Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum

Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum

Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum
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About
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.
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  • m50lws
    186 contributions
    A view into the various ages of the city.
    On Tallinn Day (15th May) this museum is only 1 euro, making it really good value. The Bastion passages are a long tunnel, which you then have to return along to exit. There are some steep steps early on, uneven ground at many parts and some low headroom parts. My 1.6m tall wife was having to duck sometimes. The exhibits are interesting if sometimes a little repetitive. The tower started with modern steps but nearer the to the original steep steps were all that were available. Free lockers did help with not having to carry your stuff all the way round.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 22, 2023
  • LostInTime
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania11,663 contributions
    Awesome
    This was very cool. I loved the old towers. The whole walls of the city are awesome. Adding a museum made total sense. The whole city is great and the walls towers and their story is great.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Karen K
    Menton, France6 contributions
    Kiek in de Kök in Tallinn
    Was an interesting exhibition - this is a defense tower from the 15th century. I especially liked to imagine how life could actually have happened in the 15th-16th centuries. Teenage children were deeply impressed by the bastion tunnels.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 8, 2023
  • AAleR
    Saint John, Canada407 contributions
    The tunnels are great
    This venue is well worth a visit. The various displays are well put together and educational. The highlight for me was the tunnels that served various purposes over time. A very good way to escape either a rainy or blistering hot couple of hours.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 17, 2023
  • ADM1959
    Linlithgow, United Kingdom538 contributions
    Unusual but interesting if you have the time.
    Unusual and interesting museum. Fascinating to see the different ways the bastion tunnels have been used over time, from their original defensive purposes, to bomb shelters, storage, a punk hang-out, homeless accommodation and now a museum. We picked up bits of info while we walked through. The towers have displays ranging from military defence to the life and times of families and cafés during the 20th century in Tallinn. Good views from various points in or between the towers. Here as elsewhere, we noticed that there are several references to the period of occupations etc but the USSR is almost never referred to by name. NB in both the tunnels and the towers, many of the steps are rough and uneven. Probably not suitable if you feel unsteady on your feet. There's a small café up between the towers where we enjoyed coffee and pastries (no savoury eats).
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Explorer
    158 contributions
    Fascinating tunnels
    Well worth a visit for an insight into local history. Walking the tunnels was fascinating with lots of information and displays on the way (in Estonian & English). Of note if you are in Tallinn on first Sunday of the month admission to this and some other Tallinn City museums are free.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 6, 2023
  • Satu88888888
    3 contributions
    Very nice place!
    We had only a couple of hours in Tallinn but the towers were well worth the visit! We didn't go into the bastions as we didn't have enough time but maybe next time! We really enjoyed the views from the tower and the bridge connecting the towers.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Tavis
    Angmering, United Kingdom22 contributions
    An great afternoon learning a lot of history about Tallinn's fortifications
    The Bastion Passages were really good and well worth the visit - lots of interesting history from different periods of Tallinn's history, including medieval, wars, occupation and more recent times. The Towers were also good, although were not as interesting as the passage part of the museum. We were also lucky to visit on the first Sunday of the month, when the museum is free - if you are visiting Tallinn early in the month it is worth looking out for this offer.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 13, 2023
  • Neale1810
    Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom2,726 contributions
    Exploring underground
    We had walked past the entrance of this museum a number of times in our visit to Tallinn but hadn’t seen it. It was only when I was watching a YouTube video on our last night that I realised it was there. You can buy tickets for the underground tunnels or climbing the tower and walls or both. We had done a tower and wall climb on another section the day before so we just went into the tunnels - €5 each. You go quite a way down before walking through the tunnels. There is plenty of space to walk through so it didn’t feel claustrophobic to me. There are plenty of boards to read and videos to watch which describe the history of the tunnels through the ages. Strangely it starts with the last 20 years and then goes back in time as you walk along. Thoroughly enjoyed it
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 12, 2023
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4.0
1,231 reviews
Excellent
527
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518
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136
Poor
32
Terrible
18

midway42
Georgia3,107 contributions
May 2022
Easily one of the more quirky and unique names for any attraction I’ve seen, “Peep in the Kitchen” is actually a general term taken from Low German that refers to a general tower-type (tall and squat) found throughout Germany and Eastern Europe. As it pertains to Tallinn, the eponymously named tower was constructed over two centuries, starting in the 1400’s. The only military action it saw was during a Russian attack in 1577 and as warfare changed and it became obsolete, the structure was converted into barracks, a haven for aspiring artists, and finally a popular cafe before its metamorphosis into todays museum. I visited on a Monday, partly because most museums in the city seemed to be closed.

There are essentially three parts to this experience: the Bastion Passages, the tower itself, and “everything else.” The Bastion Passages were built in the 17th century in expectation of a long siege and are by far the most atmospheric portion of the attraction. A history of the passages is given in reverse chronological order, covering everything from the initial engineering of the passages to the history of homeless people living there in the early 2000’s. A carved stone museum rounds out the visit. The tower proper provides the main didactic portion of the experience, with five levels covering city life (with a special exhibit on insects and rats in the basement), the role of the fortress, military history, an armory, and finally an artists studio in roughly ascending order. The final portion of the museum is a relaxing stroll on the city walls and through the Maiden, Stable, and Gate towers. I spent almost three hours on site.

In summary, this was one of the most memorable attractions I saw during my time in Estonia. The tower portion in particular provided information on the medieval era that I didn’t find anywhere else during my week in the city. The experience provides a little bit of everything: history and learning in the tower, atmosphere in the tunnels, and memorable views from the ramparts. If you are pressed for time a stopover here should easily take precedence over individual visits to the city walls and Guild Hall (see separate reviews) as there are several varied experiences under one roof (and underground). A highly recommended visit.
Written May 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tavis
Angmering, UK22 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
The Bastion Passages were really good and well worth the visit - lots of interesting history from different periods of Tallinn's history, including medieval, wars, occupation and more recent times. The Towers were also good, although were not as interesting as the passage part of the museum. We were also lucky to visit on the first Sunday of the month, when the museum is free - if you are visiting Tallinn early in the month it is worth looking out for this offer.
Written August 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Crystaly303
Eastlake, CO475 contributions
Aug 2019
My friends and I visited this museum and were very surprised at the history and architecture. There is such a wide range of history, which I know should be expected as old as this city is, but wasn't entirely expecting the underground passages to have also been used as bomb shelters. We really enjoyed walking along the city wall. There is also a nice cafe that is on the second floor where you can relax and take in the scenery, indoor or outdoor. This was probably one of our favorite activities.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Honest reviews
Belfast, UK65 contributions
Jul 2022 • Couples
This place was absolutely fantastic. I personally enjoyed the underground tunnels, the history was fantastic and super interesting! There was a lovely walk where you could look out over the city. A lovely cafe in the middle of it meant you could sit with a coffee. The museum was questionable but the children also visiting at the same time seemed to enjoy it!
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

m50lws
Staffordshire186 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
On Tallinn Day (15th May) this museum is only 1 euro, making it really good value. The Bastion passages are a long tunnel, which you then have to return along to exit. There are some steep steps early on, uneven ground at many parts and some low headroom parts. My 1.6m tall wife was having to duck sometimes. The exhibits are interesting if sometimes a little repetitive. The tower started with modern steps but nearer the to the original steep steps were all that were available. Free lockers did help with not having to carry your stuff all the way round.
Written May 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Explorer
158 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Well worth a visit for an insight into local history. Walking the tunnels was fascinating with lots of information and displays on the way (in Estonian & English). Of note if you are in Tallinn on first Sunday of the month admission to this and some other Tallinn City museums are free.
Written August 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard M
Hampstead Norreys, UK871 contributions
Jun 2022
Incredible place. There are two parts to the museum. Firstly are the towers. There is a lot of history and exibitions in the main tower which is interesting. You can also get from there into a number of adjacent towers which also have a lot of informaiton to take in. The second part is the underground bastion tunnels. There are sections covering a huge amount of the history of the tunnels from the present day going back in time through amazing historical events. The end contains a museum containing loads of old pieces of sculpture and building decoration. Overall an absolute must see for the buildings and the history.
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

laczkozsu
Debrecen, Hungary1,667 contributions
May 2022
It’s an important part of the Town Wall. It was built in 1475, its height 38 metres, the walls are 4 metres thick. This funny name means that the defenders of the tower could peek into the kitchens of the lower town. Now we can see some cannonballs from 1577 in the walls. Nowdays it houses the Tallinn City Museum's exhibition on the history of the city wall. I think it’s worth a visit.
Written December 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nina
Delft, The Netherlands184 contributions
Sep 2021
Kiek in de Kok houses a surprisngly large amount of exhibits. The main tower houses the main exhibition on Tallinn's history, ranging from trade to military exploits. The temporary exhibitions are also free to visit and offer interesting takes on life in Tallinn.

The views from the tower and the walkways are amazing. All in all, worth a visit.
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Neale1810
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK2,726 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
We had walked past the entrance of this museum a number of times in our visit to Tallinn but hadn’t seen it. It was only when I was watching a YouTube video on our last night that I realised it was there.

You can buy tickets for the underground tunnels or climbing the tower and walls or both. We had done a tower and wall climb on another section the day before so we just went into the tunnels - €5 each.

You go quite a way down before walking through the tunnels. There is plenty of space to walk through so it didn’t feel claustrophobic to me.

There are plenty of boards to read and videos to watch which describe the history of the tunnels through the ages. Strangely it starts with the last 20 years and then goes back in time as you walk along.

Thoroughly enjoyed it
Written September 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kiek in de Kok and Bastion Passages Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)