The biggest events in Estonia

Source: Gert Nõgu

The biggest events in Estonia

Estonia's biggest annual events attract international attention, unite communities, and bring together the whole nation to energise the spirit of Estonia. Here is a list of the most important events in Estonia. Plan a visit to see one of these spectacles for yourself!

Tartu Marathon

If you are itching to ski, then head to South Estonia . Put your body to the test at the Tartu Marathon. For over 60 years, this marathon has been known as one of the best ski competitions in the world, attracting many domestic and foreign participants every year.

There are 63 km and 31 km classic cross-country tracks to choose from, as well as an Open Track race, a Relay Marathon, and races for children. You can also take part in the marathon virtually whenever you want – you could do it right now, while there is still plenty of snow.

Tartu Marathon, held in Southern Estonia, is part of the Worldloppet, Estoloppet, and Russialoppet calendars and the professional series Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour.

Strap on your skis and follow the leaders!

Photo: Tarmo Haud, Visit Estonia

Estonian Independence Day – 24 February

If your legs are sore from the Tartu Marathon, there is no need to worry — a few days later, on 24 February, there will be a national holiday and you can eat sprat sandwiches and watch the parade, concerts and speeches on TV.

The parade includes more than 800 participants and nearly 50vehicles, 42 flags, 4 military organisations, 2 units, 8 platoons and 2 orchestras. Our allies will be represented by the flag holders of the United States, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The United Kingdom's and Denmark's units from the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence and the French and United States' units will also be participating. This powerful sight will captivate both children and adults. This presidential reception usually takes place in Tallinn.

Sprat bread and the Estonian flag, two signs of Independence Day in Estonia!

Photo: Maarja Urb, Visit Estonia

Tallinn Music Week – 10-14 May

Tallinn Music Week (TMW) is the largest indoor music festival in the Nordic and Baltic region, featuring nearly 200 Estonian and foreign artists from various musical genres.

About 25,000 people from Estonia and abroad will participate in the festival in Tallinn. In addition to the main events, which take place in the most important clubs and concert venues in the city, Tallinn Music Week also introduces the lesser-known sides of the city. Stage concerts, the TMW Stories series, restaurant festival TMW Tastes and contemporary art program TMW Art will take place all over Tallinn.

Tallinn Music Week continues to fascinate

Photo by: Tõnu Tunnel, Visit Estonia

Jazzkaar – 23 April-30 April

Jazzkaar is an international jazz festival that has been taking place in Tallinn for more than 20 years and is the largest of its kind in the Baltics. In addition to the main event in April, you will be able to listen to Christmas Jazz in December, which will fill churches, concert halls and clubs with beautiful jazz music at the end of November and the beginning of December. They also organise Winter Jazz and Autumn Jazz concert seasons.


Photo by: Jazzkaar

Simple Session – 19-20 August

If you have even a little bit of passion for extreme sports, Simple Session is for you. If you don't want to get involved yourself, it's also fun to watch others do crazy tricks with skateboards and other vehicles. Simple Session is the largest extreme sports competition in Europe. It takes place every year in Tallinn and is followed around the world through social media. The latest figures show that the competition has already reached 735 million people. The world's leading skaters and BMX riders will be there.

Full of adrenaline - Simple Session

Photo by: Liina Notta, Visit Estonia

Song and Dance Festival — 30 June-2 July

The next major festival (XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival) will take place in the summer of 2023. The atmosphere of this festival is indescribable. It can be fully experienced only in-person – whether as a singer-dancer or a spectator. And it seems that interest in this event is growing: at the last festival, tickets ran out. The square was so crowded that it just could not fit everyone!

The latest song festivals have been so popular that we even ran out of tickets at the box office

Photo by: Photo: Jelena Rudi, Visit Estonia

WRC Rally Estonia – 20–23 July

The most extreme event of the summer is definitely the WRC Rally, which covers almost the whole of Southern Estonia. This is a stage of the World Rally Championship, which Estonia got the right to organise only a few years ago. These high-level competitions bring the world's top racers and a large number of foreign tourists to Estonia – through TV and the Internet, our small country with its beautiful nature reaches millions of people around the world. The event will take place in July.

WRC Rally in Southern Estonia

Photo by: Alexandre Guillaumot

Viljandi Folk Music Festival – 27–30 July

Viljandi Folk is not just a cool festival – it also has a mission. It brings us, in a concentrated, renewed or authentic form, the ancestral creations, instrumental and musical styles that would otherwise be lost in modern society. It is a cultural medium that brings together tens of thousands of people every summer. The town of Viljandi itself is worth visiting – the high castle hills, the lake, the cosiness of a small town and the energy of the festival make for a pleasant weekend.

The Viljandi Folk Music Festival brings together tens of thousands of visitors every year

Photo by: Marek Metslaid, Visit Estonia

Ironman Tallinn – 5 August

The triathlon will bring the best of its field to Tallinn in the summer, but hobby athletes who want to test their summer bodies and challenge themselves are also welcome. The event is challenging – throughout the day you will have to cover 3.8 km by swimming, 180 km by bike and 42.2 km by running. It is considered one of the hardest one-day sporting events in the world. You can also cover half distances, but even those are long and you will have to have trained properly in advance to take part in this competition.

Ironman competition in Tallinn

Photo by: Visit Estonia

Tallinn Marathon – 8-10 September

The Tallinn Marathon is a big national sports event that takes place every autumn. In addition to the full-length marathon, you can take part in a half marathon and a 10 km trail both by running and walking. You can participate from the age of 13. The amount of interest in this event is always huge. The competition, which has been held for more than 20 years, has changed its trajectories over the years. In the early years, it went along Pirita Road, but now the trail passes through the roads of Põhja-Tallinn, including Kultuurikatel, which has been especially exciting for participants from abroad. If you have yet to take part in this event, come try it out.

The weather is usually beautiful during the marathon. The city is full of joyful athletes and spectators whose hustle and bustle give the runners a pleasant boost

Photo by: Toomas Huik, Visit Estonia

PÖFF or Black Nights Film Festival – 3-19 November

Watching a good movie is like reading a good book – you get new knowledge and food for thought, sometimes you're shaken up a little and start thinking out of your comfort zone. That is why PÖFF is so beloved. It is the most influential cultural festival in the region. Its films can also be watched online, which has further increased interest in the event. The most recent PÖFF, held in Tallinn, included 182 feature films, 2 short films and 12 TV series.

Black nights in Estonia

Photo by: Visit Estonia

Last updated : 28.04.2023

In category: Tallinn, South Estonia, Activities & Adventure, Events