Estonian Open Air Museum
A beautiful and vivid travel through time to village life
The Estonian Open Air Museum makes you feel as if you are traveling back in time to a small village where, besides farmhouses, you can find everything you need for life: a church, a tavern, a schoolhouse, mills, a fire station, a shop, and fish net sheds by the sea. The exhibition also includes a Soviet-era collective farm apartment building, which was awarded as the best permanent exhibition 2021.
The museum, located on the outskirts of Tallinn, gives you insight into how families from different fields of activities, and with different wealth and skills lived in the past.
The buildings of the Open Air Museum have been collected from all over Estonia and have been rebuilt authentically. Just like in any other Estonian landscape, the farms in the museum are located according to the village types of the era.
Depending on the season and weather, you can ride a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh, or take a ride through the museum on a bicycle or a push sled.
All buildings are open during the summer and, in most buildings, visitors are welcomed by a farmer and housewife who, in addition to telling exciting stories, introduce visitors to the work and activities of the historic family. During the winter, the collective farm apartment building, Härjapea Farm, Setu Farm, the Russian house from Peipus, and the Sassi-Jaani barn-dwelling are open.
You can also try traditional homemade Estonian food in the Kolu tavern. The Lau village shops sells period goods from the 1930s, from sweets to garden tools.
In addition, on the third Thursday of every month a smoke sauna is heated in the museum and sauna customs are introduced. Traditional folk calendar holidays are also celebrated throughout the year.
The collective farm apartment building received a permanent exhibition annual award of Estonian museums in 2021.
Museums in Estonia
Estonian Applied Art and Design MuseumLai 17, Tallinn
The Vana-Võromaa Museum and Art GalleryKatariina allee 11, Võru
A. H. Tammsaare Museum in VargamäeTammsaare-Põhja talu, Vetepere, Järvamaa
Children’s Museum Miiamilla (closed until January 2024)L. Koidula 21c, Tallinn
Tori Horse Breeding Farm MuseumPärnu mnt 8a, Tori, Pärnumaa
Estonian Bicycle MuseumPikk 9, Väätsa, Järvamaa
The Kalevipoeg MuseumKalevipoja kinnistu, Kääpa, Mustvee vald, Jõgevamaa
Mati Unt MuseumKoidula 17, Tallinn
Estonian Dairy MuseumH. Rebase tee 1, Imavere küla, Järvamaa
Museum of the Coastal SwedesSadama 31/32, Haapsalu, Läänemaa
Juhan Kuus Documentary Photo CentreTelliskivi 60a-5, 10412 Tallinn
The Porkuni Limestone MuseumMäe 1/2, Porkuni küla, Lääne-Virumaa