Museum attendance on the rise (corrected on 23.05.2023)

Posted on 17 May 2023, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, there were nearly 2.5 million museum visits in Estonia in 2022. Museum attendance has increased compared with the previous years but is still below the pre-pandemic level.

Items marked in red have been corrected in the news release. The changes are due to an error made in data submission. As a result, indicators related to attendance were affected. The data were revised and submitted again to Statistics Estonia, and the news release has been corrected accordingly.

In 2022, there were 170 museums in Estonia with 227 museum sites. The most common types of museum were place museums (85), thematic museums (67), and archaeology and history museums (41).

Eveli Voolens, the social statistics team lead at Statistics Estonia, said that the highest attendance was registered by thematic museums and archaeology and history museums. “Compared with 2021, thematic museums and archaeology and history museums saw the biggest rise in the number of visits. Among children aged under 9, the most popular types of museum were thematic museums and science and technology museums. Attendance by this age group was the lowest in art museums and natural history museums.”  

Museum attendance in Estonia, 2012–2022 (corrected)

The largest number of museums are located in Harju county (71), including 53 museums in Tallinn city. Based on the number of museums, Tallinn is followed by Tartu city and Lääne-Viru county. “As expected, attendance was the highest in the museums in Harju county and Tallinn: the most popular museums in Tallinn were the Seaplane Harbour, Kumu Art Museum, and Kiek in de Kök museum. In Estonia as a whole, the biggest number of visits were made to AHHAA Science Centre, the Seaplane Harbour, and Kumu Art Museum ” said Voolens.

She noted that, while Harju county (including Tallinn) had the highest number of museums in Estonia, museum attendance per thousand inhabitants was the highest in Saare and Lääne counties. “In both counties, there were an average of 3–4 museum visits per inhabitant made in a year,” explained Voolens.

Museum attendance per thousand inhabitants by county, 2022 (corrected)

The number of foreign tourists who visit museums is also on the rise. Museum attendance by foreign tourists was slightly below 240,000 in 2021, whereas in 2022 there were over 670,000 museum visits made by foreign tourists in Estonia. Foreign tourists represented 27% of all museum visitors.

For the statistical activity “Museum”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Culture, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia analyses the data necessary for this statistical activity. The classification of museums is based on the UNESCO classification.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

See also the museums section on our website.

For further information:

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

press [at] (press[at]stat[dot]ee)


Good to know:

  1. On 18 May 2023, the International Museum Day is celebrated worldwide. This year’s theme is “Museums, Sustainability and Wellbeing”.
  2. On 20 May 2023, Museum Night takes place in Estonia. On Museum Night, many museums and memory institutions across Estonia open their doors. The theme of Museum Night 2023 is “Movement in the Night” which ties in with the national Be Active year, promoting healthier lifestyles and regular exercise.