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 latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Really interesting museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of KGB Museum

KGB Museum
Ranked #19 of 292 things to do in Tallinn
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: In Soviet time Hotel Viru was good enough to accommodate foreigners. It also had to be good enough for the KGB ... The museum represents a collection of the stories of two worlds. In one of them, mostly existing on paper, happy Soviet people enjoyed a life of plenty and friendship, led by a single wise political party. The other world – the real one – had a nature much more diverse and complicated.
Tokyo
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Really interesting museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

The rooms were interesting, but the best part of the tour was the guide's stories. It was fascinating to hear about the life during the Soviet era. It was like listening to a movie plot. It was really worth the visit.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank r0mihi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

844 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    415
    277
    96
    33
    23
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
200 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“A "Wow" of an Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

The minute I heard about the chance to visit a museum about the KGB I knew I had to go. This tour is ranked 9 on out of 130 attractions in Tallinn for a reason - it's fascinating, informative and a lot of fun. The tours are limited in number so it's best to make a reservation before you go. I made mine on line and the cost was 8 Euros (around $12).

Our guide was great. She has so much knowledge and information to share that the time flies by and before you know it the tour is over. Although the KGB used only two small rooms on a floor that did not exist (23rd - the elevator goes to 22), one of the rooms is left exactly as it was when the KGB abandoned it overnight. Even the cigarette butts are still in the ashtray.

Political fiction is my favorite reading genre and I was thrilled to see so many of the "spy tools" I read about over the years were actually used by the KGB. I don't want to say much more because part of the fun is finding out things you never knew on your own time.

I will say, though, that the view of Tallinn from the 23rd floor are spectacular so bring your camera, for sure!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rebelliot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Very interesting and amusing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013

This is a really interesting visit which I would highly recommend. Book online or telephone as the tours tend to be full so if you just turn up on spec, you are likely to be disappointed. English tours at 11.30am and 2.30pm. The Estonian guide was very informative and there were plenty of amusing anecdotes about what went on. The KGB used the hotel to spy on foreign tourists (this was the only hotel in town during the Soviet era) and were based on the 23rd floor. You get to see 2 rooms, one of which has all the old communications equipment still in it. You can also go out on to the balconies either side for excellent views of Tallinn. Lasts approx 1 hour and then you go to the Hard Currency bar for a 10 minute video charting the Hotel’s history. Cost was 8 euro – well worth it if you are interested in modern history.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Norcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Fascinating!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

This tour takes in only two small rooms at the top of the Sokos hotel but the hour just zooms by as the guide is so engaging.

If you go into the bar afterwards there is a list of 70s and 80s rock bands with the reason why they were banned.

You must book as there is only one English tour a day- our hotel did it for us at my request.

Out of a 10 day trip around the region this was probably my highlight.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Spring_Chick_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level Contributor
349 reviews
185 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 571 helpful votes
“Highlight of My Visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

This is more a "listen" with only a little to look at, to illustrate, but how fascinating the description of living under the thumb of the Soviets, and the machinations that were necessary to deal with them. No, there is not a lot to look at, but nonetheless, this is a world class museum, or event if you prefer, illustrating so colorfully the corrosive deterioration of that occupying political system. For instance, I had always regarded the babushkas on each floor of the hotel from an outsider's perspective, as a bunch of obvious spies that would report your every move. i had never realized that it was a plum job to have, not because of pay or prestige, but because of the unique access it gave to westerners and the possibility of black market trading with them for goods they had with them and might be willing to dispose of. Who could have figured out that people were after those jobs with good intentions. For an hour and a half, my usual inability to learn through listening was suspended. The event was fascinating, the highlight of the trip.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank NJ-Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed KGB Museum also viewed

 

Been to KGB Museum? 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