The mediaeval Great Guild Hall has always played an important role in the life of the city. The permanent exhibition at the History Museum "SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL. 11,000 years of Estonian History" (opened in 2011) helps to understand the singularity of the people who have lived in Estonia and introduces historical events that have affected them the most. The exhibition discloses the story of Estonian past through rooms with different topics, such as the Gun Room that tells about wars, the exhibition "Power of the Elite" that talks about the Great Guild and mediaeval trade. You can also see different currencies and take part in historical events in the interactive time capsule.
Forget about the Churches, the shops and the tours. Get to the Estonian Museum. There are a couple of videos that show the history of Estonia. They are brilliant and help to explain a little bit...
The museum is housed in the historic Great Guild Hall, and describes both the history of the Hall and that of the nation. Very well done and interesting.
This did give you some good Estonian history, but it was mostly uninteresting and the exhibits had a bit of this and a bit of that, more like a historical junkyard than a museum. Save your Euros.