Free museum entrance on May 17

On Saturday May 17, Estonia celebrates again the all-European Night of Museums when several museums are open to the public at night and free of charge. In Estonia, “Stars in the Night” has been chosen as this year’s theme.

There will be more than 130 museums participating in the Night of Museums programme – but this year also brings a number of new additions to the list. There are churches, archives, exhibition galleries and even the whole village of Ääsmäe involved in offering a special Museum Night programme. For the first time during the Night of Museums, also Tallinn Botanical Gardens will be opening their doors.

As always, there are several new museums to the programme. One of these is the Estonian Firefighting Museum in Tallinn, Raua St 2, which will open its 11 storey tower for the general public for the first time. The evening will include special tours and storytelling about the remarkable fire station building, where the museum is housed. The programme will be in Estonian, but the panoramic view from the top of the tower will translate into any language.

There are interesting events across all the museums, but among some of the more intriguing is the propaganda-themed programme “Red Stars in the Night” at the Estonian History Museum’s Maarjamäe palace. Visitors will be invited to look into how propaganda and information wars were waged 90 years ago. There will also be a special workshop where participants get to make their own propaganda leaflet. The programme is in Estonian, but the all exhibitions are English-speaker friendly.

That same evening, the biggest celebration of European museums – the European Museum of the Year Award Ceremony – will also be held in Estonia, in Tallinn, at the Estonian Art Museum. One of the nominees for the title this year comes also from Estonia – it’s the Estonian Maritime Museum’s Seaplane Harbour – there will be a lot of excitement in the air.

The Night of Museums is organised by Estonian museums and the Estonian Museum Association with ICOM Estonia. For more info, see  and


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