Got a day to get to know Tallinn? If so, you’ll have time to see the star attractions of Estonia’s 1,000-year-old capital and delve a little deeper into its history, culture, and off-the-radar sights. Here are our ideas for making the most of 24 hours in this lively city.
Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom
Toompea 8, Tallinn, 10142
The cutting-edge Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom brings alive the difficult times endured by Estonia during the Nazi and Soviet occupations. Visitors can explore alone or with an e-tour app to experience different perspectives on both eras: uncovering the stories of those who lived through, resisted, and helped restore freedom after the occupations. By experiencing these human narratives, together with videos and artifacts, visitors come away with a deeper appreciation of the fragility and value of Estonia’s current freedoms.
You can choose to visit the Vabamu Museum independently or book a private tour of Tallinn and include the museum as part of a customizable itinerary. Alternatively, catch a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour and disembark at the Toompea Castle or Freedom Square stop, both a short stroll from the entrance.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Vabamu Museum is an education for history enthusiasts and everyone visiting Tallinn.
The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly and offers a café, shop, free Wi-Fi, and restrooms.
While the subject matter may not suit young children, the museum’s children’s exhibition area tells stories for younger age levels.
Deposit boxes are provided for stowing your belongings during a visit.
Multilingual e-tour guides are available.
How to Get There
The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom is on Toompea, near the junction with Kaarli Puiestee. The best way to get there is on foot, walking down Toompea from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The nearest bus stops are Tõnismägi and Vabaduse väljak. Drivers should follow Route 8 to Kaarli Puiestee, and turn right into Toompea to find the museum parking lot; spaces are limited.
When to Get There
The Vabamu Museum is open daily from May to September and Tuesday to Sunday, with slightly shorter hours, from October to April. While the museum rarely gets overly busy, it’s wise to arrive close to the opening time to enjoy a quiet visit.
Must-Sees at the Vabamu Museum
As well as video and audio testimonies, the museum boasts thought-provoking exhibits spotlighting the hardship and suffering caused by both occupations. Among them are lines of concrete suitcases at the entrance that recall mass deportations in 1941 and 1949 and a fishing boat used by escaping refugees during World War II.
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- Toompea Castle (Toompea Loss)
- Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak)
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
- Dome Church
- Tallinn Legends
- Tallinn Town Hall (Tallinna Raekoda)
- Tallinn Old Town (Vanalinn)
- Tallinn Cruise Port (Tallinna Sadam)
- Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam)
- Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluvӓljak)
- Kadriorg Palace
- Kadriorg Park
- Kumu Art Museum (Kumu Kunstimuuseum)
- Estonian Open Air Museum