CULTURE

Estonia is a small nation and although it has seen foreign dominations for centuries, Estonians have kept their culture and traditions alive and talk passionately about art, music and culture.

There are about 250 museums and numerous art galleries in Estonia giving you a good overview of the country’s history and traditions and introduce you also to international masterpieces.

Throughout the year festivals, concerts and other cultural events are organized all over Estonia. The beloved summer months with long daylight hours are especially crowded with open-air festivals organized in historical castles, small characteristic cities and idyllic islands.

CULTURE

MAIN MUSEUMS

Estonia has an impressive variety of museums that offer an interesting overview of the country’s culture, history and literature and also feature various international art and history. 

While Tallinn proposes the country’s most important art museums, other regions of Estonia as Setumaa, the Old Believers, Kihnu and other small islands can be considered as true open air museums where local traditions and culture has been preserved through times.

KUMU Art Museum

Il Museo d’Arte KUMU, l'edificio principale del Museo d'Arte Estone, vale la pena di essere visitato anche solo per la sua architettura. Espone una panoramica dell’arte estone nei secoli e può vantare in particolare una collezione di modernisti estoni e di realismo socialista.

Oltre alla mostra permanente e ad una varietà in continua evoluzione di mostre temporanee, questo museo ospita anche un auditorium, un centro didattico, una biblioteca ed è diventata una "fabbrica" creativa dove si svolgono programmi di cinema e diversi eventi culturali.

KUMU è stato premiato come miglior museo d’Europa nel 2008.

KUMU Art Museum
KUMU Art Museum
KUMU Art Museum

Kadriorg Art Museum

The Kadriorg Art Museum is situated in the magnificent Baroque palace that used to be the summer residence for the Russian tsar Peter the Great.

The main exhibition displays masterpieces of European, Estonian and Russian art from the 16th to 20th century, as well as prints, sculptures and other works.

Taking a walk in Kadriorg park to admire the swan lake and the beautifully restored manor park that surrounds the museum is definitely a must for every visitor.

Estonian Architecture Museum

The Estonian Architecture Museum is situated in the former Rotermann salt warehouse, an imposing limestone building built in 1905 and renovated in 1995-1996.

The spacious exhibition hall and two galleries hold a permanent exhibition of Estonian architectural development through ages, while temporary exhibits focus on various architectural movements.

Estonian History Museum

The Estonian History museum is situated in the Great Guild Hall – a wealthy medieval merchant house from the 15th century.

The renovated building houses a permanent exhibition “spirit of Survival” with multimedia and interactive displays giving a very interesting and good overview of how people have lived, fought, and survived over 11.000 years.

Estonian Maritime Museum

Il Museo Marittimo Estone presenta la ricca storia del Mar Baltico, le varie rotte commerciali storiche, e le navi che solcavano queste acque e hanno raggiunto le coste di questa città anseatica.

È possibile inoltre visitare l’interno dell'unico esemplare di sottomarino diesel risalente a prima della Seconda Guerra Mondiale.

Estonian Maritime Museum
Estonian Maritime Museum

Open Air Museum

Rocca al Mare Open Air Museum on the outskirts of Tallinn is a natural history museum that presents a historical collection of authentic village life, shows national traditions and the way ancient Estonians lived centuries ago.

You can take the journey back in time and admire thatched, 18-20th-century farm buildings, windmills, water mills, wooden chapels and village schools on this 79-hectare seaside park area.

Traditional Estonian farmhouse cuisine is offered at Kolu Tavern, even though with a nice weather day it is nice to bring own picnic baskets to spend some quality time in the peace and quiet.

FESTIVALS

Estonians are known for their passion for festivals to keep alive the traditions and explore the new winds from abroad. There are festivals happening all year around, even though they are more concentrated during the summer period when many castles, heritage ruins and small villages transform into open-air festival grounds. Jazz, classical music, rock, piano concerts, sacral music, folk – the is a suitable festival for everybody.

The festival Estonia is famous for is the Song Festival, held every 5 years on the Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn. The two-day celebration begins with a festive procession of the participants, all dressed in traditional folk costumes. About 30 000 singers and 200 000 people participate in this spectacular festival that gives this small nation a strong feeling of their origins, traditions and culture.

Jazz is much beloved in Estonia – during spring a well-known Jazzkaar festival takes place, presenting the best jazz musicians from Estonia and abroad, while for a more characteristic jazz-experience you should schedule yourself to Muhu Future Music Festival “Juu Jääb” that offers a unique combination of high-tech audio-visual projects, excellent music and the picturesque scenery of a small Estonian island.

The Viljandi Folk Music Festival keeps alive and interprets the traditional music of different peoples. Viru Folk, held in a small fishing village Käsmu, gives you the possibility to enjoy the concerts of Nordic music, participate in film, poetry and environmental programmes.

The highlight of the summer festivals is the The Birgitta Festival, held in the ruins of a 15th century monastery, where the latest of the modern musical theatre in all its varieties and richness are presented.

Other well-known festivals are the Leigo Lake Music Festival that takes place amid the beautiful nature of Southern Estonia, the Nargen Festival, a recent newcomer, which brings summer concerts to Estonia’s small islands, and the Glass Bead Game Festival highly valued by the classical music lovers.

Estonia's talented musicians have been highlighted every spring since 2009 during the annual Tallinn Music Week, which aims to introduce Estonian music to the world.

 

OPERA

As a progressive Nordic capital, Tallinn proposes its visitors a variety of high quality music experiences.

The Estonian National Opera has a repertoire of various internationally renowned operas, operettas, or ballets. The majestic building itself was originally built by Finnish architects in 1913, restored after the war, and renovated to a modern concert hall during 1997-2005. 

The more recent Nokia Concert Hall offers new and wonderful experiences in the form of the performances of globally well-known musicians and numerous cultural events.

OPERA

CONCERTS

There are also many live concerts with international and local artists taking place in Estonia.

Many of the A-list stars perform their mega concerts mainly in the capital city of Tallinn, but also in other cities of Estonia.

Long hours of daylight and vibrant atmosphere during a summer period makes Estonia a perfect location to enjoy many world class pop and classical concerts. Whereas comfortable indoor venues offer all the possibilities to organize memorable concerts during winter period.