We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The setup is all wrong ”

Estonian Museum of Occupations
Ranked #49 of 310 things to do in Tallinn
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This museum chronicles the years Estonia spent under Nazi and Soviet domination.
Reviewed 13 November 2017 via mobile

The concept behind the museum is great but unfortunately it has been very poorly executed.

The exhibition features a series of roughly 30 minute videos and therein lies the problem. When listening to our particular video, it was almost impossible to block out the other video playing nearby. I even tried pausing it but it kept re-starting.

We also had to wait around for the people watching the next video before we could move on, as did people who were waiting to watch the video we were part way through. This would be less of an issue if the videos were shorter but if you are ready to watch the next video but someone is halfway through it (and potentially listening to it in another language), 15 minutes is a long time to wait.

I really wanted to get the most out of this museum but sadly the format just didn’t allow it.

1  Thank Curly_Kale64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (552)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"soviet occupation"
in 24 reviews
"recent history"
in 20 reviews
"personal accounts"
in 5 reviews
"watching videos"
in 5 reviews
"folding chairs"
in 5 reviews
"video footage"
in 4 reviews
"interesting artifacts"
in 7 reviews
"last century"
in 6 reviews
"second world war"
in 6 reviews
"cold war"
in 9 reviews
"first hand"
in 4 reviews
"on display"
in 12 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 17 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 4 reviews
"audio guide"
in 5 reviews
"singing revolution"
in 4 reviews
"two hours"
in 9 reviews

6 - 10 of 552 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2017

I was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit while holidaying in Tallinn as a tourist. This is an important, well presented museum of a part of history many will be unfamiliar with (I am British and knew nothing about the Estonian occupations prior to visiting). It is very well curated and sensitively presented. My only criticism is that quite a lot is delivered via gathering round a small number of screens and sitting/standing watching long videos to get the history. It is quite a small museum, and could do more to spread visitors round and create more of a journey.

Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

I think the museum does a good job of capturing the timeline of Estonia's occupations. It was pretty disturbing in some areas -- mostly in the very detailed videotaped interviews of people who suffered. It was interesting and well done, and gives you a lot to think about.

Thank blooberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2017

The Museum of Occupation (MoO) or "glass house" is situated a short walk of around 100 meters from Freedom Square (FS) as one looks at the glass cross in FS and up the slope behind it. Entry costs are about 6 Euro, 4 Euro concession,13 Euro family ticket.

It's a salutary reminder when visiting Estonia and other Baltic nations, that to win, lose, win, lose.......one's freedom over decades, centuries, is not just a footnote in history books, not just a "taken for granted - that's the cycle of national evolution," but an indelible memory wariness in the psyche of the people who have lived through such momentous times, that occupation or escape can happen again.

For tourists who live in places where invasion, occupation, liberation............is a rarity, a visit to the MoO is invaluable because it gives one an appreciation of what it means to live in times of instability, to have to grab whatever one can carry with a few hours notice and leave the land of one's birth with no guarantee of safe passage or even being able to return in one's lifetime. Its an eye opener to see what flying people treasure that they try and take with them as hand luggage.

The MoO is not large but packed with numerous artefacts that each tells a story of sacrifice, survival, self reliance, and solitude. The resourcefulness and determination of people fleeing occupation, forced mobilization and worse is evident in the stories of life and death, success and failure attached to various MoO artefacts.

What's paradoxical is that as one wanders the exhibits one is struck by the counter posing aims of the various allies in WWII and the period afterwards, that saw the newly emerged occupiers/liberators, former wartime allies, become Cold war adversaries. The result being a sandwiching of Estonian's and other eastern European peoples in a East-West ideological and physical "vice", with many Estonian and Baltic people fleeing a "no win" occupation/liberation, incarceration, deportation system for eradicating any liberal and democratic values adherents.

The MoO offers individual audio guides in a range of languages including English and is a quiet reflective place with permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Its a great way of commencing or continuing a tour of Eastern European nations that for the greater portion of the 20th century were neither free, nor democratically ruled, nor independent.

The MoO staff and curators are more than happy to fill in any knowledge gaps and provide other background details to the exhibits and artefacts.

Gregory Jarosch.

3  Thank gregoryjarosch50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 20 October 2017

We found this small museum interesting and very useful to understand the recent history of the Estonian people. It did not have any real "wow" factor in our view but we are glad we went. The stories of individuals gave a real human perspective. The exhibit in the basement on recent migration should not be missed.

1  Thank dccv1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Estonian Museum of Occupations also viewed


Been to Estonian Museum of Occupations? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing