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“If Time is Limited, This Should Be On Your List” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum

Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum
Komandandi 2, Tallinn 10130, Estonia
+372 644 6686
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Ranked #28 of 237 things to do in Tallinn
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The tower Kiek in de Kök together with the passages of the Ingrian and Swedish bastions is an exciting part of Tallinn historical fortifications.The exhibition of “Kiek in de Kök and Bastion Passages” reopened in March 2010 takes the visitor to a time journey that begins in 1219 and offers experience, information and entertainment. With the help of innovative video- and sound-effects and means of multimedia the birth and evolution of Tallinn, the history of town fortifications and the most significant military events are introduced to the visitor.The time train in the bastion passages takes the tourist to 2219. The other part of the passage display concentrates on the history of the passages.The cafe on the uppermost floor of the tower offers magnificent views of the upper town Toompea, the lower town and the harbor.
Nashville, Tennessee
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98 reviews 98 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“If Time is Limited, This Should Be On Your List”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014

We had 3 days in Old Town and spent pretty much one of those days at this Museum. You have 3 options: Tower entry, Bastion entry, or a combo. We somehow lucked out and got onto the last English Bastion tour without a reservation (but as, others said....make a reservation as tours are limited to only 20 people at a time). I don't think you need to be paranoid about the reservation issue by making it 30 days in advance, from home. But do make it when you arrive, especially if you need one in a specific language.

So...we had to wait a few hours for our Bastion tour and decided to do the combo ticket and discovered that the Tower was really REALLY good as well. It's a thoughtfully designed museum of Estonian history with dioramas and cool displays that walk you through the unbelievable history that Estonia has had to endure over the centuries and up until modern day! It's a wonder they've managed to maintain their culture through out all of the invasions they've had to endure. You will not appreciate this until you visit this museum.

Word of caution though--You need to climb the original, uneven, mismatched height, twisting stone stairwells of the tower to get to the different floors of the museum. Children will LOVE it. The FIT will love it. If you are physically challenged, you will despise it. I looked for lift options and did not see any (nor could see how they could be put in there).

Now, for the Bastion Tunnels Tour--If you can ignore some of the plastic mannequins they placed in some of the areas to "set" the feel for the different time eras the tunnels represented, and listen to the guide as they inform you of the history of the tunnel as you proceed through the tour, it's really quite astonishing. There is a vast network of these underground passageways under Tallinn and the tour actually ends where they are continuing to excavate through more of the length of the system. So, you get to end the tour with a glimpse of archeology in progress.

Oh...as for temperatures. I come from an area of the US where there are some of the best underground cave systems. Average cave temperatures are about 54 degrees F (12 C). Spending time in our Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, that's NOT that BAD....so stop complaining :) If you go in knowing this, bring a sweater. If you forget, they can provide blankets.

It was all a really excellent experience. Well worth the money and time.

Visited May 2014
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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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  • English first
  • Finnish first
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  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Well-designed exhibits”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the foresight to book tickets to tour the tunnels in advance, so when we showed up we were only allowed into the tower/museum. However, I still highly recommend this place — I learned a lot about the history of Tallinn and it was a lot of fun going up and down the winding staircases and admiring the different views. Be sure you make it all the way to the top!

Visited June 2014
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Manchester, United Kingdom
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119 reviews 119 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
“LOTS of steps, but”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

There's an exhibit on each floor, and the top floor has a cafe with stunning views (and a loo).

So you go up in stages, and only realise how far you've gone when you come all the way down in one go. I'm 55, unfit, smoker. You can do it.

Tunnels tour well worth it, wear a coat if warm outside, it's cool down there.

Visited May 2014
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100 reviews 100 reviews
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Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Good but exceptional”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

So one of the most interesting places in Tallinn is the Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum. Having had the Tallinn Card, this attraction came free of charge and it was quit good. English Tours for the Tunnels should be booked in advance via email (because the Tunnels and actual Kiek in de Kok are two different attractions). The tunnels are quit cool but then if you consider that the EU gave Estonia 7 million euros to repair the tunnels and help the homeless, you realise that they could of made the tunnels even better instead of using the 7M to do something else. Also a little disappointing is when they start the tour by saying "there are 3 tunnels but we can only see 1 and only part of it because the rest is either occupied by water, homeless or spiders!"
The tour itself is however very interesting and you understand what Estonia went through in the past, occupation under Germans, Danes, Swedes, Finns and Russians.

The Kiek in de Kok figured on the picture is cooler from the outside then the inside, well it depends if you like museums. It is clearly a museum just spread out on 5 or 6 floors until the top of the tower.

Visited May 2014
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Welshpool, United Kingdom
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Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Book in Advance”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

If you wish to do both the Kiek in de Kok tower and the Bastion Tunnels then book ahead. The tunnel tour has certain start times so it's best to check in advance. We did both and thoroughly enjoyed them. THe Kiek in de Kok tower has a good history and also exhibition space. There was a 3D photography exhibition when we went. The bastion tunnel experience was just that. From the introductory cartoon history which was excellent and very funny (worth the price for that alone!) to the tour of the tunnels themselves. It's amazing just how many generations of people have used the tunnels for their own ends. From the war use to the punk and homeless uses. Still sections are being excavated. The futuristic train ride was both odd and very short yet all part of the experience. To cap it all they have the youngest stalactites I've ever seen with some very modern archeology to boot (for the next generation)!

Visited February 2014
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