City Museum

Old Town

Tallinn’s City Museum is actually split over seven different sites. This location, its main branch, is set in a 14th-century merchant’s house and traces the city’s development from its earliest days. The displays are engrossing and very well laid out, with plenty of information in English, making the hire of the audio guide quite unnecessary. Displays illuminate Estonian language, everyday life, and artefacts and cultural developments.

The top floor presents an insightful (and quite politicised) portrait of life under Soviet rule and there’s a fascinating video of the events surrounding the collapse of the regime.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Town attractions

1. St Nicholas' Orthodox Church

0.04 MILES

Built in 1827 on the site of an earlier Catholic church appearing in 15th-century records, St Nicholas' was the focal point for the Russian traders that…

3. St Catherine's Church

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Perhaps Tallinn’s oldest building, St Catherine's Monastery was founded by Dominican monks in 1246. In its glory days it had its own brewery and hospital…

4. Draakoni Gallery

0.07 MILES

In among the guilds, beneath a fabulous sculpted art nouveau facade, this commercial gallery hosts small, often stimulating exhibitions of contemporary…

5. Town Council Pharmacy

0.09 MILES

Nobody's too sure of the exact date it opened, but by 1422 this pharmacy was already onto its third owner, making it the oldest continually operating…

6. Holy Spirit Lutheran Church


The blue-and-gold clock on the facade of this striking 13th-century Gothic church is the oldest in Tallinn, dating from 1684. Inside are exquisite…

7. Great Guild Hall

0.11 MILES

The Great Guild Hall (1410) is a wonderfully complete testament to the power of Tallinn's medieval trade guilds. Now a branch of the Estonian History…

8. KGB Prison Cells

0.13 MILES

Formerly producing hushed dread in Tallinn's Soviet-era citizens, the KGB headquarters at Pagari 1 is now a historical site, and the Museum of Occupations…