As the holiday season approaches, there's no better place to experience the enchantment of Christmas than in the charming and historic city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. With its picturesque old town, snow-covered streets, and festive decorations, Tallinn truly transforms into a winter wonderland during this magical time of year. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor, here are some delightful things to do on Christmas in Tallinn that will fill your heart with joy and holiday spirit.
- Explore the Old Town's Christmas Market
Tallinn's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, becomes even more enchanting during the Christmas season. The heart of the holiday magic is the Christmas Market in the Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats). Here, you can immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, surrounded by twinkling lights, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and a variety of stalls selling handmade gifts, traditional Estonian foods, and warming mulled wine. Don't forget to try local treats like black pudding, gingerbread cookies, and sauerkraut.
2. Visit the Christmas Tree at Freedom Square
Estonians take great pride in the fact that they are believed to have erected the world's very first Christmas tree in Tallinn back in 1441. To commemorate this historic event, a stunning Christmas tree is erected in Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) each year. It's a must-visit for anyone looking to capture the spirit of the season
3. Enjoy Traditional Estonian Christmas Cuisine
Christmas in Tallinn is the perfect opportunity to savor the delicious and hearty Estonian Christmas cuisine. Many local restaurants and cafes offer special holiday menus featuring dishes like blood sausage (verivorst), roast pork, sauerkraut, and rosolje (a beetroot and herring salad). Make sure to also indulge in piparkoogid, the Estonian version of gingerbread cookies, and enjoy some traditional marzipan treats.
4. Attend a Christmas Concert or Church Service
Tallinn is known for its beautiful churches, and many of them host special Christmas concerts and services. St. Olaf's Church, St. Mary's Cathedral, and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are just a few of the magnificent places where you can experience the soul-soothing melodies of Christmas carols and the serene ambiance of a midnight mass.
5. Visit the Estonian Open Air Museum
For a more traditional and authentic Estonian Christmas experience, consider visiting the Estonian Open Air Museum just outside Tallinn. Here, you can step back in time and see how Estonians celebrated Christmas in the past, complete with traditional customs, decorations, and festive activities.
Christmas in Tallinn is a magical and unforgettable experience. From the enchanting Christmas markets to the delicious Estonian cuisine and the rich cultural traditions, there's something for everyone to enjoy during this special time of year. Whether you're a local or a visitor, make sure to embrace the holiday spirit and create lasting memories in the winter wonderland of Tallinn.