It’s time to add Tallin, Estonia to your travel bucket list! Check out our video guide and a few key reasons why everyone should visit Tallinn during Christmas.
What a privilege to travel to Estonia during the notable Tallinn Christmas markets, experience their unique culture and history, and bask in the beauty of shared appreciation for Christmas goodness. Come for the market and renaissance vibes. Stay for the snow, glögi, sausages, sweets, and Christmas shopping.
1. MEANDER THROUGH THE TALLINN CHRISTMAS MARKET
The market is centrally located in the center of Old Town, so it’s incredibly accessible if you’re staying in the area. The market is in the center square and is surrounded by colorful buildings. The spoke-and-wheel design of the market gives the feeling of being utterly surrounded by Christmas cheer. As if on queue, the moment we walked up to the Christmas market, Bing Crosby’s rendition of White Christmas played in the square just as snow went from a sprinkle to heavy snowfall as the overpowering yet delicious smells of cider and gingerbread spread throughout the market. You simply cannot plan for a moment as quintessentially magical as that.
2. GO ICE SKATING
Head to Vanalinna Uisupark to get your heart racing as you skate with your partner around the outdoor ice rink! Here you can get a ticket to skate and rent ice skates. Show off your skating skills, or take it easy under the glow of Christmas lights.
3. TRY A RENAISSANCE-STYLE DINNER
Dine at a renaissance-style restaurant like Olde Hansa. With no modern updates or electricity, we enjoyed old-school entrees and drinks for dinner lit exclusively by candlelight as we were serenaded by classical instruments. And yes – the bathroom is also very, erm, retro. Feeling brave? Try eating bear for dinner at the renaissance-style restaurant. Hands down one of the most unique things we’ve ever eaten in our lives. Give it a shot – why not?
4. EXPLORE OLD TOWN
Walk through defense towers. Not every city has 13th-century city walls to walk atop for new views of the winter wonderland! We’d recommend starting here for excellent views and a unique city experience! Old Town also offers darling shopping options, from local boutiques to handcrafted items at the Christmas Market. Don’t forget to stop by and smell the flowers right outside of the city defense towers. They’re gorgeous!
5. WANDER WITHOUT THE CROWDS
Some Christmas destinations are so massive that they seem crowded and challenging to navigate. Tallinn seems to be perfectly sized, and it offers plenty of options without feeling overwhelmingly large. And although it’s been recognized as one of Europe’s best Christmas destinations, since Estonia is sort of off the beaten path, it’s not overrun by hoards of tourists.
WHERE WE STAYED
- 5 Star luxury at affordable Estonian prices – only around $150 per night for a luxury property!
- The hotel room had large windows that opened towards the street for quaint views and fresh winter breezes.
- The hotel room’s bathroom had a wonderfully large bathtub (especially for European standards) that even offered a bubble bath elixir! I rarely take baths in hotels. However, after a very chilly day of walking in the snowy markets, I filled the tub with the heavenly scent and foamy bubbles. I thawed my frozen feet and fingers until I nearly fell asleep in the water.