Merry Christmas markets

Source: Kaupo Kalda

Merry Christmas markets

Strings of lights twinkle, special foods are prepared, and communities come together on town squares to rejoice: Christmas markets are the heart of Estonian winter holidays. Games, performances, delicious flavours and cheer await the whole family.

Tallinn Christmas Market is home to one of Europe's oldest holiday traditions. According to Forbes it is one of 10 most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe. According to the recent news from European Best Destinations Tallinn Christmas Market is #1 in Europe! 

"Thousands of voters from all over the world have awarded Tallinn the title of Best Christmas Market in Europe. It has become one of the must-see events in Europe. The Tallinn Christmas market delights everyone with its coziness, historical location, wonderfully preserved medieval old buildings and long traditions. In recent years, the Tallinn Christmas market has a number of times been elected as one of the best Christmas markets in the world."

We couldn't agree more. So spread the word and share this article with your friends and family!

The holiday market: cheerful meeting place 

Age-old Christmas celebrations 

The Estonian word for Christmas, Jõulud, comes from the old Scandinavian Jul.

Photo by: Birgit Varblane

The Christmas holiday season is the most important of the whole year in Estonia, dating back to ancient pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Holiday markets are the historical focal point and meeting place of towns in winter, and today you can still brush shoulder with locals enjoying the wintry ambience. Shop for handmade Christmas gifts from local artisans not sold in shops during the rest of the year like luxurious furs, intricate knit socks, and wooden decorations. Savour seasonal foods like blood pudding, gingerbread cookies and hot mulled wine. Tallinn's Christmas Market is known around the world, but there are fairs happening in Estonia's charming provincial towns.

Markets across Estonia

Photos: VisitTallinn, VisitViljandi

One of Europe's most beautiful Christmas markets is held on Tallinn's medieval Town Hall Square. You can eat and drink, shop at stalls, pay a visit to Santa Claus and his live reindeer and take a pony ride. A full cultural programme with dancers, singers and more takes place on the stage. 

Tallinn Christmas Market was voted Best Christmas Market in Europe last year. 

Tartu, Estonia's culture capital, is a destination for Christmas. For Christmas Town Hall Square in Tartu will transform into Village of Light. Don't miss the Tartu Christmas Fair on the Tartu Town Hall Square with warm drinks, pies and handicrafts.

Paide, with its 13th century castle, lies right in the heart of central Estonia. Visit on December 9th for a day full of family activities like a candy tournament, tree decorating contest and performances by a troupe of elves on the Paide Central Square.

Narva, a historical city on Estonia's eastern boarder, hosts its Winter Fair where artisans from all three Baltic countries sell their crafts in the town centre. While you're there, tour the Narva castle and museum.

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Last updated : 20.12.2019

In category: Tallinn, South Estonia, Shopping