Christmas holiday tips from VisitTallinn

Source: Erik Peinar

Christmas holiday tips from VisitTallinn

The site VisitTallinn is the leading authority on all things merry in the capital region of Estonia, so it's only natural that they have some insider hints on how to spend an unforgettable Christmas in Tallinn. Whether you've come to see the legendary Christmas tree or just want to experience the white, snowy winter, this is your guide to events, food, shopping, and fun. 

Embracing the snowflakes

Enjoy the snowy, wintry weather in layers of warm clothing. 

Photo by: Annika Haas

Tallinn's Medieval Old Town takes on an especially magical quality in winter as a fresh powdering of snow covers its rooftops, and candles fill its cobblestone lanes with a flickering glow.

Though the nights may be dark, winter is when you find Tallinn at its most enchanting. From skating at the Old Town's outdoor ice rink to enjoying a cup of mulled wine at one of the cosy cafés, it's a real winter wonderland!

December brings high spirits and a festive mood to Tallinn's medieval churches, cute shops, and onto the city streets. From as early as mid-November, visitors can come and make wishes under the lush Christmas tree towering the fairy-tale-like Town Hall square. The tree lights are lit on the First Sunday of Advent (28 Nov 2021).

Come and experience Tallinn's winter full of magic!

Christmas Markets

Tallinn's Christmas Market can feel like something out of a fairy-tale

Photo by Kaupo Kalda

Estonia hosts several different Christmas markets and fairs in the wintertime, but the largest is definitely the Tallinn Christmas Market. Well-known for its shopping stalls, winter treats, craft goods, and warm drinks, it brings a fairy-tale feeling to the city. All of the market's festivities happen next to Tallinn's world-famous Christmas Tree. As part of a tradition of setting out a Christmas tree that dates back to 1441, Tallinn's tree tradition is the oldest in Europe.

Seasonal events

Despite this being the darkest time of the year, Tallinn is glowing with warmth, light and is brimming with cheerful energy. Every evening offers new opportunities to take part in enchanting winter events in the city's cinemas, concert and theatre halls, churches, pubs, and nightclubs. You can see all the events laid out here.

Festive food

Gingerbread is an essential yuletide treat

Photo by Kadi Liis Koppel

Sampling the wonderful flavours of Estonian cuisine is a must during your visit to Tallinn. Estonian food, traditional or modern, changes throughout the year, with each season boasting its own unique flavours. The winter brings a range of hearty dishes. At a genuine Estonian Christmas dinner, you'll find sült (jellied meat), beetroot salad, herring, roast potatoes and pork, sauerkraut, Christmas bread, black pudding with pickled pumpkin, and lingonberry jam. Traditional homemade beer has been replaced by the dark porter that goes well with roasted meat. Although not many people know that the porter-type beer is also excellent for desserts, especially chocolate treats. If you want to try something local, look for special Christmas brews from Saku, A Le Coq, or one of the many Estonian craft breweries.

Winter superfoods

A wintry twist on beetroot, a vegetable appearing often in Estonian cuisine. 

Photo by: Mariann Liimal

Traditional Estonian desserts often include kringle, a pretzel-shaped sweet bread, and delicious buns, served with whipped cream. These are great after a day of skiing or sledging. While strolling through the snowy town, pop into any shop, café, or wine bar for a delicious cup of a hot drink of your choice. Of course, mulled wine and hot chocolate are the most popular.


Between the modern department stores, the cosy boutiques of Old Town, and the design and handicraft shops, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect gift to bring to someone special in your life. Old Town in particular offers a mix of design shops featuring the work of both burgeoning and established local designers. If you want to add a personal touch to your gift, there's nothing like making it yourself. Tallinn has a number of workshops to start you off, most of which are situated in Old Town and easy to find.

Winter fun

Snowy sports

You don't have to go far outside the city to try cross-country skiing. 

Photo by: Visit Estonia

When the air is crisp and streets covered in white snow, head down to fairy-tale-like Tallinn Old Town or for a stroll in a quiet local suburb! The winter season in Tallinn offers different activities such as skating at the Old Town's outdoor ice rink. The more adventurous souls can explore winter parks or try out cross-country skiing.

Enjoyed VisitTallinn's Christmas holiday tips? You can read the full article here

Last updated : 29.11.2021

In category: Tallinn