The Tallinn Christmas market is the crown jewel of Christmas in Estonia. After all, it was named the best Christmas market in Europe in 2019 and has once again made the list of Christmas markets to visit all over the continent. The market may work its enchantment on you — making it hard to even think about leaving Tallinn — but the rest of Estonia is filled with magic during the holiday season.
In cities large and small across Estonia, a real-life fairytale Christmas awaits. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts at markets packed with handicrafts, see your children's eyes light up with a visit to Santa's farm, sample seasonal treats and hot mulled wine, and marvel at all the twinkling lights illuminating the winter sky.
You can never have too much Christmas cheer, so turn your visit into a full-on festive tour of Estonia. Here are the top holiday attractions around the country. Some events are for a limited time only so double check the schedule before heading out.
Tallinn is Estonia's Christmas capital, and it makes for a great first or last stop as you'll likely be starting and ending your trip in Tallinn's ferry terminal or airport. Here's our guide to spending Christmas in Tallinn. The market is open from November 25th to January 8th, ending the day after the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas.
Narva Castle will host a Christmas Village from December 23rd to 25th. You can learn about the historical traditions of this holiday. Each day of the Christmas Village will be dedicated to a specific time period and country. Watch performances and participate in contests and workshops. Children can visit Santa's hut and cuddle animals at the petting zoo.
The Christmas Village at the Torma Manor complex in Jõgeva County is where Santa's brother Glämmi lives with elves and other characters. During every weekend in December, families can come and participate in children's activities, or spend a night glamping in a cozy furnished tent.
The courtyard of Põltsamaa Castle will become a magical Snow Kingdom for three Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — the 3rd, 10th, and 17th. Kids can work their way through a spruce maze and have a chat with Santa. Take a sleigh ride and marvel at the twinkling lights and the sparkling snow. Even if there isn't much snow, there will be heaps of Christmas spirit!
In keeping with its status as Estonia's second city, Tartu has two festive Christmas attractions, Christmas City Tartu and the Tartu Christmas Fair. Brightly lit glass pavilions are the highlight of the Christmas City; each one is decorated with a unique theme. Visitors can take a spin on the ice rink set up on Town Hall Square, and enjoy sleigh rides or a turn on the wooden carousel. The Christmas Fair is the place to go for all your shopping needs; fill up your bags with handicrafts, smoked meat and fish products, blood sausage, sauerkraut, baked goods, honey, sweets, hot drinks, pies, and much more!
See folk dancers from all over Estonia at the Winter Dance Day in Võru on December 3rd. Enjoy performances on the main stage, a concert by the folk dance ensemble Kuljus from the Tallinn University of Technology, and a dance event in Kesklinna park. There will also be a Christmas Fair the same day, where you can get all your Christmas shopping done — Estonian handicrafts and local farm products make for memorable souvenirs and gifts for everyone on your list.
Pärnu's main event is its Christmas Village, set to be open for one weekend only — December 17th and 18th — on Independence Square. Stop by to see Santa and his helpers and enjoy the performances. Bring the kids, as there will be fun activities for children, too.
Christmas at Lottemaa is a favorite of Estonian children. This theme park outside of Pärnu recreates the village where Lotte the inventor lives with her friends. For Christmas, Gadgetville turns into a winter wonderland with Christmas decorations lighting up the houses, gardens, and forest paths of the park. Even if the weather outside is frightful, it is guaranteed to be warm and delightful indoors at Lottemaa! This year Christmas at Lottemaa runs the 17th and 18th of December (perfect to combine with Pärnu's Christmas Village!) and December 26th to the 30th.
Did you know Santa has a small farm in West Estonia? You can visit to see how he keeps busy in the summer, but the most festive time to visit is the day after his whirlwind world tour. On December 26th, you can visit for Family Days at Santa Claus's Korstna Farm. Meet Mrs. Claus and his little helpers and get to know all his farm animals. Dress warmly as some of the activities take place outdoors!
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