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“Highlight of my 4 day Tallinn visit”

Rocca Al Mare Open Air Museum
Ranked #8 of 291 things to do in Tallinn
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Within just a 15-minute drive from the center of Tallinn there is a delightful place – the Estonian Open Air Museum that invites you to see rural architecture and get acquainted with village life.The 12 farms of the museum show the visitor the life of families of different income and occupation in the 18th-20th centuries. As in anyreal village, there is a church, an inn, a school, a number of mills, a fire station, a village shop and net sheds by the sea.Although 74 buildings have been brought over so far, the museum is far from being completed; it is constantly changing and developing.You can have good time and also learn something at the Estonian Open Air Museum in any season!
Sluis, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Highlight of my 4 day Tallinn visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2011

When preparing my Tallinn trip I read about the Estonian Air Museum and I immediately knew I had to visit, I'm very fond of history. It turned out to be the highlight of my 4 day visit to the Estonian capital.

My visit took place on 28/10/2011, a dry sunny day, after a rainy period, in autumn time. Me and my friend used one of the sightseeing buses (blue line, from Viru) to get from the Old Town to the museum. We were literally dropped off at the gate, with a couple of others.

Our entrance and audio guide were free, 'cause we had bought the Tallinn Card (discount pass) earlier. We decided to browse the little tourist shop and visitor's center later, 'cause we only had 3 hours till our next (and last) bus. We both used the restroom in the shop and went on our way, with the map we had received and our audio guide.
The audio guide was really good: simple, informative, easy to use, funny and well spoken (English version). The only thing I struggled with was holding it up to my ear, 'cause I was carrying lots of things. I would have preferred a headphone. Taking pictures while holding the audio guide to my ear without dropping something wasn't easy.
The map (and info panels) indicated the numbers for the audio tour and by that, the route we had to follow through the museum. Unfortunately my audio guide ran out of batteries when I was little over halfway in the official tour, on 3/4 of our tour as we had skipped some things for lack of time. The lady in the visitor's center had told us to come back when our batteries went dead, but as we were on the other side of the museum that wasn't an option.

The museum is actually located in a forest like park, bordering on the sea. The people who we got off the bus with started their tour earlier than we did. We only saw them once during our visit. That immediately illustrates the solitude of the experience, which I absolutely loved. There were only a handful of people in the park and as it is quite large we were all alone most of the time. It was very peaceful and it added to the atmosphere.

As we were visiting in autumn the color spectrum was absolutely magnificent. The trees had all sorts of shades of green, brown, yellow, orange and pink, the sun sometimes trickled through setting fire to the forest. Combined with the lack of visitors I daresay autumn is one of the best times to visit the Estonian Open Air Museum.

The only downside to that is that all the houses (except three, in our case) are closed. However, we already spent 3 hours here, and we didn’t have enough time. If all of the houses would have been open we probably needed 2 days to visit all!
Personally I didn’t mind not being able to enter the houses. You get a pretty good idea of what life must have been like just by walking around (and listening to the audio guide, which I recommend).

We enjoyed one of the large swings, part of the Estonian folklore, so we couldn’t resist trying it ourselves. Unfortunately there was no one around to capture our enthusiastic swinging.

The view over the sea was lovely, especially (here we go again) with those colored trees overhanging the small cliffs.

At the end of our visit we had a drink in the tavern, one of the three houses open for visitors. Upon stepping in I was immediately transported back in time, great experience.

The visitor’s center at the entrance was fine. The young woman who helped us was very kind, helpful and spoke English well. The shop sold pretty much the same things that you can find in the Old Town of Tallinn, but it’s a nice extra.
We appreciated being able to use the toilets as the area outside the park looked deserted. There are several toilets in the park as well!

If I ever come to Tallinn again I would happily visit the Estonian Air Museum again. Summer is no doubt more fun, with the open houses and the Estonians dressed up, but I would definitely not hesitate to go in autumn again. A dry sunny autumn day like we had is just perfect!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank sabrina_ide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A glimpse into Estonian social history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2011

Best seen in the sunshine, and in the high season, as very little was open when we visited. However, the crowds were missing as well, and there is a lot to see. Only a 1 Euro bus ride away from the railway station...

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank TJL_Edinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
431 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 422 helpful votes
“Fantastic place to visit in Tallinn”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2011

Went there today with my husband. We love architecture, nature, and History. All these can be found in the Open Air Museum. It is very easy to get to by public transport. Take the trolly bus 6 or 7 from the train station (Balti Jaam) and then walk for 10 minutes on a beautiful path along the water. Bus 21 stops in front of the gate but it is infrequent. The museum opens every day at 10 AM and that is the time to get in if you want to avoid crowd. The ground is fabulous. The houses are really well reassembled and the explanations/histories are very well represented. It is definitely the best this kind of museum we have ever seen. It is indeed better than Skansen (Stockholm) in many ways although it is really not a fair comparison.

The restaurant has a great atmosphere. Even the food was reasonable. Don't drink the coffee. It is very weak and just warm, not hot.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Purobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Interesting museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2010

There are 3 big attractions in this part of Tallinn: Open-Air Museum, Zoo and big shopping mall. I think it makes it a good combination for a family visit. Open-air museum has a lot to offer to the curious kids and their parents - all these old Estonian houses brought together from different areas are really interesting and watching blacksmith at work or very old sewing machine at use can be interesting experience. There are quite a few animals on mini-farms here and there and you can go on horse-driven carriage around the museum. Also, nice cafe with old Estonian food and small playground for kids next to it. And you can get a combo family ticket for Zoo and Open-Air museum for very good value.

Helpful?
2 Thank aerotrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Little Rock, AR
Level Contributor
73 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“A really cool attraction”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2010

This museum was a great opportunity to get outside the city a bit (take the Hop on Hop Off bus included in the Tallinn Card if you don't want to brave the bus system). It was neat to see buildings from all over Estonia. I was lucky enough to be there when the staff was doing a dancing demonstration-- so cool! It was neat how the buildings were separated from each other by wooded areas, unlike other open air museums where the buildings are so close together.

Helpful?
3 Thank bkpoalnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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