: Tue.-Sat. 11-18. Interactive displays about all the systems of the human body and more. 

Historical Museum: (I-2) Pikk 17, old city; tel. 641-1630. Early Estonian history.

Kadriorg Palace: Weizenbergi 37, tel. 606-6400. Open: Tue.-Sun. 10-17. International fine arts collection of the Estonian Art Museum in the newly-restored Baroque palace that Peter the Great had built for Catherine.

Kiek-in-de-Kök: (J-2) Komandandi tee 2, tel. 644-6686. Good photo exhibits.

Kristjan Raud Museum: Kristjan Raua 8, in Nõmme; tel. 670-0023. The works of pre-war painter Kristjan Raud, celebrated for his illustrations of the Kalevipoeg epic.

Maarjamäe Palace: (A-6) Pirita tee 56, tel. 601-4535. A museum of Estonian history over the last hundred years. 

Maritime Museum: (G-3) Pikk 70, inside the Paks Margareeta fortification tower; tel. 641-1408. An excellent museum, and a must for shipping buffs!

Mikkel Museum: (B-5) Weizenbergi 28; tel. 601-5844. Private art collection.

Mine Museum: (H-3) Uus 37, tel. 641-1408. Open: Wed.-Sun. 10-18. Exhibit of mines of different origin dating to WW I.

Museum of Estonian Applied Arts: (H-2) Lai 17, tel. 641-1927.

Museum of Estonian Architecture: (B-3) in the Rotermann Salt Storage, Ahtri 2, tel. 625-7000. 

Museum of Occupations: (I-1) Toompea 8, tel. 668-0250. Open: Tue.-Sun. 11-18. A must museum, focused both the Soviet and Nazi occupations. (Click here a longer description.) 

Natural History Museum: (H-2) Lai 29, tel. 641-1739. Estonian wildlife. 

St. Nicholas Church and Concert Hall: (I-2) Niguliste 13, tel. 644-9911. Medieval art, including Berndt Notke’s Death Dance.

Open-Air Museum: See SIGHTS.

Peter the Great House Museum: Mäekalda 2, in Kadriorg Park; tel. 644-4553. Open: Wed.-Sun. 10.30-18. A humble house where Peter the Great stayed during his visit to Tallinn with his personal items on display.

Tallinn City Museum: (I-3) Vene 17, tel. 644-6553. In a medieval merchant’s house; exhibits about Tallinn’s history.

Tammsaare Museum: (C-5) Koidula 12a, tel. 601-3232; in Kadriorg. The home of Estonia’s most celebrated writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1878-1940) gives a good overview of his life and work.

Theater and Music Museum: (I-2) Müürivahe 12, tel. 644-2132.

Performing Arts

Estonia Concert Hall: (J-3) Estonia pst. 4, tel. 614-7760. This neo-classical building features regular concerts. Their website is also the best source of classical concert information. 
Estonian National Opera: (J-3) Estonia pst. 4, tel. 683-1260. Located in Estonia Concert Hall, the Opera will celebrate its 100th season beginning in September. 
St. Nicholas Church (Niguliste Church): (I-2) Niguliste 3, tel. 644-9903. Dating back to the 13th century, this church hosts regular concerts of sacred and secular, early and modern classical music.

See list of events for this month here!

Movie Theaters

The info service Ekspress Hotline can tell you what’s showing, tel. 1182. Films are in original languages with subtitles.

Coca-Cola Plaza (I-4) Hobujaama 5, next to the main post office. By far the biggest, most high-tech theater; 11 screens. See  for schedules. 

Kinomaja: (I-3) Uus 3, tel. 646-4510. Cult and lots of foreign films.

Kosmos: (C-3) Pärnu mnt. 45, call 1182 for schedules. Hollywood hits.

Sõprus: (I-2) Vana-Posti 8, tel. 644-1919. Mostly non-Hollywood, quality movies. 


Most of the books below are at; you can find some in local bookstores.

Histories/Current AffairsHistory of the Baltic States, sold at many Tallinn stores, is thorough—but often lacks color and context. A touching first-hand account of Stalinist deportations is Sentence: Siberia by Ann Lehtmets; War in the Woods is a history of the anti-Soviet guerrilla movement. Douglas Wells’ In Search of the Elusive Peace Corps Moment is a collection of true stories from the time he worked here. Baltic Revolution is a sometimes provocative history by Anatol Lieven; well written, but parts are now outdated. A history of the pre-war era is The Baltic States: Years of Independence by Georg von Rauch. David Smith’s Estonia: Independence and European Integration is a newer publication on recent history. Serious history students can try Andres Kasekamp’s The Radical Right in Interwar Estonia. L’Estonie, identité et indépendence by A. Bertricau in French.

Novels—Arved Viiralt’s beautifully written Graves Without Crosses, related to the Soviet takeover. The Czar’s Madman by Jaan Kross is superb; Treading Air is another Kross’ novel now available in English. William Palmer’s The Good Republic is a fanciful novel set during the war-time occupation. A.H. Tammsaare’s Mark Twainian The New Devil of Põrgupõhja, about Satan trying to prove to God he can win salvation as an Estonian peasant, is outstanding. 

Poetry/Short Stories—There’s a translation of the national epic, Kalevipoeg. Also try: Baltic Elegies by poet Ivar Ivask, Wandering Border, by Jaan Kaplinski, and Writings from an Unbound Europe.

GuidebooksBradt’s Baltic Capitals and Lonely Planet’s Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania.


Marie Under (1883-1980) is regarded by many as Estonia’s greatest modern poet. Her work during Estonia’s period of independence was highly acclaimed, but it was her writing from exile about the pain of exile that appears to be her most enduring work.

Lennart Meri, 70, is a celebrated Estonian writer, film director and philosopher; he’s also the current Estonian president. He won acclaim in the ’70s and ’80s for his impressionistic anthropological films on obscure Finno-Ugric tribes in the USSR. (Meri’s father, Georg, was the leading post-war translator of Shakespeare.)

Veljo Tormis, 69, is celebrated for his revival of an ancient, chanting-style song—the runic. His ingenious, many-layered choral compositions are progressive yet harken back to something primordial.

Alo Mattiisen (1961-1996) was a highly influential pop music composer of the late ’80s. He wrote pro-independence rock songs that became virtual anthems during the independence drive.

Mark Soosaar, 52, is Estonia’s premier documentary maker. He has chronicled sweeping changes here by focusing on the lives of colorful individuals. He is founder of the Charlie Chaplin Cultural Center, in Pärnu’s old Communist headquarters.

Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (1803-1882) was the main author of the national epic Kalevipoeg. It’s had a huge influence on modern Estonian culture.

Jaan Kross, 77, has often been nominated for the Nobel literature prize. His best novels explore the dilemma of intellectuals trying to keep their Estonian identity under German or Russian rule.

Neeme Järvi, 60, is a top international conductor and now director of Detroit’s Symphony Orchestra. Järvi, 60, has helped promote works by Estonian composers, including Rudolf Tobias and Veljo Tormis.

Anton Hansen Tammsaare (1878-1940) is arguably Estonia’s greatest writer of all time. His Dostoyevskian novels in the 1930s—especially Truth and Justice—helped define modern Estonian values.

Lydia Koidula (1843-1886) is perhaps Estonia’s most beloved poetess. Her romantic poems about Estonia fueled the National Awakening in the 1800s.

Arvo Pärt, 62, is one of the most innovative composers of the 20th century. His works echo religious music of the Middle Ages. His better known compositions are Tabula rasa and St. John’s Passion.

Art Galleries    Museums   Performing Arts  Movie Theaters    Reading    Cultural Luminaries

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