About seven kilometres away from the city centre is the Estonian Open Air Museum (Vabaohumuuseum). Its also known as “Rocca Al Mare”, This name was given by the former major of Tallinn, Girad de Soucanton, who loved Italy, when he built his summer residence here in the mid 19th century.
The museum is built in a large 73 ha area in the forest. More than 70 farmhouse were reassembled here and allow to step back in time. Most of the houses can be visited inside where typical furniture, tools or other “living equipment “ can be seen. Explanation signs are in Estonian, English or German. Some staff is English speaking and happy to give you extra explanation. (Thanx to the lady in the school). Don´t miss the first farm house on the left side, where the detailed history of its inhabitants is given on some 20 posters from the end of the 18th century to the time when the farm yard was moved to here.
There is also a restaurant serving traditional food.
The museum is open daily (except 1 Jan., 24 Jun., 24 - 25 & 31 Dec.) 10.00 - 20.00 from May - Sept. and from 10.00 - 17.00 Oct - April.
Admission for adults in summer is 50 EEK, (25 EEK in winter) .
Take trolley bus # 6 to the Zoo and walk one Kilometre to the entrance gate.
The Eesti Vabaõhumuuseum (Estonian Open Air Museum) is a wonderful place to visit. Set in a vast forested area, it contains many examples of Estonian vernacular architecture from the 18th-20th centuries. There are people dressed in period costumes to answer your questions or, if you're in the right place at the right time, give a demonstration of traditional Estonian dances. The site is so huge, it is easy to forget that you are still in the capital city of Estonia.
The main drawback of the site are the audioguides: we found it difficult to find the buildings' numbers and, therefore, enter the correct number in the audioguide. Guided tours are another possibility, but we didn't check into that.
A self-guided tour is expected to take 3 hours; because we stopped for a picnic, we stayed at Rocca al Mare for half a day. If you're not into picnics, there is a restaurant on site (Kolu Inn) serving traditional Estonian food.
To get to Rocca al Mare, take bus 21 from the Central Railway Station, which is located immediately outside of the Old Town (to the Northwest).
On the outskirts of Tallinn one can find Estonia's Open Air Museum, containing several wooden buildings, sometimes several centuries old, spread out over in a 87 hectare forest. Peaceful walks make for a welcome tranquil change from the hustle of the city.
The Open Air Museum is easily reachable by bus.
Rocca Al Mare is a great place to escape the city and get a glimpse into rural Estonian life at the turn of the last century. If you love windmills this is the place for you :) Great place to take the kids after the nearby zoo if you have the time. The rustic restaurant on site is also terrific and not to be missed.